Steel Futures Fall as Both Iron Ore and Steel Billet Drop

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Cold-rolled steel

Reuters’ Andy Home writes that the difficult year for iron ore has claimed another producer.

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“The combination of supply surge and slowing demand growth has already unleashed a battle for survival among iron ore producers,” Home wrote. “The latest victim of this brutal new iron age is fledgling Australian producer, Western Desert Resources, which has just gone into administration.”

Chinese steel production has sputtered to a growth rate of 2.7 percent in the first seven months of 2014, down from 12.1 percent in the year-earlier period.

With a decline of 0.2 percent to $642.00 per short ton on Thursday, September 18, the US HRC futures contract 3-month price recorded the biggest decline of the day. The spot price of the US HRC futures contract remained essentially flat at $655.00 per short ton.

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Chinese steel prices closed flat for the day. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India hit a high price of CNY 840.00 ($136.79) and a low price of CNY 830.00 ($135.16) per dry metric ton. Chinese HRC stayed flat at around CNY 3,040 ($495.03) per metric ton. The price of Chinese coking coal remained essentially flat at CNY 1,390 ($226.35) per metric ton.

For the fifth day in a row, the cash price of steel billet remained essentially flat on the LME at $450.00 per metric ton. The 3-month price of steel billet was unchanged on the LME at $455.00 per metric ton.

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