Steel Prices Flat to Down in Brazil, Triggers Management Battled at Usiminas

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Usinas Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais SA saw its shares tumble after posting its first loss in more than a year as shareholders Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. and Ternium SA battle over control of the Brazilian steelmaker.

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Preferred shares of Usiminas, as the Belo Horizonte, Brazil-based company is known, fell as much as 8.1% to 5.47 reais, the lowest intraday since 2004. The stock was the worst-performer on the MSCI Brazil Materials index.

Usiminas posted a third-quarter net loss of 26.1 million reais ($10.8 million), compared with a 70.5 million reais profit a year earlier, its first loss since the second quarter of 2013. The results were weak from top-to-bottom as steel sales and prices were lower than expected, while profits at the company’s iron-ore unit fell, investment bank Grupo BTG Pactual said in a note to clients.

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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 ($136.77) and a low price of CNY 830.00 ($135.14) per dry metric ton. Chinese HRC held its value on Wednesday at CNY 2,980 ($485.20) per metric ton. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese coking coal held flat at CNY 1,390 ($226.32) per metric ton.

The cash price of steel billet saw essentially no change on the LME for the fifth day in a row, remaining around $465.00 per metric ton. The 3-month price of steel billet held steady on the LME at $455.00 per metric ton.

The US HRC futures contract 3-month price showed little movement yesterday, hovering around $635.00 per short ton. The US HRC futures contract spot price continues hovering around $642.00 per short ton for the fifth day in a row.

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