Indian steel giant Tata Steel Ltd. resumed production from 2 of its 4 iron ore mines on Tuesday, a company source and a government official told Reuters, cutting a shortage that had forced the company to import the raw material for the first time.
Court restrictions over the past 3 years to curb illegal mining have stifled iron ore output in India, which used to be the world’s third largest supplier. As a result, Tata Steel and JSW Steel are turning to imports even as international prices languish.
Tata Steel reopened the iron ore mines in Odisha after a court directed the local government to let the company operate them until a hearing on Jan. 28.
Chinese steel closed mixed last Friday. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India hit a high price of CNY 840.00 ($135.19) and a low price of CNY 840.00 ($135.19) per dry metric ton. Chinese slab saw its price drop 4.7% to a 30-day low of CNY 2,850 ($458.69) per metric ton last Friday. Chinese HRC was down 3.1% from the previous market day, closing at CNY 3,090 ($497.32) per metric ton.
The steel billet cash price saw little movement on the LME at $500.00 per metric ton. The 3-month price of steel billet was unchanged on the LME at $480.00 per metric ton.
The spot price of the US HRC futures contract saw a 1.5% decline to $596.00 per short ton. The 3-month price of the US HRC futures contract saw little movement last Friday, closing out around $606.00 per short ton.