Iron Ore Miner Cliffs Natural Resources Joins Steel Companies in Anti-Dumping Fight

Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. plans to join major steelmakers in filing complaints over steel imported into the US, its chief executive said, a move that could increase pressure on the government to add more tariffs on steel products, the Wall Street Journal reported.

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Under chief executive Lourenco Goncalves, who took over last August, Cliffs has been restructuring to focus on 5 profitable iron ore mines in Minnesota and Michigan that sell exclusively to U.S. Steel, ArcelorMittal and other steelmakers with US mills.

Cliffs’ mines are now vulnerable to the sudden slide in steel prices. Most steel experts have attributed, principally, to the collapse in oil prices. As energy companies have pulled back, they have canceled orders for steel pipe.

“The collapse of the steel price is not about the oil price,” Mr. Goncalves said. “The reason is the avalanche of imports.”

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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 ($134.16) and a low price of CNY 840.00 ($134.16) per dry metric ton. The price of Chinese HRC remained essentially flat at CNY 2,570 ($410.45) per metric ton. The price of Chinese coking coal held steady at CNY 1,080 ($172.49) per metric ton.

The steel billet cash price saw essentially no change on the LME for the fifth day in a row, remaining around $500.00 per metric ton. For the fifth day in a row, the 3-month price of steel billet remained essentially flat on the LME at $480.00 per metric ton.

The 3-month price of the US HRC futures contract saw little change in its price yesterday at $560.00 per short ton. The spot price of the US HRC futures contract flattened at $550.00 per short ton after two days of downward movement.

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