ArcelorMittal Posts $955 Million Loss, ThyssenKrupp Barely Shows a Profit

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The world’s largest steel maker, ArcelorMittal, reported on Friday a $955 million loss for the fourth quarter, highlighting the difficulty of making money in slumping commodities businesses such as steel and iron ore.

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The company’s large mining operations were hit by the sharp fall in iron ore prices, while its North American steel unit also slowed. The Luxembourg-based steelmaker’s write-off of $621 million on its investment in China Oriental, a Chinese steel business, was another big contributor to the loss.

ThyssenKrupp , Europe’s second-largest steelmaker, reported a small profit of €43 million ($48.8 million), for the quarter, compared with a loss of €70 million a year earlier.

Weakening prices ended a three-day flat streak as the 3-month price of steel billet fell 1.0% on Thursday, February 12 on the LME to $475.00 per metric ton. The steel billet cash price fell 1.0% on Thursday on the LME to $495.00 per metric ton after three straight days with no change.

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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 450.00 ($72.09) and a low price of CNY 445.00 ($71.28) per dry metric ton. The price of Chinese HRC held steady at CNY 2,510 ($402.07) per metric ton. For the fifth day in a row, the price of Chinese coking coal remained essentially flat at CNY 1,080 ($173.00) per metric ton.

The 3-month price of the US HRC futures contract fell to a 30-day low at $535.00 per short ton after shifting 0.9%. The US HRC futures contract spot price fell 0.4% to a 30-day low of $535.00 per short ton on Thursday.

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