Iron ore prices for May 24, 2019:
Spot up. Paper roared overnight as port stocks tumbled again last week 127.7mt. Steel is riding the coat tails. But it’s not all good on that front:
China Steel Corp (CSC, 中鋼) on Friday announced that it would cut steel quotation prices for domestic deliveries in the third quarter to reflect increasing uncertainty that has resulted in a wait-and-see approach in the global steel market.
It would lower the price of benchmark hot-rolled sheets and coils by NT$1,000 per tonne and cold-rolled sheets and coils — which are used in the automotive industry — by NT$941 per tonne, the Kaohsiung-based steelmaker said in a statement.
CSC would also decrease the price of electro-galvanized sheets by NT$600 per tonne, electrical sheets by NT$750 per tonne and hot-dipped, zinc-galvanized sheets by NT$800 per tonne, it said.
To support the export competitiveness of domestic downstream customers, the company has decided to also drop the price of steel bars and rods by NT$1,066 per tonne, and steel plates by NT$529 per tonne, it said.
“Due to the unresolved trade conflict between the United States and China, international political and economic uncertainty has increased, affecting global economic growth momentum this year,” CSC said in the statement. “Global uncertainties have caused short-term turmoil in the international steel market, and end users have reduced their inventory levels in response.”
Without Vale’s problems, iron ore might be half the price and Australia confronting the worst economic accident in living memory.