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Talks on iron ore rate cuts continuing

[ 2009-07-17 10:43]     字号 [] [] []  
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Talks between China's steel industry and international iron ore suppliers to settle the final price of ore for the 2009-10 contract year were still ongoing, the China Iron and Steel Association (CISA) said, even as it admitted that some steel mills had agreed to a 33-percent cut from last year's price.

This year's negotiations have become particularly uncertain following this week's detention of four employees of Rio Tinto, which has triggered a sweeping revamp of the iron ore import business.

CISA rejected a 33-percent cut agreed to by Rio Tinto and Japanese and South Korean mills in May, and held out for a 40-percent cut.

Cui Jingyi, a steel analyst from Guotai Junan Securities, said this year's negotiation price was unlikely to be affected by the Rio scandal since there was huge demand for iron ore in China.

"If you look at the steel output this year, you will find the Chinese steel industry still maintaining a sustainable growth rate," she said.

"CISA asked for a 40-percent discount on iron ore prices at the beginning of this year due to the economic slump," said Fan Haibo, a senior steel analyst from Xinda Securities. "But they over-evaluated the situation. The global steel industry might reduce output this year, but China's steel industry, which now accounts for half of global iron ore consumption, is still robust."

"I don't think they can wait for a better price," he said.

China's iron ore imports soared 46 percent from last June, reaching 55.29 million and up 3.4 percent over May, according to statistics released by China's General Administration of Customs.

Baosteel announced this week it would raise prices of its major steel products by 9 to 13 percent next month.

Chinese steel mills are maintaining high output and CISA said they have started to become profitable from May after being at a loss for the previous seven months.

The Australian Financial Review said Rio Tinto has evacuated staff in China in response to the detention of its four employees.

Chinese media also said other foreign steel mills were moving employees out of China until conditions became more certain.

(英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Talks on iron ore rate cuts continuing

Talks on iron ore rate cuts continuingBrendan joined The China Daily in 2007 as a language polisher in the Language Tips Department, where he writes a regular column for Chinese English Language learners, reads audio news for listeners and anchors the weekly video news in addition to assisting with on location stories. Elsewhere he writes Op’Ed pieces with a China focus that feature in the Daily’s Website opinion section.

He received his B.A. and Post Grad Dip from Curtin University in 1997 and his Masters in Community Development and Management from Charles Darwin University in 2003. He has taught in Japan, England, Australia and most recently China. His articles have featured in the Bangkok Post, The Taipei Times, The Asia News Network and in-flight magazines.