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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Miners lead S.African stocks higher

Oct22, 2011

By Tiisetso Motsoeneng

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South African stocks ended sharply higher on Friday, booking their third straight day of gains, with miners among the top performers as commodity prices cruised higher.

Bourse heavyweight BHP Billiton jumped 4.26 percent to 245 rand, Kumba Iron Ore added 3.66 percent to 457.13 rand and Assore improved 2.99 percent to 208.1 rand.

Optimism that euro zone politicians will come up with a comprehensive plan to resolve the region's two-year debt crisis added to the overall bullish sentiment.

The JSE Top-40 blue-chip index was 2.25 percent better at 28,165.61, while the broader All-share index added 1.99 percent to 31,449.99.

"We believe investors may be drawn back to markets on the back of renewed hopes for a solution to the euro zone crisis," said Kavita Patel, a trader at Sasfin Securities.

Others gainers included luxury goods group Richemont, which added 3.88 percent to 43.93 rand. "We believe this stock will continue to do well as an increasing portion of its sales are derived from emerging markets," Patel said.

On the downside, Vodacom lost 1.03 percent to 86.60 rand after its joint venture partner in the Democratic Republic of Congo filed a lawsuit to block the mobile phone operator from selling its majority stake in the unit.

Murray & Roberts was off 0.49 percent to 24.50 rand after the construction firm released a downbeat trading update, saying trading conditions remained weak at home and in the Middle East.

(source Reuters)

Iron ore shortages lead to 71.4% decline in JSW Steel profits

Sat,Oct22, 2011

Mumbai: Indian steel company, JSW Steel announced its Q2 results today, showcasing decline in net profit by 71.4 per cent at Rs. 127.12 crore as compared to Rs. 445.44 crore in Q2 FY10-11, much more than street expectations. The stock market did not react kindly to the results as the company’s share prices declined to Rs. 569.29 before ending at Rs. 580.45, down by 0.37 per cent.

Net sales rose to Rs. 7,625.06 crore from Rs. 5,712.84 in the corresponding quarter of FY11, reflecting a growth of 33.4 per cent on year on year basis (YoY) and a quarter on quarter (QoQ) growth of 8 per cent. Turnover stood at Rs. 8,242.55 crore.

Iron ore shortage has led to lower EBIDTA margin of 17.4 per cent while EBIDTA for the quarter was Rs. 1,332.95 crore, up by 15% over the corresponding quarter of the previous year.

During the current quarter, the Company achieved production of Crude Steel of 1.738 million tonnes, up 11 per cent and saleable steel of 1.882 million tonnes, up 19 per cent. Production was expected to be scaled down to only 30 per cent of capacity. However, the company reported that it lost 4.5 lakh tonnes of output last quarter on iron ore shortage. It also had to purchase 1.9 million tonnes of iron ore in the Karnataka auction.

While, the increasingly high cost of production by Rs. 1,500 per tonne, put pressure on this quarter results, it expects coking coal and iron ore scrap price to moderate, the company said. It also reported a forex loss of Rs. 512.98 crore due to adverse movement in rupee dollar parity.

The steel giant has cut its forecasts for FY12 volume of production guidance and sales guidance by 14 per cent and 13 per cent respectively.

sourced profit.ndtv

Iron Ore-Spot eyeing biggest weekly fall since July 2010

Sat, Oct 21, 2011

* Iron ore drops to lowest in a year, more falls seen
* Sellers cut offer prices further, swaps down
* Key Shanghai steel futures suffer biggest weekly slide

By Manolo Serapio Jr

SINGAPORE, Oct 21 (Reuters) - Spot iron prices slid to their lowest in a year and are set to post their biggest weekly decline in 15 months as demand from top importer China remained thin, fuelling expectations prices could drop further.

Weaker demand for steel in China, the world's biggest consumer and producer, dragged down steel prices and slashed appetite for iron ore, the key steelmaking raw material.

But iron ore prices have fallen so steeply and so fast in the past two weeks, surprising many market players, that most Chinese mills have opted to stay out and wait until prices stabilise.

"We are not able to sell one tonne of iron ore now and I don't expect the market will see any big improvement at least before early 2012," said an iron ore trader in Shanghai.

Iron ore with 62 percent iron content fell 1.4 percent to $145 a tonne on Thursday, according to Platts IODBZ00-PLT, a level not seen since early October 2010.

Iron ore has lost 8.1 percent so far this week, its seventh straight week of losses and its sharpest drop since July 2010 when it fell 8.8 percent.

Traders said prices are likely to drop further but most were unsure how low they would go.

"We are not seeing a floor so far, we are just seeing a huge hole, like a black hole," said an iron ore trader in Singapore.

Hopes that Chinese demand will stay strong despite the troubles in the Western world had helped keep iron ore prices strong for the most part of the year.

But a sustained fall in Chinese steel prices dashed those hopes as worries grew that China's economy may also be slowing down.

China's economy expanded 9.1 percent in the third quarter, its weakest pace since early 2009 amid weaker export markets and tighter monetary policy.


The sentiment in the iron ore market is so bearish and tense that some big miners have asked the few steel mills they have been selling to not to disclose prices, traders said.

"They are telling the mills not to reveal the prices because they are scared. The more prices are revealed, the more prices will go down," said the Singapore trader.

Sellers have cut prices further on Friday, with Indian 63.5/63 grade iron ore fines quoted at $153-$156 a tonne, including freight, said Chinese consultancy Umetal. That was down $2 from Thursday and $13-$14 cheaper than last week.

Australian 61.5-grade Pilbara fines were offered at $141-$143 a tonne, down $2 from Thursday and $17 lower from the previous week.

Reflecting the bearish mood, prices of forward swaps resumed their decline on Thursday after rising in the previous session.

The Singapore Exchange-cleared November contract fell $4.12 to $124.50 a tonne, a steep discount to spot. The December contract slipped $4.62 to $122.25 and January dropped $4.19 to $121.31.

Given stagnant sales of steel products, a number of steel mills in China will have to cut production soon, said the Shanghai trader.

In the spot market, prices of steel products in China have dropped by up to 50 yuan a tonne per day in recent times, traders said.

The most-traded January rebar contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 0.9 percent to close at 3,957 yuan a tonne, snapping a six-day losing streak. But for the week, rebar shed 8.3 percent, the biggest weekly drop for the January contract.

(source Reuters)

Sindh coal reserves estimated 175b tons

Sat, Oct22, 2011

KARACHI, Oct 22: International Coal Conference 2011 was told on Saturday that Thar
region of Sindh province is endowed with mammoth coal (lignite) reserves estimated to be 175 billion tonnes which can produce 100,000MW of electricity for next 300 years and can be a key to energy security and economic prosperity.

Addressing the Conference, organized by Coal & Energy Development Department in collaboration with Sindh Board of Investment, Federal Minister for Water & Power Syed Naveed Qamar said the government is focusing attention to shift power generating system from furnace oil and other sources to coal. "We are optimist that power generation from Thar Coal reserves would begin shortly."

He said Federal Government realizing the gravity of crisis has extended all out support to the Sindh government in matters related to the development of coal sector. The formation of Thar Coal & Energy Board shows Federal government's commitment to develop Thar coal for power generation and other uses.

Minister said the government has approved an attractive incentive package to facilitate investment for the development of this vital resource. The development of infrastructure has also been given immense importance. Infrastructure projects are being executed on a fast-track basis, he added.

About outage and load shedding in the country‚ Naveed Qamar said that the Federal Government is taking all possible and effective steps in order to control it.

The conference being attended by speakers and participants from several countries was told that major achievements of Thar Coal & Energy Board include approval of joint venture project between Sindh government and Engro Group, based on first every International Competitive Bidding ICB, development of fiscal incentives for indigenous coal based projects, which were subsequently approved by ECC, approval of coal pricing mechanism, development of coal royalty model and allocation of blocks as a result of second ICB conducted by provincial government. PPI

sourced The News

Australia Indo Mines plans USD 1 billion Indonesia iron project

Saturday, 22 Oct 2011

Reuters reported that Australia Indo Mines is to start construction of a USD 1 billion project on Indonesia Java Island in December to begin operations in at least three years to produce 9 million tonnes to 15 million tonnes of iron ore a year.

Mr Mudrajad Kuncoro a local government official in Yogyakarta, central Java said the joint venture will involve PT Jogja Magasa Iron which will own a 30% stake in the project. He said that "We expect the ministry of energy and mineral resources to issue the permit to PT Jogja Magasa Iron in mid-November this year so the company can start its project in early December."

Indo Mines was not immediately available for comment.

Mr Kuncoro said the project will consist of a plant with production capacity of 1 million tonnes of pig iron and 2 million tonnes of iron concentrate per year, as well as a port a coal fired power plant, oxygen plant and water treatment facility.

He said that when it starts operations in three to five years time the project will produce 9 million tonnes to 15 million tonnes of iron ore annually and will consume around 1.2 million tonnes of coal annually.

The world fourth most populous country drew in a record USD 9.6 billion in foreign direct investment in first-half 2011 lured by its relatively stable politics and strong economy plus abundant resources and consumer spending power.

Despite issues over infrastructure, corruption and labour disputes, that trend is expected to continue as global firms look to take advantage of cheap labour and Indonesia huge mineral wealth.

(sourced from Reuters)

Tata Steel Europe continues to invest in South Yorkshire, UK operations

Sat, 22 October 2011

Tata Steel Europe, a part of India-based steelmaker Tata Steel, has announced that it is investing a further £4.5 million in its South Yorkshire, UK operations to improve plant reliability and energy efficiency, reduce CO2 emissions and boost production of high-value steel products.

According to the Tata Steel Europe statement, the investment will be made in four separate projects at the Rotherham and Stocksbridge sites. An investment of £1 million in Thrybergh Bar Mill will improve product quality, without, however, increasing overall production at the mill. The £2 million investment in Rotherham for new equipment will reduce electricity usage by more than 9,000 MWh every year.

With more than £0.5 million to be invested in the Rotherham site's small bloom caster, the reliability of the caster will improve and breakdowns will be minimized. A £1 million investment in Stocksbridge is to improve energy efficiency, leading to a reduction in gas consumption. This will also result in reducing CO2 emissions by 2,000 metric tons and saving the company £250,000 a year.

Tags: longs , semis , UK , Europe , Tata Steel , investments , European Union
source steelorbis

Japan’s crude steel output falls 3.8 percent in H1 FY 2011-12

Sat, 22 October 2011

On October 20, the Japan Iron and Steel Federation (JISF) released the latest data regarding crude steel production in Japan. Accordingly, in the first half of the fiscal year 2011-12 (April-September) Japan's crude steel production amounted to 53.31 million metric tons, decreasing by 3.8 percent year on year.

The JISF stated that the main factor responsible for the output reduction was weakened market demand resulting from the devastating earthquake and tsunami which hit the country on March 11 this year.

Tags: raw mat , Japan , Far East , production , steelmaking , crude steel , East Asia and Pacific

source steelorbis

Serbia and China ink deal for coal plant and mine

Saturday, 22 Oct 2011

Reuters reported that Serbia power utility Elektroprivreda Srbije has signed a preliminary deal with a Chinese consortium to jointly build a 744 megawatt coal fired unit at an estimated cost of more than EUR 2 billion.

EPS said in a statement under the deal, the consortium that includes China Environmental Energy Holdings Co Ltd and Shenzhen Energy Group Co Ltd and EPS will form a joint venture for the future project.

It said the project includes the construction of the coal fired unit in the South Western town of Obrenovac part of its Nikola Tesla power complex and upgrade of the Radeljevo coal mine that will feed the plant.

EPS said it also agreed with Chinese partners to define future cooperation on a number of renewable energy projects in particular biomass but provided no further detail.

The deal is the latest in a series of energy projects agreed over the past two years with China which was considered the Balkan nation closest ally, along with Russia when Serbia faced international isolation in the 1990s.

Serbia produces 70% of its power in coal-fired plants and the rest from hydro power in 2010, EPS produced 36 GWh of electricity or 1% above the target with hydro output hitting a record level.

It urgently needs to upgrade its energy infrastructure, damaged and mismanaged during the Balkan wars of 1990s to meet growing demand and reduce future reliance on imports.

(Sourced from Reuters)

Mr Pratik Prakashbapu to probe low coal production at MCL

Saturday, 22 Oct 211

According to Mr Pratik Prakashbapu Patil Union Minister of state for coal, he would enquire into the reasons behind low coal production in the Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd.

Mr Patil said he was informed about low production of coal in MCL mines due to heavy rains and other difficulties in the area.

He said that "Therefore, I have specially come to see why the supply of coal has come down, adding that he would ascertain whether it was rain or some other reason.”

Official sources said Patil would visit some of the MCL mines of Talcher tomorrow and hold discussion with different stake holders.

Earlier, NTPC, NALCO and many other captive power plants and independent power producers had lodged complaint against the MCL over inadequate supply of coal for their consumption. Even, NALCO had been importing coal to run its CPP in order to supply power to its smelter at Angul.

sourced from moneycontrol

Orissa to serve ultimatum to ports for information on ore exports

Sat, Oct22,2011

BS reported that the Orissa government will soon serve an ultimatum to the authorities of five ports Haldia, Vishakhapatnam, Kakinada, Gangavaram and Dhamara for sharing of information on export of minerals generating from the state through their ports.

The state will reiterate its stand on information sharing in case of ore exports with the authorities of these five ports at a high level meeting to be held under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary Mr BK Patnaik on October 25.

Mr Patnaik said "We have invited the authorities of the five ports for a meeting scheduled for October 25. Earlier, we had asked these ports to share information on ore exports.”

Mr Manoj Ahuja the state steel & mines secretary had recently written to these port authorities, calling for submission of information related to ore exports to the state director of mines at least once every fort night for verification of the data with the transit permits issued by the mining offices of the state.

Mr Ahuja had pointed out that the decision to share information on ore exports by the ports was taken by the Government of India in 2010 to streamline the movement of consignments by rail and road.

It may be noted that the Union Ministry of Shipping in 2010 had asked all major port trusts of India to adopt measures in line with the measures adopted by Paradip Port Trust to check illegal export of iron ore.

(sourced Business Standard)

Continental Coal on track with development of third South African coal mine

Sat, 22 Oct 2011

First production from the underground mining operation is forecast to commence in the June quarter of 2012 with full production targeted to be achieved in the September quarter of 2012.

Development activities at Continental's third thermal coal mine are proceeding on schedule with the box-cut at the mine already excavated to a depth of 5.5 metres. The first blast in the box-cut was successfully completed on 15 October 2011.

Excavation of the pollution control dam is now 80% complete and the installation of the dam lining is scheduled to commence later this month. The ZAR 96 million decline development tender will be finalised in October 2011 and mobilisation to site is scheduled in early November 2011.

The construction of the terraces for the site buildings, the contractors lay down area, as well as the access roads and visual berms is now 65% complete. In addition, the underground mining equipment tenders for the Penumbra Coal Mine have been adjudicated by Continental and TWP Projects and meetings have been held with the preferred supplier for the ZAR 116 million equipping of the two production sections with the continuous miners and shuttle cars or battery haulers.

The Penumbra Coal Mine is on track to produce 500,000 tonnes per annum of a high quality export thermal coal product. Production of 750,000 tonnes of ROM coal from the Penumbra Coal Mine will be beneficiated through the existing Delta Processing Operations which comprises a 300tph coal processing plant and the 1.2Mtpa Anthra Rail Siding.

The export thermal coal product will be railed through to the Richards Bay Coal terminal under existing rail contracts and sold to EDF Trading and other export off-take agreements.

(sourced proactiveinvestors)

India to rush teams to CIL mines for faster evacuation of coal

Sat, 22 Oct 2011

It is reported that the government will rush teams to Coal India collieries for faster evacuation of the dry fuel to overcome the crisis amid severe coal shortages disrupting power supply in different parts of the country.

A source in the Coal Ministry said "The Coal Ministry has been asked to rush teams to various collieries including Magad in Jharkhand and Kania, Basundra and Kulda in Orissa to ensure faster evacuation of the dry fuel and submit a report by November 10."

The decision was taken in a meeting last evening, chaired by Cabinet Secretary Mr Ajit Kumar Seth and attended by senior officials from various ministries including coal and power amid acute coal shortages impacting power generation.

The pithead stock lying idle at various CIL collieries is about 55 million tonnes which has not been lifted due to various problems including a shortage of railway rakes.

Sources said the teams will comprise officials from the coal, power and railway ministries and state-run Coal India.

Apart from this, sources said, it was also decided in the meeting to constitute separate panels comprising officials from various ministries including environment, power and railways besides the Planning Commission to sort out issues with state governments regarding land acquisition among other things for expansion projects.

Meanwhile, Mr Manmohan Singh Prime Minister is also likely to conduct a review of the supply situation next month. The Coal Ministry made it clear this week that it cannot supply domestic fuel to new projects which will have to depend on imported coal.

Power projects having a total capacity of 80,000 MW are under construction in the country, but coal linkages for upcoming plants having a combined capacity of 40,000 MW are yet to be obtained.

source Profit.ndtv

Capesize - Tubarao / Qingdao being fixed at strong US$ 29.75 PMT

Friday,Oct21, 2011

The Atlantic market is quite steady, and market seems to be around the same levels as last week. Fewer fixtures reported though. Fronthauls still around 25k, with a USD 3-4k premium for vessels willing to go through Aden. USG/Skaw fixing around USD 30k, and Skaw/USG concluded in the USD 8k range. The Pacific market remains firm with considerable cargoes seen from Indonesia. For Indo-India, large eco Supra can fetch close to USD 16k for S. China position and NOPAC RV close to USD 14k. Indian iron ore market bit quiet as not many cargoes seen in the market however rates from WCI fixing around USD 12k for WCI-China and 11k for ECI-China. RBCT India round rates around USD 13k. Red Sea fertilizers to India are fixed around mid 20s. Short period rates are around 15k for large Supras but seeing less takers.

After two strong weeks and a quiet opening due to activity in CoalTrans in Madrid, the Continent and North Atlantic is still tight for tonnage for prompt loaders. There are less fresh requirements so market seems more in balance including some toppish signs in the USG and in ECSA.TA rounds generally at 18k, trip out 27k. In the Pacific the market is also more quiet after stronger levels above mid teens both for NOPAC grains and Indonesian coal. Some period fixtures are still in the 14 range for short period, but less activity on the longer deals. Decline in Chinese iron ore imports and steel production is adding fuel to the bearish signs and the FFA market is loosing faith in next year as well gradually.

A large share of the decision makers were gathered in Madrid at the beginning of the week, resulting in less activity. However towards the end of the week, activity picked up and rates improved. It is mainly the front haul market being the main driver, with Tubarao /Qingdao being fixed at strong USD 29.75 pmt for first half November dates. West Australia round remain around steady USD 12 pmt despite lack of requirements from the big three. Period and short period markets have been inactive, whit takers following closely but generally rating touch below owners ideas.

source FearnBulk

Friday, October 21, 2011

Rio Tinto negotiates Portugal iron ore deal -sources

Fri Oct 21, 2011

LISBON Oct 21 (Reuters) - Mining giant Rio Tinto is negotiating with Portugal's government for a concession to mine iron ore in the north of the country in an investment worth more than 1 billion euros, sources close to the talks said on Friday.

The investment in the mines of Torre de Moncorvo would represent a big boost for the country, which sorely needs foreign investment at a time of deep recession, as it cuts spending to meet budget goals under a 78 billion euro ($107 billion) bailout.

Two sources with knowledge of the negotiations said an agreement should be reached by year-end.

The mines in Torre de Moncorvo were deactivated in the 1980s as they were not economically viable at the time. But Portugal has rich mineral deposits, including copper in the south of the country.

The economy ministry would not say if it was in talks with Rio Tinto, but a spokeswoman said "we are developing contacts and negotiations with various companies, some of them from the mining sector, to attract big investments to Portugal".

Rio Tinto would not comment.

(source Reuters)

US coal consumption off 3 pct last week - Genscape

Fri Oct 21, 2011

Oct 21 (Reuters) - U.S. coal consumption fell 3 percent last week and was down 10 percent from the same week a year ago, according to power industry data monitor Genscape.

Coal use swings up and down seasonally, and varies from week to week and region to region, depending on electricity demand to run air-conditioners or power heaters.

Economic activity also is a factor.Coal plants produce slightly less than 50 percent of U.S.electricity. Power generation accounts for more than 90 percent of U.S. coal consumption.

Genscape's regional indexes are calculated separately from the national index and do not always add up to the separately calculated U.S. total.

Following is a table on coal consumption, in million tons.
THROUGH OCT. 20   42nd WEEK of YEAR        PCT      PCT
National 16.10 16.62 17.82 -3 -10
East 13.62 14.24 15.30 -4 -11
West 2.23 2.28 2.45 -2 -9
source Reuters

Zimbabwe Hwange Colliery plans to ship coal through Maputo

Friday, 21 Oct 2011

Bloomberg cited Mr Oliver Maponga Business Development Manager as saying that Hwange Colliery Ltd Zimbabwe largest coal miner plans to ship 30,000 to 50,000 tonnes of coal a month through Mozambique’s port of Maputo.

Mr Maponga said Hwange is in talks with port authorities after starting to use Mozambique central Beira port last year. The company which produces 400,000 tons of coal a month is studying markets in India China and Western Europe.

(Sourced from Reuters)

China Guangxi province ranks second for coal imports

Friday, 21 Oct 2011

Southwest China’s Guangxi province has become one of the country’s largest coal importers, second only to Guangdong province.

Coal imports via the ports of Guangxi province have seen continuous increase in recent years, rising to 16.905 million tonnes in 2010 from 3.4 million tonnes in 2005, at an annual growth rate of 37.8%.

Statistics from China General Administration of Customs show that coal imports into Guangxi province totalled 18.758 million tonnes in January through September this year accounting for 15.2% of the country total coal imports during the given period. The imported coal price averaged USD 97.7 per tonne up by 13.8%YoY. The imports of anthracite totalled 9.033 million tonnes, accounting for 48.2% of the province overall coal imports.

Vietnam, Indonesia and Australia are the main suppliers of the fuel, with exports to Guangxi province standing at 8.95 million tonnes, 4.249 million tonnes and 2.831 million tonnes respectively. The combined imports from the three countries occupy 83.5% of the province’s overall imports during January to September.

(source steelhome)

Abraaj to Invest in Southeast Asia Mining to Tap Regional Demand

Fri,Oct21, 2011

By Sanat Vallikappen, Bloomberg

Oct. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Abraaj Capital Ltd., the Middle East’s biggest private equity firm, plans to invest part of a $2 billion fund in Southeast Asian natural resources to meet rising regional demand for coal, metals and agricultural products.

Copper and tin mines in Indonesia, as well as ancillary services tied to mining or agriculture, are of interest to Dubai-based Abraaj, Aman Lakhaney, a principal at Abraaj Capital Asia Pte, said in an interview in Singapore. Agriculture-related investments will be focused primarily in Vietnam and Malaysia, he said.

Abraaj would follow funds including Nathaniel Rothschild’s Bumi Plc into Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s largest economy. The country supplies energy-assets and commodities to Asia’s fastest-growing economies including China, where companies have announced or completed $64.1 billion in natural resource takeovers this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“Indonesia, given its size, growth and the history of deals in the resources and mining sectors, is obviously the most important market for us in the region,” said Lakhaney, 32.

Abraaj also plans to buy minority stakes in education, health care, logistics, financial, manufacturing and retail companies in Southeast Asia and India, said Lakhaney. Abraaj set up its Singapore office in January and began standalone operations in India in March.

The firm had been operating in India since 2006 through a joint venture with Sabre Capital Worldwide Inc. and owns stakes in three infrastructure companies and an art dealer in the country, according to Abraaj’s website.

Strategic Location

Indonesia is the largest exporter of power-station coal with proven coal reserves of 5,529 million tonnes at the end of last year, according to BP Plc’s Statistical Review of World Energy report issued in June.

“Indonesia has been blessed with an abundance of natural resources and a great logistical advantage,” Pankaj Bhasin, managing director of Singapore-based Kitty Hawk Pte, a company that has invested $4 million in Indonesia’s coal sector, said in an e-mailed response to questions on Oct. 12. “The nation is strategically located to supply resources to hungry giants -- India and China -- and also to supplement requirements of other large Asian players.”

Mergers and acquisitions transactions involving oil & gas drilling, oil exploration, metals mining, iron and steel, and coal companies in China have totaled 355 deals this year, compared with 473 deals for all of last year valued at $82.6 billion, according to Bloomberg data.

Existing Investments

Abraaj, which has about $6.2 billion in assets under management, has four employees in the region including Singapore-based Omar Lodhi, who is responsible for Abraaj’s investments in Southeast Asia and India. It intends to have eight analysts and fund managers each in the Singapore and India offices, Lakhaney said, without providing a timeframe.

The firm has been an investor in the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan since early in the last decade, according to its website. It is currently invested in 23 companies, including Sharjah-based Air Arabia and Pakistan’s Karachi Electric Supply Co. Expansion in Southeast Asia would also be used to help current holdings expand in the region, Lakhaney said.

Other existing investments include a stake in Karachi-based Byco Petroleum Pakistan Ltd., an oil refining and petroleum marketing company with a market value of 7.29 billion rupees ($84 million), and Egypt’s Orascom Construction Industries, a construction and fertilizers company that has a market capitalization of 47.3 billion Egyptian pounds ($7.92 billion).

POSCO aims to establish more steel processing plants worldwide

Friday, 21 October 2011

Major South Korean steel producer Pohang Iron and Steel Co. (POSCO) has announced that it plans to establish a total of over seventy steel processing plants worldwide. At present, POSCO has 41 steel processing plants in 14 countries.

POSCO is focusing on downstream industries in its development strategy, especially on the automobile industry.

With its steel service center commissioned one year ago in Bursa, Turkey, POSCO aims to claim a major share in the local Turkish automobile market, while around 70 percent of products from the center are expected to be exported to Europe. The steel service center has an annual capacity of 170,000 mt.

Tags: Korea S. , Far East , Middle East , Southeast Asia , investments , East Asia and Pacific , Non-EU Countries , Mediterranean

(source steelorbis)

Siemens VAI to supply rod rolling mill for China

Friday, 21 October 2011

Austria-based Siemens VAI Metals Technologies has announced that it has received an order from Georgia, US-based Southwire Company to supply an aluminum rod rolling mill for Yixing, China-based Beauty Sun Holdings Ltd. The new mill is expected to be commissioned during the first quarter of 2012.

The new rolling mill will produce rods that are 9.5 mm, 12 mm and 15 mm in diameter for the power conductor market. The scope of the order includes 11 stands, which will produce 15 mt per hour.

Tags: wire rod , longs , USA , Austria , China , Europe , Far East , North America , Southeast Asia , investments , steelmaking , East Asia and Pacific , European Union

Zimbabwe Seeks to Reopen Talks With Essar Africa Over Iron Ore Holdings

Deputy Mines Minister Gift Chimanikire said Zimbabwe is in talks with Essar Africa to claw back rights to iron ore reserves granted to the new strategic partner under the US$750 million deal.

Fri, Oct21, 2011

Zimbabwean Deputy Mines Minister Gift Chimanikire says the government wants to reopen negotiations on a deal it made with Essar Africa Holdings of India to relaunch the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company, now called New Zimbabwe Steel Limited.

Chimanikire said Zimbabwe is in talks with Essar to claw back rights to iron ore reserves granted to Essar under the US$750 million deal. The mineral rights are held by New Zimbabwe Minerals, a subsidiary of the relaunched national steel company.

The deputy minister said Essar is extracting iron ore and preparations to refurbish the Redcliff steel plant are at an advanced stage. Neither Industry Minister Welshman Ncube, who negotiated the deal, nor Essar management, could be reached for comment.

Chimanikire said he hopes the new talks won’t derail the revival of the long-moribund steel maker. “Our concern is that Ncube did not consult the Ministry of Mines when they parceled out huge iron ore deposits to Essar,” Chimanikire said.

Economic commentator Bekithemba Mhlanga said the government should not have signed the agreement with Essar without carefully scrutinizing its terms.


China imported iron ore stocks up in wk ended Oct 21

Fri Oct 21, 2011

SHANGHAI, Oct 21 (Reuters) - Stockpiles of imported iron ore at major Chinese ports rose marginally this week to 92.22
million tonnes by Friday, after declining for five consecutive weeks in a row.

Shipments from Australia fell over the week, while those from Brazil and India rose slightly.
Following is a table showing iron ore port stock movements in the last seven days.

Country of Stockpiles Change (%)
origin (mln T)
Total 92.22 +0.05
Australia 39.95 -0.17
Brazil 21.98 +0.23
India 11.40 +0.80

Source: Mysteel

Chinalco to buy 45 mln T of Mongolian coking coal

Fri Oct 21, 2011

SHANGHAI Oct 21 (Reuters) - Aluminum Corp of China Ltd (Chinalco) , the country's top aluminium producer, will buy 15 million tonnes of coking coal per year from Mongolia's Tavan Tolgoi mine over the next three years, it said in a statement seen on Friday.

Chinalco said it had signed the contract with state-owned Mongolian miner Erdenes MGL in July and the first delivery of coal to China was made this week.

Erdenes said in July that Chinalco would resell 30 percent of the coking coal to Japanese trading houses Itochu Corp and Mitsui & Co Ltd , and state-owned Korea Resources Corp .

The government has split the massive Tavan Tolgoi coalfield into two sections for development. The east Tsankhi area is owned by Erdenes TT, which is planning an initial public offering worth an estimated $10 billion, while the west Tsankhi block is being auctioned to miners via an international tender.

(sourced Reuters)

China faces tight power supply this winter

Fri, Oct21,2011

BEIJING-- A spokesman of the State Electricity Regulatory Commission said Thursday that power shortages would hit China during the winter and spring as concerns grow that rising coal prices will further increase supply pressures.

The southern and central regions, in particular, will be most heavily affected by power shortages due to lack of available coal and water to generate enough electricity to meet rising heating demands in cold seasons, spokesman Tan Rongyao said.

Tan said that the country faces great pressure in meeting demand this year. A total of 17 provinces have taken measures, including power cuts, to ease supply pressure since the start of the year.

He said that maximum power shortage could reach 26 million kilowatts this winter.

He said coal prices could rise further, which would only exacerbate the shortages.

(sourced Xinhua)

The Coal Association of Canada National Conference Highlights

Video Summary of Company Posted on InvestmentPitch


Vancouver, British Columbia, October 20, 2011 - The Coal Association of Canada ( recently held its national conference at the Fairmont Hotel in Vancouver and had the opportunity to sit in at several of the presentations, along with more than 350 delegates from 14 countries. has produced a "video news alert" about highlights from the conference. If this link is not enabled, please visit and enter "Coal Association" in the search box.

It was appropriate that this conference was held in Vancouver, as Port Metro Vancouver exported approximately 30 million metric tonnes of coal through the Port's facilities during 2010, a 25% increase over 2009. Twenty-two million tonnes or 73% of this total consisted of metallurgical coal. Metallurgical coal, which is less abundant than thermal coal, is primarily used in the production of coke which is used in steel production, whereas thermal coal is burned for heating or producing energy.

While speakers acknowledged some nervousness about the economic recovery in the US and Europe, they concluded that the overall coal market, especially in developing countries like China & India, was very positive.

Jim Griffin, Global Head, Business Development, for Walter Energy commented, "Canada is geographically located to supply the rapidly growing Asian markets because of regional advantages not found anywhere else in the world."

A number of speakers predicted that production in Canada could more than double by 2018, especially metallurgical coal, if all mine projects go ahead.

Rich Coleman, BC's Minister of Energy and Mines stated, "We want the world to know that BC's mining industry is open for business. Coal mining, transportation and exports are significant economic driver in the province and this government is committed to working with companies who want to be a part of the future."

Denis Horgan, VP of Westshore Terminals, forecasted overall west coast regional port capacity of 70 million tones within 5 years.

While speakers were forecasting strong demand and prices for steelmaking coal, the international thermal coal price, used for energy, was forecasted to continue its growth as well, given the current positive demand outlook. Coupled with the International Energy Agency's forecast of coal accounting for 43% of the world's electricity mix in 2035, there will be growing export opportunities for Canadian thermal producers as well.

As Robert Stan, Chair of the Coal Association of Canada, put it: "It is not a question of whether coal will be used in the future, it is a question of how we use it better."

The conference could be summed up in the words of new Coal Association of Canada President, Ann Marie Hann, "The atmosphere in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada was one of high optimism for the future of coal both globally and here in Canada." is a multimedia company that provides a combined solution for creating, hosting, and distributing financial video content across multiple platforms to investors and financial professionals.

(sourced Reuters)

Russian crude steel output up by 3pct in first nine months

Friday, 21 Oct 2011

According to the State Statistics Committee of Russia, in the January to September period of the current year Russia produced 240 million tonnes of coal and 77.3 million tonnes of iron ore concentrate up by 2.3%YoY and 8.3%YoY. In the given period, Russia metallurgical coke output went up by 2%YoY to 20.4 million tonnes.

In the first nine months of 2011, Russia registered increase of 3%YoY in its crude steel production to 51.1 million tonnes. In January to September, Russia saw 18.4% increase in its steel pipe production to 7.8 million tonnes and a 3.4% rise in its finished steel output to 44.2 million tonnes.

On the other hand, the country production of pig iron went down by 0.2%YoY to 35.8 million tonnes during the first nine months of 2011.

(Sourced from Steel Orbis)

Shandong Steel cuts rebar prices by about USD 25 for October

Friday, 21 Oct 2011

Shandong Steel announces rebar EXW price for late October based on October 10 price levels.

II grade HRB335 rebar: Down by CNY 150 per tonne
16mm to 25mm- CNY 4750 per tonne
10mm - CNY 180 per tonne
12mm - CNY 100 per tonne
14mm - CNY 50 per tonne
28mm, 32mm - CNY 80 per tonne
36mm, 40mm, 45mm - CNY 150 per tonne
50mm - CNY 200 per tonne

HRB400 rebar
Mark up over HRB335
10mm to 25mm - CNY 100 per tonne
28mm, 32mm - CNY 130 per tonne
36mm, 40mm, 45mm - CNY 230 per tonne
50mm - CNY 350 per tonne

All the prices above include VAT and take effect from October 20, 2011.

Newland Resources delivers maiden 150 million tonnes JORC Resource at Comet Ridge coal project

Friday, 21 Oct 2011

Newland Resources has reached its first major milestone for the Comet Ridge Project area in the Bowen Basin of Queensland with the release of a maiden JORC Resource of 150 million tonnes of coal.

Independent geologists, McElroy Bryan Geological Services prepared the JORC Resource Statement. The Resource has coking coal potential of 50 million tonnes of coal at depths less than 50 metres and subsequent drilling is expected to increase the Resource.
The Resource at the Comet Ridge Project is contained in the Fair Hill Seam and has a cumulative thickness of between 2.5 and 4.0 metres.

Mr Gavin May Newland Resources' managing director said while 150 million tonnes is a significant tonnage, the 50 million tonnes of resource with coking coal potential at depths less than 50 metres is what excites me.

He said that "NRL has a clear focus on delineating economic coal, so future exploration will concentrate on conversion of these resources into mineable reserves.”

The JORC Resource Statement covers an area of about 30 square kilometres which is less than 15% of the total EPC 1230 area. Drilling to the west and North West of the defined JORC Resource since 8 October has continued to delineate the Fair Hill Seam at shallow depths and NRL expects this resource to increase in the near future.

Ongoing coal handling and quality testing will determine the economics of the Comet Ridge Project with results expected before year end.

The company has a 100% interest in six coal leases covering more than 1,900 square kilometres in Queensland Bowen Basin with the area well serviced by infrastructure including railways and power.

(sourced proactiveinvestors)

Gunvor buys 33pct of US coal mine for USD 400 million

Friday, 21 Oct 2011

Interfax reported that Gunvor the commodities trader founded by Gennady Timchenko and Torbjorn Tornqvist has acquired a coal asset in the United States.

Pinesdale LLC a unit of Gunvor Group has paid USD 400 million for a one-third interest in the Signal Peak coal mine in Montana, one of the sellers. FirstEnergy will receive USD 260 million of the selling price and the remainder will go to private coal firm Boich.

FirstEnergy and Boich bought Signal Peak in 2008. At the time, FirstEnergy paid USD 125 million for a 45% stake in the project. The deal with Gunvor calls for creating a new corporate entity, Global Mining Holding Company in which the three investors will each own a one-third interest.

Mr Wayne Boich Jr president and chief executive of Boich Companies said "One of the key advantages that Gunvor Group brings to this venture is the ability to utilize their commodity trading relationships in such markets as Japan, China, Korea and Chile to sell more coal."

Mr Timothy Legge Gunvor SA chairman said this is Gunvor first investment in a coal mine in the United States. The trader can ship large amounts of coal through the deepwater port of Vancouver.

Under the deal, FirstEnergy Generation a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp has revised its original coal purchase agreement with Signal Peak to reduce annual purchases from 6.8 million to 1.8 million tonnes. Most of the coal from the mine will now be purchased by Gunvor.

Signal Peak now mines more than 8 million tonnes of thermal coal per year, but this figure is expected to grow to 13.5 million tonnes by 2015.

(Sourced from Interfax)

S Korea WP seeks 260000 tonnes coal for Nov to Dec

Friday, 21 Oct 2011

Reuters quoted the utility said Korea Western Power Co Ltd is seeking 260,000 tonnes of bituminous coal for arrival between November 15 and December 15 through a spot tender.

The utility said the tender for NCV minimum 5,600 kilocalories per kilogram bituminous coal supply to Taean Power Plant will close at 2 PM on October 20.

(Sourced from Reuters)

Chinese coal prices up by 2pct

Friday, 21 Oct 2011

China's raw coal prices edged up further last week, buoyed up by increased demand from coal consumers for winter use, the Ministry of Commerce was cited as saying.

The demand for the fuel has escalated as coal consumers try to stockpile ahead of a frosty winter. Power plants in South China also accelerated purchasing activity, which gave another push for the price hike. The price of lignite, soft coal and anthracite was up by 2.8%, 1.5% and 1.3% respectively.

Industry sources reported that the price of thermal coal produced in Shanxi province increased by 2.1% at Qinhuangdao port on October 14 compared with a week earlier.

Bohai-Rim Steam-Coal Price Index, or BSPI gained by CNY 10 to CNY 842 compared with the previous week. The weekly gauge tracks power-station coal prices at six major Chinese ports.

(source steelhome)

Coal output in Inner Mongolia hits 720 million mt in Jan-Sept

Fri, 21 October 2011

In the first three quarters of the current year, China's Inner Mongolia region produced 719.55 million mt of raw coal, increasing by 31.98 percent or 174.37 million mt as compared to the same period last year, according to the region's coal industry bureau. In September alone, Inner Mongolia's raw coal output totaled 94.98 million mt, up 34.8 percent or 24.52 million mt year on year.

Breaking down the figure for raw coal output in the January-September period, the western part of Inner Mongolia produced 503.11 million mt of raw coal in the period in question, increasing by 37.39 percent or 136.91 million mt year on year, while the eastern part produced 216.44 million mt, rising by 20.92 percent or 37.45 million mt year on year.

Tags: coking coal , raw mat , China , Far East , Southeast Asia , production , East Asia and Pacific

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Cement makers not worried about coal shortage

Thu, October20, 2011
By Chandan Kishore Kant

Mumbai:Indian cement companies are not much affected by the coal shortage in the country. Deep pockets, good cash flows, coal stocks and the ability to pass on the costs to consumers have kept cement makers at ease.

In an industry where 60 per cent of the market share is dominated by big players like Holcim, UltraTech, Jaiprakash Associates, Shree and India Cements, it is only the mid-sized and smaller players that would be at the receiving end, if the prices increase further.

Shree Cement CMD H M Bangur says: “We have enough stock of coal to last our operations. Coal shortage will not affect companies which can afford to pay higher prices. I do not see any immediate impact. I believe, those companies which are at the bottom of the pyramid may be affected.”

Already cement makers are forced to operate at lower capacity utilisation on the back of poor demand scenario. In some regions, such as in the south, it is as low as 60 per cent, which has resulted in reduction of coal intake for companies, say industry players. According to them, it does not make sense to operate at higher capacity utilisation when demand is poor.

Currently, prices of domestic as well as imported coal are almost the same. The 30 per cent increase in coal prices by Coal India early this year has bridged the gap between the two. Prices of higher-grade imported coal are around $130 a tonne, while that of poor quality with higher moisture content is available in the range of $75-90 a tonne. UltraTech, Ambuja Cements, India Cements are the majors which import relatively higher quantity of coal.

Southern major India Cements imports close to 65 per cent of its coal requirement. V M Mohan, joint president (corporate finance), India Cements, says, “Capacity utilisation is low currently and we have sufficient stocks of coal to take care of our operations.”

S Sreekanth Reddy, executive director of Andhra-based Sagar Cements agrees. “As of now there is no problem of coal shortage. We have medium-term contract of four-six months for coal,” adds Reddy.

At a time when units of power companies are being forced to shut down units, cement makers are well prepared. However, they also have made clear that any further cost push in whatever form would be passed on to the consumers. “We cannot keep selling our produce at low prices when input costs are not sliding," said an official.

Cement makers are known to pass on costs to customers, except on some recent occasions where they could not as the demand was miserably low. In the last two months, all-India cement prices have started rising. In September, prices hovered at Rs 250 for a 50-kg bag. In October, too, some further price rise took place, pushing the average cement price to Rs 260 a bag.

(sourced BS)

Govt to rush teams to CIL mines for faster evacuation of coal

Thu, October 20, 2011 | Agency Press Trust of India

New Delhi : Amid severe coal shortages disrupting power supply in different parts of the country, the government will rush teams to Coal India (CIL) collieries for faster evacuation of the dry fuel to overcome the crisis.

"The Coal Ministry has been asked to rush teams to various collieries, including Magad in Jharkhand and Kania, Basundra and Kulda in Orissa to ensure faster evacuation of the dry fuel and submit a report by November 10," a source in the Coal Ministry said.

The decision was taken in a meeting last evening, chaired by Cabinet Secretary Ajit Kumar Seth and attended by senior officials from various ministries, including coal and power, amid acute coal shortages impacting power generation.

The pithead stock lying idle at various CIL collieries is about 55 million tonnes (MT), which has not been lifted due to various problems, including a shortage of railway rakes.

The teams will comprise officials from the coal, power and railway ministries and state-run Coal India, sources said.

Apart from this, sources said, it was also decided in the meeting to constitute separate panels comprising officials from various ministries, including environment, power and railways, besides the Planning Commission, to sort out issues with state governments regarding land acquisition, among other things, for expansion projects.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is also likely to conduct a review of the supply situation next month.

The Coal Ministry made it clear this week that it cannot supply domestic fuel to new projects, which will have to depend on imported coal.

Power projects having a total capacity of 80,000 MW are under construction in the country, but coal linkages for upcoming plants having a combined capacity of 40,000 MW are yet to be obtained.

In the first seven months of the current fiscal, decisions on more than 100 proposals for coal linkages from various sectors, including power, were still pending with the Coal Ministry, according to official data.

According to an estimate made by the Planning Commission, the demand-supply gap for coal in the ongoing year will be 142 MT, with domestic availability of only 554 MT against the requirement of 696 MT.

Coal India accounts for 80 per cent of domestic production of coal and has set an output target of 452 MT for the current fiscal.

However, production in the first six months of the 2011-12 financial year was short of the target of 176 MT by about 20 MT.


Labour strife hits Anglo’s South African thermal coal output

By Martin Creamer, Miningweekly
20th October 2011

Johannesburg ( – Industrial action and geological constraints hit diversified Anglo American’s South African thermal coal production in the third quarter (Q3) of this year.

Anglo’s non-Eskom Q3 2011 production was down 11% at 5 198 000 t compared with 5 813 000 t in the corresponding period of last year, although export was up 7% to 4 605 000 t over Q3 2010, and up 43% quarter-on-quarter.

Supply to the State-owned Eskom power utility was down 16% at 8 752 000 t, compared with 10 431 000 t in Q3 2010.

Thermal output was up 18% in Colombia and up 17% in Australia.

South African thermal coal export prices were higher than in Q3 2010.

London analyst Liberum Capital notes that rival Xstrata received a better price than Anglo for its Australian thermal coal – $111/t by Xstrata compared with Anglo’s $98/t – and that Anglo got a better price than Xstrata in South Africa – $115/t compared with Xstrata’s $105/t.

Anglo American Thermal Coal’s Zibula project, which is expected to reach commercial production in early 2012, partly offset South Africa’s lower performance.

South Africa’s production of metallurgical coal was also down 32% to 76 000 t, while Anglo’s Australian opencast metallurgical coal operations were 24% up.

However, longwall moves at Australia’s underground metallurgical coal operations saw Australia’s total metallurgical coal output fall 4% to four-million tons.


Anglo American’s copper production decreased by 9% to 139 900 t owing mainly to lower grades at Collahuasi, Los Bronces and Mantos Blancos, and weather interruptions at Collahuasi.

This was partially offset by higher production at El Soldado, which benefited from higher ore grades following recent mine development.

The Los Bronces expansion project remains on schedule for first production in Q4 2011.

At Collahuasi, commissioning of the first phase of the expansion project is under way to increase sulphide processing capacity to 150 000 t/d, an annual average production lift of 19 000 t/y of copper over the estimated life of the mine.

Chile’s State-owned copper-mining company Codelco has put a financing facility in place for its option to take up 49% of Anglo American Sur, which includes Los Bronces, El Soldado and the Chagres smelter in Chile.

Liberum says that the market is waiting for confirmation of how much Anglo will receive from Codelco and says that anything less than the $6.75-billion will be a bad outcome for Anglo.

It forecasts that Anglo’s earnings per share will fall 7.3% in 2012 and 8.6% in 2013 on Codelco’s exercising of the option.

Anglo’s copper equivalent growth to 2015 will also fall from 46% to 40%.

Liberum rates Anglo’s Q3 report as marginally the weakest of the majors that have reported so far, which include BHP Billiton and Xstrata.


Iron-ore production increased by 3% to 12.2-million tons, owing to increased performance from Kumba’s Sishen mine in South Africa’s Northern Cape province, where the commissioning of Kolomela remains on track to produce up to five-million tons a year in 2012, and nine-million tons a year in 2013.

Export sales volumes from Sishen rose 11% to 9.2-million tons and South African domestic sales volumes decreased 29% to 1.5-million tons owing to reduced offtake from ArcelorMittal South Africa.

In Brazil, record monthly production of 419 000 t was achieved at Amapá in September and civil works at the beneficiation plant and pipeline at the Minas-Rio iron-ore project are progressing, with the first ore shipment due in the second half of 2013.

China taking advantage of new iron ore price option - Report

Thursday, 20 Oct 2011

Dow Jones quoted officials with three large Chinese steel mills said several Chinese steel makers have taken advantage of a new iron ore pricing option from global iron ore miners including Brazilian Vale SA and BHP Billiton Ltd amid falling spot iron ore prices and depressed steel prices in China.

These steelmakers have chosen to base quarterly iron ore prices on average prices for the current quarter rather than the preceding quarter, a calculation method that lets them benefit faster from falling prices.

Steelmakers will have to buy iron ore from Vale at around USD 175 per tonne in the fourth quarter according to previous contracts while the spot market prices in the recent week would suggest a price of about USD 160 per tonne.

An official with one of China top steelmakers by output on condition of anonymity said "From the fourth quarter this year, we will purchase iron ore from Vale and BHP on quarterly contracts which are based on the average spot market prices in that quarter instead of prices in the preceding quarter."

He said that purchases from Rio Tinto PLC will still be based on monthly contracts.

He added that "Actually, you have the right to chose contracts based on the average spot prices in the current quarter, previous quarter or even the next quarter. The options have been there for a long time but different steelmakers had chosen differently until now."

The downside is that costs for steelmakers will rise immediately too if prices continue to increase in the current quarter.

The miners are providing the new pricing option to ensure the steel makers don't delay their purchases and potentially hurt mining revenue.

(Sourced from Dow Jones)

FII presses government for regular iron ore supply

Thursday, 20 Oct 2011

BS reported that to avoid long term shortage of downstream products like steel pipes, thanks to drastic production cuts by hot-rolled coil producers, the Federation of Industries of India has urged the mines ministry to ensure regular supply of iron ore to them.

Warning about its long term affect on the overall industrial growth, Mr HL Bhardwaj FII secretary general said "The government should immediately intervene and help save the downstream steel-consuming industry from the crisis by maintaining regular iron ore supply to plants to avoid a serious setback to growth in housing and infrastructure sectors."

(Sourced from Business Standard)

Jharkhand ore cheaper in Karnataka than in E Auction

Thursday, 20 Oct 2011

BL reported that the high prices of iron ore routed through E auctions and issues linked to iron content in dispatches are forcing steel and sponge iron makers in Karnataka to look to Jharkhand and Orissa.

Mr Dinesh Kumar Singhi MD of Karnataka based BMM Ispat told Business Line that the base price of INR 2,010 a tonne for the 57% iron grade in the last auction was too high, considering that buyers were getting the same earlier from NMDC Ltd for about INR 1,400 a tonne, before the Supreme Court on September 2 directed the state to hold E auctions.

He said there were no takers for about 65% of the stocks lined up for the last auction conducted on October 14.

When told that NMDC officials had said the pricing was in line with those in China and Japan, he said the price of 57% grade in China was about USD 110 (INR 5,390), which factored in about INR 3,000 for transport, beside 20% export duty.

On Karnataka e-auction prices, he said in addition to the base price, buyers would have to pay 10% for royalty, 12% as forest development charges and 1% cess, totaling 23% more, which pushed the price to INR 2,472 a tonne. Transport would cost another INR 750 a tonne.

In comparison, the 63.5% grade from Jharkhand could be got at INR 4,200 a tonne, inclusive of the transport cost of INR 2,200.

(Sourced from

Iron ore prices could slide to USD 140 per tonne

Thursday, 20 Oct 2011

It is reported that prices of iron ore, the main ingredient for making steel, could slide to as low as USD 140 per tonne in the coming months.

In September, spot iron ore prices grew above USD 181 per tonne but on Monday fell deeply to USD 157.25.

Analysts and mines experts said developments in China over its monetary policy have been affecting demand for iron ore, noting the commodity weakening prices could extend into the early part of this quarter.

Recently reports circulated that Brazil Vale was selling iron ore for fourth quarter contracts cheaply to the Chinese an indication that iron ore miners were giving in to Chinese pressure.

Reports said iron ore miners were selling to Chinese steel mills at USD 175 a tonne. But the Chinese were not buying because the fourth quarter contract rate was based on June to August average spot prices. Iron ore is currently less than USD 160 a tonne average. But miners said prices will likely recover coming into the New Year as Chinese steel consumption is expected to grow 7.5% this year.

(sourced from Gantdaily)

Orissa asks MCL to submit periodic reports on coal supply

Thursday, 20 Oct 2011

With many power producers including NALCO facing coal crisis, Orissa Government has asked Mahanadi Coalfield Ltd, a subsidiary of Coal India Ltd, to submit periodic reports to it on the volume of coal being supplied to different units within the state.

The state government's instruction to MCL was given by Chief Secretary Mr BK Patnaik who chaired a coordination meeting between coal supplier and power producers.

Mr G Mathivathanan Energy Secretary said "MCL has assured that it is in the process of streamlining coal supply to different power producing units, including thermal power plants, independent power producers and captive power plants set up by many industries including NALCO."

Quoting MCL assurance to the state government, the energy secretary said the coal crisis would soon be over as difficulties faced by the PSU were being sorted out.

A senior official said "MCL has been asked to give priority to coal supply to power generating units within the state." Official sources said meanwhile the state government set up a group, to be coordinated by Orissa State Pollution Control Board to study implementation of the mining plan and effective mining operation by the MCL.

A senior member of the OSPCB said "MCL was also asked to exhaust certain coal mines so that mine voids could be filled by fly ash produced by different thermal power plants."

(sourced ndtv)

Peabody and ArcelorMittal extend offer for Macarthur Coal to November 11

Thursday, 20 Oct 2011

Peabody Energy and ArcelorMittal have extended their AUD 4.9 billion takeover offer for Australia's Macarthur Coal until November 11th 2011.

The bid had been due to expire on Oct 28.

Macarthur has accepted a sweetened AUD 16 per share bid from Peabody and Arcelor after failing to find a rival bidder.

(Sourced from Reuters)

Imported iron ore stocks fall at Chinese ports

Thursday, 20 Oct 2011

According to Xinhua, China Iron Ore Price Index released, inventories of China iron ore at 25 major ports dipped 0.12% WoW to 93.07 million tonnes in the week ending October 17.

According to the index last week supplies of imported iron ore were 110,000 tonnes lower than that of the previous week.

The price index for 63.5% purity and 58% purity iron ore imports both dropped 10 points to 167 points and 138 points respectively.

According to Xinhua analysts the downward trend in China's iron ore price will continue due to sluggish demand from steel manufacturers and the global economic downturn.

According to the analysts the weakening domestic demand from industries such as construction, automobiles and railway construction will continue to weigh on imported iron ore prices, as a wait-and-see approach has become common among downstream companies.

Iron ore producer giant Vale of Brazil recently said it would scale down its contracting prices of iron ore with Chinese steel companies in the fourth quarter.

(Sourced from

TVN Corporation ramps up drilling at Nuurst coal project in Mongolia

Thursday, 20 Oct 2011

It is reported that TVN Corporation has ramped up drilling at its wholly owned Nuurst Coal Project in Mongolia which has confirmed a continuous thick coal sequence that extends across the full width of the south western limb of licence area.

With the arrival of two additional drilling rigs in recent weeks, the rate of drilling has increased and three holes recently completed support the revised exploration target and demonstrate the extent of the Nuurst Project coal seam development in the south western limb of the Nuurst Licence.

Coal seam development has now been defined to the full 1.5 kilometer width of the licence in this area and for a length of at least 3 kilometres from the southern boundary to the north which remains open. In this area the coal seam development appears to be bound by the licence boundary, remaining open to the north.

Trenching activities in the area of the fault in the south eastern portion of the targeted resource area have extended the sub-cropping coal sequence for over 700 metres of strike length extending south westerly from US coal miner Peabody Winsway Resources’ Tsaidam Deposit which contains a Mineral Resource of 149.7 million tonnes.

The Nuurst Project covers 34.5 square kilometres and is located 120 kilometres south of the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar, in an area with a number of operating coal mines.

Nuurst is 6 kilometres from existing rail infrastructure providing low cost access to the key coal export markets of China, South Korea and Japan. The project has a 200 to 300 million tonne exploration target which covers less than 15% of the overall licence.

To date TVN has completed more than 3000 metres of drilling and is aiming to define a JORC Resource by the end of 2011. Drilling and trenching at Nuurst will continue through until mid-November. TVN continues to review the potential acquisition of other coking and thermal coal projects in Mongolia.

In other TVN news the company has appointed Daniel Rohr to the position of chief financial officer. Rohr has 20 years management, corporate advisory finance and accounting experience working for a number of listed and unlisted companies.

(sourced proactiveinvestors)

CIL resumes normal fuel supplies

Thursday, 20 Oct 2011

It is reported that Coal India Limited has resumed normal supplies of coal to power plants helping to lift power generation and reduce outages across the country.

Mr Nirmal Chandra Jha chairman of CIL said "The first 10 days of this month were bad. I hope electricity supplies will also improve in line with our dispatches."

An increase in the availability of rail wagons has enabled the company to raise its daily average supply to power stations from 900,000 tonnes to 1 million tonne. Coal India is now using 180 wagons rather than 140 wagon each days.

The recent shortages have caused major problems as half of the 182MW national power generation capacity runs on fossil fuels. Daily coal supply in the first week of October was down to 600,000 tonnes. Output was hit to mine flooding and a recent one-day strike by workers who demanded a higher annual bonus. Political unrest in a southern state has further impacted output.

(sourced ifandp)

Expert group to meet to review royalty on minerals in India

Thursday, 20 Oct 2011

ET reported that an expert group of the Mines Ministry will hold its first meeting this week to review the royalty rates due for revision next year for all major minerals other than coal, lignite and sand.

The 17 member study group which will submit its report in six months, will not only take into account the present Act governing royalty but also the new draft mines law Mines and Mineral Bill which is likely to be tabled in the winter session of Parliament.

A Mines Ministry official said "The first meeting of the Study Group constituted under the chairmanship of Additional Secretary (Mines), Mr Sanjay Srivastava regarding revision of royalty rates and rates of dead rent for minerals (other than coal, lignite and sand for stowing) has been convened here on October 21."

There are 51 minerals prescribed in the second schedule of the MMDR Act 1957 and the rates vary from mineral to mineral. The royalty on iron ore is 10 per cent at present.

Mr S Vijay Kumar Mines Secretary had said earlier that the group will not only review the royalty rates based on existing Act but will also recommend royalty as per the new mines Bill and the mechanism for its computation.

He said that the committee will also recommend royalty as per MMDR Bill, 2011 taking into account the liabilities on the lease holder.

The proposed new Mines law provides that the coal miners share 26% of the profit and others an amount equivalent to royalty amount with the project-affected people.

The next upward revision in royalty rates is due in August 2012. Rates are revised every three years and the last revision was done with effect from August 13 2009.

(sourced Economic Time)

WA iron ore shipments up 28pct - BHP Billiton

Thursday, 20 Oct 2011

MarketWatch quoted Anglo-Australian mining giant BHP Billiton Ltd said Western Australian iron ore shipments rose 28% to a record 173 million tonnes per annum in the calendar third quarter of 2011. Total company iron ore shipments climbed 24% compared to the year-ago period, while petroleum production rose 19% compared to a year ago.

(Sourced from MarketWatch)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Coking Coal Price to Fall on Softer Demand, Mackenzie Says

Wed, Oct 19, 2011

Steelmaking coal prices will fall below $240 a metric ton by the fourth quarter of 2012 as demand eases and supply improves following flooding in Australia, forecaster Wood Mackenzie Ltd. said.

“Prices have started to fall from the last quarter and will continue to decline due to softening demand and the recovery of supply from flood-hit basins earlier in the year,” Prakash Sharma, coal market analyst at Wood Mackenzie, said in an e-mailed statement. “Leading industrial indicators suggest a sharp deterioration in manufacturing activity - reflected by the decline in global steel production.”

Contract coal prices settled at $285 a ton for the current quarter, 10 percent lower than the previous three months, and after reaching a record following flooding at the start of the year in Australia, the world’s biggest exporter.

The longer-term demand outlook remains strong, which will likely trigger further takeover activity in the sector, Sharma said.

“Demand growth will be led by emerging markets, with Asia accounting for 75% of global metallurgical coal demand by 2030,” he said. “China and India will be key demand drivers, contributing to 60 percent of Asia Pacific’s total import demand.”

(sourced bloomberg)Justify Full

Euro Coal-Prices fall in thin trading

Wed Oct 19, 2011

* Economic weakness hampers physical demand
* Supply side looks healthy

LONDON Oct 19 (Reuters) - Prompt physical coal prices on Wednesday continued the week's downward trend on a day of minimal activity.

European demand continued to be low, and traders said that the outlook remained bearish.

"On the economic front, things aren't going to improve much even if we can avoid a double-dip recession, so that implies a sideways or downward movement as physical demand continues to drop or remains flat, while the supply side of coal looks good as a repeat of last year's floods in Australia is unlikely," one coal trader said.

In the paper market, API2 2012 coal swaps fell to $115.25 a tonne, their lowest level since February.

"Prices are going down, because the amount of shorts in the market is rising fast, and I don't see a big price recovery soon," another coal trader said.


No trades were heard, but December South African coal deliveries had a bid-offer spread of $107-110.25 per tonne.

On Tuesday, a December South African cargoe traded at $111.25 a tonne.

No December DES ARA cargo was heard, but January deliveries saw a bid for $113.25 a tonne.

(sourced Reuters)

Singareni Collieries may hike coal price

The coal miner may end up missing its production target of 53.4 million tonnes for the current fiscal which ends on 31 March 2012. The strike caused SCCL a production loss of 4.5 million tonnes

Wed, Oct 19 2011
By Viswanath Pilla

Hyderabad: The country’s second largest coal producer, Singareni Collieries Co. Ltd (SCCL), is set to increase the price of the fuel after a 35-day strike by workers in the Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh caused production to decline and as the company prepares to raise wages and pay a Diwali bonus.

“A price hike is under consideration,” said J.V. Dattatreyulu, director (operations). “We need to get permission from the Central government before we do it.”

SCCL employees returned to work on Tuesday after ending the walkout, part of the campaign for a separate state of Telangana that also shut educational institutions and disrupted public transport in the region comprising 10 districts of Andhra Pradesh.

SCCL, which produces 1,65,000 tonnes of coal daily, last revised coal prices, which depend on the calorific value or heat value of the fuel, in August.

The coal miner may end up missing its production target of 53.4 million tonnes for the current fiscal which ends on 31 March 2012. The strike caused SCCL a production loss of 4.5 million tonnes.

“...we still have five-and-a-half months in the current financial year to try to make up for production we lost,” Dattatreyulu said.

SCCL produced 51.33 million tonnes of coal and earned Rs. 9,892.14 crore of revenue in the year ended 31 March 2011.

The revenue loss on account of the strike is estimated to be in the range of Rs. 550-600 crores.

SCCL has 50 mines, including 14 open cast and 36 underground mines, spread across four districts of Telangana. It has 67,104 workers, making it the biggest employer in the region.

“The prices of domestic coal have been rising, albeit sporadically, on a cumulative annual growth rate of 7-8% for the regulated businesses like power sector,” said Dipesh Dipu, director-consulting, mining, at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India Pvt. Ltd.

“The uncertainty around the quantum of price increase makes assessment of impact difficult but generally every Rs. 100 per tonne increase in coal price can make energy dearer by 4-6 paise per kilowatt-hour,” he said.

SCCL also faces a higher wage bill, with workers’ pay expected to rise by as much as 25%. The yearly wage bill of the company is Rs. 2,650 crore. SCCL also pays a Diwali bonus on par with Coal India Ltd​, the country’s largest miner, which recently agreed to pay a Rs. 21,000 bonus. SCCL will spend nearly Rs. 130 crore to match the payment.

(sourced livemint)

Violent anti-austerity protests grip Greek capital

Wed, Oct 19, 2011
By Lefteris Papadimas and Yannis Behrakis

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek police cleared the square in front of parliament on Wednesday after clashing with black-clad demonstrators during a mass anti-austerity rally called to coincide with a vote on a bitterly resented new round of belt-tightening.

The view of the ancient Acropolis was obscured by smoke from burning piles of rubbish and a bank building was evacuated after being set on fire by molotov cocktails as a strike called by Greece's two main unions degenerated into violence.

Much of the country was shut down by the 48-hour general strike, the largest since the outbreak of the crisis two years ago with government departments, offices and shops closed and at least 100,000 people taking to the streets of Athens.

Prime Minister George Papandreou, trailing badly in opinion polls, has appealed for support from Greeks before parliament votes on the latest measures which include tax hikes, wage cuts and public sector layoffs.

But the mood was furious among demonstrators, fed up after repeated doses of austerity and increasingly hostile to both their own political leaders and international lenders demanding ever tougher measures to cut Greece's towering public debt.

"Who are they trying to fool? They won't save us. With these measures the poor become poorer and the rich richer. Well I say: 'No, thank you. I don't want your rescue'," said 50-year public sector worker Akis Papadopoulos.

The boom of tear gas canisters fired by police rang out, and black clouds of smoke from petrol bombs hung over Syntagma Square, scene of violent clashes between police and demonstrators at anti-austerity protests in June.

The latest outbreak of violence overshadowed the start of a 48-hour strike which shut down government departments, shops and public buildings across the country and which unions said was one of the biggest stoppages in years.

A huge crowd gathered in front of parliament earlier in the day but after hours of confrontation with a hardcore group of mainly younger demonstrators, police cleared the square. Groups of hooded youths continued to clash with police on side streets.

At least seven people were hospitalized, and there were several other injuries reported mainly from breathing problems, minor burns and cuts to the head. There were also serious clashes on major avenues away from the scene of the main rally.

More than 7,000 police had been assigned to Athens to deal with anticipated trouble with hundreds deployed in riot gear near parliament.


Wednesday's action came as European Union leaders were scrambling to settle a new rescue package in time for a summit on Sunday that hopes to agree measures to protect the region's financial system from a potential Greek debt default.

"We are in an agonizing but necessary struggle to avoid the final and harshest point of the crisis," Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos told parliament. "From now and until Sunday were are fighting the battle of all battles."

Trapped in the third year of deep recession and strangled by a public debt amounting to 162 percent of gross domestic product which few now believe can be paid back, Greece has sunk ever deeper into crisis.

Papandreou's narrow four-seat majority is expected to be enough to ensure the austerity bill goes through, especially given possible support from a smaller opposition group.

But his ruling Socialist party's discipline is increasingly strained with one deputy resigning his seat in protest and at least two others threatening to vote against part of the package dealing with collective wage bargaining agreements.

"It is obvious that society has reached the limits of what it can bear," said PASOK deputy Elpida Tsouri.

After repeated rounds of austerity measures, which have hit middle class Greeks hard, protesters said new cuts would only drive the stricken economy deeper into the ground. Unions urged deputies not to pass the law.

"If they have any humanity, decency, sense of pride and Greek soul left, they must reject the bill," Nikos Kioutsoukis, a top official in private sector union GSEE which is leading the strike with its public sector counterpart ADEDY.


Speaking in parliament on Wednesday, Dimitris Reppas, minister for Administrative Reform, reflected the increasing sense of isolation among many in the ruling party, complaining he felt as though he had been thrown to the lions.

"In government, we often feel like ... we are in the Colosseum, fighting the debt monster while everybody else is just sitting in the stands, watching and commenting," he said.

A first vote takes place late on Wednesday on the overall bill, which mixes deep cuts to public sector pay and pensions, tax hikes, a suspension of sectoral pay accords and an end to the constitutional taboo against laying off civil servants.

A second vote on specific articles is expected some time on Thursday and only after that the bill becomes law.

International lenders, who are providing the funds Athens needs to stay afloat after it was shut out of bond markets last year, have expressed impatience at the slow pace of reform as Greece has slipped behind on its budget targets.

There has been growing talk that Athens should be placed under tighter supervision by EU authorities to ensure it meets its reform obligations.

(sourced Reuters)

SAIL not to issue fresh equity, govt to sell 5% stake

Wed, October 19, 2011 | AgencyPress Trust of India

New Delhi : Amid volatility in stock markets, blue-chip state-owned company SAIL has decided against issuing fresh equity, though the government will go ahead with its proposal to offload 5% stake in the firm.

"The SAIL board has decided that there will be no fresh equity issue. Only government stake sale will happen," Disinvestment Secretary Mohammed Halesem Khan told reporters here.

The Government holds a 85.82% stake in the maharatna company. The 5% stake sale in Steel Authority of India (SAIL) is likely to fetch the government over Rs 2,000 crore at current market prices. Shares of SAIL are trading currently at Rs 105 on the BSE.

Khan said the change in SAIL's Follow-on Public Offer (FPO) plan would require fresh approval from the Cabinet.

SAIL's FPO has failed to meet deadlines repeatedly since December 2010, due to several reasons, like rising coking coal prices and problems with merchant bankers, besides adverse market conditions.

As regards the disinvestment of oil major ONGC, Khan said the government would try to complete it by December end.

"We will initiate discussion on the FPO process of ONGC in 4-5 days," another official in the ministry said.

The government plans to offload a 5% stake in the company, which would fetch it around Rs 12,000 crore, nearly one-third of the Budget disinvestment target of Rs 40,000 crore.

Although the government has plans to raise Rs 40,000 crore from disinvestment in the current fiscal, it has not been able to make much headway because of uncertain market conditions. So far, it has raised only Rs 1,144 crore from stake sale in Power Finance Corporation (PFC).

CAG questions Reliance Power's surplus coal use in MP

Wed, Oct 19,2011 |Agency PTI

New Delhi:The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has sought the Power Ministry's reply on the issue of allowing Reliance Power to divert excess coal from its 4,000 MW Sasan project in Madhya Pradesh to its other project in the state.

"We have received CAG comments. We are examining them and we would reply to them soon," Power Secretary P Uma Shankar said here.

While he refused to elaborate, sources said CAG had sent queries on Reliance Power diverting surplus coal from mines attached to Sasan project to its another project -- Chitrangi in Madhya Pradesh.

A Reliance Power spokesperson, however, said that the decision of the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGOM) to permit use of incremental coal does not result in any loss to the exchequer nor it confers any undue benefit to the company.

In a statement, the spokesperson further said that no commercial condition was changed subsequent to the award of projects to Reliance Power.

The company is executing the 4,000 MW Sasan Ultra Mega Power Project (UMPP) in Madhya Pradesh and is also developing a project in the nearby Chitrangi district. The EGoM in August, 2008 had allowed diversion of surplus coal from Sasan blocks to the Chitrangi project.

Reliance Power is also executing two more UMPPs, at Krishnapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and Tilaiya in Jharkhand.

The company said that "the Ministry of Power has confirmed that there is no CAG report on the EGOM decision regarding use of incremental coal from coal blocks allotted to Reliance Power's UMPP.

"The Ministry of Power has further clarified that only certain queries have been raised, which are being examined and will be answered by them."

(sourced DNA)

NTPC to acquire coal mines in Mozambique and Indonesia

Wed, 19 Oct,2011

Live Mint reported that NTPC Limited has appointed a consultant to evaluate two medium sized coal mine acquisitions in Mozambique and Indonesia even as it plans to exit International Coal Ventures Pvt Limited, a consortium of state run firms formed to buy overseas coal mines.

A senior NTPC executive said that "Mozambique and Indonesia deals are at present on the verge of getting materialized."

NTPC needs 166 million tonnes of coal in the year to March 31st 2012, of which around 16 million tonnes has to be imported. The company has already placed orders for importing 12 million tonnes.

NTPC is likely to change its strategy by seeking long term coal supply agreements instead of buying overseas mines, as envisaged in the company’s vision document, NTPC Corporate Plan 2032, drawn up by consulting firm Bain and Co India Pvt Ltd. Bain also advised NTPC to take small stakes in overseas mines to ensure supply security.

Another NTPC executive said that "We never said that if we get a very good opportunity, we will not buy a mine. It all depends upon the opportunity."

Mr Celio Nhachungue, deputy national director of the international relations directorate in Mozambique’s industry and trade ministry, said that there was a lot of interest from Indian companies to enter his country’s mining sector.

Mr Vicente Paulo C Chihale, commercial counselor at Mozambique’s high commission in New Delhi, said that "There are no more coal mines left to be acquired. Foreign companies can now participate in our mining sector through getting into joint ventures with the existing mine holders."

-By livemint

Xstrata sets steam coal contracts above analyst expectations

Wed,19 Oct 2011

Bloomberg reported that Xstrata Plc which achieved record output of power station coal in the third quarter agreed on annual contracts with long term Japanese customers at prices that exceeded analysts’ expectations.

The Zug Switzerland based company said in a statement that Xstrata settled coal prices at USD 126.50 per tonne from October 1 compared with USD 129.85 on April 1.

Liberum Capital Ltd said "Considering recent bearishness around commodity prices we consider this an amazing settlement for Xstrata."

The Standard & Poor GSCI Spot Index of 24 raw materials has dropped 17% from this year high in April. Copper for three month delivery on the London Metal Exchange has slumped 28% from a record as economic growth in China the world biggest user of industrial metals slows.

Mr Rob Clifford a London based analyst at Deutsche Bank AG said "The third quarter 2011 marked the end of recent weather- related production impacts on the coal business. On the other side of the ledger, copper production was hampered by more issues at Collahuasi."

He said that "With the stock trading below our price target, we maintain our buy' recommendation. He has a share-price target of 1,758 pence for Xstrata."

Production of coking coal used in steelmaking increased by 26%. Total output including semi-soft coal rose 7.8% to 23.6 million tons.

(Sourced from Bloomberg)

Spain 2011 thermal coal imports seen at 10 million tonnes

Wed, 19 Oct 2011

Reuters quoted an executive from Spanish utility Iberdrola said Spain is on course to import 10 million tonnes of thermal coal in 2011 due to better margins on burning coal than liquefied natural gas.

Speaking on the sidelines of the annual Coaltrans conference in Madrid, utility sources said they have renegotiated LNG take-or-pay contracts and resold cargoes, mainly to Japan but also to Europe and elsewhere in Asia.

Mr Jorge Palomar a Madrid based executive in Iberdrola's coal and biomass trading department said "All of Spain's coal-fired power plants are currently burning."

Data from national grid operator REE showed coal plants were providing 21.1% of Spain electricity by 1150 GMT which compares to an average of 8% for 2010 as a whole.

(By Reuters)

Shanxi Coking Co Sept coke output hit record high

Wed, 19 Oct 2011

Shanxi Coking Co located in Northern China Shanxi province, announced that its coke output reached the highest level in September since its coking plants put into operation.

The state owned coal mining company produced 278,432.29 tonnes of coke last month. In January through September, coke output totalled 2,285,421.56 tonnes accounting for 74.08% of the company annual target.

(By steelhome)

Swedish crude steel output up 24 percent in Sept over Aug

Wed,19 October,2011

According to the latest data released by Swedish Steel Producers' Association (Jernkontoret), in September this year Swedish crude steel production amounted to 382,400 metric tons, decreasing by 13.2 percent year on year but up 24.1 percent as compared to August this year.

Meanwhile, in the first nine months of the current year Swedish crude steel production amounted to 3,750,600 mt, with an increase of 4.5 percent compared to the same period last year.

Jernkontoret indicates that in Sweden at present around 60 percent of the total production comprises alloyed steel which also includes stainless steels. In the rest of the EU, as well as in the USA and Japan, alloy steels only comprise 10-15 percent of steel production.

Jernkontoret also noted that, per capita steel consumption in Sweden is close to 500 kg, which is relatively high in international terms. The average for EU-27 countries is around 390 kg per capita according to World Steel Association data for 2008.

Tags: raw mat, Sweden , Europe , production , European Union
(sourced steelorbis)

Chinese coal imports in 2011 seen 150 million tonnes to 160 million tonnes

Wed,19 Oct 2011

Reuters citing Mr Phil Ren of China Tader Coal SCM Company and Vice President of Northeast Asia Coal Exchange Center as saying that China 2011 thermal coal imports are likely to be around 150 million tonnes to 160 million tonnes having recovered in the second half of the year after a slow start.

Mr Ren said speaking at the Coaltrans annual conference in Madrid that China thermal coal imports could rise to account for 10% of the country total consumption 400 million tonnes in five years' time.

He said that China coal import levels are hard to predict because China imports more when domestic prices are higher than international prices, but the country in any case needs imported coal for the southeast regions.

He added that "For economic and transport reasons China has to import coal to meet its southeast consumption. He also said that imports could be 5% to10% of China total consumption which is forecast at 4 billion tonnes so therefore 10% of that is 400 million tonnes that's a lot of coal."

(Sourced from Reuters)

Argentina’s crude steel output down 3.4 percent in Sept from Aug

Wed, 19 October 2011

According to the data released by Argentina's chamber of steel, in September this year Argentina's crude steel output amounted to 472,900 metric tons, falling by 3.4 percent as compared to the previous month and up 4.9 percent year on year.

In September, Argentina's total hot rolled steel product output decreased by 11.3 percent month on month to 443,200 metric tons, while a four percent decrease was recorded on year-on-year basis, including output of 225,800 metric tons of hot rolled flat steel products - down 9.6 percent month on month, and 217,400 metric tons of long steel products, decreasing by 13 percent compared to August this year.

In the given month, the country's cold rolled flat steel product output fell by 18.2 percent month on month to 95,300 metric tons, decreasing by 30.8 percent as compared to September 2010.

On the other hand, in the first nine months of this year, Argentina's crude steel production totaled 4.17 million metric tons, increasing by 9.4 percent year on year. However, as compared to the January-September period of 2008, the country's steel production in the corresponding period this year indicates a decrease of six percent.

Tags: raw mat , Argentina , South America , production (sourced steelorbis)

Brazilian iron ore exports to reach USD 22 billion in 2011 - DNPM

Wed, 19 Oct2011

BNamericas citing Mr Mathias Heider mineral resources specialist from the minerals production department as saying that Brazil iron ore exports are expected to total BRL 40 billion in 2011

He said "There's an upward trend showing that Brazilian mining in general is going through its best moment ever, adding that the country mineral production value should reach BRL 53 billion to BRL 55 billion in 2011.

He added that Royalties collected by DNPM in January to September totalled a record BRL 1.08 billion. In all of 2010, royalty collections were BRL 1.04 billion."

Royalties collected in September totalled BRL 143 million up by 17.2%YoY. According to national mining association Ibram iron ore exports for the full year are expected to increase by around 12.5% to 350Mt.

Brazil annual iron ore output is expected to more than double from the current 370Mt to 787Mt by 2015.

The projected expansion in iron ore production takes into consideration announced investments of USD 45 billion for the 2011-15 periods. Overall investments in the mining sector are expected to total USD 68.5 billion.

(sourced from BNamericas)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Vale open to different iron ore pricing-CEO

Tue Oct 18, 2011
* Spot price fall likely to bring price model scrutiny
* Vale not planning to abandon current pricing formula

BRASILIA, Oct 18 (Reuters) - Brazilian miner Vale is open to discussing different iron ore pricing systems with its clients, the company's chief executive said on Tuesday, as a tumble in the price of ore has led to pressure from steel mills for more flexibility.
Vale has told Chinese steelmakers it will give them options to buy the raw material cheaper, sources told Reuters last week, as spot prices for iron ore have dropped below the quarterly contract system created last year.

"Vale has a pricing formula, but if someone wants to buy under different terms we are open to discussion," Vale CEO Murilo Ferreira said, adding however that the company had no plans to abandon its current quarterly pricing model.

The willingness to negotiate suggests a changing dynamic between steel mills and miners, which now find themselves facing weaker demand due to stagnant growth in the United States and a sharp economic downturn in Europe.
But Ferreira said that demand in China, which posted slower economic growth of 9.1 percent in the past quarter, remains firm.

A market source on Monday told Reuters that Vale could eliminate a clause in its quarterly contracts such that steel makers could buy ore slightly cheaper.
Ore with 62 percent iron content fell to $150.30 a tonne on Tuesday, down $3.10 from the previous day, amid worries about slowing growth in China and the global economy.
Mining companies in 2010 created a quarterly system for iron ore that replaced the aging benchmark system, one based on annual talks between miners and steel mills.

The quarterly iron contracts are based on the average of spot prices over a three-month period ending a month before the start of each quarter.

(sourced Reuters)