Chinese traders accuse iron ore miners of intentionally reducing supplies

Apr 16, 2010 | 10:22 AM |

In apparent retaliation for an iron ore boycott, Vale SA, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton reportedly have reduced supplies to China, traders and steel mills in the Asian country allege.

"It is the reduced shipment of iron ore from the Big Three rather than China's ban on low-grade iron ore imports that pushed up spot prices," a source at a steel mill in eastern China said.

Spot prices have surged to $175 to $182 per tonne c.f.r. China for 63.5-percent iron ore fines from $156 to $159 at the end of March.

Chinese steel mills were called on to boycott iron ore imports with an iron content of less than 60 percent from the three miners for two months starting in April to protest their so-called monopoly (AMM, April 12). In turn, all three miners are cutting supplies to the Chinese market—but mainly high-grade fines, market sources said.....

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