Pig iron market questions Cargill’s sudden exit

Jul 13, 2012 | 02:10 PM | Michelle Madsen

Tags  Cargill, pig iron, Viena, Sidepar, charcoal, Greenpeace, michelle madsen

LONDON — Cargill Inc.’s decision to exit the global pig iron market has left some questioning its motivation and timing.

The biggest player in the global pig iron market announced in late June plans to stop trading the key steelmaking component, noting that the move was intended to "place (its) focus on other aspects of the metals industry" (AMM, June 27).

But market players speculate that tumbling pig iron prices, social and environmental issues or overall unfavorable market conditions may have been behind the sudden exit.

In line with declining steel and raw material prices, global pig iron values have dropped sharply in the past six months. Key pig iron producers in the Commonwealth of Independent States and Latin America have been hit by slack demand from mills struggling to find buyers for their finished steel products.

Cargill historically has sourced the bulk of its pig iron from a range of Brazilian producers, including Siderúrgica do Pará SA (Sidepar), MMX and Viena Siderúrgica do Maranhão, selling the tonnages primarily to customers in the United States and East Asia. ....

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