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Cliffs targets US iron ore sales of 23M tons

Oct 25, 2013 | 06:25 PM |

Tags  Cliffs Natural Resources, iron ore, metallurgical coal, James Kirsch, earnings report, stacy irish

NEW YORK — Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. expects to sell about 22 million to 23 million tons of iron ore from its domestic business in 2014 due to a new supply agreement with one of its North American steelmaking customers.

The Cleveland-based iron ore and metallurgical coal producer is maintaining its 2013 expectations for iron ore sales and production at 21 million tons and 20 million tons, respectively.

Cliffs posted third-quarter sales of nearly $1.55 billion, up slightly from the same period last year on a 17-percent increase in global seaborne iron ore pricing to an average of $133 per ton for 62-percent fines c.f.r. China, according to the company’s financial report. Revenue was offset slightly by lower market pricing for metallurgical coal products and a 2-percent fall in global iron ore sales volumes.

Net income in the third quarter jumped 37.7 percent to $117.2 million from $85.1 million a year earlier, boosted by a higher consolidated sales margin and significantly lower exploration expenses.

"During the quarter, we cut costs across the board, improved year-on-year sales margin and lowered our full-year capital expenditure outlook," chairman James Kirsch said in a statement.

U.S. iron ore pellet sales fell to 6.3 million tons from 6.6 million tons a year ago. The decrease was primarily seen in reduced tonnages resulting from a customer’s force majeure and the expiration of a contract. This was partially offset by increased export sales, including pellet contracts previously supplied from Cliffs’ Wabush Mine in Labrador, and increased demand for domestic spot sales.

A version of the article was first published by AMM sister publication Steel First.

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