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Cliffs sees sales dip, profits plunge in first quarter of ’13

Keywords: Tags  Cliffs Natural Resources, iron ore, iron ore pellets, RG Steel, Steel First, Stacy Irish

NEW YORK — Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. saw first-quarter profits plunge 71.5 percent year on year on revenues that fell 5.9 percent, a decline due largely to a 10-percent drop in global iron ore sales volumes.

The company reported first-quarter net income of $107 million, compared with $375.8 million for the first quarter of 2012, on sales of $1.14 billion vs. $1.21 billion in the year-ago quarter.

The Cleveland-based company also increased its full-year forecast for U.S. iron ore sales to 21 million tons from a previous 20 million tons due to increased domestic demand for iron ore pellets.

Cliffs sold 3.1 million tons of U.S. iron ore pellet in the first quarter of 2013, down 8.8 percent from 3.4 million tons in the year-ago period. The company attributed that drop to lost sales volumes to RG Steel LLC, which declared bankruptcy in May 2012 (, May 31).

In addition, U.S. iron ore sales volumes are typically lower in the first quarter than they are at other times of the year due to seasonal shipping constraints on the Great Lakes. 

A version of this article was first published in AMM sister publication Steel First.

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