Indian firm cuts iron ore price to $191 per tonne

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MUMBAI – An Indian trader has slashed iron ore prices to secure a sale to a Chinese buyer at $191 per tonne, a level not seen since January, as the market eyes lower steel prices as an indicator iron ore may fall too.
“There are no buyers at any level. Cargoes are not getting sold even if there is one,” Dhruv Goel, managing partner at iron ore trader Steelmint, told Reuters, adding “people are unclear about the price outlook.”
The cargo was loaded at the port of Paradip, located in eastern Indian state of Orissa. Goel said Chinese buyers were waiting for lower prices, taking a cue from easing prices of steel, the end-product. “Steel prices have been falling since Saturday, which has spurred hopes of a fall in iron prices,” said Goel. Iron ore prices eased on Tuesday, but the closure of Australia’s biggest iron ore terminal at Port Hedland is likely to give a boost to prices in the short term.
Indian futures, which are a 62 percent grade ore, were steady at 8,039 Indian rupees per tonne. The three major iron ore indexes, which are used by global miners like Vale and Rio Tinto to gauge quarterly prices, eased again on Monday, with Platts’ 62 percent iron ore index shedding $2 to $189.5 per tonne, including freight.
These indices are fixed once a day. Iron ore prices have risen around 13 percent this year, adding to gains of more than 40 percent in 2010, partly spurred by a ban on exports from India’s Karnataka state, which is currently being appealed by exporters.

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