seems they are talking about shelving the ontario chromite if the management can not get their way ... so i'm wondering the thoughts of cliffs investors about spending 100's of millions if not a billion on this chromite to date and management talking about scrubbing the slate with nothing to show for this investment ... hope investors here have the time to ask management why they would not work with the little junior that the hold out on cliffs ... kwg resources owns the route to market your chromite ore and they showed that the rail would be the cost effective way to bring your ore to the market ... kwg resources also was willing to work with cliffs management if cliffs would mine the big daddy deposit that has the highest grades cliffs owns at the same time as black thor ... that was the only request that was made of cliffs management... so if the chinese has a rope around cliffs future of iron ore business then why is management saying being diversified with chromite getting axed ??? joe and willy boor are documented saying or should i say threatening if they do not get their way then they will do ??? better start asking questions about management actions because it your money invested

Iron ore falls from 16-month top, rebar extends losses

 

SINGAPORE: Shanghai rebar futures fell for a fifth day running on Friday, hit by worries that China's property sector curbs could dampen steel demand, knocking down spot prices of raw material iron ore from 16-month highs.

 

 

 

 

Rebar, used in construction, is headed for its worst week since October 2011 after the Chinese government said it would extend a property tax scheme to more cities and urged local authorities to set price control targets on new homes.

 

 

 

Bolstering China's three-year campaign to cool its property sector, the prices of new homes in the country rose in January on the year, after a 10-month drop.

 

 

 

The most briskly traded rebar contract for October delivery on the Shanghai Futures Exchange dropped 0.8 percent to 4,063 yuan ($650)a tonne by the midday break, bucking the recovery in most commodities from a two-day sell-off.

 

 

 

The contract, which hit a one-month low of 4,048 yuan on Thursday, is down around 5 percent so far this week, its steepest such loss in 16 months.

 

 

 

Spot steel prices also weakened, with billet in the key Tangshan area down 20 yuan to 3,310 yuan a tonne on Thursday, according to Chinese consultancy Umetal.

 

 

 

Beijing's sustained property curbs have dampened investor sentiment towards the steel sector, although how effective it will be in addressing pent-up demand remains unclear, said Helen Lau, senior commodities analyst at UOB-Kay Hian in Hong Kong.

 

 

 

"We cannot underestimate how determined the central government will be in terms of another round of tightening for the property sector," said Lau.

 

 

 

"But if you overtighten property, it will hurt overall economic growth and China may not want to do that right now to ensure stable transition with the new leadership from March."

 

 

 

Construction makes up around half of China's steel demand.

 

 

 

Lau sees China's crude steel consumption growing 3.4 percent to 708 million tonnes this year, slightly slower than the 4 percent increase in 2012, partly due to the government curbs, although underlying demand remains strong.

 

 

 

Weaker steel prices thinned appetite for iron ore. Benchmark 62-percent grade iron ore for delivery to China fell 1.7 percent to $156.20 a tonne on Thursday, according to data provider Steel Index.

 

 

 

Iron ore hit a 16-month peak of $158.90 on Wednesday during a three-day rally when Chinese steel producers returned to stock up on the raw material after a week-long Lunar New Year break.

 

 

 

Before news of the renewed push for property curbs, mills had raised steel prices for March in hopes of a resumption in construction and manufacturing activities in spring.

 

 

 

But lower prices for cargoes sold at Thursday's tenders showed some buyers had stepped back. A tender for miner Rio Tinto's Australian 61-percent grade Pilbara iron ore fines was concluded at $155.18 a tonne, down sharply from $160.66 on Monday, traders said.

 

 

The benchmark price may fall by up to $5 to $10 a tonne, a Shanghai-based iron ore trader said.

 

 

Copyright Reuters, 2013