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BHP Agrees to 7% Coking Coal Price Reduction With Japan's Mills, UBS Says
Sep 1,2010 15:57CST
industry news

Sep 1 (Bloomberg)--

Japanese steelmakers, the world’s second-largest producer of the metal, won a 7 percent cut in quarterly coking coal prices, the first reduction this year, from BHP Billiton Ltd., according to UBS AG.

Prices for the material used to make steel will fall to $209 a metric ton for the three months starting Oct. 1, from $225 a ton in the current quarter, UBS said in a note. A venture between BHP Billiton and Mitsubishi Corp. is the world’s biggest supplier of coking coal.

Prices for coal and iron ore are falling as China’s moves to curb property speculation and restrain credit growth sapped building and autos demand. BHP and Vale SA, the world’s largest suppliers of the two steelmaking materials, this year broke with the custom of setting prices annually by signing quarterly contracts, betting on rising prices.

"Lower prices, but still good outcomes for the producers, during a seasonally weak trading period,” UBS analysts including Tom Price said in the report dated Aug. 31.

JFE Holdings Inc.’s steel unit and other mills agreed to a 12.5 percent price increase for coking coal for the July-to- September quarter. That followed a 55 percent price gain in the April quarter.

Contract prices of iron ore sold by BHP and Rio Tinto Group will probably decline 11 percent in the quarter starting Oct. 1, researcher UC361.com said, citing the average Platts index price.

Hayato Uchida, a spokesman for Tokyo-based Nippon Steel Corp., Japan’s largest steelmaker, declined to comment. Amanda Buckley, a spokeswoman with Melbourne-based BHP, also declined to comment.





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