Price deals bode well

Townsville Bulletin - - Business -

THE early tim­ing of price rise an­nounce­ments by iron ore pro­duc­ers and steel­mak­ers bodes well for the metal in 2007.

China’s big­gest steel­maker Baos­teel has agreed a price rise of 9.5 per cent with Aus­tralian min­ing gi­ants Rio Tinto Ltd and BHP Bil­li­ton Ltd, as well as the world’s big­gest pro­ducer of iron ore, Brazil’s CVRD.

The price hike was at the up­per end of the mar­ket-fore­cast range of 5 to 10 per cent.

‘‘At the end of the day we were ex­pect­ing some­where around 8 to 10 per cent any­way — the mar­ket was fairly close, so it was re­ally no sur­prise,’’ Shaw Stock­broking an­a­lyst John Col­nan said.

‘‘So the only sur­prise was the speed with which they were set­tled, which prob­a­bly still in­di­cates a very strong and ro­bust mar­ket.’’ Mr Col­nan also said he was pleased the price-rise ap­plied to both lump and fine iron ores.

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