You probably saw the below article or a similar story in other publication. I just want to comment that I believe there is now no doubt the prices for all steel products are going to continue upwards (perhaps quite rapidly). I don’t know if you have been tracking the recent spot prices for HRC, Billets, Scrap, Iron Ore, copper, etc. etc. I believe you will see prices higher by $ 100 p/MT for many flat rolled steel items by month’s end, and then is on top of the already announced price increases for first quarter. It will not be long before mills announce raw material surcharges effective within the next few weeks in order to compensate for their higher costs and force prices upward. It would be prudent to purchase materials as soon as possible, as I predict items will just become more expensive as time passes.
Australian coal exports disrupted by Queensland floods
- 04 Jan 2011
Herald Sun reported that coal exports worth billions are being disrupted by severe floods that continue to devastate vast areas of Queensland. Rail networks linking mines to the ports have been washed away, halting coal trains and leaving a queue of ships off the coast waiting to be loaded.
49 ships were anchored off the Dalrymple Bay coal terminal, near Mackay, while further south another fleet sits waiting off the Port of Gladstone. Forecasts of heavy rain until late this week pose an ongoing threat to a region that produces almost two thirds of the world`s coking coal and, prior to the floods, was forecast to post export sales of USD 33 billion in 2011.
Mr Michael Roche CEO of Queensland Resources Council said that mining companies are bleeding tens of millions of dollars in lost production.
The big wet has prevented many mines from amassing carryover stockpiles to aid them through a crisis. As a result, coal mines with an annual production capacity of at least 80 million tonnes or about 30% of Australia`s coal exports in 2010 are now under force majeure, a contractual clause allowing miners to miss delivery deadlines without penalty.
BHP Billiton, Mitsubishi, Anglo American, Xstrata, Rio Tinto, Peabody Energy, Vale and Macarthur Coal have all declared force majeure on their affected coal interests. Overseas steel mills reliant on the region`s supplies face sourcing stocks from rival competitors in other countries.
At Dalrymple Bay loading resumed at the weekend after floods and a derailment blocked the line for seven days, stalling exports worth as much as USD 4 billion. The floods also forced Wesfarmers to suspend mining at its Curragh North operation.