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Baosteel, BHP Billiton agree on ore price
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Baosteel, China's largest steel maker, said Friday it had agreed with BHP Billiton on a price increase of up to 96.5 percent for iron ore in 2008, nearly double that of 2007.

The prices were to increase by 79.88 percent to 96.5 percent, respectively, depending on the category of iron ore, the company said in a statement on its website.

"As an outcome of these negotiations, the iron ore prices for Newman Fine Ore and Yandi Fine Ore, increased by 79.88 percent, and the price for Newman Lump Ore increased by 96.5 percent relatively to 2007," said Baosteel in a web announcement.

The price rise is in line with experts' predictions and followed the settlement between Baosteel and Australian miner Rio Tinto last week.

Baosteel, which negotiated on behalf of China's steel industry, said on June 23 it agreed to a 79.88 percent price hike for Pilbara blend fines and Yandicoogina fines and a 96.5 percent price rise for Pilbara Blend Lump for the contract year starting on April 1.

Baosteel agreed in February on a 65 percent price rise for iron ore from Brazilian miner Vale. Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton then demanded a "freight premium," claiming it costs less to ship iron ore from Australia to China.

(Xinhua News Agency July 4, 2008)

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