Insiders yesterday disclosed that the Baosteel Group has ended the first round of iron ore talks with major ore suppliers on behalf of the Chinese steel industry. The time for the second round of talks has not yet been decided. The negotiations have not reached the most sensitive part – price.
Sam Walsh, chief executive of Rio Tinto Iron Ore, also said that the negotiations are still underway but are progressing rather slowly.
Recently news which was not conducive to Chinese steel makers also broke amid the negotiations: the India Steel Ministry is considering raising its export tariff on iron ore; Brazil's Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (CVRD) will reduce its ore export 60,000 tons a day between January 7 and the end of February due to the closedown of Itaguaí, an important port to export iron ore.
With the temporary tightening of ore supplies, freight prices have plummeted sharply, thus gaining buyers some say in the talks on ore prices.
For more details, please read the full story in Chinese. (http://www.china-cbn.com/s/n/000004/20080117/000000087928.shtml)
(China.org.cn January 17, 2008)