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We published our latest analyst rankings for iron ore and coking coal for the second quarter and have updated the market outlook for the third quarter.

Iron ore prices are likely to stay rangebound in the third quarter of 2016 just like they have been over the past two months, according to various analysts polled by Steel First.

Meanwhile, coking coal prices appear to have come out of the doldrums following various mine closures in the USA, Canada and Australia.

Iron ore bear Goldman Sachs has lifted its near-term price forecast for the steelmaking raw material after incorporating macro-economic variables into its
analysis.

Metal Bulletin’s benchmark iron ore index for 62% Fe material breached the $60.70 per tonne cfr Qingdao on Thursday July 28 before finishing the week at $59.37 per tonne, up $3.50 per tonne week-on-week.

The seaborne hard coking coal spot market went from strength to strength with more trades reported at higher prices on Friday July 29.

A premium brand of Canadian products was heard traded into China at $103-104 per tonne cfr China, while a top Australian product was offered at $112-113 per tonne cfr China.

Trade cases
The Metallurgical Mines’ Assn of China (MMAC) said that it would urge the country’s Ministry of Commerce to conduct an anti-dumping investigation on iron ore imports from Australia and Brazil.

The MMAC said it would make the call on behalf of some 20 medium-sized and large Chinese miners.

China has imposed final anti-dumping duties on imports of flat rolled grain-oriented electrical steel (GOES) from Japan, South Korea and the European Union.

China’s decision to levy anti-dumping duties of 46.30% on EU-origin imports of flat rolled GOES contrasts with the EU’s “soft approach” to trade defence measures, according to European steel association Eurofer.

Primary steel producers in India want the country’s minimum import price (MIP) regime to last beyond August 5 2016, and to be expanded to include steel products not covered by the current regulations.

Turkey’s economy ministry is planning to change some regulations in its import regime to protect the country’s steel sector from harmful import volumes.

The ministry of economy in the UAE is planning to re-examine the duty regime on scrap exports from the country, according to local media reports.

The Australian Anti-Dumping Commission has terminated an investigation into imports of hollow structural sections (HSS) from India and the UAE.

Mexico has imposed final anti-dumping duties on imports of wire rod from China, the country’s secretariat said.

It has also imposed provisional anti-dumping duties on imports of coated flat steel products from China and Taiwan.

Around the world
Upstream, in the mining sector, Vale and BHP Billiton are each setting aside over $1 billion as reparation for the deadly Samarco tailings dam collapse.

The average iron ore sales price in the global market will stay around the $50 per tonne mark in the second half of 2016, Vale executive director for ferrous minerals Peter Poppinga has said.

The international pellet market is “extremely strong”, Poppinga said, as a result of the absence of Samarco from the market, as well as a rebound in demand.

In the steel market, participants in Southeast Asia’s billet import market have begun to hear of renewed talks about potential defaults on contract renegotiations as Chinese offer prices moved up over the week.

Indonesian steelmaker Krakatau Steel has announced that the ground-breaking ceremony for its new hot strip mill will take place in August.

The Mexican rebar market is expected to remain largely stable in 2016, as private investments in the construction sector are compensating for reduced expenditure on public works.

And finally, in our weekly Steel First Outlook column, our colleagues from Metal Bulletin Research (MBR) examined how strong the fundamentals of the steel market really are, and whether recent price rises can be sustained.