Severstal predicts fall in 2014 iron ore, coking coal prices as supplies grow

Russian steel and mining major Severstal expects prices for iron ore and coking coal to fall in 2014 on the back of continued supply growth, the company said in its 2013 results statement on Thursday February 27.

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The company’s resources division saw earnings before interest, tax, debt and amoritisation (Ebitda) fall by $172 million year-on-year to $813 million in 2013, a drop of $17.5%.

Severstal said the pricing environment for steel-related commodities in 2013 had been “challenging”, highlighting the coking coal market’s 20% drop in value over the year.

Metal Bulletin’s premium hard coking coal index cfr China has fallen 13% in the past six months, from highs of just below $160 per tonne in early November to $139 per tonne on February 27.

Coking coal sales at the company fell by 4.7% to 7.2 million tonnes year-on-year, driving an 11% drop in the division’s revenues in 2013 to $2.66 billion, down from $3 billion in 2012.

Severstal said that coking coal sales had dropped despite increasing output from its Vorkuta mine by 6.5 % year on year to 5.6 million tonnes.

Iron ore shipments remained at 15.1 million tonnes in 2013, “largely flat” compared to levels seen in 2012, Severstal said, adding that prices for the steelmaking raw material had been “more resilient” in 2013 than coking coal values.

Higher iron ore pellet sales volumes and stronger iron ore prices drove Severstal’s resources division’s fourth-quarter revenue increase of 10.7% to $670 million, compared with the third quarter of 2013.

Across the business, Severstal saw total Ebitda for 2013 fall by 4% to $2.06 billion, with sales dropping 6% to $13.31 billion.

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