KOLKATA: Domestic steel companiesreeling under indifferent demand and high costs may find some relief in NMDC's decision to slash prices of premium gradeiron ore lumps by about 7% for April 2013.
This is the fifth successive reduction in lump ore prices by the state-owned miner since October last year. However, the company has not made any change in price of iron ore fines for the second month in succession.
"Demand for lumps have remained slow particularly from sponge iron industry. Since, we follow the demand-supply scenario in the market, prices of lump ore has been lowered," a NMDCBSE -0.50 % official said. "Since sales of fines have been better than anticipated in March, we also decided to roll back (retain) the price at the same level," the official added.
The price cut which will be effective on ore with iron (Fe) content 65% and above is likely to benefit those steel companies without captive iron ore mines. After the price cut, lumps would be available at around Rs4,600 per tonne, while fines are currently being sold at Rs2,610 per tonne. This is the steepest cut in NMDC lump prices in months and is indicative of the poor offtake in premium ore being faced by the country's largest miner.