NMDC Ltd. (NMDC), India’s biggest iron ore producer, cut the prices of some grades of the steelmaking ingredient for the third time in 2013 as domestic demand slumped. The shares declined.
The state-owned miner lowered the price of the high-grade lump ore by about 7 percent this month, Finance Director Swaminathan Thiagarajan said today in a text message. Low-grade fines were unchanged from last month, he said.
The company, the worst performer on the S&P BSE Metal Index (BSEMETL) today, fell as much as 2.4 percent to 133.05 rupees and traded 2 percent lower as of 12:19 p.m. in Mumbai. The Metal Index climbed 0.2 percent.
NMDC, based in the southern city of Hyderabad, has cut prices by more than 15 percent since January as domestic demand fell, tracking a global trend. Benchmark prices in China dropped 9 percent last month, according to The Steel Index.
Ore prices may fall to $100 a ton in the third and fourth quarters next year compared with $127 a ton in the second quarter of 2013, James Glenn and Rob Brooker, analysts at National Australia Bank Ltd. said in a report today. New mine supplies and slowing demand may push the price down below $100 a ton, Bloomberg Industries analysts Kenneth Hoffman and Andrew Cosgrove wrote on March 28.
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