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Korea's POSCO warns costly iron ore, coal hit profit

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Source: wikipedia, April 25, 2019

Korean steel giant POSCO expects iron ore and coking coal prices to remain elevated, squeezing the margins available to steel producers such as - potentially - Australia's Bluescope Steel.



POSCO, which is a minority investor in Gina Rinehart's Roy Hill iron ore project in Western Australia, said it expects iron ore prices to trade between $US82 and $US87 per tonne for the remainder of the financial year.



Coking coal is the other major steel ingredient that Australia exports, and POSCO said it expects prices for the commodity to remain above $US190 per tonne until June 30, as port maintenance in Queensland crimps supply.



South Korean steelmaker POSCO on Wednesday said its first-quarter operating profit slid 19 percent from a year earlier amid higher costs for raw materials, matching analyst forecasts.



POSCO said it expected higher costs for materials and slowing demand for steel to crimp profitability this year, even as steel prices are expected to inch up



The world's fifth-biggest steelmaker said in a statement that it posted a consolidated operating profit of 1.2 trillion Korean won ($1.5 billion) in the first quarter, compared with 1.49 trillion won a year earlier.



That matched an average estimate of 1.2 trillion won from 14 analysts, according to an I/B/E/S Refinitiv poll.



POSCO's first-quarter revenue inched up 1 percent to 16 trillion won, while net profit fell 28 percent to 778 billion won.



Prices for key steelmaking ingredient iron ore climbed more than 20 percent in the first quarter of the year after miner Vale's deadly dam collapse in Brazil in late January.



POSCO shares had risen 0.8 percent by 0201 GMT, while the broader market KOSPI was down 0.4 percent.

News Source: REUTERS

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