Posco’s Production Cuts May Be Bad for Australian Iron Ore

Korean steel giant Posco has cut production for the third straight month. Uh oh.

Bloomberg reports that Posco is cutting stainless steel production by 25%. It’s doing so doing in response to falling demand. Finally, the slow down in the U.S. and the weakness in Europe (especially in Germany and the U.K.) may be catching up with steel.

Will this lead to lower demand for Australian iron ore? The market seems to think so. It sent basic materials producers all over Asia much lower. The “slower global growth” story is clearly on trader’s minds.

You wouldn’t have guessed there was anything to worry about based on the bullish figures released yesterday by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE).

“Currencies like the Australian and New Zealand Dollar are [therefore] suffering a huge double-whammy,” writes Steven Barrow for Standard Bank in Johannesburg.

“Commodity prices are tumbling and the markets assessment of ‘risk’ is rising. These currencies have already been pummeled, but we see little hope of a significant recovery, especially against the [zero- yielding] Yen. The fact that both central banks are cutting rates as well is also worrisome for these currencies.

Commodity index investors, blamed for record oil prices, sold $39 billion worth of oil futures between a July record and Sept. 2, causing crude to plunge, according to a report released today.

The work by Michael Masters, president of the Masters Capital Management hedge fund, blames investors who buy and hold an index of commodities for driving prices to records and for their subsequent drop. It comes a day before the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission is set to discuss its own study of energy trading with a congressional committee.

Dan Denning
for Markets and Money

Dan Denning
Dan Denning examines the geopolitical and economic events that can affect your investments domestically. He raises the questions you need to answer, in order to survive financially in these turbulent times.

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