December 30, 2009 / 10:03 AM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 1-China steel body says miners want 20-30 pct ore hike

(Adds steel price details, background)

BEIJING, Dec 30 (Reuters) - China’s steel industry association expects foreign miners to call for a 20-30 percent increase in benchmark iron ore prices in 2010, the official China Securities Journal reported on Wednesday.

Luo Bingsheng, vice-chairman of the China Iron and Steel Association (CISA), told the newspaper that the proposed price rises would complicate negotiations with Rio Tinto (RIO.AX) and BHP Billiton (BHP.AX) of Australia and Vale VALE5.SA of Brazil.

Luo’s comments were in line with current market expectations, with China’s surprisingly resilient demand for steel already prompting a number of banks to revise their benchmark price forecasts for 2010. [ID:nLDE5BH0SK]

Macquarie Bank said on December 15 that Australian iron ore fine prices were likely to increase 30 percent next year, compared to a previous estimate of 10 percent, while both RBS and Societe Generale raised their forecast of the 2010 hike to 20 percent from 10 percent.

Indian 63.5 percent fines quoted at $119-121 per tonne on Wednesday morning, according to industry consultancy Mysteel, and prices on the Steel Index on Tuesday also reached a new record of $112.1 per tonne.

Luo told the newspaper that prospects for the Chinese steel industry in 2010 were much better than this year, with crude steel demand likely to increase by another 60 million tonnes.

CISA said last week that total crude steel output for 2009 was expected to reach 565 million tonnes. (Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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