Cliffs optimistic despite the numbers

COAL and iron ore producer Cliffs Natural Resources saw better market conditions for both commodities in the last quarter but its North American business unit is still well off last year’s performance.
Cliffs optimistic despite the numbers Cliffs optimistic despite the numbers Cliffs optimistic despite the numbers Cliffs optimistic despite the numbers Cliffs optimistic despite the numbers

 

Blair Price

For the September quarter Cliffs produced 294,000 tons from its North American coal mines, down 63% year-on-year, while its sales of 343,000t were 61% lower than last year.

Over to Queensland’s Bowen Basin, Cliffs’ 45% interest in the Sonoma coking and thermal coal mine amounted to 304,000 metric tonnes of sales volume, 7% lower year-on-year.

Sales from Cliffs’ North American iron ore division slumped 31% year-on-year while its two iron ore mines in Western Australia increased sales by 23%.

Overall, the company had net earnings of $A58.8 million, down 66% year-on-year.

Commenting on the results, Cliffs chairman, president and chief executive Joseph A Carrabba said the company saw steadily improving demand from its North American iron ore and metallurgical coal customers.

“We have begun to increase production at most of our facilities and will continue to monitor the markets closely to meet demand,” he said.

“Sales volume expectations are increasing in North American iron ore and North American coal, and Asia-Pacific iron ore remains positioned for a record year in terms of tons shipped.”

The company expects improving steelmaking markets in North America and Europe to lead to production and sales of 3 million tons from its North American coal mines in 2010 and for the Sonoma mine to produce and sell 3 million tonnes of coal.

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