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EDITOR'S NOTE VOL VIII ISSUE 03 SEPTEMBER 2019 Iron ore in a bear hug Iron ore prices, after sky-rocketing to a five-year high in July, 2019, slumped in mid-August, signaling end of the bull run. Price swings are not new. But factors like the ongoing geo-political dynamics, supply constraints and concomitant market forces had a profound impact on the price curve. Now, prices are slated to linger in bear territory, on the back of ample supplies and stern curbs slapped on steel mills in Hebei. Interestingly, home-grown producers have bucked the trend, reasoning that domestic prices have been conventionally lower than the global benchmarks. For an in-depth look at the iron ore conundrum, turn to our cover story on pg. 38. Demand-supply fluctuations have kept prices of another key raw material, coking coal, depressed, which is good news for India – it imports three-fourth of its requirement. Chinese mills too are happy since CFR prices are lower than the domestic versions. However, traders are treading cautiously, due to anti-import measures. We trace the dynamics on pg. 12. Talking about China, this Asian giant is showing a voracious appetite for imported semis and metallics. World View, our international section, delves deep into the story. Details are on pg. 30. The China factor resurfaces again. Granulated pig iron is the next big thing here, what with mills across the BF, EAF and IF platforms showing a keen interest in the material. And, JSPL just may be having the first-mover advantage in exporting consignments to China, Malaysia and Bangladesh. The story unfolds on pg. 64. Intervista turns the spotlight on RINL CMD P.K. Rath, who, at present, is focused on expansion targets and cost economics. Turn to pg. 16 for the full interview. Plus, we focus on a lot more. Enjoy the read! Madhumita Mookerji editor@steel-360.com

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