The latest sign that China’s economy is slowing dramatically? A plunge in the price of steel and iron ore. The Financial Times has the numbers:
Hot rolled steel, an industry benchmark, traded at Rmb3,562 ($560) a tonne this week, having tumbled 19 per cent since April to its lowest level in almost three years.
The collapse in steel prices is already roiling the industry:
Last month the China Iron and Steel Association said domestic steelmakers saw profits plunge 96 per cent in the first half compared with a year ago, turning the industry into a “disaster zone”. . . .
According to Reuters, Chinese steel mills have either defaulted on supply contracts or deferred shipment of up to 4m tonnes of iron ore this month following the fall in prices.