Certified polished diamond prices were stable in April as trading slowed during the Passover and Easter holidays. The Basel show and New York auctions demonstrated strong demand for select, top-quality diamonds but overall market sentiment remains weak.
High-end large stones above 10 carats, as well as fancy intense pink and blue diamonds, and very finely cut fancy shapes are hot. There is steady Chinese demand for 0.30-0.40 ct., G-H, VS-SI, triple EX diamonds for engagement rings. Chinese demand for commercial quality stones is also improving.
Mechel has signed several loan agreements with Gazprombank OAO totaling 1 billion US dollars.
In the steel division, Beloretsk Metallurgical Plant signed a loan agreement for 1.7 billion rubles (some 54 million US dollars*) and Urals Stampings Plant signed another for 1.6 billion rubles (some 50 million US dollars*). For the steelmaker the credit lines can be used with the possibility of drawing down funds during a three-year period. The maximum period for each tranche is two years with repayment at the end of such period.
Metallurgical holding EVRAZ had recently released its operational results for the first quarter of 2013 and the Interim Management Statement.
In Q1 both consolidated crude steel production and output of steel products (net of re-rolled volumes) increased by 11% due to lower downtime at steelmaking capacities in Q1 2013 compared to Q4 2012. Consolidated production of finished steel goods slightly increased (+2% vs. Q4 2012).
Mechel reports the launch of active development at the Uvatsk quartzite deposit and delivery of the first batch of raw materials from the deposit to Bratsk Ferroalloy Plant.
Approximately 680 tonnes of quartzite mined at the deposit were delivered to Bratsk Ferroalloy Plant in March 2013. Implementation of the Uvatsk deposit development project took some four years, using Mechel’s ferroalloys division’s own resources and funds.
VIZ-Steel has commenced the installation of a steam reforming facility that will replace the more expensive electrolysis method used during the process of electrical steel production. Once the facility is launched, natural gas consumption for producing hydrogen by means of reforming will be reduced 37 times compared to the current method, bringing VIZ-Steel energy consumption down by 86 million kWh/y.
Certified polished diamond prices held steady in March with 0.30-carat stones continuing to outpace other sizes. Market sentiment improved throughout the first quarter of 2013 driven by seasonal Far East demand during the Chinese New Year period and steady U.S. bridal demand.
The March Hong Kong show exceeded expectations with both Chinese and Indian buyers active in the market. However, demand is limited to a specific range of commercial quality diamonds with 0.30-0.40ct., G-K, VS2-SI2 goods hot and good demand for medium to low qualities up to 2ct. There is strong demand for excellent cut triple EX goods which are in short supply and garnering premiums of up to 8 percent over VG-graded goods.
Mikhail Prokhorov, the 68th richest person on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index with $13.6 in his portfolio, finally sold the 37.8 percent stake in Polyus Gold International Ltd in control of his Onexim Holding for $3.6 billion. The stake was divided between Zelimhan Mutsoev’s Lizarazu Limited, which acquired 18.5% for $1.77 billion, and Gabriel Yushvaev’s Receza Limited, which received 19.28% for $1.846 billion.
It is not a secret that both businessmen acted in the interest of Suleiman Kerimov, whose Nafta Moskva owns 40.2 percent of Polyus Gold. Analysts predict Polyus’s near merger either with Polymetal International Plc or another, possibly international group.
Mechel Carbon (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. has signed a memorandum for supplies of coking coal with Baosteel Resources Int. Co. Ltd., Baosteel Group Corporation's wholly-owned subsidiary focusing on raw materials supply.
According to the memorandum, which was signed on March 18 at Baosteel Resources’ new Shanghai headquarters, Mechel Carbon is due to directly supply Baosteel with 960,000 tonnes of coking coal annually, with the one-year contract subject to prolongation. The price will be corrected monthly.
Martin Rapaport will discuss the challenges and opportunities confronting the global diamond trade in a special presentation at the International Diamond Week in Israel, Monday March 18, 2013 at 4 p.m. in the Israel Diamond Exchange. The presentation will include an analysis of the competitive relationship between Israel and India, as well as the outlook for diamond prices and demand in 2013.
The company will cut 300,000 tons of capacity at inefficient facilities in European Russia
For the first time since 2008, Rusal reported an annual loss (US$55 million, compared to US$5.98 billion in 2008). In an attempt to increase prices and reduce the supply of aluminum, Rusal cut production by 300,000 tons (from largely inefficient facilities).
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