Friday, March 30, 2012

Rio Tinto follows Vale and joins Chinese Metals Exchange Market

Rio Tinto PLC (NYSE:RIO) became today the second iron giant to join the new China Beijing Metals Exchange (CBMX). The move will allow the London-based miner to sell non-contracted iron ore directly into China through the electronic trading platform.

‘‘We welcome the development of CBMX as it gives us a new option for selling any available tonnes to China, over and above those already contracted,’’ said Alan Smith, Rio’s iron ore president for Asia in a statement. “We look forward to the Exchange developing into a transparent, independent, efficient and sustainable iron ore trading platform supported by broad market participation.‘‘

Rio’s announcement comes just a day after Brazilian miner Vale, signed a memorandum of understanding with the state-backed CBMX yesterday. Both iron exporters have joined Fortescue Metals Group, which signed on last week.

The news leaves BHP as the only giant iron ore producer that has not signed up to the Beijing-based platform.

According to Brisbane Times, it is widely believed that BHP is supporting the Singapore-based Global Ore and that the competition with China for customers is fiery.

Combined BHP, Vale and Rio Tinto control nearly 70% of the 1 billion tonne annual iron ore seaborne trade.

The China Beijing Metals Exchange starts operations on May 8.