Coromandel Gold takes a break

Coromandel Gold

PARTY POSTPONED: The ever-popular Coromandel Gold festival will not be staged this year, but is expected to return next year.

Keen New Year‘s revellers may have to travel further afield to enjoy annual festivities as Waikato’s biggest celebration is set to take a sabbatical.

Coromandel Gold organiser Peter Campbell said they had decided to take a year off to grow the festival and come back with a bang.

“The event has evolved quite quickly and the site has limited numbers,” Campbell explained.

“It will allow us the opportunity to broaden our line up as well.”

They informed the Whitianga community of their intention to can this year’s festival a few weeks back and Campbell says they were met with a “collective sigh”.

Mercury Bay Business Association chairman Gordon Barnaby said although the festival’s hiatus will put a dent in visitor numbers, the community wasn’t too worried because they always got a good crowd and were hanging out for a cracker summer.

“Obviously it will have an effect on the numbers coming over for the New Year period, but before the inception of the festival the town was always full at New Year anyway.”

Barnaby said businesses would not suffer a great loss apart from maybe the food and beverage sellers, who were the most popular with the crowd.

The concept of Coromandel Gold was driven by the boys from Shapeshifter who encouraged Campbell and co-organiser Mark Wright to provide them somewhere to play on New Year‘s Eve.

“We hold them personally responsible,” Campbell joked.

The pair took the concept to the Whitianga community before its inception four years ago and Campbell said they initially received a sceptical reception, but since then the backing from the community has been amazing.

“We’ve had unbelievable support from the community, we owe a debt to them. They’ve really embraced us,” he said.

“More than anything we need to thank them for their support.”

Campbell said there was no need to worry about the possibility of the festival simply fading into the distance.

“We will be back,” he assured.


Iron ore slips as China buying eased but collapse unlikely

Iron ore prices slipped further after hitting 15-month highs last week as buying interest from top importer China eased.

Author: Manolo Serapio Jr
Posted: Tuesday , 15 Jan 2013

SINGAPORE (Reuters)  -

Iron ore slipped further after hitting 15-month highs last week as buying interest from top importer China eased, although traders say a recovery in steel demand and more restocking by mills ahead of the Lunar New Year should keep prices supported.

Many Chinese mills have slowed iron ore purchases after prices surged by more than a third since December, but with steel demand staying mostly firm, there remains a strong incentive for producers to boost steel output, requiring more raw material.

“Most steel mills are now making profit of 100 to 200 yuan ($16 to $32) per tonne. It may just be a matter of time before they go back to the spot market to buy more iron ore, especially with the Lunar New Year coming,” said an iron ore trader in the port city of Rizhao in China‘s eastern province of Shandong.

Chinese steelmakers usually stock up on iron ore ahead of the Lunar New Year which falls in early February this year. The country’s monthly imports of iron ore topped 70 million tonnes for the first time in December, pushing miners to lift production.

Rio Tinto, the world’s No. 2 iron ore producer, said output last year came in above guidance at a record 253 million tonnes, as the miner cashed in on resurgent Chinese demand. Rio is targeting to lift production by 15 percent this year.

Benchmark iron ore with 62 percent iron content dropped 0.2 percent to $154.60 a tonne on Monday, according to Steel Index.

The price has now fallen more than 2 percent since hitting $158.50 last Tuesday, its loftiest since October 2011. But it remains up 78 percent from three-year lows hit in September.

“I think the price will stabilise at around $150 to $155 for the rest of this month. I don’t see a big collapse. The volume of cargoes in the spot market is still limited,” said the Rizhao trader, adding that Chinese steel prices remained mostly firm.

Shanghai rebar futures have gained nearly 15 percent since early December, hitting a six-month high of 4,047 yuan per tonne last week.

Still, the recent decline in buying interest prompted sellers to slash iron ore price offers for a second day on Tuesday, based on import prices quoted by Chinese consultancy Umetal. Price offers for all foreign cargoes dropped by as much as $3 per tonne, it said.

Top miner Vale sold a 90,000-tonne cargo of 63.8 percent grade lump ore at a tender on Monday, which a Singapore trader said would imply a price of $141 for 62 percent grade iron ore fines, much lower than the current benchmark rate.

While end-user steel demand prospects in China are improving, current iron ore prices look overbought, Commonwealth Bank of Australia said in a note.

“We suspect iron prices will continue to ease in the coming weeks as restocking slows,” the bank said.

Shanghai rebar futures and iron ore indexes at 0708 GMT

Rebar in yuan/tonne

Index in dollars/tonne, show close for the previous trading day

($1=6.2192 Chinese yuan)

(Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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