Iron Ore Prices Set To Double in 2010-2011

According to media reports, major iron ore exporters, including BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, have reached a preliminary agreement to move away from annual contract pricing to quarterly arrangements.

The short term iron ire pricing contracts would be linked to the iron ore spot price, which would see iron ore prices more than double from the present $US 60 per ton top $US 130 per ton or more.

The Financial Times London reported unknown company executives as confirming the move away from annual pricing agreements. If the new system evolves, it will in fact mirror the quarterly pricing arrangement BHP won earlier this month for coking coal with customers in Japan, Europe and Korea. That saw BHP Billiton win price rises of 55% for hard coking coal, the best quality coal there is for the steel industry.

The FT said in its report that “The miners, including Vale of Brazil and UK-based BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto and steelmakers such as Nippon Steel, JFE, Sumitomo Metals and Kobe still need to resolve significant obstacles to reach a final agreement”. Continue reading

Obama Signs $938 billion Healthcare Bill

The much debated Us Healthcare bill has been passed and signed by President Obama – marking the the biggest shift in U.S. domestic policy since the 1960s.

This bill will extend coverage to 32 million uninsured Americans and ban such insurance company practices as denying coverage to people with medical problems.

The first changes under the overhaul take effect by the end of September. Other changes would not kick in until 2014. By then, most Americans will for the first time be required to carry health insurance — through an employer, through a government program or by buying it for themselves. Those who refuse will face penalties from the IRS.

Tax credits to help pay for premiums also will start flowing to middle-class working families with incomes up to $88,000 a year, and Medicaid will be expanded to cover more low-income people.

The bill is expected to cut the US federal budget deficits by about $143 billion over a decade.