Atlas Iron inks improved sales contracts for 2014

Atlas Iron has announced the signing of new supply contracts on improved terms, reflecting the strength of the iron ore market.

Atlas said the signing of the 2014 contracts comes as recent negotiations showed heavily oversubscribed requests for new product, with a strong demand for new supply.

The contracts range from 400,000 tonnes per annum to 1,200,000 per annum and have been inked with a mixture of new and existing counterparties including Chinese steel mills and trading houses.

"Following execution of these agreements approximately 60 per cent of Atlas production is contracted for the 2014 calendar year, with further contracts for up to an additional 20 per cent of production nearing completion and the remaining production to be retained for sale into the spot market,” the company said in a statement.

"Consistent with the strong demand Atlas received during the negotiation period, the average discount for quality has reduced materially in the new contracts.

"Quotation periods for pricing vary from contract to contract but are fixed for each individual contract."

Managing director Ken Brinsden said the improved financial terms of sale highlighted the demand for product.

"We are pleased with the improved financial terms Atlas has achieved in these contracts, which reflects both the reputation of Atlas as a reliable supplier and the strong relationships our marketing team has developed," he said.

As Australian Mining reported, miners are expecting iron ore demand from China to remain stable as growth, urbanisation and supply constraints continue, with predictions the Asian power-house will require one billion tonnes by 2030.

The continuing strength of the steelmaking ingredient comes as the slowing demand from China usually seen at this time of the year has failed to materialise, with the price remaining between $US130 and $US140 per tonne in recent months.

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