Ferrexpo warns of Chinese slowdown


Ukrainian iron ore miner Ferrexpo warned the political standoff between Ukraine and Russia poses less of a threat to business than a slowing Chinese economy.

The London-listed and Swiss-based company — which owns Europe’s biggest deposits of the commodity and is the fifth biggest supplier of iron ore pellets to the global steel industry — extended its “deepest sympathies” to those affected by the crisis but said there had so far been no disruptions to its operations in the country.

A bigger concern is the fall in iron ore prices, which slumped this week amid mounting signs of an economic slowdown in top consumer China. The cost of higher grade pellets has been less affected as steelmakers seek premium iron ore to meet environmental standards, but Ferrexpo expects prices will be “volatile for the remainder of the year”.

The miner still cheered investors as underlying earnings rose 25% to $506 million (£305 million) in 2013, beating City forecasts. The firm is paying a special dividend of 6.6 cents per share on top of a final dividend of 3.3 cents per share.