The world might be nearing the end of the hurricane season but stormy conditions are prevailing in the mineral markets.
Slowing economic growth for the seventh consecutive quarter in China and flat figures for steel output in the last week have been matched by bleak outlooks from some of the biggest hitters in the mineral and downstream industries.
Global mining heavyweight Vale announced this week that its profits had fallen by 66% owing in part to lacklustre demand from the steel industry, and said that it is re-evaluating some of its non-core assets which could affect industrial minerals.
Refractory producers across the world including Cookson and Shinagawa have scaled down their growth targets for 2012-2013 in the last week or so, while Baker Hughes and Halliburton both reported reduced activity in October.
On the bright side, it was announced this week that the UK emerged from recession during the last...