Goldman Sachs lowered its 2013 projection of iron ore prices to $139 from $144 as a Rio Tinto (RIO) executive said that the company expects weaker prices in the second half of the year due to a continued slowing in steel demand in China. In addition, Goldman Sachs cut its rating on RIO to sell from neutral and put the company on its conviction sell list and also reduced its price target by 30%. RIO is down 5% on the news with BHP Biliton (BHP) and Anglo American (AAL) down in London by 4% and 3% with the largest U.S. producer, Cliffs (CLF) down 7%.
Cliff's is back down at support levels from several years ago and despite the slowing demand out of China and still tepid demand in Europe, we are moving equity weightings back up on the higher yield portfolios for this investment grade company that has almost 50% share of the North American Iron Ore market. In addition, we have started positions in the lower yield portfolios as the price risk has been reduced significantly over the past year.