UPDATE 1-Miner Cliffs quarterly revenue falls, cuts capex

Tue Apr 28, 2015 6:43pm EDT
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April 28 (Reuters) - Coal and iron ore producer Cliffs Natural Resources Inc reported a 28 percent fall in quarterly revenue, and the company cut its capital budget as prices tumble.

Iron ore prices have been weighed down by weak demand for the steel-making ingredient in both domestic and international markets such as China.

Revenue from the company's U.S. iron ore operations decreased about 14 percent to $311.8 million in the first quarter.

Spot iron ore prices .IO62-CNI=SI fell about 28 percent in the January-March quarter.

Cleveland, Ohio-based Cliffs said it expects to produce and ship 20.5 million tons of iron ore in 2015 from its U.S. business, compared with 22.4 million it produced in 2014.

The company said it was considering a sale of its North American business, which produced 1.4 million tons of coal in the quarter ended March 31.

"They're looking to exit both North American coal and Asia Pacific iron ore but the problem is, I don't think they have a buyer right now for either business," Wolfe Research analyst Gordon Johnson told Reuters.

Coal miners have been weighed down by a switch by U.S. utilities to cheaper natural gas from power-generating coal, and weaker demand from top consumer China for steel-making coal.   Continued...