Rio Tinto says China iron ore "steady as it goes"

SYDNEY Wed May 23, 2012 11:56pm EDT

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SYDNEY May 24 (Reuters) - The market for iron ore in China is "steady as it goes" in the short term, the head of Rio Tinto's iron ore division said on Thursday.

"We're not physically seeing it on the ground," iron ore chief Sam Walsh told a business audience in Sydney on Thursday, talking about concerns of a slowdown in top consumer China.

Signs of slowing growth in China have rattled commodity markets in recent weeks, prompting sharp falls in some resource prices on fears demand will slump.

Chinese buyers are deferring or have defaulted on coal and iron ore deliveries following a drop in prices, traders said this week.

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