COLUMN-Miners paint rosy iron ore picture by skirting tough issues: Russell
--Clyde Russell is a Reuters columnist. The views expressed are his own.--
By Clyde Russell
LAUNCESTON, Australia, July 8 (Reuters) - Australia's major iron ore miners have had a torrid year so far, battling low prices, engaging in an ugly slanging match with each other and dealing with persistent questions about the wisdom of their expansion strategies.
It was therefore not surprising when the mining industry's peak body launched a report on Tuesday that puts quite a different spin on the iron ore industry.
The Minerals Council of Australia's report, entitled "Iron Ore: The Bigger Picture", points out the enormous benefits the industry has brought Australia and will continue to provide.
The major Australian iron ore miners, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton, are members of the council and sit on the board of directors, but the country's third-biggest producer, Fortescue Metals Group, is absent from the list.
The report doesn't really make an effort to explain how the major miners got their forecasts on Chinese demand so wrong, and it glosses over whether they really expected the price to fall as low as it has.
Spot Asian iron ore .IO62-CNI=SI has been pummelled in the commodity sell-off in recent days, dropping to $49.70 on Tuesday, approaching the record low of $46.70 hit in April. Continuación...