Vale to double iron ore shipments to China by 2019

Vale to double iron ore shipments to China by 2019

Brazil’s Vale SA (NYSE:VALE), the world’s No. 1 iron ore exporter, is planning to double its exports to China within five years, the company's head of ferrous metals, Jose Carlos Martins, has said.

Currently Vale supplies 12% to 14% of China’s consumption of the steel-making ingredient.

According to Notícias de Mineração Brasil (in Portuguese), Martins also said the Rio de Janeiro-based company plans to export about 400 million tonnes of iron ore a year within five years, nearly 50% more than the 270 million tonnes it exported in 2013.

Vale, which began operating Valemax vessels —the world’s biggest iron-ore carrier— in 2011, is considering the purchase or hiring of about 230 new crafts to ship higher volumes of iron ore to China, which doesn’t allow Vale’s vessels to anchor at its ports over fears of the impact on supply and prices.

Although its Valemax fleet is calling on ports in Japan, South Korea, Italy and elsewhere, Vale has been forced to use transit centres in Africa and a distribution facility in the Philippines to bring ore to its customers in China because of the ban. The Brazilian giant is also building a transhipment facility in Malaysia to service the region.

Image by Fred Vloo of Valemax Rio de Janeiro from YouTube.