Brazil’s Vale’s (NYSE:VALE) first of 35 mega-carriers capable of carrying 400,000 tonnes of dry bulk cargo docked at a Chinese port last week, more than two years after the vessel was forced to return halfway through its voyage.
The mega-ship Shandong Da Ren docked at Dongjiakou port in Qingdao, eastern China, on Oct. 2 at the start of a seven-day national holiday, and left for Singapore on Oct. 4, TradeWinds reports.
For years the Rio de Janeiro-based miner faced opposition from Chinese ship owners who believe importing ore would worsen a shipping glut and steal market share. Their claims were heard by Beijing, which imposed a ban on Vale’s mega-ships of 400,000 deadweight tons, known as the Valemax.
During that period, lifted late last month, Vale’s Valemax fleet called on ports in Japan, South Korea, Italy and elsewhere, but the company was 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 also built a transhipment facility in Malaysia to service the region. A Valemax also managed to dock at China’s Lianyungang port in April last year and two ports under construction in China would be able to accommodate the vessels.
The full Valemax fleet would be able to haul about 44 million tonnes a year to China, which consumes more than two-thirds of the world’s 1.3 billion tonne seaborne iron ore trade.