Brazil's mining company Vale confident in future Chinese market

Updated: June 9, 2020 Source: Xinhua News Agency
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Vale, the world's largest iron ore producer, is confident in the outlook of the resuming Chinese market amid COVID-19 pandemic, its executive director has said.

Marcello Spinelli, Vale's Executive Director for Ferrous Minerals, told Xinhua in a recent interview that the company has seen all the risks being managed as planned.

The company does not meet material shortage for the production line, and the impact of the pandemic on the operations has been under control, he said.

"Our iron ore production guidance, as announced on our Q1 production and sales report, remains unchanged, in the range between 310 million and 330 million tons for 2020," Spinelli said.

"The journey against COVID-19 is expected to be a long one," he said, adding the company has factored in the possibility of a loss in the guidance.

As Brazil has registered over 700,000 cases nationwide with a continuing steep rise, Spinelli said the Rio-headquartered company is fighting the COVID-19 challenge on two fronts -- adapting its operations and supporting the communities.

The mining company has taken all the possible measures to keep employees and operations safe, he said, including maintaining minimum staff on site, keeping social distancing on buses and cafeterias, and adopting remote work for all functions eligible for home office.

Given that last year, the company exported 190 million tons of iron and pellets to China, which represented 61 percent of Vale's exports, Spinelli said iron shipments to China this year will remain at least the same as in 2019 or even higher.

"The Chinese steel production has resumed, boosting demand for iron ore. Iron ore inventories in the Chinese ports have reached the lowest levels in three years, steel inventories are also lower, and they are coming down week after week, indicating a strong recovery in the Chinese steel sector," he said.

"In addition, there is a shift in iron ore supply from other markets, whose steel mills have reduced production following the coronavirus pandemic, for example, from Europe to China. All major producers, including us, will reallocate supply to China," he added.

The company does not expect the post-COVID-19 recovery to be the same all over the world, Spinelli said.

"We are confident that we will be able to provide the best quality iron ore to our Chinese customers," he added.

Editor: 刘婷