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Vale Sees China Growth Preventing 2012-Like Slump in Iron Prices

Vale SA, the biggest iron-ore producer, said prices of the steel-making ingredient are supported by prospects of China growing 6 percent to 7 percent.

Vale is optimistic on prices as China is set to build up steel stockpiles that are below average and increase spending on infrastructure and construction, Investor Relations Director Roberto Castello Branco told a gathering of investors today in Rio de Janeiro, where the company is based.

China growing at 7 percent is “fantastic” and prices shouldn’t fall as they did last year, he said. Vale expects world industrial production to grow 2.8 percent in 2013 while the U.S. and Chinese economies may exceed forecasts, he said.

China grew 7.9 percent in the fourth quarter after slowing in the previous seven periods, government data showed Jan. 18. The expansion will accelerate over the next nine months, according to as many as 43 economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

Iron ore for immediate delivery was unchanged today at $148.40 a metric ton, according to a price index compiled by The Steel Index Ltd. The gauge has rallied 71 percent from a three year-low of $86.7 on Sept. 5.

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