Vale Seen Delivering on Pledge to Gain Market Share in Iron Glut

  • Brazilian giant boosted production to record, survey shows
  • Copper production also seen hitting an all-time high in 3Q

The biggest iron-ore miner is expected to have some good news for its Chinese steel-making customers next week: record production.

Vale SA will report a 2.6 percent increase in quarterly iron-ore output on Monday, according to the average forecast of eight analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News. The Rio de Janeiro-based miner will join rival Rio Tinto Group in boosting production at a time prices for the mineral used in steel head toward a third year of declines. Vale will post an all-time high of 87.9 million metric tons for the third quarter, the survey shows.

Vale, Rio and BHP Billiton Ltd., the three dominant players in the iron-ore industry, have been boosting capacity, displacing less efficient producers and raising oversupply concerns as demand from China, the top consumer, slows. Benchmark iron ore prices have been trading below $60 a ton for all the second half of 2015, down more than 70 percent from a 2011 peak.

Vale is adding production from three new projects in Brazil’s southeastern state of Minas Gerais as it finishes the expansion of Carajas, the world’s largest iron-ore complex, next year. London-based Rio said Friday that third-quarter iron-ore production rose 12 percent after expanding infrastructure in Western Australia and boosting mine capacity.

Vale, also the world’s largest producer of nickel, probably will say production of the base metal advanced 4.9 percent in the quarter to 75,600 tons, the survey shows. Output for copper, the industrial metal used in wiring and plumbing, is expected to have gained 4.9 percent to a quarterly record of 109,900 tons, according to the poll.

The company is set to release its third-quarter financial results on October 22.

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