Brazil Iron-Ore Exports Surge as Vale Boosts Production

Brazil, the world’s second-largest iron-ore exporter, said shipments of the steelmaking raw material jumped to the highest in at least nine years as Vale SA boosted output.

Exports gained 18 percent last month to 37.4 million metric tons compared with 31.8 million tons a year earlier, the country’s ministry of Development, Industry and Trade said on its website today. That’s the highest monthly iron-ore volume since at least April 2005 when Bloomberg started compiling data.

Prices for iron-ore slumped 47 percent in 2014 as Vale, Rio Tinto Group and BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s top three producers, increased output, expanding a market glut just as growth in China slowed. Rio de Janeiro-based Vale expects production of the raw material to climb to 340 million metric tons in 2015 including third-party purchases.

Brazil’s iron ore was exported at an average of $53.3 a ton in December, down from $100.80 a year earlier. The lower price reduced export revenue for the commodity by 38 percent to $1.99 billion, the Ministry said.

Ore with 62 percent iron content delivered to the Qingdao port in China fell 0.6 percent to $70.87 a dry ton today, according to a price index compiled by Metal Bulletin.

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