Daily iron ore price update (more Vale troubles)

Iron ore prices for May 21, 2019:

Spot up. Paper up. Steel up. Vale down:

Brazilian mining company Vale has suspended freight transport on a portion of its Vitoria-Minas railroad as a precautionary measure against the risk of a breach at the Sul Superior tailings dam, which is connected to the closed Gongo Soco iron ore mine.

Transport of freight has been suspended on the Belo Horizonte branch line between Sabara and Barao de Cocais. The company is weighing alternatives to minimising the impact on freight movement, without disclosing any details.

The 905km Vitoria-Minas railroad hauls iron ore from Minas Gerais province, where its southern system mines are located, to the Tubarao port for exports. Vale put annual iron ore traffic on the line at 115mn t/yr in October 2017. The line also carries coal and agricultural products for third parties.

I can’t add more to that. Doesn’t sound good.

Brazilian shipments so far had been rebounding in May:

Until May 17, Brazil exported 16.2-million tonnes, according to data from the Foreign Trade Secretariat (Secex), which is part of the Ministry of the Economy. In the whole of April, Brazil exported 18.3-million tonnes, as the impact of miner Vale’s Brumadinho dam collapse weighed.

The export recovery comes amid higher iron ore prices. On average in May, the price of iron ore shipped by Brazil was $64.80/t, compared with $58.70 in April, according to the Secex.

Looks be tracking down 6-7mt per month. That’s a lot.

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