Vale aims to double iron ore blending in China
Singapore, 1 November (Argus) — Brazilian mining company Vale is seeking to double the amount of iron ore it blends in China next year.
The company is in talks with Chinese port authorities to allow it to blend ore at the ports, and has received a favourable response so far.
Vale aims to blend around 46mn t of iron ore in China this year and around 22mn t at its Telak Rubiah ore terminal in Malaysia.
Vale currently blends ore at 11 Chinese ports. The company's popular BRBF fines blend combines its 65pc basis Carajas fines with high-silica southern system fines. BRBF's specifications are typically around 63pc Fe and 5pc silica, enabling it to compete in a crowded field of mainstream fines such as PB fines, Newman fines, Jimblebar fines, Roy Hill fines and Mac fines.
The company also launched a low-alumina blend this year, of which it has sold 4mn t so far.
Vale is not planning any major change to the BRBF blend, although the proportion of southern system fines will fall slightly as more 65pc fines becomes available from its new S11D project in Brazil.
BRBF is one of four iron ore brands tracked daily by Argus at China's ports, as a component of the daily PCX index that tracks the price of 62pc portside fines. Portside prices have tended to maintain a premium to seaborne, as a function of immediate availability and smaller order size.
The spread between seaborne and portside prices has become increasingly volatile as iron ore prices have come under pressure since September. The PCX fell by 0.9pc yesterday to 457 yuan/wet metric tonne free on truck (fot). BRBF portside prices in Shandong province were at Yn450/wmt.