Brazil: Closure of Itaguaí sea terminal raises iron ore prices

10 January 2008

Waltham, United States, 10 Jan – The announcement of the closure of Brazil’s Itaguaí sea terminal, in Rio de Janeiro, before February has led to an increase in iron ore spot prices in China, Purchasing magazine reported.

In mid December, Brazil’s mining giant Companhia do Vale do Rio Doce (CVRD) said it would suspend transport of iron ore from Brazil to China after the sea terminal was damaged due to an accident in December.

The suspension of transport from Itaguaí represents an average loss of 60,000 tons per day to CVRD, with the magazine reporting that transport prices on certain routes had also increased.

Gao Feng, iron ore buyer for the Taiyuan Iron & Steel Group, China’s biggest producer of stainless steel, said this week that if CVRD cut off supply spot prices would rise.

However, Wang Liqun, of the raw materials procurement of Baosteel, said that the company had not been notified by CVRD of a possible reduction in supply of iron ore.

Itaguaí, with a transport capacity of 25 million tons of iron ore per year, is the smallest of the sea terminals used to transport iron ore by CVRD, which also uses the terminals at Ponta da Madeira, in Maranhão state, Ilha da Guaíba in Rio de Janeiro, and the port of Tubarão, in Espírito Santo. (macauhub)