Bloomberg News

Cia. Vale Says Iron Ore Market to Remain `Very Tight'

October 25, 2005

Cia. Vale do Rio Doce, the world's largest iron-ore producer, said the iron ore market will remain ``very tight'' with no idle capacity expected for at least the next two years.

Chinese imports of iron ore will underpin rising global demand for seaborne iron ore, which is expected to increase 13 percent a year to 430 million metric tons by 2010, Nelson Silva, commercial director for iron ore at Vale, said today.

``Supply and demand will continue to be very, very tight,'' in the seaborne iron ore market, Silva said at the China International Steel and Raw Materials 2005 Conference in the eastern Chinese city of Qingdao. ``We don't see any idle capacity existing in the next two or three years, or even longer.''

Chief Executive Roger Agnelli, 46, has almost tripled Rio de Janeiro-based Vale's sales and profit in the last five years, allowing the company to embark on a plan to invest $17.4 billion on new mines, rail lines, ports and smelters by 2010.

Vale expects China's steel production to increase to 380 million tons in 2006, from an estimated 340 million tons this year, said Silva. The 380 million ton total will equal about 32 percent of global output, he said. China's steel demand is expected to exceed 500 million tons a year in 2015, he said.

To contact the reporter for this story: Koh Chin Ling in Qingdao at ckoh2@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Poole at jpoole4@bloomberg.net.


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