Brazilian iron-ore exports fell 16 percent in June from a year earlier after steelmakers abroad turned off blast furnaces, cutting demand for the raw material.
Iron-ore shipments fell to 21.4 million metric tons last month, from 25.6 million tons in June 2008, Brazil’s Trade Ministry said today on its Web site. Exports were 39 percent more than in May, when flooding interrupted Vale SA (VALE5)’s railway.
The global economic slowdown has pared steel demand from builders and carmakers, prompting producers of the metal to scale back output.
“It’s still early to talk of a recovery,” Antonio Lannes, an economics data manager for the Brazilian iron-ore and metals producers and exporters’ association known as Sinferbase. “May was an atypical month due to flooding in Para state, which put the Carajas railway out of action for a week.”
Vale, the world’s biggest iron-ore miner, ships more than 40 percent of its output along the railroad in northern Brazil.
In other export markets, orange-juice shipments from Brazil fell 25 percent in June to 129,600 tons and soybeans surged 74 percent to 6.17 million tons, the Trade Ministry said. Raw and refined sugar rose 23 percent to 2.24 million tons.
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