Vale’s first 400,000dwt iron ore carrier docked at the Chinese port of Yantai, Shandong this week, as China diversifies its iron ore sourcing around the globe.
Sea Maranhao, one of the 67 Valemax vessels operated by the Brazilian miner left the port of Ponta Da Madeira Maritime Terminal on June 20, according to media reports.
The carriers have a volume advantage over Australian suppliers who use Capesize vessels with a capacity of 250-300,000dwt. Vale’s shipments are also more competitive compared with Australia.
Rio Tinto said port-side trading, which is usually done in comparatively smaller quantities, has also recently increased in China.
China recently sanctioned four new deep-water ports, bringing the country’s total count to 11. With Vale mulling over the use of Brazil’s Alcantara Port terminal, the movement of massive iron ore shipments between the two countries should be smooth.
According to market participants, China’s steel-dominated construction and infrastructure projects should buoy the demand for iron ore in the country over the next 2-3 years.