Vale Faces New Shipping Regulations from China

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Vale SA was just dealt a new blow. “New regulations from China’s Ministry of Transport issued this week could deal a blow to Brazilian mining company Vale SA’s plans to use supersize ships to serve China,” reports MarketWatch.

“The rules limit the size of vessels that can call at Chinese ports to those carrying loads of 250,000 deadweight tons or less.”

“This poses a problem mainly for Vale as it has spearheaded a multibillion-dollar investment program to build a fleet of giant carriers, known as Valemaxes. capable of loading 400,000 dwt of cargo.”

“Some steelmakers have argued that use of these large ships ultimately could mean more abundant, and therefore less expensive, iron-ore deliveries to China, which makes nearly half the world’s steel.”

“These behemoths are the world’s largest cargo vessels, about twice the size of the next-largest class of freighters. They were designed to allay the higher distribution costs and longer delivery times Vale faces compared with rival mining companies in Australia who are geographically closer to China.”

In metal price news for stainless steel and nickel…

On Thursday, February 13, the day’s biggest mover was the Indian nickel cash price, which saw a 1.7 percent increase. On the LME, the nickel 3-month price rose 1.3 percent to $14,345 per metric ton. At $14,265, the nickel spot price finished the market day on the LME up 1.1 percent per metric ton.

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Chinese stainless steel prices were mixed for the day. The price of Chinese ferro-chrome was unchanged. The price of Chinese ferro-moly remained essentially flat.

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The price of Chinese primary nickel rose 0.2 percent after a two-day drop. The price of Chinese 316 stainless coil held steady. The price of Chinese 304 stainless coil saw little movement. The price of Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap remained essentially flat. The price of Chinese 304 stainless steel scrap saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row.