While Brazilian miner Vale, a key producer of high-grade iron ore fines and pellets, is maintaining its production guidance despite a suspension of operations at its Itabira mining complex, many market participants in Asia are expecting a shortage of Brazil-origin materials this year due to the worsening Covid-19 outbreak in the Latin American country.
Its health ministry has reported some 740,000 confirmed cases, which account for more than 10% of the about 7 million worldwide cases that have been reported to the World Health Organization. Of the total, 3.37 million cases are in the Americas.
Brazil exported 115.03 million tonnes of iron ore in the January-May period, a 13.4% fall from 132.85 million tonnes in the first five months of last year. In May alone, exports fell by 28.2% to 21.46 million tonnes from 29.87 million tonnes a year earlier.