MAC/20: Mines and Communities

CVRD: Chinese iron ore imports at 400Mt/y - Brazil

Published by MAC on 2007-05-31

CVRD: Chinese iron ore imports at 400Mt/y - Brazil

BNAmericas

31st May 2007

China has been importing iron ore at a rate of 400Mt/y in 2007 to date, Brazilian mining and metals group CVRD CFO Fábio Barbosa told analysts and investors in a presentation Thursday.

Purchases from abroad reached some 134Mt of the steelmaking raw material in January-April, up 23.5% from same-period 2006, Barbosa said in São Paulo during an event promoted by finance industry trade group Apimec.

"There are no signs of a slowdown in May," the executive said.

In terms of the Asian country's internal production, CVRD had forecast Chinese steel output at 470Mt/y in late 2006, taking into account it churned out 417Mt steel last year. "But we see this production nearing 500Mt," Barbosa said.

CVRD itself plans to produce 300Mt of iron ore in 2007.

GROWTH

"We are always aware of takeover opportunities, but our focus at the moment is on organic growth projects," Barbosa said, without responding to rumors about plans to acquire US iron ore and pellet producer Cleveland-Cliffs.

Latest speculations also included a possible CVRD move to snap up Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto. "I have no comments to make on market rumors," the CVRD CFO said. "If we decide to do something, we will communicate it in a proper manner to the market."

In late April, CVRD increased its 2007 investment budget to US$7.35bn from the US$6.33bn announced in January, partially reflecting an increase in demand for its products, such as iron ore and nickel.

Rio de Janeiro-based CVRD is the world's largest iron ore producer.

By Roberta Pregnaca

Business News Americas

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