UPDATE 2-Brazil's Vale profit falls; prices undermine record output
(Adds CFO comment, details)
By Stephen Eisenhammer
RIO DE JANEIRO, July 31 (Reuters) - Brazilian miner Vale SA posted a sharp decline in profit from the previous quarter as lower iron ore prices undermined record production of the steel-making ingredient.
Vale, the world's largest producer of iron ore, reported second-quarter net income of $1.43 billion, down 43 percent on the previous quarter and below the average analyst estimate of $1.89 billion in a Reuters survey.
"It was a very challenging environment where the price of our most important product has dropped by 15 percent," Chief Financial Officer Luciano Siani said in a video accompanying results.
Net income was more than three times higher than the year-ago quarter, when a one-time foreign exchange charge slashed profit to $424 million.
Prices for iron ore .IO62-CNI=SI have dropped by nearly 30 percent this year, hitting a 22-month low in June.
Iron ore production rose 12.6 percent to 79.45 million tonnes from a year earlier, as better weather conditions combined with ramp-ups at its two main mine sites in Brazil.
Mega miners Vale and Australia's Rio Tinto Ltd and BHP Billiton Ltd are ramping up output and slashing costs in an attempt to increase market share. Continuación...