UPDATE 2-Vale vows deeper iron ore cost cut as China's steel demand peaks
* Vale says to cut cost to less than $13/tonne by 2018
* Brazilian miner is already lowest cost ore producer
* China steel exports seen at 100 mln T/year as local demand peaks (Adds details throughout)
By Manolo Serapio Jr and Ruby Lian
QINGDAO, China, Sept 23 (Reuters) - Iron ore miner Vale said it will cut its production cost to less than $13 per tonne by 2018, as the world's largest producer of the commodity maximises profit margins in an era of weak prices.
A global glut and falling Chinese steel demand have dragged iron ore prices to less than $60 a tonne from a high of nearly $200 in 2011. The price is forecast to drop to $50 over the next two years, a Reuters poll showed.
"Vale is progressing to reach the lowest cash cost of the industry and will be competitive at any price scenario," Claudio Alves, global director of marketing and sales at Vale, told a conference in China's port city of Qingdao.
The cost reduction will come after the completion of Vale's 90-million-tonne expansion project known as S11D in the Brazilian Amazon, Alves said, as the miner focuses on producing more high-quality material.
Vale's overall cost stood at $15.80 per tonne by the second quarter. Continuación...