(Adds HSBC comment, estimates on the port closure)
RIO DE JANEIRO, Jan 22 (Reuters) - The court-ordered closure of miner Vale SA’s Port of Tubarão in Brazil has blocked the loading of some 200,000 tonnes of iron ore per day, the company said in a statement on Friday.
The court order, issued on Thursday due to pollution concerns, is also blocking access to 44,0000 tonnes of imported coal per day, which supplies much of Brazil’s steel industry.
Earlier on Friday, Moody’s put Vale’s credit rating on review for possible downgrade to “junk” status.
Tubarão moves about 35 percent of Vale’s iron ore and is one of the world’s largest iron ore terminals.
If the facility is closed for more than four days, Vale will have to stop mining at many of its major mines in Minas Gerais for lack of storage space for ore, Leonardo Shinohara, mining analyst with HSBC in Sao Paulo, said in a client note.
“We think that the port and the mines had already half of their stockyard capacity filled up because of the rainy season,” he wrote. “If shipments are not allowed for more than 4 days, some southern system mines will have to halt operations.”
According to HSBC, Vale shipped 105 million tonnes of iron ore from Tubarão port in 2015, about 35 percent of a forecast of 328 million tonnes of iron ore and iron ore pellet sales last year.
Vale said it will take action to guarantee that its iron ore shipments resume from Tubarão as soon as it can get a court injunction.
Reporting by Jeb Blount; Editing by Bernard Orr and Tom Brown