February 25, 2019 / 9:04 PM / in 3 months

Brazil iron ore exports set to rise in Feb despite Vale shutdowns

RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Brazil’s average daily iron ore exports in the first four weeks of this month outpaced shipments from February 2018, despite a disaster at a Vale SA facility last month that led it to halt several of its operations.

For the month to Feb. 22, Brazil exported 1.4 million tonnes of iron ore per business day on average, exceeding the average daily shipments of the mineral in February 2018 by 7.8 percent, according to data from foreign trade agency Secex.

That places Brazil’s February iron exports well on track to outstrip the 23.8 million tonnes it exported in the same month last year.

The pace of exports slowed slightly compared with January when an average of 1.5 million tonnes of iron ore per day were shipped

A tailings dam burst at a Vale iron ore mining facility last month, releasing a wave of sludge that has killed an estimated 300 people.

Vale subsequently halted all facilities using similar upstream tailings dams until those dams could be decomissioned, a move it estimated would take up to 10 percent of its output offline.

Vale did not comment on the Secex data. (Reporting by Marta Nogueira Writing by Jake Spring Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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