RIO DE JANEIRO, May 19 (Reuters) - Brazil’s mining sector is likely to be the first to rebound from the economic shock of the coronavirus outbreak due to large iron ore capacity and already-growing demand from China, the president of industry association Ibram told Reuters.
Nonetheless, Flávio Penido said there could be a negative impact on Brazilian production if the government does not curb the outbreak’s spread.
“The mining sector is the sector that will certainly be the first to respond for the recovery of the Brazilian economy ... due to the installed capacity and short-term recovery capacity,” said Penido.
“China has low stocks of steel, low stocks of high-grade Brazilian ore. And it is resuming ... and the impact is on prices.”
Penido said Ibram’s aim is to reach an annual production capacity of around 450 million tonnes of iron ore in the coming years, compared to the current 410 million tons. Ibram’s 130 members include Vale, Anglo American, Cia Siderurgica Nacional and Gerdau.
Iron ore futures on the Dalian stock exchange closed up 3.6% on Tuesday at 711 yuan ($100.07) per tonne, accumulating 13% gains in a five-day rally, supported by a positive outlook for Chinese domestic demand amid hopes of further economic stimulus.
In a recent interview, Vale Chief Financial Officer Luciano Siani said that industrial activities in China are practically back to normal levels and that its economy is recovering “very vigorously.” (Editing by Gabriel Stargardter and Sonya Hepinstall)