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BEIJING, Jan 31 (Reuters) - China's steel association said it would support Brazil's Vale docking its giant Valemax ore carriers at Chinese ports if that would lead to a decrease in iron ore costs for its members.
"This is a matter for the transportation authorities, (but) Chinese steel enterprises hope that iron ore prices will fall, and that transportation costs will fall, and if this is good for that, then I support it," Zhang Changfu, secretary-general of the China Iron and Steel Association, said at a press briefing on Thursday.
Vale built the Valemaxes to slash shipping costs to China, the world's largest importer of iron ore, and better compete with Australian rivals BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto .
However, the vessels have faced stiff opposition from influential Chinese shipowners who fear the miner will use the ships to monopolise both the shipping and iron ore markets at China's expense.[ID:nL1E7NT0BY