Vale mine resumption lifts Brazil July iron ore exports to nine-month high

FILE PHOTO: Brazilian mining company Vale S.A. logo and trading symbol are displayed on a screen at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., December 6, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Brazil’s iron ore exports rose 16.6% in July from the previous month to 34.3 million tonnes, the highest level in nine months, as Vale resumed production at its largest mine in the state of Minas Gerais, official data showed on Thursday.

July’s exports were the highest since October 2018, when Brazilian foreign sales of iron ore reached 37.2 million tonnes, according to data compiled by the Foreign Trade Secretariat (Secex).

Brazilian ore exports were severely hit this year by the breach of a Vale ore tailings dam in Brumadinho, in Minas Gerais, on Jan. 25, which led to several mines being closed for safety reviews.

Vale, which accounts for most of the country’s exports, was authorized in June to restart work at Brucutu, its main mine in Minas Gerais, with a capacity of 30 million tonnes per year.

Vale expects the increase in exports, amid higher prices, to contribute to a recovery in the third quarter, after the company suffered two quarterly losses in the first half of the year, impacted by provisions for the Brumadinho disaster.

Reporting by Marta Nogueira; Editing by Cynthia Osterman