Vale earnings fall with metal prices

VALE said although its earnings softened in the September quarter in the wake of lower metal prices, the results were still solid.
Vale earnings fall with metal prices Vale earnings fall with metal prices Vale earnings fall with metal prices Vale earnings fall with metal prices Vale earnings fall with metal prices


Kristie Batten

Revenue fell 9.8% quarter-on-quarter to $US11 billion ($A10.6 billion), while earnings plunged 32.5% to $2.7 billion.

“Vale had a financial performance that reflected the challenges stemming from the downward price volatility typically created by a global economic deceleration, which combines the effects of a weaker demand for minerals and metals with negative expectations,” the company said.

“Mining is fundamentally a cyclical industry and is thus exposed to high price volatility.

“In such environment and in light of prospects of a more moderate expansion of the world economy in the years to come, higher productivity and lower cost levels are of paramount importance to thrive in a very competitive global market.”

The company said it would focus on strengthening capital efficiency and would prioritise investment in world-class assets such as its Carajas S11D iron ore project and Moatize coal project.

Vale said it would continue divestments of non-value adding assets and was developing initiatives to streamline the cost structure of operating and corporate activities.

“The competitiveness of our iron ore business is being enhanced through initiatives to cut costs, increase productivity, improve quality and expand the global distribution network,” Vale said.

“As the global leader in iron ore, by size and quality of production and reserves, we will continue to benefit from a scenario of growth and structural transformation of emerging market economies.

“We strongly believe that the execution of a strategy anchored on a rigorous discipline in capital allocation and the exploitation of our rich endowment of mineral resources will enable us to deliver substantial value over the next few years.”

Last week Vale reported its quarterly operating results.

Iron ore production was 83.9 million tonnes, up 4.2% on the June quarter, with all sites posting increases.

Iron ore production for the 12 months to September 30 was 317.4Mt.

Pellet plants have been temporarily halted due to demand, but the company started pre-stripping at the N5 South mine in Carajas.

Meanwhile, the ramp-up of Moatize and Bayovar led to all-time quarterly output figures of 1.2Mt for metallurgical coal and 2.1Mt for phosphate rock.

Since the end of the quarter, Vale has started production at its 50%-owned Lubambe copper operations in Zambia, its second African project.