RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Brazilian miner Vale should achieve results in the first quarter that are similar to those in the final three months of 2017, the chief executive officer of the world’s top iron ore producer said on Wednesday.
In a conference call after the company reported a nearly 50 percent jump in profit in the fourth quarter, Fabio Schvartsman said the similar financial performance would come despite what is usually a weaker January to March period.
“In terms of Vale’s overall performance for the first quarter of 2018, despite the fact that admittedly the first quarter is seasonally weaker, we still expect to deliver results substantially in line with fourth-quarter results last year,” he said.
Executives also forecast iron ore prices to be sustained by economic growth and growing steel output, and said Vale is happy when prices per ton are in the $60 to $70 range. Iron ore for prompt delivery at the Qingdao port in China was quoted on Wednesday at $78.61 per ton.
Vale’s actions will weigh heavily on those prices, as it will account for half the 40 million tonnes of new iron ore in the seaborne market that it expects will come online this year, executives said.