Cia. Vale do Rio Doce, the world’s biggest iron-ore producer, plans to expand output of pellets in Malaysia and China to meet rising demand.
Capacity at a joint-venture plant at Zhuhai in China’s Guangdong province may increase by two million tonnes a year, Jose Carlos Martins, head of Vale’s iron-ore business, said yesterday at a seminar.
The company, based in Rio de Janeiro, also intended to build a pellet plant in Malaysia, he said.
Global demand for seaborne iron-ore, stoked by Chinese purchases, will rise to 1.1 billion tonnes by 2012 from about 860 million tonnes this year, Martins said.
”Pellets will increasingly be the material of choice in the iron-ore market,” Martins said at the presentation in Rio de Janeiro.
The price of iron ore climbed for a sixth straight year on demand from emerging markets.
Market ”tightness” probably will continue for three years, Martins said.
Vale owns 25% of the Zhuhai plant.