The Brazilian miner Vale SA is likely to sell its giant bulk carrier ships to China. The world’s largest iron ore producer had commissioned more than a dozen such ships but has decided that it does not want to become a major freight operator.
Vale is now likely to sell or lease the ships in long term contracts. The Rio de Janeiro based company issued a statement saying that their goal was to encourage the construction of vessels which are more efficient, with higher standards of operational safety. Vale was not intending to be a ship owner.
Pedro Gutemberg the global marketing director of Vale said in an interview that they did not want to be a major freight operator or make money out of their shipping business. They just wanted to make sure that their freight cost doesn't shoot up. So any person that wanting to partner with them was very welcome.
There had been trouble for their ship Vale Brasil getting permission to berth at Dalian in China as the domestic shipping industry had pressured the authorities to protect their commercials interests. The giant bulk carrier on its maiden voyage in June had to be rerouted to Italy when negotiations with the Chinese ports had failed.
George Lazaridis, head of research with Greek ship broker Intermodal, said it seems more of way to appease the Chinese ship owners so they don't create trouble in China. At the same time, Vale itself thought the market at this point is not a big threat as rates are very low, there's no point in breaking hearts for something I am not going to really benefit that much from.