Vale keeps quiet about new megacarriers

Brazilian iron ore major Vale has shown no signs of slowing their iron ore output, with new reports that the miner is in talks with Chinese shipbuilders to arrange construction of 50 new Valemax carriers.

Wall Street Journal reported the claims were denied by a Vale spokeswoman, however sources involved in the deals said Chinese shipping company China Cosco Holdings would possibly build 20 ships, while China Merchants Shipping Co. could build 10.

Sources said the ships would be on 20 year leases, and that it was a good time for Vale to buy due to lower construction prices.

Valemax ships are the largest bulk haulage iron ore carriers designed, weighing in at 400,000 deadweight tonnes.

The plans have been regarded as an aggressive move in the global iron ore price slump.

Another source told Wall Street Journal that Vale would look to fix freight rates at US$13 per tonne, compared to current rates of US$10 per tonne.

China banned ships of more than 250,000 deadweight tonnes from entering their ports between January 2012 and September 2014, then relaxed rules to allow the Valemax class in February this year.

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