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Vale eyes iron ore supply deals with smaller Chinese customers

Vale SA is looking to expand its market share in China for the supply of iron ore as it is working up distribution deals with smaller Chinese customers in the country's interior, Bloomberg News reported Oct. 4, citing Humberto Freitas, the miner's Logistics and Mineral Exploration executive director.

The Brazilian mining major has created a new distribution company to handle the deals with local companies.

In April, Vale's President and CEO Murilo Ferreira said the company aims to become the biggest supplier of iron ore to China, with plans to up shipments to 250 million tons from the current range of some 180 million tons.

Vale currently ships up to 400,000 tonnes at a time to its biggest clients and is now looking to tap smaller customers willing to pay in Chinese yuan at its coastal distribution centers.

Previously, the company has denied reports of iron ore streaming deals with Chinese firms.

The Rio de Janeiro-based company is also planning to expand its Brazilian iron ore fines blending facilities the ports of Rizhao and Shulanghu in eastern China, and the Beilun and Zhanjiang ports in the south.