Vale: China property outlook ‘more encouraging’

BEIJING: World’s No. 2 iron ore miner Vale SA says the outlook for China’s steel-intensive property sector is “more encouraging” despite uncertainties and reiterated its long-term view of the global steel market remains intact.

Vale sees reasons to be positive about the outlook for steel demand in spite of challenges facing its top customer, according to an investor presentation delivered by iron ore vice-president Marcello Spinelli and posted on the company’s website.

Iron ore prices have proved surprisingly resilient in recent months in the face of a crisis in China’s vital property market.

Futures in Singapore hit the highest since April on Tuesday as investors welcomed Beijing’s efforts to support the real estate sector and Chinese developer Country Garden Holdings Co avoided a default.

On the property market uncertainties, there is “a more encouraging outlook, driven by higher social housing investments,” according to the presentation dated Tuesday.

Spinelli also pointed to high utilisation rates at steel plants and low inventories of both iron ore and steel in China.

Elsewhere in the world, Vale sees steel production rebounding in 2024, offsetting a decline this year.

In the longer term, Vale said consumption will be supported by continued urbanisation in China, growing production in other emerging markets, including in South-East Asia – where it expects steelmaking capacity to double by 2030 – as well as renewable-energy infrastructure spending and green-steel incentives in developed countries.

The performance of the world’s biggest miners is intrinsically linked to demand for commodities in China, and iron ore is particularly exposed to shifts in the property sector.

BHP Group chief executive officer Mike Henry said last month that the outlook for China was “uncertain,” and the company reiterated in its annual report that iron ore’s performance during the current period will depend on how effectively China’s

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