Basic Materials

Brazil's Vale to launch WeChat platform for iron ore spot sales in yuan

Nov 9 (Reuters) - Brazilian miner Vale SA said on Monday it plans to launch an iron ore spot trading platform on Chinese mobile app WeChat with the Beijing Iron Ore Trading Center Corporation (COREX) in early 2021 to facilitate yuan-denominated transactions.

Vale said it would be able to streamline and speed up its iron ore spot sales to China via the WeChat mini-programme, and that the two companies had signed a memorandum of understanding during the China International Import Expo currently taking place in Shanghai.

China, the world’s top steel producer, consumes more than one billion tonnes per year of iron ore, a key steelmaking ingredient. Rio Tinto, BHP Group and Vale have all started to sell iron ore to Chinese mills in yuan as China pushed to increase its influence over pricing.

Rio Tinto launched a WeChat programme for portside iron ore spot trading in March.

Operated by Tencent Holdings Ltd, WeChat started out as a messaging service and now has more than one billion users globally. It is ubiquitous in China, where it is used for everything from paying utility bills to ordering pizzas.

Vale’s China press office said it could not currently disclose further details on how the programme would work or what information clients could get from it. (Reporting by Min Zhang and Tom Daly; Editing by Susan Fenton)