Since the start of 2019, iron ore production in Brazil has suffered due to the Brumadinho tailings dam disaster, weather-related conditions and the spread of Covid-19. In 2019, production from the country’s largest producer, Vale SA, was down by 21.5% year-on-year, with the company having to shut down several mines in February 2019 due to safety concerns following the Brumadinho disaster.

In Q1 2020, production disruption occurred due to the Covid-19 outbreak, along with the production losses of around 4.5Mt in the northern system, unscheduled maintenance at the SD11 complex, worse-than-expected weather conditions, a delay to the start of the Morro1 mining section and an operational loss of 2.1Mt in the southern system.

By 2024, however, Brazil’s production and overall exports are expected to grow steadily to reach 498.3Mt and 359.7Mt respectively, equivalent to CAGRs of 4.5% and 2.6% from 2020-2024.

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