With the boom years over and Business Monitor’s expectation for Chinese metal demand growth to slow, the new report reveals that Business Monitor expect Brazil‘s mining sector to see slower average growth rates through 2018 compared with previous years. The country‘s large untapped reserves and relatively small mining sector relative to the larger Brazilian economy will allow for growth opportunities though, and Business Monitor expect production gains for both domestic and foreign producers. Iron ore will drive sector investment, but both base metals and gold will see continued interest.
Business Monitor expect mine output to grow through 2018 despite their forecast for metal prices to either average lower or see relatively minimal growth. Of greatest importance to the Brazilian mining sector is iron ore, which Business Monitor forecast will average US$ 115/tonne in 2014 and US$ 105/tonne in 2015, lowering the value per unit of mined output. Crucially though, Business Monitor forecast a secular downward trend in iron ore prices through 2018. Since iron ore makes up around 85 % of the country‘s total mining export value, their iron ore price forecast underpins Business Monitor’s expectation for slower sector growth in the years ahead. They believe Chinese economic growth will trend lower as steel-intensive fixed asset investment shifts to more domestic consumption. Brazilian iron ore producers, heavily exposed to China, are likely to see demand growth slow.
In addition to iron ore, Business Monitor still maintain positive base and precious metals production growth despite a more muted external market. Bauxite and nickel production growth will continue, but at a slower pace due to high global surpluses of aluminium and refined nickel. They believe gold output is likely to grow the slowest in percentage terms due to falling gold prices through 2015. Due to this, Business Monitor acknowledge downgrades to their production forecast are possible in the coming quarters.
More information about this report and the key developments in Brazil’s mining sector to find at http://store.businessmonitor.com/brazil-mining-report.html.