Vale, Nippon Steel agree to explore steel decarbonization solutions

Brazil-based iron ore producer Vale and Japanese steelmaker Nippon Steel have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to seek decarbonization solutions for the industry, the Brazilian company said on Tuesday April 26

Among the initiatives, Vale outlined metallics usages – such as direct-reduced iron (DRI) and pig iron – and adoption of the miner’s green briquette and pellet products.

Nippon Steel joins other top global producers such as China’s Baowu, South Korea’s Posco and Luxembourg-based Latin American steelmaker Ternium, which have all entered partnerships with the Brazilian iron ore giant to jointly develop carbon-neutral practices.

Vale, the world’s largest iron ore producer, intends to reduce its Scope 3 carbon equivalent emissions by 15% by 2035, and to reduce Scopes 1 and 2 emissions by one-third by 2030. It also intends to reach carbon neutrality in 2050.

While Scope 1 is tied to own greenhouse gas emissions, Scope 2 includes purchased energy and Scope 3 takes into account stakeholders such as suppliers and customers.

Demand for higher-grade iron ore, in part due to decarbonization efforts, has helped to set higher premiums for that material over products with lower iron content.

Fastmarkets calculated its index for iron ore 62% Fe fines, cfr Qingdao, at $138.32 per tonne on Tuesday, rising by 1.35% from $136.48 per tonne the day before, but down from $149.93 per tonne on April 22.

The index was up by 14.55% this year from $120.75 per tonne on December 31, 2021.

Meanwhile, Fastmarkets’ index for iron ore 65% Fe Brazil-origin fines, cfr Qingdao, was $163.60 per tonne on Tuesday, a 1.11% daily increase from $161.80 per tonne and 17.28% higher than $139.50 per tonne on the last day of 2021.

To keep up with steel making raw material price trends throughout 2022, visit our steel and raw material page.

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