Brazil's Vale CEO: No problems yet due to global crisis

Markets Reuters

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazil's Vale <VALE5.SA> <VALE.N>, the world's third-largest mining company, has yet to change its investment plans or suffer any canceled or modified shipments because of the global crisis, its CEO said in an interview published Sunday.

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Murilo Ferreira said that unlike the 2008-09 crisis when Vale was forced to reduce production and lay off workers, this time around, credit and financing lines have remained intact, allowing the trade of iron ore and other commodities to continue.

"Life goes on as usual at Vale and, as a result, things are going as planned. We had a very good July," Ferreira told Estado de S.Paulo newspaper.

Vale remains "strongly optimistic" about its key market of China, Ferreira said, although he acknowledged concerns about high inflation there that could eventually translate into dampened demand.

Ferreira also said Vale continues to pursue the goal of being one of the world's top three fertilizer producers. Brazil's government has tried to nudge Vale toward that goal as part of its strategy of diversifying the country's industrial base, raising some concerns among investors about official interference in the company's affairs.

Being a leader in fertilizer production makes good business sense, Ferreira said.

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(Editing by Maureen Bavdek)