Brazilian Mining Vale SA (NYSE:VALE) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Beijing Iron Ore Trading Corporation (COREX), showing its interest to launch iron ore spot trading on WeChat. The first joint action will be launching a Yuan-priced platform in early next year to facilitate transactions.
Vale launch e-trading of iron ore on WeChat
The launch of iron ore e-trading is part of its efforts to digitize its iron ore B2B trading and customer-centric development strategy with innovation. Bruno Pina, Vale Metals Shanghai Co.’s head of sales and managing director, said that Vale and COREX would enhance their collaboration in the long term to leverage opportunities and deliver better steel industry services.
Vale stated that it would streamline and expedite iron ore spot sales to China through the WeChat mini-programs with the launch. The WeChat app will optimize user experience, enabling users to purchase iron in Yuan and enhance transparency and spot trading liquidity. The companies signed the MoU during the recent China International Import Expo taking place in Shanghai.
Wang Yingsheng, the Deputy Secretary-General of the China Iron and Steel Association, witnessed the signing of the MoU in Shanghai. Yingsheng said that the trading platform would be a massive addition to the Chinese steel inducts as it will facilitate a continuous supply of iron ore.
China pushing for payments in Yuan
Currently, China is the top steel producer globally, and it consumes over one billion tonnes of iron ore every year. Iron ore is a critical ingredient in steelmaking. COREX is a JV of big steel companies in China that includes leading foreign mining companies such as Vale.
Foreign miners such as Vale, Rio Tinto, and BHP Group have started selling iron ore in China to steel mills in Yuan as the country pushes to increase its influence on pricing. In March this year, Rio Tinto unveiled a WeChat program for portside spot trading of iron ore. WeChat is becoming a vital platform in China where users can use it for paying utility bills.