Vale International head of shipping department Gurinder Singh has been quietly replaced. No explanation of the move has yet been made by Vale International. Shifting chartering head means for Vale’s massive newbuilding programme at a time when ore is cheap and Vale’s long-term charter rates are far above the available market.
Vale is understood to be paying about $12 per tonne to the Chinese owners who have taken on its Valemaxes, while it could get its iron ore shipped at half that rate in the current depressed market. On the other hand.observers point out that the current market might not be quite down to those levels if the Valemax fleet had never been built.
Gurinder Singh’s sudden departure may be a sign of Vale CEO Murilo Ferreira’s souring on the Valemax project at a time when locked-in, long-term freight rates are costing the company millions per voyage over the current dry bulk market.