Brazilian miner, Vale reported revenues down in 2012 as prices of minerals and metals fell across the board affecting total annual revenues which dropped 23% below that of 2011 to US$46.454bn. Reduced prices of iron ore, US$9.927bn, pellets, US$ 2.106bn, and nickel, US$ 1.144bn, accounted for 95% of the US$13.935bn drop in operating revenues.

The share of bulk materials – iron ore, pellets, manganese ore, ferroalloys, metallurgical and thermal coal – in operating revenues fell to 71.8% from 74.4% in 2011. The share of base metals remained almost constant at 15.4%, slightly below the 15.9% in 2011.

Fertilizers continued to expand its share, rising to 8.1% from 5.9% in the previous year. Logistics services contributed with 3.5% of total revenues and other products 1.2%.

Shipments to Asia represented 53.0% of total revenues in 2012, slightly above the 52.8% figure for 2011. The share of the Americas increased to 26.2% in 2012 from 25.2%, due to higher sales in Brazil. Europe continued to lose some ground with 17.5% against 18.9% in the previous year. Revenues from sales to the Middle East were 2.2% and the rest of the world contributed with 1.1% in 2012.

On a country basis, the share of sales to China amounted to 34.0% of total revenues in 2012, Brazil 19.6%, Japan 10.3%, Germany 6.3%, South Korea 4.5% and the United States 2.9%.

Following the trend in demand growth, since 2005 there were significant changes in the geographical destination of shipments, with Asia gaining ground, to 53.0% from 39.2%, partially offset by the decline of Europe, to 17.5% from 23.1%. On a country basis, the share of sales to China more than doubled, to 34.0% from 16.7% in 2005.

Sales of iron ore and pellets reached an all-time high of 303.443 Mt in 2012, 1.4% higher than the previous record of 299.148 Mt in 2011. Shipments of iron ore were 258.061Mt, in line with the 257.287Mt sold in the previous year, while pellet sales increased to 45.382Mt, with an 8.4% year-on-year increase.

Some recovery was seen in the final quarter 2012 with revenues at US$12.002bn up 9.5% over 3Q12. The increase was primarily due to the effect of higher prices, which added US$ 748M, driven mostly by iron ore – US$ 738M – while greater sales volumes contributed with US$ 292M. On the other hand, lower prices and shipments of pellets sales had a negative impact of US$326M.