October 20, 2016 / 10:42 AM / in a year

UPDATE 2-Brazil's Vale trims forecast for 2017 iron ore output

(Adds iron ore guidance for 2017)

BRASILIA, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Brazilian miner Vale SA trimmed its forecast for iron ore output in 2017 on Thursday, as the world’s largest producer of the steel-making raw material continued to phase out higher-cost production amid lower commodity prices.

In its third-quarter production report, Vale said it expected to produce 360-380 million tonnes of iron ore next year, below its original forecast for 380-400 million tonnes.

The Rio de Janeiro-based miner had already said in July it would not meet the original target but had not provided a new range.

Iron ore output in the third quarter was 92.1 million tonnes, Vale said, up 1.5 percent from the same period a year earlier due to improved performance at mines in the northern Amazonian state of Para.

Known as Carajás, the northern mining complex reached a new production record of 38.7 million tonnes of iron ore, driving overall output 6.1 percent higher than the second quarter.

Vale maintained its production estimate for 2016, saying it would be at the lower end of a range of 340-350 million tonnes.

Nickel production was 76,000 tonnes, 6.1 percent higher than the same period last year, but 3.3 percent below the second quarter due to scheduled maintenance work at plants in New Caledonia and Canada.

Coal output was 2.3 million tonnes, 13.2 percent higher than in the same period last year, lifted by a ramp up at its coal project in Mozambique. (Reporting by Bruno Federowski and Stephen Eisenhammer; Editing by David Clarke and Bernadette Baum)

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