Resilient iron ore prices throughout 2017 further encouraged growth from Brazil, the world's lowest-cost and second-largest exporting country. Cash margins increased by over 45% which provided more than enough incentive for Vale to push on with its expansion plans. Largely driven by the ramp-up of the company’s low-cost, high-grade S11D project, Brazil’s marketable production grew by almost 5% in 2017 and we expect it to rise further by 4% in 2018. But while the country's iron ore industry is faring better than most, it is far from being in boom times with the suspension of key projects (i.e. Samarco and Minas-Rio), falling investment and cost cutting being key themes.