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Roger Agnelli, the valemax creator, dies in a plane crash

The man responsible for giving the dry bulk industry the valemax died on the weekend in a plane crash.

Roger Agnelli, the Brazilian banker who turned Vale into the world’s No. 1 iron ore producer, died on Saturday. He was 56.

Agnelli, his wife and two children were among seven killed when his Comp Air 9 turboprop monoplane slammed into two homes around 3:20 p.m. local time, minutes after taking off from an airport in northern São Paulo, authorities said.

“We have lost a Brazilian of extraordinary entrepreneurial vision,” president Dilma Rousseff said in a statement Sunday.

During his 10-year tenure at Vale, Agnelli greenlighted a project that saw more than thirty 400,000 dwt VLOCs – dubbed valemaxes – built.

Ultimately, it was a gamble that did not pay off as intended – Chinese authorities blocking these giant bulkers from calling, but it was a move that has changed the face of Brazil-China iron ore trades.


Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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