Spot iron ore vessel bookings from Brazil to China set a new record in July as Australia suspended spot sales to China following the detention of Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto’s top sales executives in Shanghai, Reuters reported. Vessel bookings from Australian iron ore ports to China have declined to 12 this month from an average of 40 in the last quarter and a record 55 in March. Shipments from Brazil increased to a record 31 vessel bookings. Falling freight costs have also made shipping from Brazil less expensive. Demand from China, which has so far failed to negotiate contracts with suppliers for discounts on iron ore prices, drove spot prices to an eight-month high. Benchmark iron ore prices rose to US$84.4 per metric ton Tuesday, adding US$3 in only a week.