Rio Tinto posts jump in iron ore output, flags stronger 2018 (Reuters U.S. – July 16, 2018)

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Global miner Rio Tinto said on Tuesday that its second-quarter iron ore shipments from Australia rose 14 percent and indicated its annual production would be at the upper end of its guidance.

The miner said it expected iron ore shipments for the year to be at the upper end of its range of 330 million to 340 million tonnes, driven by productivity improvements and fewer weather-related disruptions compared with the same quarter last year.

It had said earlier it did not expect tensions over a global trade war to materially affect steel demand. Each of the four big iron ore miners are expected to log record production in the second quarter, given a ramp up in China’s steel demand in the quarter, Shipbroker Clarksons Platou Securities said.

“Volumes were generally held back a bit in 1Q18, as the Chinese steel complex was weaker (due to) winter production cuts, Chinese New Year, National People’s Congress. As Chinese steel output increased to record levels in 2Q18, iron ore volumes picked up, as well,” it said in a report.

Rio’s Australian iron ore shipments totaled 88.5 million tonnes in the quarter ended June 30, compared with 77.7 million tonnes a year ago, the company said in a statement.

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