Melbourne - Rio Tinto on Friday reported a 1.5% rise in iron ore shipments for the second quarter and said demand for the steelmaking ingredient was improving in China as its economy recovers from the coronavirus outbreak.
The world’s largest iron ore miner shipped 86.7 million tonnes of the commodity in the quarter ended June 30, beating a Vuma consensus of 84.1 million tonnes, and up from 85.4 million tonnes a year earlier.
“Iron ore, then maybe copper, ali (aluminium), all of those were in line or better. I don’t think you can get too upset with the quarterly - time to move on,” said analyst Glyn Lawcock of UBS.
Demand for iron ore has remained resilient this year, even in the face of an unfolding global recession, as Beijing ramps up infrastructure spending to combat the shock from the COVID-19 crisis.
“Our iron ore assets are performing well in a strong pricing environment and we are on track to meet our 2020 iron ore guidance,” Chief Executive Jean-Sébastien Jacques said.
Iron ore typically accounts for more than 80% of Rio’s underlying earnings.
The miner said conditions in China had improved across the second quarter and appeared to be stabilising, with construction and infrastructure sectors performing well.