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Rio Tinto targets 330 million-343 million mt of iron ore shipments in 2020

Increase font size  Decrease font size Date:2020-01-19   Views:89
Rio Tinto is expecting its Australian iron ore operations to ship 330 million mt-343 million mt this year after seeing shipments of 327.4 million mt in 2019, the company said Friday.

The 2019 result was down 3% from 2018 as the company dealt with weather and operational challenges in the first half of the year and a decision to protect the quality of its Pilbara Blend, it said.
Iron ore production of 326.7 million mt in 2019 also was down 3% from 2018.

"Performance in the second half of 2019 was strong, with both production and shipments exceeding the same period in 2018 despite the extended rail maintenance shut limiting rail capacity for 12 days," Rio said. "In October 2019, we commenced trials of portside trading. The operation maintains some inventory at Chinese ports and can also handle material from third parties and from [Iron Ore Company of Canada]," it said.

The fourth quarter saw shipments of 86.8 million mt, down 1% year on year, but up 1% from the July-through-September quarter. Q4 production of 83.6 million mt was down 3% year on year and down 4% from Q3, it said.

The decline in Q4 output was from normal maintenance cycles and mine sequencing, Rio said.

The average iron ore price for 2019 was $79/wet mt FOB (equivalent to $85/dry mt based on an average moisture), compared with $57.80/wmt ($62.80/dry mt) in 2018.

IOC output expected at 10.5 mil-12 mil mt
Rio also said it is expecting pellets and concentrate production at its IOC operations to reach 10.5 million mt-12 million mt in 2020, compared with 10.5 million mt in 2019.

IOC's 2019 production was 18% above that of 2018, when strike action occurred.

IOC's Q4 production was 2.6 million mt, down 10% from Q4 2018 and down 13% from Q3, with unplanned equipment-related downtime weighing on volumes, it said.
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