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Business & Finance

Rio Tinto Q4 iron ore output rises on China demand recovery

  • "In China, the industrial sector has recovered and is now at pre-COVID levels due to the rapid deployment of stimulus," Rio said in a statement.
Published January 19, 2021
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Rio Tinto on Tuesday reported a 2.4% rise in fourth-quarter iron ore shipments, helped by industrial activity in top consumer China which the company said had returned to pre-pandemic levels.

Iron ore imports by the world's second-largest economy hit a record high in 2020 as it spent big on infrastructure to trigger an economic rebound from the coronavirus pandemic.

Rio and its peers are banking on continued growth in China, and other countries looking to reignite their battered economies with big construction projects that may have been sidelined last year.

"In China, the industrial sector has recovered and is now at pre-COVID levels due to the rapid deployment of stimulus," Rio said in a statement.

"China's buying remains robust despite ongoing localised impacts from COVID-19 in some regions. Demand in Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Europe is recovering."

The global miner shipped 88.9 million tonnes (Mt) of iron ore in the three months to December, up from 86.8 Mt a year earlier and slightly above UBS' forecast of 88.6 Mt.

It said it expects to ship between 325-340 Mt of the steelmaking ingredient this year, compared with the 331 Mt it shipped in 2020 and a UBS estimate of 337 Mt.

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