CAPITAL MARKETS

Iron ore, equities on the rise

The iron ore price is headed back towards US$90 per tonne as major producers have outlined supply constraints across the globe.

Staff reporter
One of FMG’s autonomous haul trucks at its Solomon iron ore operations. Image: FMG

One of FMG’s autonomous haul trucks at its Solomon iron ore operations. Image: FMG

Vale SA (BZ: VALE3) cut about 75 million tonnes from its 2019 iron ore sales guidance late last week, outlining a forecast of 307-332Mt for iron ore and pellet sales this year following fall-out from the fatal Brumadinho tailings dam failure in Brazil in January.

Yesterday Rio Tinto (LSE: RIO) declared force majeure on some contracts and said it would lose about 14Mt from its 2019 production, due to disruption from Cyclone Veronica in the Pilbara last month, coupled with damage from a fire at its Cape Lambert A port facility in January.

BHP (ASX: BHP)) revealed today the cyclone would reduce its production by about 6-8Mt, adding its financial year production and cost guidance were currently under review, having already lost about 5Mt from its derailed runaway train incident in November.

Fortescue Metals Group (ASX: FMG) took the opportune time to announce it was going ahead with stage two development of its high-grade, $2.6 billion Iron Bridge magnetite joint venture in the Pilbara, following successful large-scale pilot and demonstration plants in stage one.

Rio closed up 2.35% in London yesterday, a near-decade high.

BHP was relatively even in Australian trade at the time of writing but had touched an eight-year high earlier intraday.

Fortescue Metals Group (ASX: FMG) was up about 3% in afternoon trade to its highest point since mid-2008.

Vale shares rose 3.28% in Brazil yesterday, representing a gain of 3.14% year-to-date.

Meanwhile there was no Brexit progress in the UK yesterday, a Chinese delegation of trade negotiators are expected in Washington tomorrow and the gold price was lower again at $1,286 an ounce on the spot market.

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