Rio Tinto (NYSE:RIO) reduces its forecast for iron ore volumes it expects to ship from Australia’s Pilbara region this year due to infrastructure damage and shipping restrictions caused by tropical cyclone Damien.

Rio now expects Pilbara shipments of 324M-334M metric tons during 2020, down from previous guidance 330M-343M mt.

Analysts say seaborne iron ore prices likely will be supported by the news, especially after Vale also announced lower Q1 shipment expectations last week, but the analysts also warn that lower shipments still could hurt Rio’s annual EBITDA expectations.

Rio says its Pilbara iron ore operations are progressively resuming, but the cyclone caused infrastructure damage across the company’s entire Pilbara network, thus “all mine sites experienced some disruption and will take time to return to normal operations.”


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