This Morning in Metals: Rio Tinto Downgrades Iron Ore Guidance

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This morning in metals news, Rio Tinto downgraded its 2019 iron ore guidance, India is looking to combat Chinese steel imports with higher duties, and the copper price lost some gains late this week on the back of U.S.-Iran tensions and ahead of the G20 Summit in Japan.

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Rio Tinto Downgrades Iron Ore Guidance

Due to operational challenges, Rio Tinto this week announced it has downgraded its 2019 iron ore guidance down to between 320 million and 330 million tons (from between 333 million and 343 million tons).

“Rio Tinto Iron Ore is currently experiencing mine operational challenges, particularly in the Greater Brockman hub in the Pilbara,” the firm said. “This is resulting in a higher proportion of certain lower grade products, partly to protect the quality of our flagship Pilbara Blend.

“Around 1.5 million tonnes of these products were sold in the first quarter, as noted in the 2019 Quarterly Operations Review, 16 April 2019. Additional sales of these products will be made during 2019.”

Indian Steel Ministry Eyes Higher Steel Duties

The Indian steel ministry is targeting a duty increase on imports of finished steel products, Reuters reported, up to 15% from a range of between 7.5% to 12.5%.

According to the report, the Indian steel ministry cited concerns related to the U.S.-China trade war and resulting diverted supplies of steel away from the U.S. market.

Copper Price Falls

After making gains earlier in the week, the copper price slipped on account of tensions between the U.S. and Iran, Reuters reported.

MetalMiner’s Annual Outlook provides 2019 buying strategies for carbon steel

Three-month LME copper fell 0.4% to $5,592 on Friday after hitting its highest level since May 21 on Thursday, according to the report.

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