July 16, 2018 / 11:05 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Rio Tinto posts 14 pct rise in Q2 iron ore shipments, flags stronger output

(Adds details on results, guidance, background)

July 17 (Reuters) - Global miner Rio Tinto said on Tuesday that its second-quarter iron ore shipments from Australia rose 14 percent and indicated its annual production would be at the upper end of its guidance.

Australian iron ore shipments totalled 88.5 million tonnes in the quarter ended June 30, compared with 77.7 million tonnes a year ago, the company said in a statement.

The miner said it expected iron ore shipments for the year to be at the upper end of its guidance of 330 million to 340 million tonnes because of productivity improvements and fewer weather-related disruptions compared with the same quarter last year. It had said earlier it did not expect tensions over a global trade war to materially affect steel demand.

UBS had expected iron ore shipments to rise 14 percent for the quarter.

Iron ore prices .IO62-CNO=MB inched up over the quarter, as China’s steel industry ramped up following its winter pollution cuts.

Rio Tinto said its mined copper production for the quarter jumped 26 percent. The company recently confirmed the sale of its 40 percent stake in the world’s second-biggest copper mine, Grasberg, for $3.5 billion to Indonesia’s state mining company PT Inalum. (Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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