August 1, 2018 / 7:23 AM / a year ago

Rio Tinto concerned about trade war, but suffered no impact so far: CEO

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Global miner Rio Tinto is concerned about an escalating trade war between the United States and China but has yet to feel any impact from it, Chief Executive Jean-Sébastien Jacques said on Wednesday.

“To date it has had limited to no impact on Rio Tinto,” Jacques told reporters. Rio has had no issues with orders from its U.S. and Chinese customers, he said.

He was speaking after Rio Tinto reported a 12 percent rise in first-half profit, slightly weaker than analysts had expected.

Chief Financial Officer Chris Lynch attributed the miss partly to the market not taking into account pricing in old alumina contracts the company has, which cost Rio “a couple of hundred million” dollars as it missed out on exposure to recent price gains in alumina after the United States imposed sanctions on Rusal.

Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell

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