Rio Tinto and Vale enjoy surging iron ore shipments in Q2

Rio Tinto and Vale have both posted rising iron ore shipments in their second quarter operating reports, reflecting a strong environment across the board for the sector.

Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio said it enjoyed a ‘solid’ Q2, with iron ore shipments increasing by 14% year-on-year to 88.5 million tonnes (Mt), as a result of better weather and improved productivity.

This figure comfortably exceeded analyst expectations and with deliveries up 9% this year-to-date, the miner expects full-year iron ore shipments to be at the upper end of its guidance range of 330 to 340Mt.

“Operational performance was solid across most commodities, rounding out a strong first half performance for the group,” said chief executive Jean-Sébastien Jacques.

Meanwhile, the world’s number one iron ore miner Vale said that production of the steelmaking material and pellets hit a record high during Q2, despite a nationwide trucker strike in Brazil bringing the country to a standstill.

The Rio de Janeiro-based firm said iron ore output hit 96.755 Mt in the three months ending June 30, while pellet output reached 12.838 Mt, despite delivery issues.

Vale also reported record a record high of 86.5 Mt in iron ore sales, thanks to a drop in global iron ore output in Q1 and increasing demand for the company’s top quality ore due to Chinese measures to cut pollution.