BHP cuts iron ore production outlook after Australian cyclone
By Melanie Burton MELBOURNE (Reuters) - BHP Group, the world's biggest miner, joined rival Rio Tinto on Wednesday in cutting its forecast for iron ore output after a tropical cyclone, although analysts expect high prices to limit any impact on profits. Cyclone Veronica tore down the coast of Western Australia in March, hitting several iron ore export hubs, in a return of more turbulent weather conditions after several moderate years.
By Melanie Burton
MELBOURNE (Reuters) - BHP Group, the world's biggest miner, joined rival Rio Tinto on Wednesday in cutting its forecast for iron ore output after a tropical cyclone, although analysts expect high prices to limit any impact on profits.
Cyclone Veronica tore down the coast of Western Australia in March, hitting several iron ore export hubs, in a return of more turbulent weather conditions after several moderate years.
The lower production also led to a rise in BHP's costs, while Rio Tinto suffered operational issues in the first quarter, including a fire at its Cape Lambert operations, said Brenton Saunders, an analyst at fund Pendal Group in Sydney.
Miners, however, are benefiting from a surge in iron ore prices to near five-year highs on supply concerns following cyclone Veronica and a fatal dam collapse in Brazil that has cut operations at the world's No. 1 iron ore miner Vale SA.
"If the iron ore price wasn't $96 and looking like it was going to go higher, then we would be having a very different conversation about these companies' performance," Saunders said.
BHP, which put its fiscal 2019 iron ore production under review following the cyclone, lowered its forecast to 265 million-270 million tonnes, from 273 million-283 million tonnes.
Iron ore output for the three months to end-March fell 5 percent to 64 million tonnes, down from 67 million tonnes a year ago.
Rio Tinto, the world's No. 2 iron ore miner, on Tuesday reported a 14 percent drop in quarterly iron ore shipments and trimmed its 2019 shipments estimate.
BHP also increased its full-year production costs to less than $15 a tonne, from less than $14 a tonne previously, due to lower volumes and increased remediation costs.
Since selling its onshore U.S. oil business last year, BHP is focussed on just four commodities - iron ore, copper, coal and offshore oil and gas.
The miner posted an 8 percent drop in quarterly copper production against year ago levels, mainly due to lower output at the world's biggest copper mine, Escondida in Chile.
However, it maintained annual production guidance for copper at 1.65 million tonnes to 1.74 million tonnes.
(Reporting by Melanie Burton; additional reporting by Aditya Soni and Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; editing by Sandra Maler and Richard Pullin)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.
By Jessica Resnick-Ault NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices strengthened on Wednesday, as OPEC and its allies were seen complying with a pact to cut oil supply in September, even as concerns loomed that recovery in fuel demand will be stalled by soaring global coronavirus cases. Early in the day crude was boosted by a bullish stock market. Even as equities whipsawed on pandemic worries, oil stayed higher, buoyed by expectations that OPEC could staunch a supply glut
By Tina Bellon and C Nivedita (Reuters) - Tesla Inc will further cut the price of its Model S "Long Range" sedan in the United States to $69,420, the electric carmaker's chief executive, Elon Musk, announced in a tweet https://bit.ly/2H0JCP0 on Wednesday. The anticipated drop marks the second time this week Tesla has cut the price for the high-end sedan, following a 4% cut of the Model S's price in the United States on Tuesday to $71,990.
By Jeff Mason DES MOINES, Iowa (Reuters) - Under siege over his handling of the novel coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump on Wednesday cited what he said was his son's mild bout of the virus as a reason why American schools should reopen as soon as possible. Trump made the comment about his son, Barron, as the president swept into Iowa on a mission to shore up support in battleground states that he won in 2016 but is in danger of losing to Democrat Joe Biden barely three weeks before the election. First lady Melania Trump announced in a statement earlier in the day that the virus that struck both her and her husband had also infected their 14-year-old son