Fortescue iron ore shipments fall short after derailment

Eliwana project, Pilbara, Western Australia. Credit: Fortescue Metals Group

Australia’s Fortescue on Wednesday logged a larger-than-expected decline in third-quarter iron ore shipments, following a derailment of ore cars and weather disruptions that also led to a slight cut in its outlook for annual shipments.

The world’s fourth-largest iron ore miner said it shipped 43.3 million metric tons of the steel-making commodity in the three months ended March 31, down from 46.3 million tonnes a year earlier.

That compared with a Visible Alpha estimate of 45.4 million tons, according to Morgan Stanley.

Citi analysts said March quarter hematite shipments were 12% below their expectations given the derailment plus weather effects.

Fortescue said it expects its fiscal year 2024 shipment at the lower end of its 192-197 million ton forecast, citing the derailment and weather impacts during the quarter.

That includes 2 million tons from its magnetite Iron Bridge operations, compared to a previous forecast of 2-4 million tons, which were impacted by water availability at its processing plant.

Fortescue cut its capital spending guidance for its metals business to $2.5 billion to $2.7 billion from $2.8 billion to $3.2 billion, partially as a result of currency moves.

(By Melanie Burton, Roshan Thomas and Archishma Iyer; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila, Shailesh Kuber and Editing by Sonali Paul)


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