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    RIO   GB0007188757

RIO TINTO PLC

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Delayed London Stock Exchange  -  11:38 2022-06-24 am EDT
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China's iron ore import slump extends into April - customs

05/09/2022 | 12:27am EDT

* April iron ore imports at 86.06 mln T, down 12.7% on year before

* Jan-April imports at 354 mln T vs 381 mln T a year before

* Steel exports at 4.98 mln T last month, imports at 0.96 mln T

BEIJING, May 9 (Reuters) - A slump in Chinese iron ore imports extended into April, as suppliers struggled with disruptions while a COVID outbreak suppressed demand.

The world's top iron ore consumer took in 86.06 million tonnes of the material in April, 12.7% less than a year earlier, implying ongoing weak activity in the country's steelmaking industry.

Imports of the ore, a key material for making steel, were 1.4% lower than in March, when the volume was already down 14.5% on a year before - due to the same factors. The General Administration of Customs issued the data on Monday.

Production by miners, including BHP, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group in Australia, has been disrupted by supply-chain snags and pandemic-induced labour shortages, while Brazil's Vale has also had weather problems.

In China, the pandemic is also restricting transportation of steelworks' raw materials and product, suppressing their demand.

"The recovery of shipments from major miners was mild in April and two of the lesser supplier countries - Ukraine and Russia - suspended exports due to their conflict," said Cheng Peng, analyst with SinoSteel Futures.

In January-April, China imported 354.4 million tonnes of iron ore, down 7.1% from the same period a year earlier, according to the customs administration.

"Supplies from Vale are expected to improve after the first quarter ... but supply restriction in Australia could continue until the second quarter," Cheng said.

The Monday data also showed China exported 4.98 million tonnes of steel last month, up from 4.95 million tonnes in March but well below the 7.97 million tonnes of a year earlier, when traders were ramping up shipments ahead of removal of most steel export tax rebates.

Steel imports in April came in at 956,000 tonnes, falling below 1 million tonnes amid surging overseas prices, the customs data showed. (Reporting by Min Zhang and Dominique Patton; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Bradley Perrett)


© Reuters 2022
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
BHP GROUP LIMITED -1.19% 40.02 Delayed Quote.-3.57%
FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED 0.17% 17.28 Delayed Quote.-10.05%
RIO TINTO PLC 1.62% 4989.5 Delayed Quote.1.99%
VALE S.A. 2.78% 74.62 Delayed Quote.-6.88%
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Financials (USD)
Sales 2022 59 675 M - -
Net income 2022 18 812 M - -
Net cash 2022 2 823 M - -
P/E ratio 2022 5,41x
Yield 2022 14,1%
Capitalization 103 B 103 B -
EV / Sales 2022 1,67x
EV / Sales 2023 1,90x
Nbr of Employees 49 000
Free-Float 65,4%
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Number of Analysts 23
Last Close Price 61,19 $
Average target price 77,67 $
Spread / Average Target 26,9%
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Jakob Stausholm Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director
Peter Lloyd Cunningham Chief Financial Officer & Executive Director
Dominic S. Barton Chairman
Mark Davies Chief Technical Officer
Arnaud Soirat Chief Operating Officer
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