Rio Tinto warns on volatile short-term outlook for copper

City A.M. Reporter
Australian copper giant Rio Tinto this morning warned that the short-term outlook for copper remained volatile, but that it expected production of the base metal to increase.

The miner said in a statement that copper production will increase from 2013 thanks to improving grades at existing mines, and the start of production at the Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia.

“The short-term outlook for copper remains volatile but Rio Tinto continues to believe that the market's long-term fundamentals remain robust given urbanisation in emerging markets,” it said this morning.

“On the supply side, annual production across the industry continues to fall short of expectations, a trend Rio Tinto expects to continue.”

Chief executive Tom Albanese warned that the wider economic environment remained uncertain.

“Significant stimulus efforts have been announced in China, the US and Europe, but it's uncertain exactly when we will see the impact of these on our markets. Given this, and the considerable price fluctuations in recent times, we are somewhat more cautious on the outlook over the next few quarters,” he said.