(Reuters) – BHP Group (NYSE:) Ltd on Thursday reported higher quarterly iron ore shipments, beating earlier expectations, and said China will be a stabilizing force for commodity demand this year as developed countries face economic headwinds.
The world’s largest listed miner said iron ore production from Western Australia on a 100% basis was 74.3 million tonnes (mt) in the three months to December, up 1% from 73.9 mt a year earlier and a consensus by Goldman Sachs (NYSE:) outperformed by 71.9 mt.
“China’s pro-growth policies, including in the real estate sector, and an easing of COVID-19 restrictions are expected to support a gradual improvement in the difficult economic conditions of the first half of the year,” BHP said.
The mining giant reiterated its FY2023 guidance for iron ore production in Western Australia on a 100% basis of between 278 and 290 tonnes.
On Tuesday, rival Rio Tinto (NYSE:) said China’s reopening from COVID-19 restrictions will increase the near-term risk of labor and supply chain shortages. It also showed a strong start of iron ore shipments for 2023.