By Rhiannon Hoyle


Rio Tinto PLC on Tuesday reported a slight lift in 2020 iron-ore shipments, and a fall in its output of mined copper. Here's some remarks from the operational report on what it's seeing in its markets.


On global commodity demand:

"Economic activity, particularly in Europe, continues to be disrupted in the short term due to measures to combat Covid-19. Monetary policy is expected to remain accommodative and fiscal policy is also expected to be utilized extensively, both of which should be supportive of commodity demand."


On Chinese demand:

"In China, the industrial sector has recovered and is now at pre-Covid levels due to the rapid deployment of stimulus. Exports continue to rise with the global economic recovery, and a policy shift to promote domestic investment and consumption is supportive of the commodity demand outlook."


On the iron-ore market:

"Iron-ore prices rose significantly in the second-half of 2020 on the back of tightened market fundamentals. China's buying remains robust despite ongoing localized impacts from Covid-19 in some regions. Demand in Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Europe is recovering, amplified by restocking."


On the copper outlook:

"Copper prices remain strong. Chinese consumption is robust, mine and scrap supply have been disrupted, and investment demand is strong. We expect global fiscal stimulus, particularly in the electrification and renewables sectors, to be copper-intensive and supportive of the outlook."


On the aluminum outlook:

"The aluminium price has rebounded on solid downstream demand, particularly in the automotive and packaging sectors. We remain cautious on the outlook due to an expected increase in Chinese supply and high global inventories."


Write to Rhiannon Hoyle at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 18, 2021 19:03 ET (00:03 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.