Fortescue First-Quarter Shipments Miss Estimates After Delays

Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. (FMG), Australia’s third-biggest iron ore exporter, said first-quarter shipments rose 60 percent, missing analyst estimates after delays to production.

Shipments were 24.7 million metric tons in the three months ended Sept. 30, from 15.4 million tons a year earlier, the Perth-based company said today in a statement. That compares with the median estimate of 28 million tons from three analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Ore processing output was “impacted by the significant time taken to thoroughly investigate and respond” to the death of a worker in an incident at its Christmas Creek operation in August, Fortescue said in the statement. Some other production delays occurred as a result of conveyor belt tears at the Firetail and Cloudbreak operations, the producer said.

Rio Tinto Group (RIO), the second-biggest iron-ore shipper, this week reported record ore production at its mines in Australia’s Pilbara region, where Fortescue also operates. Australia, the largest iron ore exporter, this month raised its price estimates as demand surges from steel mills in China.

Fortescue fell 0.9 percent to A$5.35 at 12:35 p.m. in Sydney trading. Its shares have advanced 15 percent this year.

To contact the reporters on this story: Elisabeth Behrmann in Sydney at ebehrmann1@bloomberg.net; David Stringer in Melbourne at dstringer3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Hobbs at ahobbs4@bloomberg.net

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