Global iron ore shipments are set to increase to 320.6 million tonnes in the third quarter, according to an analysis by Sanford C. Bernstein.
The estimate presents a 1.6% gain on volumes recorded in the second quarter and a 3.2% jump year over year. Sales volumes in the second quarter totaled 320.0 million tonnes, up 6.8% quarter over quarter and 6.3% year over year.
Vale SA is expected to lead the shipment volumes in the third quarter with 101.1 million tonnes. "This seems relatively high versus previous periods; however, given H1 sales of 170.9 million tonnes and FY2018 guidance of 390 million tonnes, these volumes nonetheless seem plausible," the analysts said Aug. 9.
The Brazilian miner's second-quarter shipments totaled 86.5 million tonnes, 4.5% lower than Bernstein's estimate for the quarter and up 5.9% year over year.
Third-quarter shipments from diversified miners Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton Group are expected to reach 83.2 million tonnes and 75.4 million tonnes, respectively.
Rio Tinto shipped 88.5 million tonnes in the second quarter, 800,000 tonnes more than Bernstein initially estimated and 14% more than in the same quarter a year ago.
BHP's shipments in the second quarter totaled 71.4 million tonnes, 3.1% lower than estimated but up 0.3% year over year.
The analysts expect Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. to ship 36.3 million tonnes in the third quarter. Second-quarter shipments from the iron ore miner were 3.3% over Bernstein's estimate at 46.5 million tonnes, a 4% year-over-year increase.
Hancock Prospecting Pty. Ltd.'s majority-owned Roy Hill Holdings Pty. Ltd. is expected to ship 13.1 million tonnes in the third quarter. The company's second-quarter shipments are thought to have surged 66.3% year over year to 12.7 million tonnes.
Third-quarter shipments from Anglo American PLC's South African unit are expected at 11.4 million tonnes. Anglo SA's second-quarter shipments totaled 9.6 million tonnes, 4.2% lower than the estimate and 1.4% up year over year. The analysts expect very little activity at Anglo's Brazilian unit as operations were suspended at the Minas Rio mine in the second quarter.