Rio iron ore output falls: report

Miner expected to report weak Q2 output due to rain, conveyor problem.

Rio Tinto Ltd's West Australian iron ore production has been hit in the June quarter by unseasonal rain and a conveyer outage, raising questions whether the miner will be able to meet its full-year guidance, according to The Australian.

The issues led to weaker-than-expected shipments for Rio, but the weather issues have also hampered BHP Billiton Ltd and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd.

The Australian reported that Rio's second-quarter Pilbara production, due to be reported early next week, is expected to come in below the 61 million tonnes-level that several analysts had planned for.

The timing is particularly difficult, as the second quarter is traditionally a period of strong production due to improved weather and a concerted push to boost outlook.

Fortescue has already cut its 2012-2013 iron ore production guidance by two million tonnes to 80-82 million tonnes, while BHP has not said to what extent its production has been affected by inclement weather (see BHP, Rio and Glencore's mad rush to the bottom by Ian Verrender).