BHP stays on track, posts record iron ore production

Iron ore remains a bright sport for BHP Billiton, and the company has maintained full year production guidance despite posting weaker than expected performance for the March quarter.

In its quarterly report BHP said production and sales for the start of 2013 had been hurt by cyclone-related weather in WA and QLD, but iron ore was still on track to produce 183 million tonnes for the year.

Iron ore exports were up 6.7 per cent on the same period last year to 37.7 million tonnes, but came in below analyst expectations, with UBS tipping 39.5mt.

In Queensland the company said bad weather had hurt coal production but recently installed flood infrastructure meant it was able to make a quick recovery.

Production guidance for the petroleum segment, the company's next biggest earner after iron ore, is also on track to hit 240 million barrels of oil equivalent, but cyclones in WA put a two per cent dent in crude production.

Earlier this week Pilbara rival Rio Tinto joined BHP in posting record iron ore production, with adverse weather conditions also impacting the company's Australian operations.

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