BHP Billiton yesterday reported a solid operational performance over 2008-09, setting annual production records for petroleum, copper cathode and iron ore and increased levels across 12 major commodities.
In its June quarter production report, the company said iron ore production increased 2% over the year, despite a 10% drop in the June quarter compared to same period in 2008.
It was also down 4% on the March quarter results.
According to BHP, quarterly production increased for 12 major commodities including metallurgical coal, copper and energy coal.
“The 2009 financial year proved to be very challenging, with significant demand contraction exacerbated by dramatic movements in inventory levels,” the company said.
“In the context of this environment, BHP Billiton achieved a solid operational performance, despite making production adjustments across a range of commodities, including metallurgical coal, nickel and manganese.
According to the miner, China had essentially completed its inventory build up of commodities, while North America, Europe and Japan were beginning to restock.
“Operations are well positioned to respond to demand recovery when it occurs,” the company said.
“[We have] high margin businesses and a strong balance sheet, allowing us to invest for the future and return funds to shareholders.”
Metallurgical coal, copper, lead, zinc, silver and uranium oxide all recorded increases from the March quarter results.
While zinc and metallurgical coal showed increased production levels across the year, copper, lead, silver and uranium oxide all recorded drops.