SYDNEY, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- Global mining giant BHP Billiton Ltd on Wednesday reaffirmed their full-year production guidance, though warned supply is still outstripping demand in its key iron ore business despite seeing a recovery in global commodity prices.
BHP Billiton chief executive Andrew Mackenzie said the company had seen "early signs of rebalancing" in the global commodity market with the fundamentals in the petroleum sector looking to improve over the next 18 months.
"Iron ore and metallurgical coal prices have been stronger than expected, although we continue to expect supply to grow more quickly than demand in the near term," Mackenzie said in BHP's quarterly production update.
BHP left its full-year guidance unchanged across its diversified portfolio, except for its 1.66 million tonnes of copper which is under review following the power outage at its Olympic Dam site in South Australia state in September. Production fell by 41,000 tonnes due to planned maintenance and the state-wide power outage.
"Power has been safely restored at Olympic Dam and operations are in the process of recommencing and expected to be fully ramped-up in the December 2016 quarter," the company said in its production update.
Never the less, the combination of steadier markets, continued capital discipline, improved productive and increased volumes across its diversified portfolio "should further support strong free cash flow generation" in fiscal 2016-17, Mackenzie said.
BHP Billiton's stock however was softer in early Wednesday trade, down 2.30 percent to 22.12 Australian dollars (16.99 U.S. dollars) by 1124 local time (AEDT).
"The production report looked fairly in line, they're not changing guidance other than with Olympic dam, so there could be a little bit of uncertainty and nervous around that... but I wouldn't suspect it would have too much impact," CMC Markets chief market analyst Ric Spooner told Xinhua.