“Our estimates imply aggregate iron ore volumes could increase by 8% q/q, partially helped by seasonally softer volumes in Q1,” said the investment bank in a production preview on the sector.
“Copper volumes are expected to be flat q/q and point to stable operational performance across companies. We expect a slight increase in coal volumes, but remaining below pre-pandemic levels.
“Overall, our expectation of broadly stable operations implies no significant change to the full-year guidance.
“A rally in commodity prices is likely trigger solid cash flows, which could be a key catalyst for corporate management to look at cash returns at interim financial results,” Citi analysts said.
Earlier this week, analysts at UBS said they expect BHP PLC (LON:BHP), Rio Tinto PLC (LON:RIO), Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (ASX:FMG), Anglo American and Glencore to announce the return of about US$26bn to shareholders alongside their June-2021 results.