Rio Tinto says India will match China's demand for key commodities soon

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Melbourne, Mar 16(ANI): Global miner Rio Tinto has predicted that while China's demand for iron ore, copper, coal and aluminium will grow during the next 15 years, India will soon take the lead for further demand.

In its annual report, Rio Tinto said the short-term outlook for mining and metals is also improving, but would likely remain volatile.

It also highlighted that there are risks to outlook, including the possibility of monetary tightening by Asian economies and constrained consumer spending in developed nations.

"As China nears the top of the commodity intensity usage curve, India is expected to follow, supporting a further potential wave of strong commodity demand," The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Tom Albanese, Rio Tinto chief executive, as saying.

He said the company's move towards a joint venture with BHP Billiton to tie-up its massive iron ore operations in Western Australia's Pilbara region was a highlight of 2009.

Albanese further said the strong demand for iron ore provided option for production growth, with plans to increase its capacity in the Pilbara.

Meanwhile, Chairman Jan du Plessis said China continued to drive demand, but there were concerns about the sustainability of that demand in the short term.

"Longer term, China is likely to move towards more domestic, consumption-led development," Plessis said. (ANI)

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