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SYDNEY, April 19 (Reuters) - Global miner Rio Tinto reported an 11 percent rise in first-quarter iron ore shipments compared with a year ago, while maintaining annual guidance at 350 million tonnes.
Quarterly shipments from the world's second biggest iron ore producer climbed to 80.8 million tonnes from 72.5 million in the year-ago quarter, but dropped 12 percent from the preceding quarter, the company said.
"We continue to experience volatility in commodity prices across all markets," Rio Tinto Chief Executive Sam Walsh, who last week tipped a second-half contraction in iron ore prices, said in a statement. (Reporting by James Regan, editing by G Crosse)