February 19, 2019 / 12:02 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Australia's Orocobre cuts annual production guidance, shares fall

(Adds detail, share movement, background)

Feb 19 (Reuters) - Australian lithium producer Orocobre Ltd on Tuesday cut its production guidance for fiscal 2019 as rainfall at its flagship Olaroz lithium facility in Argentina reduced the project’s output, sending its shares to a near two-month low.

The miner said in a statement that it expects annual production to be about the same as in fiscal 2018, down from an earlier forecast of higher than in 2018.

The rains have not caused any material production stoppages or other disruptions, but output has been affected by dilution of the brine feedstock, Orocobre said in a statement.

Orocobre produced 12,470 tonnes of lithium carbonate in fiscal 2018, 5 percent higher than a year earlier.

The Brisbane-based company’s shares were trading 4.6 percent lower in morning trade in a slightly firmer overall market .

An oversupply of lithium in 2018 nearly halved prices in China, halting an unprecedented run for the key component for batteries used in electric vehicles.

Reporting by Aditya Soni in Bengaluru; editing by Richard Pullin

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