The Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) share price is hurting today and is currently down 2.63%.
As one of the largest mining companies in the world, its decline represents a large fall in dollar terms and also has a sizeable impact on the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO).
The ASX 200 is currently up by 0.49%, so Rio Tinto is underperforming noticeably.
Let’s look at a couple of the latest developments.
Iron ore price decline
As a commodity business, Rio Tinto’s revenue, cash flow, net profit after tax (NPAT) and dividends are heavily influenced by changes in resource prices. Iron ore is a particularly important segment because it generates a large amount of Rio Tinto’s annual earnings.
Commsec noted that, overnight, the iron ore price fell by another 1.5%.
The iron ore price has fallen by double digits over the last two weeks. The Rio Tinto share price has dropped by around 15% during that time.
Recession risks increase
According to reporting by The Australian, CBA director of mining and energy commodities research Vivek Dhar noted that US Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell said it would be “very challenging” to create a soft landing for the US economy and that a recession is a possibility, leading to weakening demand for commodities.
This problem of a potential looming recession is one that many economies face, according to Dhar.
‘Emerging’ economies could be in an even tougher position because of the impacts of COVID-19, Dhar said:
A declining price profile across most mining and energy commodities is justified in light of a weakening demand outlook. A scenario of rising prices from here is likely contingent on China relaxing its COVID-zero policy.
In fact, commodity markets are no longer looking at the promise of significant infrastructure investment in China this year as optimistically as they did just a couple of months ago.
That’s because current conditions in China are clearly pointing to risks of surpluses in commodity markets, particularly steel.
We think the likelihood that China will relax its COVID-zero policy will increase after the 20th National Party Congress in October.
Rio Tinto share price snapshot
Despite the recent decline, the miner is still up by almost 2% in 2022. However, it is down by 17% over the past year and 6% over the past month.
For comparison, the ASX 200 is down 12% year to date and 10% since this time last year.