BHP share price slips amid reduced production targets

BHP reduced production guidance at its Escondida copper mine in Chile.

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Key points

  • The BHP share price is in the red on Friday
  • Iron ore prices slipped 2% overnight
  • BHP released its quarterly activities report this morning

The BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP) share price is dropping on Friday, down 2.23% in early afternoon trading.

It's not just the BHP share price that's taken a slide, however. With the iron ore price down 1.9% overnight to US$115 per tonne, all the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) iron ore miners are in the red at the time of writing.

But ASX 200 investors have a little more to consider with BHP today, after the miner released its quarterly update for the three months ending 31 March.

How did the results compare to expectations?

The BHP share price could be under some extra pressure today after the company cut production guidance at several of its mines.

Production guidance at its Escondida copper mine in Chile was reduced to between 1,050 and 1,080 kt. Prior guidance forecast a production range of 1,080 to 1,180 kt.

Shipments of iron ore, BHP's biggest revenue generator, through Port Hedland also slipped over the quarter.

Iron ore shipments of 66.5 million tonnes fell short of consensus expectations of 67.9 million tonnes.

But the quarterly update was far from all bad news, which is why the BHP share price likely isn't faring any worse than its rivals today.

Despite some headwinds over the quarter, BHP maintained production guidance for the full 2023 financial year for iron ore, metallurgical coal, energy coal and copper.

"Last week, OZ Minerals shareholders voted overwhelmingly in favour of BHP's offer," BHP CEO Mike Henry noted on the copper front.

"We are now focused on the safe integration of the two businesses, and we look forward to building an internationally competitive copper business in South Australia."

Guidance for nickel production, however, was lowered slightly to between 75,000 and 85,000  tonnes. That's down from the previous forecast of 80,000 to 90,000 tonnes.

BHP also maintained its full-year unit cost guidance.

BHP share price snapshot

As you can see in the chart below, today's decline leaves the BHP share price right about where it commenced trading on 3 January.

Motley Fool contributor Bernd Struben has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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