London, England — 20 April 2012 – International mining giant Rio Tinto has stated that it is more upbeat about the general outlook for commodities, now that demand from China was remaining robust and the United States was recovering.

“Overall, we are somewhat more confident than six months ago,” chairman Jan du Plessis told a shareholders’ meeting here, reports Reuters. “The world continues to face considerable uncertainty and we believe this will contribute to ongoing volatility.”

In February, when Rio reported full-year results, it was cautious about near-term prospects due to uncertainty in financial markets, especially regarding Europe.

The potential for the European debt crisis spreading continued to linger, but this was balanced by promising signs of recovery in the United States, du Plessis said.

“China is not growing at the same rate as we have seen in recent years, but the rate of growth is still very favourable in comparison to global economic growth,” he said. “Over the longer term, we continue to believe the outlook remains strong with demand for many of the products we produce expected to double over the next 20 years.”

Earlier this week Rio Tinto reported worse-than-expected falls in first quarter iron ore, copper and coal production after they were hit by bad weather.

Source: Reuters. For more information, click here.