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Kumba lowers full-year export sales guidance following Transnet strike

Kumba CEO Mpumi Zikalala

Kumba CEO Mpumi Zikalala

27th October 2022

By: Chanel de Bruyn

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online


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South African iron-ore miner Kumba Iron Ore has revised its full-year export sales guidance lower to between 36-million and 37-million tonnes, compared with the previously guided 38-million to 40-million tonnes, as a result of low levels of finished stock at the Port of Saldanha Bay, rail constraints for the year-to-date and the impact of industrial action at State-owned ports and rail operator Transnet's operations in October.

The company has, however, maintained its full-year production guidance at 38-million to 40-million tonnes, but says output is likely to be at the lower end of guidance.

During the third quarter, ended September 30, Kumba produced ten-million tonnes of iron-ore – an 8% year-on-year decrease but a 5% quarter-on-quarter increase.

"Despite lower waste mined and production compared to the third quarter of 2021, we have seen improved mining and processing stability. As a result, waste mining has increased by 10% and production by 5% since the second quarter [of this year].

"Sishen continued to deliver a solid performance and Kolomela saw a 40% increase in waste mining and a 22% increase in production post its safety reset reported in the second quarter," CEO Mpumi Zikalala commented.

She added that Kumba's third-quarter operational performance reflected the company's ongoing focus on safe and responsible production.

"Our safety commitments have kept our business fatality-free since 2016," she highlighted.

Meanwhile, Kumba's export sales for the third quarter reached ten-million tonnes – flat year-on-year and 2% lower quarter-on-quarter as a result of rail constraints that kept finished stock levels at port low.

Commenting on overall market conditions, Zikalala noted that global economic slowdown, energy shortages in Europe and rolling Covid lockdowns in China continued to weigh on steel demand and iron-ore prices.

"More positively, sintering cuts in China to improve air quality have resulted in higher lump premia. Our premium product strategy continues to benefit us through increasing demand for high-quality iron-ore products that have carbon emission reduction properties.

"This contributed to Kumba achieving a year-to-date average realised price of $115 per wet metric tonne for the third quarter, 8.4% above the benchmark price."




Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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