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coal|energy|environment|gold|mining|platinum|ports|rail

Mining production, sales drop in March

14th May 2024

By: Tasneem Bulbulia

Senior Contributing Editor Online

     

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Mining production decreased by 5.8% year-on-year in March, Statistics South (Stats SA) reports.

The largest negative contributors were coal (-9.1% and contributing -2.3 percentage points); manganese ore (-12.2% and contributing -1 percentage point); iron-ore (-6.8% and contributing -0.9 of a percentage point); and platinum group metals (PGMs) (-3.6% and contributing -0.9 of a percentage point).

Seasonally adjusted mining production decreased by 5% in March compared with February.

This followed month-on-month changes of 5.3% in February and -1% in January.

Seasonally adjusted mining production decreased by 1.7% in the first quarter of this year, compared with the fourth quarter of 2023.

The largest negative contributors were PGMs (-5.5% and contributing -1.5 percentage points); coal (-3.3% and contributing -0.8 of a percentage point); and gold (-2.9% and contributing -0.4 of a percentage point).

The largest positive contributor was iron-ore (16.7% and contributing 1.9 percentage points).

MINERAL SALES
Mineral sales at current prices decreased by 14.9% year-on-year in March.

The largest negative contributors were PGMs (-29.4% and contributing -7.9 percentage points); iron-ore (-25.9% and contributing -3.6 percentage points); ‘other’ non-metallic minerals (-42.6% and contributing -2.4 percentage points); and manganese ore (-21.5% and contributing -1.5 percentage points).

Gold was the largest positive contributor (29.6% and contributing 2.8 percentage points).

Seasonally adjusted mineral sales at current prices decreased by 13.5% in March compared with February.

This followed month-on-month changes of -7.2% in February and -3% in January.

Seasonally adjusted mineral sales at current prices decreased by 9.6% in the first quarter of 2024 compared with the fourth quarter of 2023.

FNB senior economist Thanda Sithole says the poor performance in total mineral sales does not bode well for the mining sector’s contribution to fiscal revenue and wage income.

However, despite the decline in output in March, the data does not alter the finance institution’s view that the mining sector’s gross value should recover this year after declining by 0.3% in 2023 and 7.1% year-on-year in 2022, he points out.

“Our cautiously optimistic view is grounded on expectations of a stable global growth environment and, notably, improvements in the domestic energy sector. With the intensity of loadshedding expected to diminish this year and beyond, following its peak in 2023, we anticipate a positive impact on the mining sector output.

“However, persistent inefficiencies in ports and rail network industries remain a binding constraint on the sector’s productivity and profitability,” Sithole avers. 

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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