Glencore keeps on top of production after weathering cuts and suspensions

Rebecca Smith
Back on track? Glencore is battling difficult conditions
Back on track? Glencore is battling difficult conditions (Source: Getty)

Glencore's production fell in most commodities, but everything's pretty much on track (no nasty surprises here folks).

Third quarter was in line with expectations: full-year marketing earnings before interest and taxes guidance were at $2.5-$2.7bn. That's a slight increase; the commodities giant lifted the upper end of range by $100m.

The figures

The company said own-sourced copper production of 1,061,200 tonnes was six per cent down on the comparable period. That was because of the reduction of African copper volumes.

Own-sourced zinc production was down 30 per cent to 789,200 tonnes. Glencore said that reflected the volume reductions that were implemented across its portfolio; predominantly in Australia and Peru.

Own-sourced nickel though was up 20 per cent to 82,400 tonnes, mainly due to significant maintenance at the Sudbury smelter last year.

As for coal production, that was down 11 per cent on the comparable period, due to the divestment of optimum coal, closures of depleted mines in South Africa and difficult weather conditions in Colombia.

Glencore's share of oil production was down 25 per cent to six million barrels, which it said reflected the "natural depletion" of the existing fields.

Shares dipped one per cent to 244p in early trading off the back of the news.

Why it's interesting

Low oil prices are playing havoc with the oil giants and Glencore's also got a headache or two on this front. It said replacement volumes haven't been drilled yet as the resource is being preserved for a stronger oil environment.

Last month the firm put up another of its assets for sale as part of a strategy to lighten its heavy debt burden. Glencore looked to offset Chilean-based Energia Austral hydropower.

The Swiss giant has also been busy over the past few days. On Tuesday, it announced it was restarting a coking coal mine in southeastern Australia, as a lift in prices for the commodity reenergised the sector.

The mine is expected to yield 1.3m tonnes of coal next year.

In short

Pretty much all as expected; a slight bump in full-year profit forecast ahead of the final three months of 2016, with production for the year in line with expectations

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