Glencore and Xstrata post output drop

COMMODITIES trader Glencore and Xstrata, in the final stages of a £56bn mega-merger, yesterday posted a drop in combined output across key metals including copper.

The two companies’ combined production figures, released by Glencore yesterday, show a nine per cent annual drop in copper output in 2012, and a one per cent fall in zinc production over the year. Nickel output from its own feed was up three per cent, while total gold output fell eight per cent.

Coal production was a bright spot though, rising 26 per cent for the two companies combined over the year.

Separately, Xstrata, the world’s fourth-largest copper miner, said that mined production of the red metal hit 747,000 tonnes in 2012.

The figures were in line with market forecasts, but down 16 per cent on 2011 as the company replaces ageing operations such as the Ernest Henry open pit in Australia and moves to new projects and expansions.

Glencore did not provide any details of its trading activities, which is a key driver of its earnings.

The commodities giant is still waiting for regulatory approval from China for its merger with Xstrata, but the deal is expected to officially complete next month.