Thursday 30 April 2020 11:52 am

Coronavirus: Glencore set to cut spending as production falls

Glencore said that it would cut capital spending and production guidance for the year but stressed that it was well-placed to weather the coronavirus storm.

Shares in the firm fell over one per cent in the morning’s trading.

The coronavirus pandemic has forced the commodities giant to halt operations in countries such as South Africa, Chad, Peru, Colombia and Canada.

The shutdowns have seen production fall at some of its sites, with copper output falling nine per cent to 293,000 tonnes a year.

Cobalt production almost halved as Glencore’s Mutanda mine in Congo was forced to close, meaning output fell 44 per cent to 6,300 tonnes.

The company has trimmed guidance for production of commodities including cobalt, zinc, ferrochrome, nickel and coal for the year.

Listen to our daily City View podcast as we chart the economic fallout and business impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

It also said it would reduce capital expenditure by $1bn to $1.5bn across the year, down from a previous estimate of $5.5bn. 

Such moves align Glencore with other commodities giants such as Antofagasta and Anglo American, which have also reduced spending plans.

Many of the firm’s bigger operations have not had to shut despite the pandemic, and the firm said it was planning on reopening mines in Canada and South Africa.

In a statement, chief executive Ivan Glasenburg said that the firm was “well positioned to navigate the current challenges” due to its strong liquidity and resilient business model.

Earlier in the year the firm deferred its decision to pay its $2.6bn dividend.