【Ferro-alloys.com】South Africa’s mining production decreased by 3.4% year-on-year in September, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) reported on November 11.
The largest negative contributors were coal, platinum-group metals (PGMs) and gold.
Manganese ore contributed 1.2 percentage points, or 14.2%, and was a significant positive contributor.
Seasonally adjusted mining production decreased by 3.7% in September, compared with August. This follows month-on-month changes of -2% in August and 3.6% in July.
Seasonally adjusted mining production decreased by 0.6% in the third quarter, compared with the second quarter.
Mineral sales, meanwhile, at current prices, increased by 1.1% year-on-year in September. The largest positive contributors were coal and PGMs at 25.5% and 6.7%, respectively.
Manganese ore (-28.4% and contributing -2.1 percentage points) and gold (-18% and contributing -1.8 percentage points) were significant negative contributors.
Seasonally adjusted mineral sales at current prices decreased by 24.6% in September, compared with August, which Stats SA said followed month-on-month changes of 1.2% in August and -1.1% in July.
The seasonally adjusted value of mineral sales at current prices was 8.9% lower for the third quarter, compared with the second quarter.
Although the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic weighed on mining production, Nedbank Economic Insights said the sector has performed relatively better than the average growth levels observed in the same period of 2017, 2018 and 2019.
It said this is partly explained by the relatively higher commodity prices and global demand.
Overall, mining production is moderating from the highs observed since March and the current halt in domestic Covid-19 restrictions should support activity in the sector.
However, Nedbank warned that the persistent uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and heightened electricity constraints will weigh on the sector’s performance, and that mining sales remain supported by relatively elevated commodity prices and increased global demand, which may level off in 2022 as demand eases and supply improves.