Mining production jumps 3.1 % y/y in February: StatsSA

Johannesburg -  Mining production increased by 3. 1% year-on-year in February, boosted by diamond, iron ore, manganese and coal, figures released on Thursday by Statistic South Africa showed.

Diamond mining added 2 percentage points to the total output, while manganese and coal equally contributed 1 percentage point. Mineral sales increased by 1.8% year-on-year in February 2018.  

“Seasonally adjusted mining production increased by 0.9% in February 2018 compared with January 2018,” the agency said in a statement.

FNB Senior Economic Analyst, Jason Muscat, described the uptick in production as “better than expected”.

Muscat warned that the total industry output remained “extremely vulnerable to softer demand particularly for iron-ore and coal, which if excluded, would have resulted in growth of just 0.6% y/y”.

“While we are heartened by the progress made in resolving the mining charter impasse, we remain concerned that US imposed tariffs on China for steel exports [to the US] could see iron-ore demand taper off,” said Muscat.

Last month, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies revealed that the US tariffs on steel and aluminium products posed a risk to South Africa, which accounts for 2% of US imports.

The duties, include a 10% tariff on the imports of aluminium, and a 25% tariff on imports of steel into the US.


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