Sasol lowers synfuels sales forecast in update
The decrease in coal production up to the third quarter of the 2017 financial year was primarily due to the effect of industrial action at its Secunda mining operations
Chemical conglomerate Sasol has revised its synfuel sales forecast for the year to June down to 60-million barrels from 61-million barrels in financial 2016, in a nine-month update to the end of March. The group says a strike at its Secunda colliery towards the end of calendar 2016 has not contributed much to a 4.5% drop in "white product" — petrol, diesel and paraffin — sales to 42.5-million barrels in the period. Rather, this was due to the refurbishment of the Natref refinery in Sasolburg, where crude oil processing fell 2%. "Sasol put out an operational update that was a bit weaker for the energy business, but more than offset by better chemicals business volume performance," Kagiso Asset Management head of research Abdul Davids said on Tuesday. Liquid fuels volumes fell 4% in the nine months, mainly on lower market demand and Natref shutdowns. The group’s "black product", or bitumen sales, for the period was level at 1.8-million barrels. Meanwhile, Secunda coal mine’s saleable ...