Glencore cuts 2023 nickel output guidance due to maintenance, strikes
Maintenance outages at the Sudbury smelter and a longer-than-expected recovery from 2022 strike action has affected production
London — Commodity trader and miner Glencore on Monday cut its nickel production guidance for this year due to maintenance and strikes but reiterated its expectation that profits from its trading division would be $3.5bn-$4.0bn, above its long-term guidance range.
Glencore maintained its overall 2023 guidance for copper, zinc, coal and cobalt output.
Its trading division includes coal, oil, liquefied natural gas and related products, as well as metals, whose profit hit a record $6.4bn in 2022, up 73% from the previous year.
The London-listed miner’s long-term yearly trading guidance earnings is for a number between $2.2bn and $3.2bn.
Glencore, which in June offered to buy Teck’s steelmaking coal business as a stand-alone unit, having been rebuffed twice in its $22.5bn bid to combine the two companies, lowered its guidance for full-year nickel production by 9% to about 102,000 metric tons.
“Nickel has been reduced to reflect ... maintenance outages at the Sudbury smelter and a longer-than-expected recovery from 2022 strike action, together with a lower full-year revision for Koniambo,” Glencore said in a statement.
Glencore’s own sourced nickel output was down 16% at 68,400 tonnes in the first three quarters of the year, while its own sourced copper production of 735,800 metric tons fell 5%.
Copper, nickel and cobalt are key materials for electric vehicles, a key plank of the energy transition.
Glencore’s own sourced cobalt production year to date was 32,500 tonnes down 2% from the same period last year, zinc output at 672,100 tonnes fell 4% and ferrochrome output at 873,000 tonnes dropped 21%.
“Ferrochrome production has also been marked lower, due to additional smelter off-line days on account of electricity pricing and load curtailments in SA,” Glencore said.
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