Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Mining production increased by 3.1% year-on-year in February 2018, on higher commodity prices. Statistics SA has revised the January figure to 2.9% from 2.4%.

The main positive contributors were diamonds (up 42.9% and contributing two percentage points); iron ore (up 10.5% and contributing 1.5 percentage points); manganese ore (up 24.3% and contributing one percentage point); and coal (3.9% and contributing one percentage point).

Seasonally adjusted mining production increased by 0.9% in February 2018 compared with January, following a month-on-month increase of 1% in January.

In the three months ended February, seasonally adjusted mining production decreased by 2.4% compared with the previous three months.

Mineral sales also increased by 1.8% year-on-year in February.

Investec expected mining to grow at up to 2.8% while macro-economics website Trading Economics projected mining output of 5%. Investec economist Lara Hodes said this is supported by the sustained, synchronised upswing in global activity and still elevated commodity prices.

However, FNB chief economist Mamello Matikinca said, “We are not overly constructive on the mining production numbers.”

She said that gold and platinum group metals (PGM) production have been in the doldrums for some time, and output has not been helped by several mine stoppages, and that platinum demand and prices continue to languish.