The mining sector took another beating at the start of the third quarter after slumping the most in three months, crippled by the evolving trade war between the US and China. While the sector contributed positively to GDP in the second quarter, mining production fell 5.2% in July, the lowest level in three months. Gold, iron ore, coal and platinum group metals reported lower production volumes in July. The trade war between the US and China, a major importer of commodities, has dented production in the sector. A falling platinum price due to reduced demand for diesel vehicles and a volatile rand have added to pressure. The US threat to up tariffs for Chinese imports could dent global growth, said FNB senior economic analyst Jason Muscat. US President Donald Trump’s administration has invited Chinese officials for renewed trade talks, as the country prepares to escalate the trade war with tariffs on $200bn in Chinese goods.

Globally, commodity prices have been hard hit — as ind...

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