Picture: SOWETAN
Picture: SOWETAN

The pace of contraction in SAs annual mining production picked up in September, with output falling a worse-than-expected 2.8%, led by declines in iron ore and chromium production.

This is almost twice the rate of contraction in the Thomson Reuters consensus of a 1.5% drop, with iron ore the biggest factor in the fall, falling 30.5% in the last month of the third quarter.

The industry contributes roughly 7% of GDP, but its share has been steadily declining in recent years, facing issues that include unreliable and expensive electricity supply.

Absa economists said in a note that given that the overall total output in the industry was almost back to pre-lockdown levels in August, a more moderate pace of growth in September was to be expected. Absa had expected a 2.5% contraction.

Mining output contracted 0.3% on a monthly basis in September, Statistics SA said on Thursday. Mining output in the third quarter rose 40.6% on a seasonally-adjusted basis when compared to the three months to end-June.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za

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