Pick up in August
But sector still under pressure
THE PHYSICAL VOLUME of mining production rose sharply monthon-month in August on a seasonally adjusted basis after falling sharply monthon-month in July. The sector remains under pressure and a repeat of its massive contribution to gross domestic product in the second quarter won’t happen in the third quarter.
The July mining output figures were particularly dismal due to weak performance by platinum group metals (PGMs). That improved in August, but wasn’t enough to save mining output from a year-on-year decline. Total mining production decreased 6% (year-on-year, seasonally adjusted) during August, less than the 12,4% year-on-year reduction in July.
Efficient Group economist Fanie Joubert says a rebound in the production of PGMs supported mining production in August. PGM output still fell by 1% year-on-year in August, but that was a serious improvement after the 32,2% contraction in July, when deferred main- tenance affected the sub-sector adversely.
Gold (-23,2%), coal (-0,6%) and diamonds (-27,1%) all recorded contractions during August.