Mining production increased by 6.5 percent year-on-year in November 2017, up from 5.2 percent year-on-year for the previous month supported by higher commodity prices, Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) said on Tuesday.
The improved performance so far in 2017 is mainly attributable to higher contributions from iron ore, manganese ore, diamonds and other non-metallic minerals.
The largest positive contributors were the platinum group metals at 12.3 percent and contributing 2.8 percentage points; iron ore at 20.7 percent and contributing 2.5 percentage points; as well as coal at 8.5 percent and contributing 2.1 percentage points.
Gold, decreasing by 8.3 percent and contributing negative -1.3 percentage points, was a significant negative contributor.
In the year to date, mining production increased by 4.2 percent year-on-year compared to a decline of 4.1 percent year-on-year in the same period of 2016.
But seasonally adjusted mining production decreased by 1.1 percent in the three months ended November 2017 compared with the previous three months, with diamonds and gold being the largest negative contributors.
Kamilla Kaplan, an economist at South Africa’s financial services group Investec, said that the performance of the mining sector in 2017 will have been influenced by the lift in international commodity prices.
“Increased demand for commodities, and the consequent lift in prices, has in part been generated by the rebound in the global economy in 2017 from 2016 growth, which was the slowest since the 2008/09 global recession,” Kaplan said.
– African News Agency (ANA)