THE rate of decline in South African mining production slowed in May compared to April as lockdown measures aimed at containing the spread of Covid-19 disease were relaxed, said BusinessLive.
Mining production fell 29.8% year-on-year in May, said the newspaper citing data from Stats SA, published on Tuesday. April’s fall, worse than previously reported at a revised -50.3%, was the worst on record since the agency began the series in 1980.
On a month-on-month, seasonally adjusted basis, mining production rose 44% from the previous month’s decline of a revised 36.8%, said BusinessLive.
According to a presentation produced by lobby group B4SA (Business For South Africa), mining output could fall by between 20% to 30% this year potentially resulting in the loss of 30,000 jobs.
May’s outcome was better than some economists expected, with a Bloomberg survey of six economists expecting annual production to fall 32.5%. The declines in production were broad-based with all mineral groups reporting a fall.
The largest contributors to the annual change, however, were iron ore, which fell 66.3%; platinum group metals, which declined 27.3%; and manganese, which fell 45.4%. Collieries producing coal for Eskom’s consumption were allowed to continue to operate, even through the initial hard lockdown implemented by the South African government in March.