(Montel) Glencore produced 48.7m tonnes of predominantly thermal coal in the first half of 2021, down 16% on the year, due largely to the suspension of some Colombian operations, the Anglo-Swiss trading and mining firm said on Friday.
It announced plans earlier this year to divest from the unit, citing “challenging market conditions”.
Meanwhile, its share of Colombian output from Cerrejon – which is owned jointly by Glencore, BHP and Anglo American – rose 33% to 3.6m tonnes, reflecting a temporary halt to operations last year, due to Coronavirus-related restrictions.
At the same time, thermal and semi-soft coal production from Glencore’s Australian portfolio was down 15% at 30.2m tonnes.
“[This was] mainly reflecting market-related supply reductions initiated in H2 2020,” it said.
South African thermal coal production for export, however, rose 7% to 7.7m tonnes, likely due to favourable export prices.
Yet total South African production for the domestic market declined 38% to 3.1m tonnes.
“[This reflected] lower domestic production on account of weaker local demand conditions, and planned overall curtailments to match reduced export rail capacity,” it said.
Ten days’ rail maintenance in January was followed by flood-related logistics disruptions and then a 10-20% reduction in operating capacity due to damaged infrastructure.
And further restrictions to rail and port operations have been seen over the past couple of months, due to derailments, planned maintenance and civil unrest.
Thermal coal accounted for around 86% of Glencore’s total coal production.