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ZURICH: Swiss commodities giant Glencore said yesterday that its performance in the third quarter had been good, but cautioned that there was no sign that global macro conditions would improve soon.
“Overall performance in (the third quarter) was good, despite generally weaker commodity prices,” the company said.
Although Glencore, based in Baar in central Switzerland, did not publish any numbers for its third quarter, it stressed that it had seen solid growth during the quarter, especially in its metals and agricultural products units.
It also hailed the “robustness” in its marketing division, which is in charge of selling commodities on world markets. Glencore said its industrial activities unit performance meanwhile “reflected lower prices, but nevertheless delivered a sequential and year-on-year overall volume improvement,” with particularly strong growth in the energy products sector.
Its thermal coal production for instance nearly doubled to 33 million tonnes over the first nine months of its accounting year, while it pumped up nearly 17 million barrels of oil during the same period. Glencore did not say how its oil production compared to the same period a year ago. In metals, Glencore’s zinc production slipped 5.7 percent to 511.9 million tonnes during the first nine months, while copper production fell 16.3 percent to 394.2 million tonnes.
Nickel extraction meanwhile swelled 16.1 percent to 25.8 million tonnes over the same period. over the same period. Glencore also said its agricultural product production grew 11 percent to 5.5 million tonnes. But the outlook going forward is far from rosy, the company said, pointing out that “we are not assuming any short term material improvement in global macro conditions.” However, the company, which has reserves of around $9bn, stressed it was “confident that in this environment our business model places us in a strongly competitive position.”
Glencore is preparing to merge with another Swiss commodities giant, Xstrata, after the two companies finally managed at the beginning of October to put aside the differences. If the deal passes the final stumbling blocks, the massive new company will be worth $87bn. The two companies’ general assemblies are set to meet on November 20 in Zoug in central Switzerland and should give their stamps of approval before the end of the year. AFP