Glencore Xstrata records growth in maiden trading update

Glencore Xstrata, the newly merged commodities trader and mining giant listed on the FTSE 100, said that most asset classes from combined operations registered production growth on the year before.

Glencore Xstrata, the newly merged commodities trader and mining giant listed on the FTSE 100, said that most asset classes from combined operations registered production growth on the year before.

However the company, which completed its multibillion-pound merger on May 2nd, did admit that while its Marketing performance was broadly in line with expectations, it saw "some softening in prices towards the end of the quarter".

Total copper production, which includes feed from own sources as well a third-party sources, increased 15% to 537,300 in the first three months of the year from 468,000 tonnes in the first quarter of 2012.

Own sourced copper output rose 18% year-on-year to 321,800, helped by impressive 44% growth in Africa alone to 83,600 tonnes, with strong sequential quarter-on-quarter growth at its major expansion projects at Katanga and Mutanda. Meanwhile, the company said it was helped by a "strong ramp-up" in own sourced copper production at Antapaccay in Peru and Mount Margaret in Queensland, Australia.

Zinc production was broadly flat at 609,700 in the first quarter, with own sourced output also flat at 386,900 as decent growth in Australia and the benefit of the Rosh Pinah acquisition was offset by the winding down of Brunswick and Perserverance operations.

Total gold equivalent output rose 9.0% from 531,000 to 578,000, helped by 15% growth from own sourced production. Meanwhile, cobalt, ferrochrome, platinum, palladium and rhodium output also gained strongly on last year.

Agricultural products were said to have made a "slow start" to the year though the company assured that this was a seasonally weaker quarter.

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