S.Africa’s Kumba Iron Ore sees annual production at low end of forecast

Adds details on forecast and background

JOHANNESBURG, Dec 4 (Reuters)South Africa’s Kumba Iron Ore KIOJ.J said on Friday annual output was likely to be at the bottom of its forecast range this year, and that it had cut its forecasts for 2021 and 2022.

The company, a unit of Anglo American AAL.L, said it would revise its 2020 full-year production outlook to around 37 million tonnes, from 37 million-39 million tonnes, and its sales forecast to about 39 million tonnes from previous outlook of 38 million-40 million tonnes.

“To ensure that the value chain is balanced, and finished stock is maintained at optimal levels, production is likely to be closer to the lower end of the guidance range,” Kumba Iron said in a statement.

The miner also cut its 2021 production forecast to 40 million-41 million tonnes and 2022 outlook to 41 million-42 million tonnes. It had previously forecast production at 42-43 million tonnes for both years.

Kumba Iron, however, said it expects to produce 41 million-42 million tonnes in 2023.

Capital expenditure for 2020 was likely to be at the top end of its forecast range – at about 6.1 billion rand – while its forecast for unit costs was unchanged at $32 per tonne. This would rise to around $34 per tonne in 2021, it said.

(Reporting by Emma Rumney; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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