May 4, 2017 / 7:24 AM / 7 months ago

Glencore raises profit forecast for trading arm

LONDON (Reuters) - Mining and commodities trading group Glencore (GLEN.L) has raised its operating profit forecast for the trading division this year by $100 million and said its mining operations were expected to recover from some weather-related disruption at the start of the year.

The logo of commodities trader Glencore is pictured in front of the company's headquarters in Baar, Switzerland, September 30, 2015. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

First-quarter production figures were lower for commodities such as copper and zinc than some analysts forecast.

But they said Glencore’s upward revision for its trading division - to between $2.3 billion and $2.6 billion from $2.2 billion to $2.5 billion - suggested that results for the full year would not suffer.

Glencore’s share price was down 0.2 percent at 286 pence by 0740 GMT, when the FTSE 350 mining sector index <0#.FTNMX1770> was down 0.9 percent.

So far this year the share price performance has been positive, extending gains made in 2016 when it was one of the top performers on the FTSE 100 index .FTSE, while other big miners have pared last year's gains.

Copper production in the first quarter this year was 3 percent lower than a year ago, following lower grade quality in some mines as well as flooding in Peru and higher than average rainfall in Democratic Republic of Congo.

Zinc production was up 9 percent, Glencore said, adding there were no plans to restart idled capacity in Australia and Peru.

    Coal production was 4 percent higher than a year ago, reflecting stronger coking coal output compared with a year ago and increases in Glencore’s Australian thermal coal operations.

    The world’s largest shipper of seaborne coal is expected to benefit from higher coal prices.

    Glencore said Newcastle coal prices were 61 percent higher than the first quarter a year ago.

    In a note BMO, which rates Glencore shares as a “market perform”, said catching up to reach full-year production targets was possible as much of the shortfall was weather-related and the increase to trading guidance was positive.

    Reporting by Barbara Lewis and Sanjeeban Sarkar; editing by Jason Neely, Greg Mahlich

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