…Finance Ministry says other mining sectors showed remarkable performance
The momentum achieved in the bauxite industry, at the end of 2017, continued into 2018. In fact, half year production reached its highest level, since 2013, surpassing the period of the previous year by 21.1 percent.
This is according to the mid-year report that was produced by the Ministry of Finance. The Ministry’s statistics show that production for mid-year 2018 was about 900,000 tonnes. The Ministry said that bauxite companies were able to maintain high levels of production in response to favourable market conditions.
It noted, however, that in April 2018, production by the Bauxite Company of Guyana Incorporated (BCGI) was 40.1 percent below the level projected for that month. This drop was due to a temporary suspension of the operations of Oldendorff Carriers, the company used by BCGI to transship bauxite from Guyana, in response to the announcement of planned sanctions by the US on Rusal, the majority owner of BCGI.
Notwithstanding this, the Finance Ministry said that the two producers are expected to continue to maintain high levels of production for the remainder of the year, with favourable market conditions forecast to persist. The forecast growth for the industry, for 2018, has been revised upward from 23.3 percent to 29.9 percent.
In addition to this, the Finance Ministry said that the remarkable first half growth in other mining, of 31.2 percent, was driven by the production of diamonds as well as stone, which increased by 13.3 percent and 45.5 percent, respectively, when compared with declarations over the same period of 2017.
The Ministry said that the growth in diamond declaration appears to be somewhat consistent with commodity price movements, while the growth in stone production is invariably tied to the expansion in construction. It noted that available evidence indicates that the production of sand fell by 51.7 percent, during the first half of 2018, compared to 2017.
It noted however that the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) is yet to survey quarries and sand pits. As such, the ministry said that these estimates are likely to be revised once the surveys are completed. In the interim, the growth forecast for other mining, has been conditionally revised up to 17.5 percent, for 2018, from 3.8 percent.
While the mining and quarrying and manufacturing sectors are expected to contract, the Ministry of Finance said that this will be offset by growth in all other sectors.
It noted that the performance of the economy, in the first half of 2018, has resulted in a marginal upward revision of the annual growth rate from 3.4 percent (revised at the time of the IMF Article IV Consultation, in April, 2018), to 3.7 percent, slightly below the original projection of 3.8 percent.
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