Sasol Ltd., the biggest producer of motor fuels made from coal, lowered its annual output estimate by 1.4 percent because of delays in the re-commissioning of its Secunda plant after a maintenance shutdown.
The revised figure of 7.2 million metric tons is a “more realistic full-year target,” Sasol said in a statement released on Johannesburg’s bourse today.
Synthetic-fuel output was 1.7 million tons in the first quarter through September, “in line” with expectations, the Johannesburg-based company said. Output at its Oryx gas-to-liquids plant in Qatar averaged 27,000 barrels a day, it said. First-quarter sales were “slightly higher” than the quarterly average in the second half of last year, it said.
“This is largely attributed to higher product prices and production improvements,” Sasol said, with stronger prices countering the negative effect of gains in the rand.
The rand averaged 7.17 against the dollar in the current financial year so far, compared with 7.65 in Sasol’s first half a year earlier. Crude oil has averaged $79.07 a barrel in New York trading, up from $72.17. Sasol posted first-half net income of 6.3 billion rand ($905 million) a year ago.
Sasol rose for a second day, adding 0.9 percent to 321.99 rand by the 5 p.m. close of trade in Johannesburg.