Glencore Set for More Bumper Trading Profits as Metals Surge

Glencore Plc signaled another strong year of earnings from its giant trading business as prices soar for commodities from copper to aluminum.

The unit is on track to deliver core profit in the top half of its guidance range of $2.2 billion to $3.2 billion this year, Glencore said in a statement Thursday, without giving more details. Production goals from its mines remain unchanged.

The world’s biggest commodities trader has benefited strongly from recent price volatility. Last year it reported record earnings of $3.3 billion for the unit, after profitable bets on oil swings early in the pandemic and then a surge in metal prices toward the end of the year.

Raw materials like iron ore and copper are benefiting from stimulus programs and climate pledges as nations seek to rebuild from the Covid-19 shock. Key commodities are now starting to test highs from the last supercycle, when prices spiked in the early 2000s as the global mining industry struggled to meet demand.

That’s helping boost profits for the world’s biggest miners, many of which are trading near record highs and are on course to deliver another round of huge dividends to shareholders.

Glencore’s first-quarter update will be the last under Chief Executive Officer Ivan Glasenberg, who will retire at the end of June. He’ll be replaced by his handpicked successor, Gary Nagle, after two decades running the company, including the last 10 years listed on public markets.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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