Glencore slashes 2020 spending, production guidance as coronavirus hitsGlencore slashes 2020 spending, production guidance as coronavirus hits
The logo of commodities trader Glencore is pictured in Baar

LONDON (Reuters) – Glencore on Thursday cut its capital expenditure and production targets in 2020 as the coronavirus worsened the economic outlook and hit its business.

The London-listed miner said spending for the year would fall by $1 billion-$1.5 billion from an original expectation of $5.5 billion.

The coronavirus has routed global markets, disrupted supply chains and forced miners to slow or shut operations as governments introduced measures to curb its spread.

Glencore said copper production in its first quarter fell 9% to 293,000 tonnes compared to the same period a year ago, while cobalt output slid 44% to 6,100 tonnes as it shut its Congo operations.

Government restrictions forced Glencore to shutter some operations in Chad, Peru, Colombia, South Africa and Canada. The miner said it was ramping up operations in Canada and South Africa.

Miners including Antofagasta, Anglo American and Freeport-McMoRan have also cut capital expenditure due to the coronavirus while Rio Tinto cut its forecast for annual copper output.

(Reporting by Zandi Shabalala; editing by David Evans)