* Lifts operating profit forecast for trading division by
* Coal prices spike in Q1 versus same time a year ago
* Says no plans to start idled zinc production
LONDON, May 4 Mining and commodities trading
group Glencore 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.
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
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, 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
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)