Oil is in dire straights right now and commodity prices are weak — you hear that a lot, but sometimes it’s hard to grasp just how bad things are.
Global mining giant BHP Billiton has produced a handy table in its half-year report, released Wednesday, showing just how much the price of everything from oil to copper has tanked over the last year. The smallest drop is 20% — the biggest, oil, a huge 51%.
As a result of the price squeeze, BHP Billiton has reduced production of pretty much everything except iron ore. And that’s had a negative knock-on effect too.
The mining giant says it is taking a $300 million to $450 million hit on profits this year due in part to slimming down its business by closing US oil rigs and coal mines. It’s also writing down its inventory due to the low commodity prices and taking a hit on global tax and royalty issues.
BHP Billiton’s CEO Andrew Mackenzie says in the update:
Commodity prices fell substantially in the first half of the 2016 financial year putting pressure on the whole resources sector. We continue to cut costs and remain focused on safely improving our operational performance to enhance the resilience of our business. In this environment, we are also committed to protecting our strong balance sheet so we have the financial flexibility to manage further volatility and take advantage of the expected recovery in copper and oil over the medium term.
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