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Copper Prices Could Have a Boost amid Disrupted Chile Exports

July 15, 2016 at 17:59 by Andrew Moran

Copper prices hit a two-month high on Thursday as Chile’s copper shipments were disrupted last month. Analysts are expecting copper prices to rise in the short-term because of the delay in the Latin American nation’s copper exports.

One of the world’s top copper producers experienced stormy weather in the second half of June that affected its cargoes. Ports were closed for several days at a time because of weather issues. The shipments started to normalize in the beginning of July.

Despite the return to full capacity, Chilean miners state that export figures for the latter half of June could be significantly impacted. Moreover, the largest metals consumer in the world, China, thinks its import data will take a hit because of the copper shipment delay.

All of these important points could help lift copper prices over the next little while. So far this year, copper prices have been relatively weak because the metal has flooded the global market. Copper mine supply is projected to increase by 5% this year because new projects keep popping up, particularly in Peru.

Chile remains a major player in the global copper market. Last year, Chile accounted for 20% of the global refined copper supply and 30% of the international mine supply with 3.8 million tonnes. Although it has enormously contributed to the mine supply, Chile’s copper export revenues were down 16% last month compared to the same time in 2015.

China is still the largest importer of Chile’s copper. Even though its imports fell 2.3% last month to 420,000 tonnes, they were still up 22% for the first half of 2016. This is because of China’s huge power sector, which regularly consumes the metal.

September copper prices were down $0.0085, or 0.38%, to $2.23 per pound at 17:39 GMT on Friday.

If you have any questions and comments on the commodities today, use the form below to reply.

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