Chilean Copper Miner Antofagasta Posts Higher Output, Copper Jumps on LME

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Chilean miner Antofagasta posted a 5 percent quarter-on-quarter increase in its second-quarter copper output, slightly ahead of forecast, as it ramped up production after maintenance dented its first-quarter output, Reuters reported.

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The London-listed miner, which like others in the copper sector is battling declining ore grades, rising costs and weak metal prices, produced 178,800 tonnes of copper in the second quarter, up 5.5 percent from the previous quarter, when output was hit by plant maintenance at its Los Pelambres and Esperanza operations and declining copper grades.

Production for the first half of 2014 was 348,200 tonnes, slightly ahead of analysts’ consensus of 344,000 but down 4.4 percent from the same period a year earlier.

The 3-month price of copper fell 0.8 percent on Tuesday, July 29 to $7,120 per metric ton on the LME, making it the day’s biggest mover. The cash price of primary copper closed at $7,130 per metric ton. Following a couple days of improvement, the metal’s price weakened by 0.7 percent on the LME.

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The cash price of primary Japanese copper fell 0.5 percent to JPY 759,000 ($7,454) per metric ton. The price of US copper producer grade 122 rose 0.3 percent to $3.93 per pound. After a 0.3 percent increase, the price of US copper producer grade 110 finished the day at $3.93 per pound. The price of US copper producer grade 102 rose 0.2 percent to $4.12 per pound.

Chinese copper closed mixed yesterday. Chinese copper bar prices rose 0.4 percent to CNY 51,580 ($8,336) per metric ton. At CNY 51,780 ($8,368), the Chinese copper cash price finished the market day up 0.3 percent per metric ton. The price of Chinese copper wire fell 0.2 percent yesterday to CNY 50,700 ($8,194) per metric ton. The price of Chinese bright copper scrap held steady at CNY 44,300 ($7,160) per metric ton.

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