Could Antamina Strike in Peru Help Copper Prices?

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Workers at Peru’s biggest copper mine, Antamina, started an indefinite strike on Monday demanding profit-sharing payments. Antamina – owned by BHP Billiton, Glencore Xstrata, Teck Resources, and Mitsubishi – has been hit by a drop in revenue due to lower mineral prices and an unexpected drop in production this year.

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Minerals represent 60% of Peru’s export revenues, but lower production, falling prices and softer demand from Asia have taken a heavy toll on earnings, dragging the country’s growth rates down from 5.8% in 2013 to a forecast of 3.1% this year, the Financial Times reported.

At JPY 803,000 ($7,376) per metric ton, the Japanese copper cash price moved up 0.6% on Monday, November 10, making it the day’s biggest mover. The price of US copper producer grade 110 gained 0.5% to finish at $3.76 per pound. The price of US copper producer grade 122 inched up 0.5% to $3.76 per pound. The price of US copper producer grade 102 increased 0.5% to $3.95 per pound.

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Chinese copper prices were mixed for the day. Chinese copper bar prices rose 0.6% to CNY 49,170 ($8,006) per metric ton. The cash price of Chinese copper rose 0.5% to CNY 49,370 ($8,038) per metric ton. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese copper wire held flat at CNY 50,395 ($8,205) per metric ton. The price of Chinese bright copper scrap saw little movement at CNY 44,300 ($7,213) per metric ton.

On the LME, the cash price of primary copper rose 0.6% to $6,720 per metric ton. At $6,640, the copper 3-month price finished the market day on the LME up 0.4% per metric ton.

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