Chilean Copper Production Dips Again, Denting Surplus

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Copper production in top exporter Chile fell for the fifth straight month in November, dropping 7.3% from a year earlier, the Chilean government’s INE statistics agency said on Tuesday.

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Chile produced 477,432 tons of copper on lower processing rates and reduced ore grades.

The Andean nation, home to a third of the world’s copper production, is struggling with dwindling ore grades in many of its aging deposits, although new mines are helping to boost output.

Chinese copper wire had the largest decline on Monday, December 29, dropping 0.6% and landing at CNY 46,060 ($7,393) per metric ton. After two changeless days, the price of Chinese copper bar fell 0.6% to CNY 46,900 ($7,528) per metric ton. The cash price of Chinese copper dropped by 0.5% to CNY 47,100 ($7,560) per metric ton after holding steady. Chinese bright copper scrap stayed flat at around CNY 40,400 ($6,485) per metric ton.

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The price of US copper producer grade 122 remained essentially flat at $3.61 per pound. The Japanese copper cash price steadied at JPY 794,000 ($6,593) per metric ton following two-days of dropping prices. The price of US copper producer grade 102 saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row, remaining around $3.80 per pound. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of US copper producer grade 110 held flat at $3.61 per pound.

On the LME, the 3-month price of copper held steady around $6,319 per metric ton. Also on the LME, the cash price of primary copper held steady around $6,360 per metric ton.

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