This Morning in Metals: Antofagasta Lowers Copper Guidance

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This morning in metals news, miner Antofagasta lowered its full-year copper guidance by 20,000 tons, a new favorite has emerged in the British Steel sweepstakes and the U.S. unemployment rate was unchanged in October.

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Antofagasta Lowers Copper Guidance Amid Supply Disruptions

Protests and labor stoppages in Chile have impacted copper production in the country, the world’s top copper producer.

Antofagasta announced it was lowering its full-year copper guidance from a range of between 750,000 to 790,000 tons down to a range of 750,000 and 770,000 tons.

“Further to the 3Q 2019 Production Report announcement on 23 October 2019 and following the unrest in Chile, all of the Company’s mines are now back in operation,” the company said. Disruptions of the mines’ supplies mainly affected Los Pelambres whose access road was blocked. This, combined with some damage to ancillary infrastructure outside Los Pelambres’ perimeter, is estimated to have an impact on the Company’s full year production of approximately 10,000 tonnes of copper, including the 5,000 tonnes previously disclosed.

“At Antucoya, labour negotiations have been successfully concluded with the union ending the strike which started on 16 October. The impact on copper production is estimated at approximately 4,000 tonnes.”

New Favorite in British Steel Bidding

Following the failure to reach a deal with Ataer Holding, an arm of the Turkish military pension fund OYAK, a Chinese firm has emerged as the favorite to take over the insolvent British Steel.

According to The Guardian, Jingye is “extremely interested” in making a bid for the U.K.’s second-largest steelmaker, which was forced into liquidation in May.

Unemployment Rate Holds Steady

According to the latest jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the U.S. unemployment rate held steady at 3.6% in October.

In October, nonfarm payroll employment increased by 128,000 jobs, according to the BLS.

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However, jobs declined in the motor vehicles and parts manufacturing sector due to strike activity (namely, the 40-day General Motors strike, which recently concluded).

Employment in manufacturing dropped by 36,000 in October. Employment in the motor vehicles and parts manufacturing sector fell by 42,000.

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