Chile’s copper industry has denied it is deferring copper exports to China because of the coronavirus, the Chilean Copper Commission (Cochilco) said in a statement.
This move comes after media outlets reported that Chinese copper buyers asked Chilean miners to delay shipments due to some ports being shut down to contain the coronavirus outbreak.
Copper prices decreased by 10pc in January on coronavirus fears, Cochilco said in a statement, adding that since the health alert the Chilean industry has watched the copper market suffer.
Chilean copper prices are nevertheless expected to increase this year to $2.85/lb, 13¢/lb higher than in 2019, Cochilco has said. Chile’s copper production is expected to increase by 1.5pc to 5.87mn mt this year, compared to 2019.
Production for 2021 is also expected to rise by 0.7pc to 5.91mn mt compared to 2020, Cochilco said.