Chile’s copper prices are expected to end 2020 at $2.62/lb, 23¢/lb lower than the guidance announced in January, due to the market uncertainties because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, prices for the red metal are expected to rise to $2.85/lb in 2021, Chilean Copper Commission (Cochilco) said in a statement on Thursday without disclosing the supply volume.
The association added that the second wave of COVID-19 infections in the US and Europe could reduce copper supply from those regions.
Global copper production is expected to reach 20.06mn mt in 2020, down by 2.9pc, which represents 603,000mt less compared to 2019, due to lower production from Mexico, Peru, and Chile, Cochilco data indicated. Chinese copper production is expected to stay flat in 2020 at 1.60mn mt but could rise by 10pc in 2021 to 1.76mn mt.
Chile’s copper production could drop by 1.2pc to 5.71mn mt in 2020, from 5.78mn mt in 2019, while Peruvian copper output will also decline by 15pc this year to 2.1mn mt, from 2.4mn mt in 2019. Cochilco noted that Mexico’s copper output will drop by 20pc to 621,000mt this year, from 770,000mt produced in 2019.
On the other hand, global copper production for 2021 is expected to increased by 5.1pc to 21.08mn mt compared to 2020, Cochilco said, adding that this increment would be driven by higher production from Peru, Mexico, and Zambia.