The Chilean Copper Commission (Cochilco) expects copper prices and production to rise on growing Chinese demand.
In the agency’s copper market trends report released on Monday, Chile’s mining minister, Baldo Prokurica, said that the country would realize an average copper price of around $2.75/lb for 2020, up by 35₵/lb from the Q2 report’s projection in June. Furthermore, the average price is predicted to rise by 15₵/lb to $2.90/lb in 2021. As of Monday, Nov 24, the price stood at $3.27/lb. Cochilco expects copper exports to fetch Chile revenue worth $3bn in 2020.
Prokurica explained that the raised forecast was due to China’s accelerated recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, along with factors such as the devaluation of the US Dollar, and falling stockpiles. The promise of the vaccine in Q1 2021 is also part of this prediction.
Demand and production
Cochilco estimates global copper demand to fall by 2.5pc in 2020 to 23.32mn mt, down 600,000 from 2019, due to the pandemic’s impact. However, the agency sees demand rising by 2.9pc to almost 24mn mt in 2021.
In Chile, production is slated to rise by 0.6pc over 2019, tallying at 5.82mn mt this year and defying earlier predictions of decline. In 2021, Cochilco sees the country’s copper output rising by 3pc to almost 6mn mt.