Copper exporters to benefit from China reopening, AllianceBernstein says

(Image courtesy of Codelco | Flickr.)

Global markets have yet to price in fully the reopening of China and copper exporters are set to benefit from the world’s second-biggest economy returning, according to AllianceBernstein.

For sectors like copper where supply constraints remain and inventory levels are low, there is “a good underpinning” for higher prices, said Christine Phillpotts, portfolio manager at AllianceBernstein LP in New York. She specified that key exporters such as Chile, Peru, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zambia will get a boost.

“China still has a strong runway for growth because of a lot of pent-up savings and demand,” Phillpotts said in an interview. However, “there’s still a level of embedded risk around how sustained is the reversal of this policy action in China.”

China dismantling its Covid Zero policy after almost three years has provoked a spike in infections, raising concerns over the possibility that new virus strains will emerge. The new approach is in its early stages and faces questions other economies encountered, said Phillpotts, who focuses on emerging and frontier markets.

[Click here for an interactive chart of copper prices]

Copper prices in London rose to their highest since June this week, fueled by optimism that China’s reopening will spur demand in the world’s top consumer of the metal. Industrial metals broadly are advancing as investors bet on property-sector stimulus measures in China to increase the need for building materials.

The Chilean peso is one of the best performers in 2023 among Latin American currencies tracked by Bloomberg, adding more than 3% in value against the dollar. Chile’s currency is also among top gainers in the emerging-markets group in that period. The Peruvian sol has risen 0.6% this year as protests and political instability weighed on sentiment.

(By Anya Andrianova)


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