Copper output dips in Chile for potential boost to demand-hit market

Radomiro Tomic, Chile. Image from Codelco.

A monthly drop in Chile’s copper production shows the top-producing nation has yet to resolve recent supply wobbles in a much-needed boost to a global market hurt by disappointing Chinese demand.

Production in Chile fell more than 5% in April from the prior month and output was down 1% from a year ago, according to data released Wednesday by the national statistics agency. While the year-over-year decline was insignificant on its own, it is coming from a low base after output slumped in 2022.

A country that accounts for more than a quarter of the world’s copper is suffering project delays and water restrictions, which have compounded the effect of more structural issues surrounding falling ore quality. That may give prices a little support as copper caps its biggest monthly loss in almost a year on further signs of weaknesses in the Chinese economy.

(By James Attwood)


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