Copper price unlikely to rebound even if trade tensions subside – Chile trade group

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The copper price is unlikely to rebound in 2020 even if trade tensions between the United States and China subside, the head of Chile mining trade union Sonami said on Tuesday.

Diego Hernandez, a veteran mining executive and president of Sonami, said he did not expect demand for the red metal to increase significantly through 2020, leaving major miners cautious about ramping up supply without assurances of increased consumption.

“We’re expecting a price around $2.80 (per pound) … though it depends on the international scenario. But we don’t expect a very vigorous rebound in price,” Hernandez said.

The price of the red metal averaged $2.72 in 2019, compared with $2.97 in 2018.

Hernandez said the coming boom in electric vehicle manufacturing had yet to spur demand for copper, but was optimistic it would bolster consumption in the mid-term.

(By Fabian Cambero and Dave Sherwood; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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