Chile: Copper prices fall in November
Copper prices pulled back in November, coming in at USD 9,729 per ton on average, compared to October’s USD 9,829 per ton. Prices were 37.6% higher than in the same month last year and 25.2% higher year-to-date.
The lower November reading was linked to the emergence of the Omicron variant of Covid-19, which fueled concerns about global growth prospects. This more than offset the impact of ongoing unrest at the Las Bambas mine in Peru, as well as the Chilean senate’s decision to give initial approval to a bill which would raise taxes on the country’s mining sector—potentially threatening investment and copper supply ahead. The latest available data shows that Chile’s copper output fell 3.6% annually in October, a softer fall than in September, as labor disputes in the sector were resolved.
Looking forward, copper prices are seen ebbing somewhat next year as global growth slows and supply concerns gradually ease. Sustained demand from the electric vehicles and renewable energy sectors should provide some support, while Omicron is an important downside risk.