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Chile Commodities December 2023

Chile: Copper prices rise in December; Chilean copper output falls again in November

Copper prices averaged USD 8,408 per metric ton in December, up 2.7% from November’s price. On 29 December, the commodity traded at USD 8,464 per metric ton, 0.9% higher than on the same day of the previous month. Prices were boosted in December by tight global supply. Meanwhile, Chilean copper production fell 2.6% year on year in November—the latest month of data—following October’s 4.4% fall. This was due chiefly to a double-digit fall in output at state-owned Codelco, which is grappling with operational issues and high debt.

Copper prices are forecast to end 2024 close to December 2023’s average level. Chilean copper output should get a boost next year, thanks to the completion of new mining projects and as El Niño brings rains and thus eases water shortages. While a higher mining royalty could temper investment going forward, the impact could be offset by the government’s plans to streamline the approval process for mining projects; Chile will remain by far the world’s largest copper producer for the foreseeable future.

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