Chile: Copper prices stable in October
Copper prices were broadly unchanged from the previous month in October, as healthy growth in China in Q3 was largely offset by renewed lockdowns in Europe and uncertainty over the U.S. elections. On average, prices for the red metal came in at USD 6,713 per ton (equivalent to USD 3.05 per pound), slightly up from September’s USD 6,704 per ton (equivalent to USD 3.04 per pound). Meanwhile, prices were 14.0% higher than in the same month last year.
October’s marginal gains came amid positive GDP data from China, which was supported by strong industrial growth in Q3. Further upside pressure stemmed from a robust performance in the manufacturing sector in both China and the U.S. in October. On the other hand, uncertainty surrounding the outcome of the U.S. elections, a stronger USD and renewed lockdowns in the EU weighed on prices.
Going forward, copper prices are expected to trend down next year due to easing supply-side disruptions, especially in Latin America. However, the global economic recovery, together with the spread of electric vehicles and green-energy projects, should sustain prices. That said, the unpredictable evolution of the pandemic clouds the outlook.