Chile: Copper prices strengthen in December
December 31, 2012
In December, copper prices rose 3.1% over the previous month to an average of USD 3.61 per pound (equivalent to USD 7,949 per tonne), which contrasted the 4.4% decrease seen in November. The monthly hike came on the back of positive Chinese manufacturing data, which bode well for demand prospects for copper. In addition, the decision on 26 December by workers at Escondida, the world's biggest copper mine, to refuse a pay offer made by BHP Billiton - the mine's majority owner - put further upward pressure on prices, as it raised fears of a miners' strike in the coming months. Meanwhile, average copper prices rose 5.1% in annual terms in 2012, which contrasted the steep 17.5% drop seen for the full 2011.