Base Metals Preview: Copper remains in downward mode : 11 Apr 2017

copper

At the time of closing Copper was at Rs 372.70 per kg. On the higher side, Rs 375.90 per kg was noted while on the lower side, Rs 371.45 per kg was tested. Copper prices continued to trade flat.

Strikes at major mines Escondida and Cerro Verde ended while Freeport-McMoran got a temporary export permit for its Grasberg mine. The strike at the world’s largest copper mine, Escondida in Chile, ended in the final week of March. The strike had lasted 44 days, longer than expected.

The mine is not rushing to ramp up back to prestrike output levels. Owner BHP Billiton has said will outline the impact of the strike on Escondida’s output in results due for release on April 26. The strike is estimated to have cost Escondida more than 200,000 metric tons in copper production.

Cerro Verde, Peru’s largest copper mine, had been operating at 50 percent of capacity since workers initiated a strike on March 10. At the end of the month, workers signed an agreement as the union accepted the company’s offer to improve family health care benefits and pay workers their portion of the mine’s profits earlier than usual. The mine produced just under 500,000 mt of the red metal last year.

Copper supply disruptions have lasted longer than expected. Although they seem to have come to an end, their impact on supply still needs to be outlined. In addition, these strikes have set the case for wage negotiations across the industry.

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