Copper Prices Surge on Supply Disruptions in Chile, Peru – by ESE ERHERIENE And TATYANA SHUMSKY (Wall Street Journal – September 30, 2015)

http://www.wsj.com/

In Chile, output at the world’s biggest copper mine, Collahuasi, was slashed by 30,000 tons a year due to low prices

Copper prices rose Wednesday as mine disruptions in Latin America and optimism for demand from China ushered buyers into the market.

The most actively traded contract, for December delivery, was recently up 9.70 cents, or 4.3%, at $2.3485 a pound on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

In Chile, output at the world’s biggest copper mine, Collahuasi, was slashed by 30,000 tons a year due to low prices. The mine accounted for 6% of global production in 2014.

Meanwhile, Peru declared a state of emergency in the area around MMG Ltd.’s Las Bambas mine after clashes between police and protesters left three people dead. Peru is the world’s third-largest copper producer, after Chile and China, but has struggled to resolve opposition from rural communities to mining in recent years.

Copper prices marched higher in response to the news, which cast doubt on whether this year’s mine supply will match the world’s demand for the industrial metal.

However, while copper prices tend to rally “any time you hear about disruptions to supply out of a country like Chile, the threat has been very short lived,” said Bob Haberkorn, a senior commodities broker with RJO Futures. He added that concerns about the health of the global economy continue to keep a lid on the copper market.

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