Global Copper Miners Head for Worst Quarter Since 2008 – by Yvonne Yue Li (Bloomberg/Yahoo – March 30, 2020)

(Bloomberg) — Copper miners are poised for their worst quarter since 2008 after the coronavirus pandemic fueled demand fears for industrial metals and forced companies to curb mining operations.

The BI Global Copper Competitive Peers index has slumped 37% this quarter, led by Teck Resources Ltd., Hudbay Minerals Inc. and Freeport-McMoRan Inc., which are all down more than 50%.

The miners “are being hit from two sides,” said Daniel Briesemann, an analyst at Commerzbank AG, pointing to unprecedented disruptions to operations and supply chains and concerns about a global recession.

Even with China’s back-to-work rate improving dramatically, “there’s still hardly any demand from the rest of the world.”

Miners, including those in Peru and Chile, the top copper producers, are being forced to halt or curtail production and processing. At least 17% of global copper supply is at risk from closures, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Andrew Cosgrove.

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