Biggest Copper Nation Has an Optimistic Take on Hectic News Flow – by Jackie Davalos and James Attwood (Bloomberg News – June 17, 2020)

(Bloomberg) — Copper traders are being bombarded with possible price drivers right now — from $1 trillion in U.S. infrastructure spending to a second wave of Covid-19 in China. For Chile’s official forecaster, the upshot is cautiously optimistic.

Prices probably will average more than $2.50 a pound this year, according to Marco Riveros, who heads government agency Cochilco. So far this year, the average has been just below that level.

With demand supported by a recovery in Europe and President Trump’s infrastructure proposal, there’s incentive for Chilean mines to continue operating at near capacity levels, Riveros said in an interview Tuesday.

In a country that produced 5.8 million tons of the red metal last year, Covid-19 disruptions could cost as few as 75,000 tons or as many as 400,000 tons, the agency said. Somewhere in the middle of that range, about 200,000 tons, would be a reasonable expectation, he said.

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