April 2018: The Chilean Copper Commission maintained its forecasted evaluation of copper at US$3,06 per pound for the duration of this year. During the presentation of the International Copper Market Trends report, which reflects upon developments of Q1 2018, the Ministry of Mining undersecretary Pablo Terrazas noted that, despite the optimistic outlook of the forecast, “we remain cautious of the risks that still persist in the market.”
Sergio Hernández, the VP of Cochilco, commented that the perceived vulnerability of the supply is related to the high number of mining operations that are advancing collective bargaining processes in Chile and Peru. A deficit of 169,000t of refined copper is expected for this year, a figure that will fall to 87,000t in 2019.
Regarding the growth of copper demand in China, Hernández estimated it will remain 2% annually, reaching 12.1Mt in 2018 and 12.4Mt in 2019. In this context, Chile would produce 5.76Mt this year and 5.94Mt in 2019, a result of the improved performance of mines such as Antucoya (Antofagasta Minerals), Sierra Gorda (KGHM) y Caserones (Lumina Copper).