Copper market heading for a surplus in 2020

May 4, 2020

Operations pauses at copper mines around the world were partially offset by lower demand during the global slowdown brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, however, Iván Arriagada, chief executive of Chilean copper miner Antofagasta predicted a global surplus of between 200 kt and 300 kt (220,000 and 330,000 st) in 2020.

Arriagada told the El Mercurio newspaper it was hard to make projections on the price of copper due to market volatility caused by the virus, which has impacted businesses worldwide.

“However, we believe that the copper market in year 2020 will have a surplus, which would be around 200,000 to 300,000 tonnes,” Arriagada said. 

Reuters reported that Against the backdrop of weak global demand, he said this would be reflected in the price of copper.

Antofagasta, one of the world’s largest copper producers, recently said it had cut its capital spending plans for the year and its copper output would be in the lower range of its annual production forecast.

Chile, the world’s largest producer of copper, has not seen major disruptions to its export of the metal so far, though Reuters has reported that some the country’s miners were evaluating cutting production.

Photo: Antofagasta’s Los Pelambres operations. Credit: Antofagasta.


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