Buenos Aires Times

latin america REGIONAL ECONOMIES

Chile on alert after copper price falls

Copper prices fall to a nine-month low ahead of the first shots of a US-China trade war this week.

Today 01:51 PM
Copper fell to US$2.929 a pound, its lowest price since October last year.
Copper fell to US$2.929 a pound, its lowest price since October last year. Foto:AFP

The world's largest copper producer, Chile, said it was concerned Wednesday as copper fell to a nine-month low ahead of the first shots of a US-China trade war this week.

"We are worried and we hope it's a transitory effect," Finance Minister Felipe Larraín told a press conference, attributing the two-percent drop to US trade tariffs on goods from China and the prospect of Chinese retaliation.

"Unfortunately, what we have seen has a lot to do with the trade war, the fundamental reason is the prospect of a confrontation like this."

Copper fell to US$2.929 a pound, its lowest price since October last year when it dropped to US$2.927.

The US is due on Friday to begin enforcing tariffs on more than US$30 billion (25.8 billion euros) in Chinese imports as retribution for what Washington describes as Beijing's theft of US technology and other unfair trade practices.

Beijing has vowed to respond with its own tariffs immediately.

Chilean officials believe a trade war would hit GDP in China, the world's largest consumer of copper. 

"For the government and for the policies promoted by the current administration, it is imperative that copper be located above US$3 per pound, as had been projected three months ago," said Minister for Mining Baldo Prokurica.

Copper recovered in 2017 from a four-year slump in which prices hovered above US$2.0 a pound due to a fall in Chinese demand. The slump dealt a blow to growth in Chile, which responsible for almost a third of global production.

- AFP

Poll

Op-Ed

Top Stories

  1. 1Chile opens sexual abuse investigation against film director Nicolás LópezChile opens sexual abuse investigation against film director Nicolás López
  2. 2Lower House passes key social reforms despite scandalous session
  3. 3Court slams Nahir Galarza with life sentence for boyfriend's murder
  4. 4South Americans spread gospel of mate at World Cup
  5. 5Nine ex-military convicted for 1973 murder of Chile folk singer Víctor Jara
  6. 6Ecuador court orders arrest of former president Rafael Correa
  7. 7Argentina’s richest 10% control more wealth than 60% of the country
  8. 8Private firms report June inflation at 3.5 to 4.1%
  9. 9Maradona offers to coach national team for free as Sampaoli flies into BA
  10. 10Inter Milan seal US$25M transfer of Lautaro Martínez from Racing