Chile's Cochilco raises 2023 copper price forecast to $3.85/lb
SANTIAGO, Jan 26 (Reuters) -State-owned Chilean Copper Commission (Cochilco) on Thursday raised its projection for 2023 copper prices to $3.85 per pound, up from a December estimate of $3.70 a pound, as inventories worldwide drop. Cochilco also pegged its estimated 2024 copper price at an average of $3.65 a pound.
In a statement, Mining Minister Marcela Hernando said that "the easing of the zero COVID-19 policy in China; the moderation of North American monetary policy due to the drop in inflation; expectations of a milder than estimated recession in Europe" help the price of the metal. The statement also explained that "historically low inventories and a concern about a lower supply of copper in the market" contributed to the rise.
A Cochilco report released by Reuters on Wednesday showed that copper production in Chile, the world's largest producer of the metal, will grow at a slower rate during this decade and will also require all projects in the pipeline to materialize.Cochilco also estimates a global surplus of 160,000 tonnes is expected for 2023 and 360,000 tonnes for 2024, which is equivalent to between two to five days of copper consumption.
"These surpluses would be circumstantial given the positive price projections," the report said.
(Reporting by Fabian Cambero; Writing by Brendan O'Boyle; editing by Diane Craft)