Quebrada Blanca mine in Chile. (Image courtesy of Teck Resources.)
The copper price rose on Tuesday after Chile, the biggest copper-producing country, recorded its lowest January output since 2011.
Production tumbled 15% last month from December and 7.5% from January 2021, the bureau of statistics reported Monday, without giving a clear reason for the drop.
Copper for delivery in May rose on the Comex market in New York, touching $4.5850 per pound ($10,087 per tonne), up 2.9% compared to Monday’s closing.
The conflict in Ukraine could also drive copper prices higher, according to an S&P Global report.
Russia is a heavy producer of the metal and the probability of more sanctions against the country is highly likely as the invasion continues.
"Market sources believe the near-certainty that stricter sanctions will be introduced on trade with Russia could further squeeze supplies in global markets that are already tight, with deficits in some cases," S&P Global says.
"The metals markets in the short-term remain at the mercy of the Ukraine situation, moving back and forth between risk-off and risk-on dynamic," said Gianclaudio Torlizzi, a partner at consultancy T-Commodity in Milan.
(With files from Reuters and Bloomberg)