Peru Copper Exports Plummet 20% Even as Production Rises

Apr, 18, 2023 Posted by Gabriel Malheiros

Week 202319

Peruvian copper exports fell 20% in the first two months of the year as production climbed, leaving miners with mounting inventory and contributing to tight global supplies.

The world’s No. 2 copper producer is recovering from its worst social unrest in decades, which triggered consecutive economic contractions in January and February. Meanwhile, copper production rose by 5% in the same period.

The heated political turmoil followed the overthrow of President Pedro Castillo and the entry into office of then vice-president Dina Boluarte. The Peruvian Congress ousted Castillo after he tried to shut down the legislature and judiciary in a “self-coup” on December 7. Its political base, made up of trade unionists and indigenous groups, did not accept Boluarte’s inauguration and revolted.

The protests, which caused the death of more than 60 people, caused economic contractions in the first two months of 2023. The most violent demonstrations took place precisely in the south of Peru, which concentrates most of the country’s mining activity.

Although the unrest has all but faded, miners are struggling with a fresh challenge: moving tens of thousands of tons of copper concentrate from the Andes onto seaports to be shipped and sold.

MMG Ltd. said in March it had 85,000 tons of copper stored in its Las Bambas mine and that it would take until the last quarter of the year to ship it all. Exports at Las Bambas were the most impacted by the unrest, according to statistics published by Peru’s ministry of foreign trade and tourism. The company shipped 55% less copper in the first two months of this year than in the same period in 2022.

The top three copper miners also saw two-digit declines. Exports by Antamina, co-owned by BHP Group Ltd., Glencore Plc. and Teck Resources Ltd., fell 11%. Exports at Freeport-McMoran Inc.’s Cerro Verde fell 24%, while Grupo Mexico’s Southern Copper Corp. exports fell 23%.

Source: Valor Econômico

To read the full original article, please see: https://valor.globo.com/mundo/noticia/2023/04/17/em-meio-a-protestos-peru-exporta-menos-20-pontos-percentuais-de-cobre-em-janeiro-e-fevereiro.ghtml

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *