Perfect storm brewing in copper

ANALYSTS say that looming strikes in Chile could support the copper price in 2018.

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The supply disruptions in copper in 2017 have been described as “unprecedented” as the world’s two biggest copper mines were interrupted in the first half of this year.

The BHP-controlled Escondida operation in Chile was subject to a 44-day strike, while Freeport McMoRan’s Grasberg mine in Indonesia was forced to halt exports due to a dispute with the government.

The copper market was also hit by strikes at Freeport’s Cerro Verde, Anglo American’s El Soldado, Southern Copper’s Toquepala and Cuajone, and only last week, Teck Resources’ Quebrada Blanca.

Analysts say a similar situation could be on the cards this year.

ANZ Research said that while global growth would continu...