Copper prices touched a five-month peak on Friday on growing fears that output will be disrupted in top producer Chile by worsening COVID-19 infections at mines.
Chile’s Codelco, the world’s biggest copper miner, suspended refinery and foundry operations at its Chuquicamata division to prevent further spread of the new coronavirus.
“Chile has been one of the fortunate producers. It hasn’t suffered too much from the outbreak and government lockdowns didn’t really have much of an impact on production in the first four months of the year,” said Kieran Clancy, assistant commodities economist at Capital Economics.
“That being said, there is mounting evidence that they’re starting to struggle with pockets of outbreaks at mines and the pushback from trade unions for safer working practices.”
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