SANTIAGO – The Chilean Copper Commission (Cochilco) on Thursday maintained its projection for 2022 copper prices at $3.95/lb as prices trend moderately down following a surge last year.
Cochilco sees average prices of $3.80/lb for 2023.
"For this and next year, the beginning of a moderate downward cycle of the average annual price of the metal is expected, which is still at historically high and positive levels for the industry," Cochilco said in a statement.
Cochilco said the downward trend comes amid forecasts for a slowdown in economic growth in the world's top copper consuming countries, an anticipated recovery in copper production to pre-pandemic levels and expectations for higher interest rates in the United States.
Cochilco forecast global copper production would increase by 4.1% in 2022 and rise by 5.5% in 2023, with markets returning to a surplus by the end of 2023.
It also projected Chilean production at 5.7-million tonnes of copper in 2022, a year-on-year increase of 2.6%. For 2023, the estimate is for Chile's copper production to rise 4.8% to 6-million tonnes.
Chile is the world's largest copper producer.