Santiago, May 4 (IANS/EFE) The average price of copper in 2012 will come in at $3.84 per pound, according to a score of analysts surveyed by the Chilean Copper Commission, or Cochilco.
That forecasted price is up by $0.22 relative to a November 2011 poll, the agency said in a statement Wednesday.
Copper output in Chile, the world’s leading producer of the red metal, totaled 5.6 million tonnes last year. Copper accounts for 60 percent of the total value of the South American country’s exports, which in 2011 amounted to $81.4 billion.
Cochilco’s head of studies and public policy, Maria Cristina Betancour, said experts incorporated into their forecasts “the expectation of a mild recession in the eurozone, a lower probability of a global financial crisis and a soft landing for the Chinese economy”.
China is the biggest buyer of Chilean copper.
The analysts expect the price of copper to average $3.86 per pound in the second half of 2012 before falling to an average of $3.77 per pound in 2013.
The experts, who are forecasting a downward trend over the medium and long term, predict a price of $3.05 per pound in 2017.
Cochilco said copper prices are useful in predicting various economic variables, including Chile’s gross domestic product growth, the peso exchange rate and tax revenues.