Santiago de Chile, Sep 20 (EFE) .- The financial crisis affecting the Chinese real estate giant Evergrande on Monday led to the price of copper, of which Chile is the world’s leading producer, to its biggest drop in a month, the Chilean Commission reported del Cobre (Cochilco).
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) lost 3.07% on Monday to $ 4.148 a pound ($ 9,145.5 a ton), its lowest price since August 20.
The average price of copper in 2021 thus reaches 4,167 dollars, far from the historical maximum reached on May 10 (4.86 dollars per pound) and which exceeded the records of the “supercycle” of 2011.
Evergrande, one of China’s largest developers and whose debt stands at $ 305 billion (€ 299 billion), is struggling to pay its creditors, although last week it rejected rumors of impending bankruptcy.
The company employs more than 200,000 people directly and has interests in other industries such as electric vehicles, theme parks and soccer.
Cochilco last week lowered its copper price forecast for this year to 4.2 dollars a pound due to the slowdown in the Chinese economy and expectations that the US Federal Reserve will begin withdrawing fiscal stimulus.
Chile, which accounts for 28% of world copper production and is debating the possibility of introducing a royalty on the extraction of the metal, produces about 6 million tons a year.
The red metal, fundamental in the transmission of energy, has become the main Chilean product and accounts for almost 50% of exports.
In the country, giants such as BHP, Anglo American, Codelco and Antofagasta Minerals operate, but also countless small and medium-sized companies.