Copper miner Antofagasta said on Monday it has suspended its Los Pelambres Expansion project in Chile for about 120 days due to the coronavirus crisis in the South American country. Antofagasta said it has also suspended contracts with most of the companies involved in the project, which accounts for nearly half of the its total copper output.
Copper prices rose on Monday on lower inventories in exchange warehouses, while a potential supply disruption from top producer Chile by measures to slow the spread of the new coronavirus also supported prices. Stocks of the metal in warehouses tracked by the London Metal Exchange (LME) eased 6% from a three-month high hit on March 17, LME data showed.
During the first quarter of 2020, 437 companies had to liquidate their assets, representing a 19% increase over the same period in 2019, when 367 cases were reported.
The Ministry of Agriculture promoted the creation of an international food exchange system for the Southern Cone. The idea is that the different countries of the Southern Cone declare their food stocks and based on the trade balances, define the volumes to be traded.
377 construction sites have had to stop work due to the quarantine, a figure that is equivalent to almost 30% of the total new projects in development in Chile. According to a cadastre of Iconstruye, a digital platform linked to the CChC, 87% of paused projects are located in the Metropolitan Region and that 68% correspond to departmental development.
Several financial institutions estimated that the Chilean economy will contract in 2020 in a range of 1.9% to 3%, due to the impact of the Coronavirus. Fitch Ratings estimated a drop of 1.9%, Scotiabank Economics 2.1%, BGT Pactual 2.4%, Bank of America 2.7% and Credicorp Capital projected a drop in Chilean GDP of 3%.