Copper price jumps as Chile close its borders

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Copper price jumped on Monday as investors assessed a decision by Chile to close its borders during April.

Copper for delivery in May was up 2.96% by midday, with futures at $4.1075 per pound ($9,035 a tonne) on the Comex market in New York.

Click here for an interactive chart of copper prices

The world’s top exporter of the metal closed its borders for a month as reported a daily Covid-19 record of 7,830 infections last week, an all-time high for occupied hospital beds, and a nationwide positivity rate of 11%.

Chilean citizens and foreign residents are forbidden from entering or leaving the country. All truck drivers are required to present a negative PCR test carried out in the 72 hours before entering the country.

Stepping up border restrictions may disrupt mining activities by delaying equipment replacement.

Chile’s copper mines produced 430,100 tonnes in February, a decline of 4.8% compared to the same period of 2020.

Last week, Codelco clinched a deal with workers at its Radomiro Tomic mine after they accepted a new contract offer, defusing worries about a potential strike.

(with files from Bloomberg)