Peru's metals exports fall 25.4% in November

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Peru, the world's third largest copper and zinc exporter, saw metals export revenue slump 25.4% in November on lower prices and shipments, the country's main exporter group said.

The decline, led by copper and gold, contributed to a 19% drop in total export revenue to US$3.13bn in November, the biggest monthly decline this year, said Carlos González, chief economist at exporter association Adex. Commodities including metals, oil, gas and coffee fell 25.7% to US$2.1bn, he told Lima-based newspaper Gestión. Metals account for about 60% of Peru's total exports.

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Metals exports dropped after the price of copper fell 11% and gold declined 25% through November, according to the national mining society SNMPE. Peru is the world's sixth-ranked gold producer.

Peru's metals export revenue dropped 12% to US$19.3bn through October, according to the central bank. Copper exports declined 9% to US$8bn through the first 10 months, while gold exports dropped 15.4% to US$6.8bn.

The country's metals exports are slated to rebound in 2014 as Chinalco (HK: 3668) ramps up its recently-inaugurated Toromocho copper mine and Toronto-based Hudbay Minerals (TSX: HBM) starts up its US$1.55bn Constancia copper project. The mines are expected to add a total 290,000t to annual copper production, according to Peru's energy and mines ministry (MEM).

Peru is counting on copper projects such as Toromocho, Constancia, Glencore Xstrata's (LSE: GLEN) US$5.1bn Las Bambas and Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold's (NYSE: FCX) US$4.4bn Cerro Verde expansion, part of an estimated US$57bn mining investment portfolio over the next decade, to double copper output to 2.5Mt/y by 2016.