Copper Producer Argues for Metal’s Continued Run

  • Copper has risen 20 percent to the highest since 2014
  • Antofagasta reported 42 percent jump in first-half sales

Ivan Arriagada, chief executive officer at Antofagasta, discusses his outlook for the company in the second half of the year, copper prices and what he thinks is the biggest risks to markets. He speaks on 'Bloomberg Daybreak: Europe.' (Source: Bloomberg)

While Antofagasta Plc has been surprised by copper’s surge to a three-year high, the Chilean producer doesn’t see any reason why the good times won’t continue.

“Copper has been better in the short term than many people, including us, expected,” Chief Executive Officer Ivan Arriagada said in an interview Tuesday. The metal “will probably move sideways, with more moves up than down.”

Copper has rallied 20 percent this year on the London Metal Exchange as labor issues at some of the world’s biggest mines disrupt supply, while the demand outlook has improved amid rising optimism about top metals user China.

While Antofagasta has always been positive on the long-term outlook for copper, it wasn’t expecting the gains so soon, Arriagada said.

“That has come forward because of the performance of China’s economy,” he said in a Bloomberg TV interview. “The outlook in emerging markets, especially in China, is much more favorable, we’re seeing sustained growth in copper demand.”

Antofagasta reported first-half revenue of $2.05 billion, 42 percent higher than a year earlier, while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose to $1.08 billion. The company maintained its 685,000 tons to 720,000 tons full-year production guidance and said it will pay a 10.3 cent interim dividend.

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