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Copper surplus could shift to deficit: Codelco exec

Keywords: Tags  copper, Cesco, Codelco, Corporacion Nacional del Cobre de Chile, copper surplus, copper deficit, Thomas Keller Lippold, Andrea Hotter

SANTIAGO, Chile — The copper market is likely to be in a small surplus this year but could swing into a deficit due to uncertainties surrounding various industry projects, Corporación Nacional del Cobre de Chile (Codelco) president and chief executive officer Thomas Keller Lippold said.

Despite indications of a surplus, the high potential for project slippage mean that the market could just as easily move into a small deficit, he said at the Center for Copper and Mining Studies’ annual Cesco Week.

Analysts have in the past predicted surpluses, but deficits have instead been the outcome, the Codelco executive noted during a briefing in Santiago.

This means that the market should take supply-demand forecasts with a "pinch of salt," he said, adding that whether the market is in a surplus or deficit, the imbalance will be small.

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