Since the conflict in Ukraine, copper has experienced notable fluctuations. With the closure of one of its major suppliers and the growing demand for its crucial role in the energy transition, its value has experienced a significant increase. At this moment, analysts believe that another ‘copper explosion’ could occur, causing its value to increase by 75% in the next two years due to a series of factors. In this context, one country has emerged as the main beneficiary of this resurgence in the commodity, with the potential to undergo a genuine economic revolution thanks to the renewed role of copper on the world stage. This country is Chile.
The Latin American nation hosts the world’s largest copper reserve, representing 27% of the total in 2022. In addition, its mining machinery operates at maximum capacity, making it the largest global producer by extracting over 5.2 million metric tons last year. The fate of the metal is closely tied to the economic health of Santiago, as the entirety of its trade balance depends on the sales of this raw material.
Chile experienced a true ‘boom’ at the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine and previously as well, with supply crises that forced the United States and Europe to strengthen their acquisitions in the west while logistical problems in Asia accumulated. Even in the midst of the post-“copper explosion” period in 2021, Chile exported $44.605 billion last year thanks to copper, constituting more than half of its total foreign sales. Joaquín Morales, vice president of the Chile Copper Commission, attributes this figure lower than expected to “a marked decrease in the price of the raw material.”
Published by The Usa Herald, a news and information agency.