“The dip in copper comes amid a backdrop of supply concerns that has helped the metal gain more than 8% since the year began. In Chile, workers are striking at the Escondida mine, the largest copper mine in the world, over a pay and benefits dispute with management. The mine is majority-owned by BHP Billiton Ltd,” according to MarketWatch.
The iShares MSCI Chile Capped ETF (NYSEArca: ECH) also rose more than 2% last week and is up 10.1% year-to-date.
Although Chile is viewed by some market observers as the most advanced and open South American economy and it is undeniably home to Latin America’s highest sovereign credit rating (AA-), there is also no denying the country’s dependence on copper exports as a driver of government revenue.
“Those negotiations have yet to begin and a time for them hasn’t been agreed upon, according to a spokesperson for BHP. It is unlikely they will begin before Monday, the spokesperson said,” notes MarketWatch.
For more information on Copper ETFs, visit our Copper category.