UPDATE 1-Mexico copper sees biggest drop in 2 yrs on slowing demand
MEXICO CITY, Dec 18 (Reuters) - Mexican copper output suffered its biggest single-month fall in two years in October and was down 4.7 percent from the same month a year ago, as slowing global demand affected production, the national statistics institute said on Tuesday. Silver production rose to 368,787 kilograms in October, up 3.6 percent, according to data from INEGI, the national statistics institute. The fall in copper was caused by lower prices and slowing demand from major copper consumers like China, said Gonzalo Fernandez, an analyst with Grupo Santander in Mexico City. "Copper is very price sensitive," he said. "When prices are high, some mines produce a lot, and when it's low, those mines produce less." "There's been a slight deceleration in China, and a slight global deceleration, and that can be seen in global copper consumption," he added. Fernandez nonetheless expects copper production to rebound when November and December output data is released. Mexican copper production has mainly been positive this year, with output rising more than 40 percent in February. Output plummeted during a three-year-long strike at Grupo Mexico's massive Buenavista mine that ended in 2010 after the company won a court battle against the mining union. The mine, formerly known as Cananea, is now operational. A breakdown of metals production follows: Product Oct 2012 Pct Chge vs yr ago Gold 6,612 kgs +0.1 Silver 368,787 kgs +3.6 Lead 14,155 tonnes +14.6 Copper 35,472 tonnes -4.7 Zinc 35,918 tonnes +5.1
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