UPDATE 2-Chile May manufacturing down 4.2 pct yr/yr on metal, chemicals

Fri Jun 28, 2013 10:39am EDT

Related Topics

* Base of comparison, drop in chemical, metal, wine output
hurt
    * Export-dependent Chile bracing for slower global demand
    * May copper output rises on base of comparison, ore grades


    By Antonio De la Jara and Felipe Iturrieta
    SANTIAGO, June 28 (Reuters) - Chilean manufacturing
production fell 4.2 percent in May from a year ago
due to a high base of comparison and a drop in the production of
chemical and metal products and wine, government data showed on
Friday.
    The fall was well below a Reuters poll forecast for a 1.7
percent increase, a 2.7 percent drop in April and a 3.5 percent
increase in May 2012. 
    In the first five months of the year, manufacturing output
has inched up a paltry 0.2 percent compared with the same period
of 2012, the INE statistics agency also said in its report. May
manufacturing output fell 4.8 percent compared with April. 
    Export-dependent Chile has been bracing for a slowdown in
demand from top metals consumer and chief trade partner China.
    While the Andean country's robust economy initially
withstood a gloomier global economic outlook, it has slowed more
sharply than forecast in recent months, prompting bets of a rate
cut to stimulate growth. 
 
    Domestic demand, which has been one of the key motors behind
Chile's economic growth, has also moderated, but is still
growing at a healthy pace.
    Retail sales grew 13.2 percent on the year in May, after
increasing 10.9 percent the prior month, the INE said. They
expanded 3.7 percent in May from April.
    Also on Friday, the INE reported the jobless rate
 for the March to May period remained steady at 6.4
percent, as a drop in domestic, public administration and
manufacturing jobs was countered by a pick-up in retail and
construction. 
    
    COPPER OUTPUT UP 
    World No. 1 copper producer Chile produced 475,140 tonnes of
the red metal in May, a 3.7 percent rise from a
year earlier, on a low base of comparison and better ore grades
in some deposits, the government also said on Friday. 
    Chile, which produces a third of the world's copper, is
struggling with dwindling ore grades in many of its aging
deposits, although new mines have helped increase output this
year.
    Production grew 4.4 percent in the first five months of the
year to 2.29 million tonnes. It was up 7.6 percent in May
compared with April.
    Chile's output of molybdenum, a metal used to harden steel,
rose 1.9 percent in May versus the year earlier to 2,702 tonnes.
In the January to May period, production of molybdenum jumped
13.8 percent to 14,791 tonnes.
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