* Chile now seen producing 5.7 mln tonnes of copper in 2013
* Copper prices seen at $3.32/lb in 2013, $3.15 in 2014
* Chile raises copper surplus forecast by almost a third to
LONDON, Oct 8 Chile raised its copper output
forecast for 2013 and upped its global copper surplus
expectations by around 40 percent, on soaring global production
and slower demand growth, the country's mining minister said in
London on Tuesday.
The country, the world's largest producer of copper, will
produce about 5.7 million tonnes of copper this year, an
increase of almost 5 percent on last year and a historic high,
above previous estimates thanks to better output forecasts from
key mines including Escondida, the world's largest.
State copper commission Cochilco in July had forecast the
world No. 1 copper producer's output would reach 5.53 million
tonnes this year.
Cochilco also raised its copper 2013 surplus expectations to
294,000 tonnes, up from its previous forecast of 209,000, due to
higher production in Chile, the United States, Zambia and
Indonesia and to lower demand for the metals from countries such
as India, Taiwan and South Korea.
It expects the market surplus to increase in 2014 to 327,000
tonnes as new copper mining projects come on stream, in Chile
The new estimate takes into account factors such as the
stabilization of the Chinese economy and signs Europe is moving
out of recession, said mining minister Hernán de Solminihac.
"The surplus estimate has increased but so has the price
estimate for this year," he told Reuters in an interview.
"We are monitoring the situation to see what is going on and
we have to manage what we can. We want to help Chile to become a
more interesting place for foreign investors."
The country marginally raised its view for 2013 average
copper prices to $3.32 per pound above the $3.27 per pound
estimated earlier in the summer, after a better than expected
performance in world markets during the third quarter.
It kept its 2014 copper price steady at $3.15 per pound.