(Recasts, adds detail from statement, background)
SANTIAGO Nov 29 Chilean manufacturing
production plunged 6.9 percent in October from a
year earlier due in large part to lingering effects of the 2015
Calbuco volcano eruption, the government said on Tuesday in the
weakest monthly reading since March 2010.
Output was far below a Reuters poll that estimated a 0.9
Natural disasters were the key factor in October, as in
2010, when the country was recovering from a devastating 8.8
In April 2015, the Calbuco volcano erupted in southern
Chile, scattering ash over a wide area and leading to widespread
losses in the country's salmon industry, the world's
second-largest after Norway.
That loss of biomass triggered a reduced salmon harvest last
month that also hurt the plastic industry due to reduced demand
for bags from fisheries, government statistics institute INE
"The number is surprising, but it is not so strange that the
food sector has this effect, because it carries a lot of weight
in the indicator," said EuroAmerica economist Luis Felipe
Copper production in the world's top exporter fell 11
percent in October after a series of stoppages, and nitrate
output was also down.
Calendar effects also played a role, with two fewer working
days leading to lower output.
(Reporting by Rosalba O'Brien and Felipe Iturrieta; Editing by
Lisa Von Ahn)