Strike starts at Chile copper mine

Discussion in 'Metal Futures' started by Optionpro007, Aug 7, 2006.

  1. Workers drew first blood in their fight with Chile's Escondida copper mine, cutting 60 percent from daily production as they walked off the job to demand a wage and benefits hike from its foreign owners. "Around 60 percent of output," is being affected by the strike, BHP Billiton spokesman Mauro Valdes said, hours after the widely anticipated walkout. Workers said the strike cut production by as much as 80 percent. The mine, the world's largest copper mine, applied an immediate contingency plan to maintain basic output, but Valdes could not say what the effects of a prolonged strike might be. "Minera Escondida reiterates it desire to maintain dialogue (with workers) and trusts the strike will be carried out in a responsible and legal form," the company said in a statement. Workers at Escondida, which produces about 20 percent of Chile's copper and accounts for 2.5 percent of the country's gross domestic product, are demanding a new contract to replace a 2003 deal that was signed when copper prices were about a fifth of what they are now. Local television showed union workers tossing rock the size of basketballs onto the road leading to the mine in northern Chile to obstruct the potential entry of transports carrying replacement personnel. Talks between the company and the union grew increasingly combative in recent weeks, with each accusing the other of not ceding ground in their demands. Union President Luis Troncoso said there was no plan to halt the strike until the company improves its offer. Workers say they have the support of other Chilean mining unions, and that their fight could influence the outcome of upcoming negotiations at Codelco, Chile's state copper miner and the world's largest producer of the red metal.
  2. Interesting.
    Do you think this is going to effect much?
  3. Tough to tell. Copper is making a perfect looking pennant on the daily which is bullish, but it looks technically weak on the weekly and all other metals look weak on the monthly too. (except cooper of course.)

    I hope daddyeaux can add real inventory numbers for copper to this thread if he is around.

    The reason I posted this story is because one of the symptoms normally associated or seen at the end of major bull cycles is wage inflation. And this story is a perfect example of it.

    If tomorrow's unit labor costs numbers here in the US come in much higher than anticipated, this will add even more evidence that we could be at the end of this bullish cycle so theoretically being long metals could be a dangerous proposition.

    Let's see if daddyeaux posts....

    Cheers !


  4. Hope he does, he knows his stuff.
    You have to consider, first of all, the strike probably wont be long lived-and that its a nationalised distrobution.

    This usually equals "no result", i was thinking technically, its due for a further drop .Yes, a strong bull pennant-but there is a LOT of negative divergence there.
    A reasonable correction (bearing in mind, the chinese dont want to be paying these prices forever either, and who are the market makers in the situation, the consumers) could be on the cards-and that would certainly "shake out" these wage claims, maintaining a low production cost.

    Drop the price, bring in the "scabs", lock it in, and everyones happy. Except the workers.
    This happens a lot in mining, its just a question of how big that particular supply is, in overall market terms.