May 7, 2019 / 7:32 PM / 12 days ago

UPDATE 2-Chile exports dip in April as copper, lithium prices slide -cenbank

 (Updates with data on lithium exports)
    May 7 (Reuters) - Chile posted an April trade surplus
 of $612 million, the country's central bank said on
Tuesday, even as the value of the Andean country's coveted
copper and lithium exports slid sharply from the previous
period.
    Total copper exports hit $2.78 billion in April, down 4.1
percent from the same month in 2018, while lithium carbonate
exports dropped to $49 million in April, their lowest value
since December 2017, according to bank statistics. 
    The drop in export values follows a difficult first quarter
for Chile's lithium and copper miners. 
    State miner Codelco and others were forced to suspend or
scale back operations in January following unusually heavy rains
in the country's northern desert, with operational issues and
falling ore grades continuing to weigh on output at Chile's top
deposits.
    Chile exported lithium carbonate at an average price of
$12,183 per ton in the first quarter, down nearly 1 percent from
the previous period, according to a report from Bloomberg.
    Chile is the world´s top producer of copper and second
largest producer of lithium.
    All figures in billions of dollars unless otherwise noted:
            
                          April 2019  March 2019  April 2018
 Trade balance            $612 mln    $607 mln    $770 mln 
 Exports                  $5.866      $6.194      $6.262
 Imports                  $5.254      $5.587      $5.492
 Copper export revenue    $2.782      $2.970      $2.902
                                                  
 

 (Reporting by Dave Sherwood; editing  by Dan Grebler and G
Crosse)
  
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