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LONDON: Copper prices bounced on Thursday after a spate of production problems that threaten to cut supply, including a state of emergency in Peru, the world’s second biggest producer.

Benchmark three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) gained 1% to $10,320 a tonne by 1630 GMT after two days of losses.

“We’ve seen several reports this week from some of the major miners that they are struggling with diesel costs, steel costs, input costs in general, making it much more of a challenge to maintain production,” said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank in Copenhagen.

“If anything, we need an increase in production over the coming years to fulfil some of the aspirations we have regarding the climate and Russian dependency.” Technical signals were also positive as LME copper found support at the 50-day moving average, Hansen added.

Chilean miner Antofagasta on Thursday posted a 24% tumble in first-quarter copper production while Anglo American reported a 13% drop.

Freeport-McMoRan Inc shares fell more than 7% on Thursday after the mining giant trimmed its 2022 and 2023 copper forecast due to expansion challenges in Indonesia.

A day earlier, Peru said it would declare a state of emergency near Southern Copper Corp’s Cuajone mine in the face of growing protests against mining companies which have halted 20% of national copper output.

Copper and aluminium were also seeing support due to expected buying interest by industrial consumers, broker Marex said in a note.

The constitutional assembly in Chile was due to start debating dozens of articles on Thursday regarding mining, water and environmental rights that could reshape how the world’s top copper producer regulates production of the red metal.

Copper inventories in LME-approved warehouses continued recent increases on Thursday, rising to 130,500 tonnes for their highest since October, having climbed by 62% over the past four weeks.

Shares in aluminium producer Alcoa tumbled 14% after disappointing results and the company cuts its forecast for bauxite shipments.

LME aluminium climbed 1.2% to $3,308 a tonne, nickel gained 1.3% to $33,955 and zinc advanced 0.4% to $4,436.50, but lead gave up 0.9% to $2,401.50 and tin slipped 0.2% to $42,900.

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