SANTIAGO, Feb 10, 2012 (Dow Jones) -- Copper will likely average between $3.75 and $3.95 a pound this year, with the annual average price increasing to $3.80-$4.00/lb next year, as demand continues to outpace production, Chilean state copper commission Cochilco said Friday in a report.
As Chile produces a third of the world's copper and the metal represents a significant source of government revenue, Cochilco's copper market estimates are the benchmark the government uses in its outlook.
Regarding production, Cochilco estimated global primary copper output this year will grow 5.2% year-on-year to 16.97 million metric tons of copper. Total copper available, including secondary or production from scrap material, will grow 2.6% on the year to 20.37 million tons.
Global primary copper output will then grow 5.7% on-the-year in 2013 to 17.94 million tons, while total copper available will grow 5.7% to 21.53 million tons, Cochilco estimated.
In 2011, copper prices averaged $4.00/lb, a sharp increase from the $3.42/lb the metal averaged in 2010, according to Cochilco.