SANTIAGO, June 14 (Reuters) - The copper market is tight and demand from top metals consumer China is strong, the head of Xstrata's copper unit Charlie Sartain said on Thursday, as Europe's crisis and fears of a slowdown in the Asian giant spook markets.
The global miner has not revised its investment plans due to global financial volatility, which helped send copper prices tumbling 11 percent in May, he said.
"Yes there's uncertainty, but fundamentals remain the same for copper," Sartain told reporters in Santiago, after the company presented its sustainability report. "There's still strong demand for copper in China and we're seeing a slight recovery in the U.S. economy."
China's May copper imports unexpectedly climbed 11.7 percent, data showed this week, an indication, according to some, that demand could be stronger in the near term following the recent price slump.
The miner expects its copper output to dip slightly in the first half of the year, as the world's No. 3 copper mine Collahuasi, in which it has a stake, battles declining ore grades and freak weather, Sartain told Reuters in April.