Chile 2014 copper sales lowest since 2009
SANTIAGO Jan 7 (Reuters) - Chile's copper export revenues totaled $38.7 billion in 2014, the central bank reported on Wednesday, some 3.5 percent lower than in 2013 and the lowest figure since the 2009 recession.
Copper export revenues in December were $3.76 billion, data showed, a fall of over 12 percent from a year ago.
Chile is the world's No. 1 producer of copper, which accounts for slightly over half of the country's total exports.
But it has seen its income from the base metal hit by a drop in the global copper price, at the same time as it is struggling to maintain volumes as ore grades in its tired deposits decline.
A cooling of China's property market - a key buyer of copper - has helped drag the price of copper down to an over four year low.
Sales of iron and gold were also down from last year, the central bank figures showed.
However, a weaker Chilean peso helped boost exports outside the mining sector, partly making up for the mining decline. The important fruit, salmon and wood pulp industries all recorded their highest export revenues of the last decade.
That led Chilean exports overall to clock in at $76.6 billion in 2014, a similar level with last year.
(Reporting by Rosalba O'Brien Editing by W Simon)
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