April 15, 2017 / 7:50 PM / a year ago

Peru copper output up 5.42 pct in Feb. from year earlier

    LIMA, April 15 (Reuters) - Peru's copper production rose by
5.42 percent in February from the same month a year earlier, the
slowest growth rate in two years as the Andean country wrestles
with infrastructure damage caused by torrential rains, official
data showed on Saturday.
    The Ministry of Energy and Mines said in a statement that
copper production totaled 178,283 tonnes in February.
    Peru's entire mining sector, a key part of the economy, grew
just 1.47 percent in February, compared with the 33.59 percent
rise reported in February last year, the ministry statement
    The country has been hit by extraordinarily hard rains this
year, which have destroyed thousands of kilometers of roads and
caused other damage.
    Peru, the world's second biggest copper supplier, produced a
record 2.35 million tonnes of the metal in 2016, up 38.4 percent
from 2015.
    Peru's economy grew 0.74 percent in February versus February
2016, the weakest pace since late 2014 as construction and
manufacturing activity contracted while mining slowed. 
    The government recently revised down its economic growth
forecast for this year to 3 percent from a previous 3.8 percent.
    The ministry statement said Peru's gold production fell
11.91 percent in February, to 11,676,057 grams, while silver
fell 11.29 percent, to 325,925 kilograms.
    The following are official mineral output figures for
January from the Energy and Mines Ministry:

 Metal  Feb      yr/yr
 Coppe  178,283  +5.42
 Zinc   108,752  +1.92
 Gold   11,676,  -11.91
 Silve  325,925  -11.29
 Lead   21,539   -14.00
 Iron   667,313  +4.89
 Tin    1,253    -15.75
 (Reporting by Marco Aquino; Editing by Leslie Adler)
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