January 7, 2020 / 12:03 PM / 6 months ago

Chile's December exports rise slightly, copper down -central bank

SANTIAGO, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Chile’s export revenue crept up 1.3% to $6.64 billion in December, the central bank said on Tuesday, even as the value of copper shipments slipped in the world’s top producer of the red metal.

December exports of copper fell 2.7% to $3.45 billion. Chile’s total copper exports for 2019 dropped 8.2% to $33.401 billion in 2019, as lower prices weighed on the South American nation’s key economic driver.

Chile’s trade balance in December hit $1.46 billion, as imports fell sharply in December to $5.18 billion, the bank said.

The muted results were nonetheless better than anticipated by the market following nearly two months of unrest.

Violent protests, riots, arson and looting over inequality and social injustices since October have led to at least 27 deaths and billions in losses to private businesses and public infrastructure.

The unrest prompted the central bank last week to slash forecasts for growth, investment and demand through 2020. (Reporting by Dave Sherwood and Fabian Cambero)

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