March 7, 2018 / 1:29 PM / 9 months ago

UPDATE 1-Chile posts biggest trade surplus in 4 years on strong copper exports

 (Recasts to show largest trade surplus in four years, notes
reduced production due to Escondida strike in 2017)
    SANTIAGO, March 7 (Reuters) - Chile posted a trade surplus
 of $1.25 billion in February, its largest in four
years, as copper exports by the world's top producer of the red
metal continued strong, central bank data showed on Wednesday. 
    Copper exports increased by 59 percent over the same month
last year, boosted by increased production and a favorable basis
for comparison.
    A labor strike in February 2017 at BHP Billiton's
 Escondida copper mine, the world's largest,
sharply reduced copper exports until a deal was struck with the
union in March.
    Copper prices jumped more than 30 percent in 2017 and while
drifting early this year they have remained high compared to a
year ago, sharply boosting export revenues in the South American
nation.
    State-run miner Codelco is the country's top copper
producer. International giants BHP, Anglo American,
Glencore and Antofagasta Minerals also mine
copper in Chile.
    
                          February    January     February
                          2018        2018        2017
 Trade balance (millions  $1.248 bn   $1.210 bn   $190
 of dollars)                                      
 Exports (billions of     $6.355      $6.656      $4.660
 dollars)                                         
 Imports (billions of     $5.107      $5.446      $4.470
 dollars)                                         
 Copper export revenue    $3.214      $2.583      $2.021
 (billions of dollars)                            
 
 (Reporting by Dave Sherwood
Editing by Catherine Evans and Jeffrey Benkoe)
  
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