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Freeport posts loss on lower copper output, prices

Credit: REUTERS/DARREN WHITESIDE

Freeport McMoRan Inc reported a third-quarter loss on Wednesday as lower copper production at its Peruvian and Indonesian mines and a drop in prices due to lower demand from China weighed on the miner.

Adds details on earnings, production

Oct 23 (Reuters) - Freeport McMoRan Inc FCX.N reported a third-quarter loss on Wednesday as lower copper production at its Peruvian and Indonesian mines and a drop in prices due to lower demand from China weighed on the miner.

The company has been shifting to underground mining from open cast at its giant Grasberg mine in Indonesia and had previously warned that production would take a hit.

The drawn out Sino-U.S. trade war and fears of slowing global growth have forced some of the biggest copper consumers, including China, to curb their appetite for the metal, pushing down prices.

The average price Freeport received for copper fell 6.4% to $2.62 per pound in the third quarter, while production fell 14%. Gold output tumbled 56.2%.

Freeport also said copper sales were lower in South America, dented by lower grades and recovery rates at its Cerro Verde mine in Peru.

The company reported a net loss of $131 million, or 9 cents per share, compared with a profit of $556 million, or 38 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company posted a loss of 1 cent per share, in line with estimates, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

(Reporting by Arundhati Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva and Aditya Soni)

((Arundhati.Sarkar@thomsonreuters.com; +1 646 223 8780 Ext: 1524; Reuters Messaging: arundhati.sarkar.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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