Bloomberg News

Freeport-McMoRan ‘Selling Less’ Copper in Europe as U.S. Steady

October 04, 2011

Oct. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc., the largest publicly traded copper producer, is “selling less” metal in Europe than a few months ago as U.S. demand is “the same,” said Javier Targhetta, a senior vice president.

“We’re selling less in Europe,” Targhetta said in an interview in London today. “We are shifting copper to the Middle East or countries of the Mediterranean” such as Turkey and Egypt, he said.

Copper has dropped 29 percent this year as mounting concern about growth eroded expectations for supply shortages. Europe accounts for about 20 percent of Freeport’s sales, and the U.S. about 30 percent, according to Targhetta, who is senior vice president of marketing and sales.

“The U.S. economy is slowing down yet our sales remain the same,” he said. In China, the biggest consumer of copper, “demand remains robust,” Targhetta said. Chinese buyers “are clearly using copper. I haven’t seen a decline in demand.” Asia makes up 40 percent to 45 percent of the Phoenix-based company’s sales, he said.

Freeport has seen no changes to its global sales, Targhetta said. “We are selling what we are producing. There are no delays, no cancellations. Demand remains very strong.”

Copper in concentrate will continue to show “tightness” as there is more smelting capacity than mined output, he said.

Targhetta is in London for London Metal Exchange Week, an annual event during which supply contracts are discussed.

--Editors: Claudia Carpenter, Agnieszka Troszkiewicz

To contact the reporter on this story: Agnieszka Troszkiewicz in London at atroszkiewic@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net


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