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Freeport-McMoRan quarterly profit falls on lower copper price

Jan 25 (Reuters) – Freeport-McMoRan Inc (FCX.N) reported a 37% fall in fourth-quarter profit on Wednesday as recession fears, interest rate hikes and COVID-induced lockdowns in China dented copper prices.

Average copper prices averaged $8,004.64 per tonne in the last three months of 2022, a 16% drop from a year-earlier period, as China’s economic growth faltered, while Europe and the United States stared at a recession.

Miners are also struggling with higher inflation, lower demand and rise in per-unit cost of production.

Freeport reported average realized copper prices of $3.77 per pound, compared with $4.42 a year earlier.

The miner, which has operations in the Americas and Indonesia, said quarterly production of the red metal rose to 1.07 billion pounds from 1.03 billion pounds a year earlier. Its gold output rose to 472,000 ounces from 405,000 ounces.

The Phoenix-based miner’s net income fell to $697 million, or 48 cents per share, in the three months ended Dec. 31, compared with $1.1 billion, or 74 cents per share, last year.

Reporting by Ankit Kumar; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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