Freeport McMoRan says copper demand in China remains healthy Says fundamental copper demand in China remains healthy and is overall optimistic about the country's growth. Says U.S. copper demand improving. Says automotive and construction were key drivers for U.S. copper demand after a harsh winter. Says Europe copper demand recovering from a low base. Says future copper outlook supported by positive fundaments. In terms of the copper markets, says 11.2Mt copper shortfall will need to be made up by expansions and new projects. Says in terms of the Brownfield development projects, the Cerro Verde Mill Expansion and the Morenci Mill Expansion combined is expected to produce an over 1B pounds of copper per annum increase by FY16. In regards to its PT-FI operating status, the company says it will make contingency plans for significant cost and CapEx reductions if necessary. Says committed to a positive long-term partnership with Indonesia for the benefit of all stakeholders. Says seeks opportunities to repay or refinance higher cost debt assumed in acquisitions. Comments made in slides during Freeport McMoRan's presentation at the Deutsche Bank Global Industrials and Basic Materials conference.
Freeport McMoRan downgraded at BofA/Merrill As previously reported, BofA/Merrill downgraded Freeport McMoRan to Underperform from Neutral. The firm lowered Freeport McMoRan free cash flow estimates and price target to $19 from $22.50 following a reduction in copper and Brent oil price forecasts and said it does not expect a recovery until 2017 and the dispute over Grasberg remains an overhang.