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

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)