Copper prices boom

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File Photo: Copper processing

BUUMBA CHIMBULU writes

@SunZambian

COPPER prices have jumped to their highest in nearly a decade as top metals consumer China returned from a week-long Lunar New Year holiday, with brightening demand prospects and supply concerns underpinning the market.

This added impetus to a rally that has almost doubled prices since the height of coronavirus worries last March, says the Mining.Com Newsletter.

Benchmark three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange rose as much as 2.1 percent to US$8,565 a tonne in early Asia trade, its strongest since April 2012, resuming its rally after a modest pullback in the previous session.

“The most-traded March copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange gained as much as 4.7 percent to US$9,747.29 a tonne, a level not seen since September 2011.

“Underpinning the rally is resurgent demand in China, the biggest metals consumer, expectations of tight supply, and a rush of speculative investment, with many analysts predicting a multi-year bull run,” the Newsletter said.

The newsletter indicated that other industrial metals also jumped, with aluminum at its highest since 2018, nickel its strongest since 2014, tin its strongest since 2012 and lead its highest since 2019.

“Oil prices gained more than $1 a barrel as frigid Texas temperatures shut production across the largest U.S. crude producing state, with the unusually cold weather expected to hamper output for days or even weeks.

Meanwhile, Absa Bank Zambia indicated that the Zambian Kwacha continued to trade in retreat against the US dollar despite trading flat in yesterday’s relatively quiet session.

“This is largely due to the demand heavy market with thin supply in sight. By 08:30 hours. Market opened with the Kwacha trading at K21.60/21.65 per dollar on the bid and offer respectively, where it traded until market close.

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