TRYNESS TEMBO, Lusaka
THE price of copper, which is Zambia’s foreign exchange earner, rose to two and half highs at US$6,495 a tonne on the international
market on Wednesday, supported by anticipated low demand from China.
The raise in copper price means that Zambia will have more foreign exchange inflows and will also contribute to strengthening of the Kwacha.
Reuters reports that benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) had risen 0.3 percentage point at US$6,495 a tonne, its highest since December 2014.
“LME copper rose to two and half year highs on Wednesday on expectations of output cut across many commodities in top producer China during the winter,” it notes.
However, yesterday copper price marginally dropped by 0.1 percentage point due to the simmering tensions between the United States and North Korea.
“London copper and aluminium paused near their highest in about two years yesterday, amid profit-taking in wider markets as investors fretted about the simmering tensions between the United States and North Korea,” Reuters reports.
LME copper was trading at US$6,450 a tonne, down 0.1 percentage point which followed a slightly softer close the day before, when investors booked profits after prices marked their highest since December 2014 at US$6,515 a tonne.
On aluminium, China extended gains earlier yesterday to trade at US$2,000 a tonne, its highest in about two years.
Meanwhile, oil price was about one percent higher on Wednesday after a report showed United States refineries processed record amounts of crude in the latest week, eating into inventories, although a surprise jump in gasoline stockpiles limited price gains.
Brent crude, the global benchmark, ended the session up 56 cents, or 1.1 percent, at US$52.70 a barrel.
But the Energy Regulation Board on Monday announced a reduction in pump prices with petrol now selling at K11.67, representing a 6.64 percent drop from K12.50 per litre, while diesel is fetching K9.87 per litre from K10.72, translating into a 7.93 percent reduction.
Other petroleum products are kerosene, which dropped to K6.50 per litre from K6.81, and sulphur gas, is selling at K12.16 per litre from K13.01.