TRYNESS TEMBO, Lusaka
AFTER eight weeks of gains, the copper price on Friday closed on a weak note at US$6,820 a tonne.
However, at the current level, copper, which is Zambia’s major source of foreign exchange is still trading at its highs.
In the past week, the commodity’s price reached as high as US$6,929.50 a tonne.
Market analysts attributes the marginal drop to slow but steady Chinese and global manufacturing growth that fuelled the metal’s longest winning run since 2006.
On the other hand, traders said copper broke the key support which triggered profit-taking after a 20 percent advance since June.
“London Metal Exchange copper erased early gains to fall by 1.1 percent to US$6,820 a tonne after finishing flat in the previous session. Prices have climbed by about 20 percent from the start of June.
“Copper last rose for nine weeks in a row between March and May 2006, when prices rallied about 70 percent to US$8,800 a tonne,” Reuters reports.
Commenting on the development, UBS in Sydney analyst Daniel Morgan said copper imports were flattish as expected for August.
“In the months ahead, there might be a lift in metal imports at the expense of concentrate if there is a restriction on smelter production due to environmental inspections,” Mr Morgan said.
On oil, prices steadied on Friday after almost a week of sharp rises as Hurricane Irma, one of the most powerful storms in a century, drove towards Florida after tearing through the Caribbean.
Irma is the second major hurricane to approach the United States (US) in two weeks and has already killed 14, flattening whole islands. Its predecessor, Harvey, shut a quarter of US refineries and eight percent of US oil production.
Brent crude was up five cents at US$54.54 a barrel, after earlier reaching its highest since April at US$54.80. US light crude oil was 30 cents lower at US$48.79 barrel.