Copper prices still remain high by historical standards – Chikwanda

AS Africa’s biggest copper producer, Zambia, announced its 2014 National Budget last Friday, the prices of copper on the international market went up.

The copper prices rose tracking equities markets as improved prospects of a deal in Washington to solve a fiscal deadlock boosted riskier assets.
They, however, closed the week within the two-month $7,000-$7,500-per-tonne range.
Presenting the budget to Parliament, Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda said copper prices fell from an average of US$7,960 per tonne in 2012, to $7,416 between January and September, 2013.
“Even so, copper prices still remain high by historical standards,” he said.
Reuters reports that the price for benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) closed at $7,200 on Friday from a close at $7,145 on Thursday, when it gained by 0.6 per cent.
Metals demand continues to be fanned by growth in top consumer China where premiums for metal in bonded zones have climbed by $5 to $175-$205 last week.
For crude oil, the United States (US) futures settled lower and with their biggest weekly decline in four weeks.
US crude oil settled at 99 cents lower at $102.02 per barrel, after trading more than $2 lower to $100.60.
The contract went down by 1.75 per cent on the week, the largest weekly decline since the week to September 20, 2013.
Front-month Brent oil for November delivery settled at 52 cents lower at $111.28 per barrel, after trading as low as $110.51.
Brent settled with its largest increase in one month, with a 1.7 per cent gain on the week. The contract expires at the end of the trading session on Wednesday.
For gold the price hit a three-month low. The stronger dollar weighed on gold, oil and a host of commodities priced in dollar.
US gold futures fell by 2.2 per cent in heavy volume. Trading of gold futures on New York’s COMEX was momentarily halted at 8:42 a.m. EDT (1242 GMT) by “Stop Logic”, the mechanism used by exchange operator CME Group to prevent excessive price movements.
In the three minutes around the 10-second trading paused, gold prices slid almost by $30 an ounce.
Spot gold fell by 1.6 per cent in the previous session, while December gold futures only fell by 0.8 per cent.