By CHATULA KANGALI –
COPPER prices on the London Metal Exchange (LME) on Monday this week hit above the $7,000 mark per tonne.
The price of the red metal reached $7,134 per tonne on Monday hitting the highest level in four weeks were it was trading around $6,600.00 per tonne.
According to Reuters, the rise in the copper prices was attributed to the improved manufacturing profits in China which signaled robust economic growth in the Asian country.
The construction boom in China according to Reuters showed no signs of reduction in the metal price and the country had in the one month increased its imports.
Meanwhile, Reuters indicated that the Chinese Government’s clean-up on air pollution had stoked worries about a copper shortage this winter.
Other metals on the LME that showed some price gain are Nickel trading at $ 11,790 per tonne and cobalt at $59,750.00 per tonne.
Copper is Zambians largest export earner and amounts to 70 per cent of the total export value and contributes between 15 and 18 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
The copper sector is also a significant source of Government revenue and formal employment, both directly and indirect.