Copper prices surged to a record on Thursday, breaching $4,000 per ton, lifted largely by ferocious demand from China, the world's biggest metals consumer. China accounts for 22% of global copper demand.
Three-month copper prices jumped to an intra-day high point of $4,008 per ton on the London Metal Exchange. That was the highest level since copper was first listed in its current format in 1870. Copper futures in London have jumped by around 27% since the start of 2005.
"The combination of a sharp rebound in U.S. equities, a slightly weaker dollar and strong Chinese data seems to have been enough to underpin the metals," said William Adams, analyst with metals website TheBullionDesk.com. On the Comex, a division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, copper for December delivery also struck a historic record, hitting $1,858 per pound. The New York contract was 42% higher than at the same time last year.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2005