Low Price of Copper Now Dragging Down Zambia’s Currency, Too

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Zambia’s currency, the kwacha, hit its weakest point on record against the US dollar on Tuesday, Reuters reported, after falling copper prices tightened foreign exchange inflows into Africa’s second largest producer of the red metal.

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The kwacha eased to 6.48/6.50 per dollar, from a close of 6.40/6.44 on Monday.

“Dollar inflows from copper sales have been dwindling due to low prices and this has had a negative impact on the kwacha,” one commercial bank trader told Reuters.

The price of US copper producer grade 110 saw a 1.6 percent increase on Monday, May 5, reaching $3.78 per pound and making it the biggest mover for the day. The price of US copper producer grade 122 inched up 1.6 percent to $3.78 per pound. After a 1.5 percent increase, the price of US copper producer grade 102 finished the day at $3.97 per pound. After a couple of days of decreasing prices, the cash price of primary Japanese copper held steady at JPY 708,000 ($6,927).

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Chinese copper prices were mixed for the day. After holding steady for the past few days, the price of Chinese copper wire fell 0.1 percent, closing at CNY 49,725 ($7,944) per metric ton. The price of Chinese copper bar showed little movement on Monday at CNY 50,670 ($8,095) per metric ton. The Chinese copper cash price saw little movement yesterday, closing out around CNY 50,870 ($8,127) per metric ton. For the fifth day in a row, the price of Chinese bright copper scrap remained essentially flat at CNY 44,300 ($7,078) per metric ton.

The primary copper cash price rose 0.4 percent on the LME to $6,698 per metric ton after a two-day drop. The copper 3-month price is back up, rising by 0.4 percent on the LME yesterday to close at $6,665 per metric ton.

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