By Jennifer Ugwueke
The price of a tonne of copper exceeded $10,000 on Thursday for the first time since February 2011 thanks to strong demand in China and the weak dollar.
The industrial metal is considered a barometer for the general health of the economy by market analysts, which have dubbed it Dr. Copper.
Its price has risen by more than a quarter since the start of the year as the global economy begins to shake off the Covid-19 pandemic.
A tonne of copper was fetching $9,963 around 1315 GMT on the London Metal Exchange after slipping off its session high having threatened to push past its February 15, 2011 high of $10,190 per tonne.
Last March, the price bottomed out at $4,371 a tonne as the pandemic dealt a massive blow to the economy.
Daniel Briesemann, analyst with Commerzbank, said that higher prices still could follow as copper would play a major role in countries’ long-term decarbonisation strategies.
For Anna Stablum, analyst with Marex Spectron, the dollar-denominated metal is primarily being “supported by the weakness of the dollar”.
The greenback slid 2.5 percent against a basket of currencies in April, as buyers with other rising currencies against the greenback go on a spree.
Neil Wilson of Markets.com saw the rising price as being the result of a rise in demand, notably from China which swallows more than half of world production, and also supply problems from top global supplier Chile.
Chinese declared demand is estimated to have risen 13 percent last year alone, according to the intergovernmental International Copper Study Group (ICSG).
That trend is likely to continue with Beijing having earlier this month announced a record 18.3 percent jump in first quarter economic growth.
Chilean supply meanwhile continues to be hampered by days of protests by workers at major ports and the country’s copper mines over pension policy.