Copper prices hit record highs

Oil unchanged after unrest in Egypt

February 14, 2011
by Purchasing b2b staff

TORONTO: Copper prices moved further into record-high territory February 14, while oil prices stayed flat after a two-year high in early February.

The March copper contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange jumped eight cents to a record US$4.61 a pound. High demand for the metal used in construction and electrical appliances has sent copper surging almost 40 percent since the beginning of 2010. Mining company Rio Tinto’s CEO, Tom Albanese, said copper prices will keep heading higher amid rising demand, and before output from new mining projects eases a supply shortfall.

“We will see a continued period of strong copper pricing, largely because many of the large mines—including our own—are seeing declining grades, deepening pits,” he said.Oil prices were unchanged after jumping to a two-year high above US$92 earlier this month as fears eased that the political crisis in Egypt could disrupt crude supplies. President Hosni Mubarak resigned February 11, following 18 days of anti-government riots that saw millions of protesters in the streets.

Investors have turned their attention to the impact high oil prices could have on inflation, as the US economy appears to be on stronger footing.