Dec. 22 (Bloomberg) --Copper prices jumped to a record after China said monthly imports of the metal increased for the first time since August and an accident at the Collahuasi mine in Chile disrupted supply.
Refined-copper imports by China, the largest user, surged 37 percent to 232,298 metric tons in November, compared with October, the General Administration of Customs said. Anglo American Plc and Xstrata Plc’s Collahuasi venture in Chile declared force majeure yesterday after an accident shut its port. Prices in London are up 44 percent since the end of June
"The fundamental situation seems very attractive,” said Eugen Weinberg, an analyst at Commerzbank AG. "The damage to the loading facilities in the port might well impact the availability over the medium term.”
Copper for delivery in three months jumped $164, or 1.8 percent, to $9,365 a metric ton ($4.25 a pound) on the London Metal Exchange, after touching an all-time high of $9,392. Prices have surged as demand from emerging markets reduced inventories.
Stockpiles in LME-monitored warehouses have plunged 28 percent this year, and on Dec. 10 touched the lowest level in more than a year.
In New York, copper futures for March delivery climbed 7 cents, or 1.7 percent, to close at $4.276 a pound at 1:27 p.m. on the Comex.
Earlier, the price reached $4.2895, the highest price for a most-active contract since at least December 1988.
Collahuasi, the world’s third-biggest copper mine, said it won’t ship supplies from the Patache port in northern Chile until further notice. A month-long strike at Collahuasi helped drive prices to a record earlier this month.
Tin, nickel, aluminum and zinc also gained in London. Lead fell.