Copper prices hit record high
Copper prices surged to a record peak on Tuesday on the back of upbeat Chinese data and after a key Chilean mine halted its exports.
In trade on the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months' time hit 9,392 dollars per tonne.
"Copper has continued to rise this morning on supportive Chinese trade data and news that Collahuasi had called force majeure on concentrate shipments," said Barclays Capital analysts in a note to clients.
"The full and final data set for Chinese base metals November trade data paints an encouraging picture. Imports of all the metals increased -- apart from nickel -- with the rise in copper and tin particularly noteworthy."
Meanwhile, Chile's massive Collahuasi copper mine on Monday suspended exports following a ship-loading crane accident that killed three workers at the port where its concentrate is shipped.
"Collahuasi has declared a force majeure on its contracts of copper concentrate," said mine spokeswoman Bernardita Fernandez, using the phrase for a contract suspension due to circumstances beyond a firm's control.
The world's third largest copper mine produces around three percent of the world's copper and is located near the coastal city of Iquique, in far northern Chile.
The industrial metal is used in plumbing, heating, electrical and telecommunications wiring.
Elsewhere in commodity markets on Tuesday, sugar hit the highest level in 30 years and coffee struck a 13-year peak, as both raw materials were lifted by keen demand and limited supplies.
© 2010 AFP