Japan Copper Price Hits 800,000 yen/t

Japanese official copper ingot price, which is indicator of domestic price of copper products and scrap, exceeded 800,000 yen per tonne. The price could reach record 890,000 yen in May 1974 under high-rate inflation after oil shock in 1973. The copper price surges when the supply is getting tighter with worldwide labor disputes and funds and speculators buy nonferrous and precious metals aggressively under record oil price at US$ 71 per barrel under higher demand due to Chinese rapid growth.Nippon Mining & Metals announced on Wednesday the firm increased the official copper ingot price by 50,000 yen to 830,000 yen per tonne for April shipment. The averaged monthly price increased to 774,500 yen after the firm increased the price 5 times in April. The official price increased by 150,000 yen from 680,000 yen at the end of March. The 50,000 yen hike is widest step after 60,000 yen hike from 720,000 yen to 780,000 yen in mid-February 1980. The price increases again and again when New York market leading offshore price surges. Funds keeps buying copper under prolonged strike of Grupo Mexico and surging oil price even after Easter holiday. Copper price increased to 305.9 US cents per pound, which represents US$ 6,743.9 per tonne, at settlement in New York Mercantile Exchange on Tuesday. Copper price surged by US$ 425 to US$ 6,635 per tonne at settlement in the after Easter holiday session of London Metal Exchange on the day from last week. Foreign exchange rate increased by more than 1 yen to 117.95 yen per US dollar at telegraphic transfer selling rate on Wednesday. Japanese smelters’ break even point with imported ore is estimated to be just more than 826,000 yen per tonne including 43,000 yen per tonne of premium and charges based on NY curb on Tuesday, which represents US$ 6,640 per tonne at LME cash price and indicates LME trading on Wednesday. The estimated break even point is just more than 838,000 yen based on copper price at NYMEX on Tuesday. The price is already more than 8,000 yen higher than 830,000 yen of Japanese official price.