Are commodities other than oil, gold and silver reaching record high prices?
"Copper prices rose to records in New York and London as contract workers at Chile's state-owned Codelco, the world's biggest producer of the metal used in construction and plumbing, walked off the job in a pay dispute.
Workers from at least three of Codelco's divisions went on strike today, and will stay out until bonuses are paid, union leader Danilo Jorquera said in a telephone interview. Santiago- based Codelco has estimated its 2005 production at 1.7 million tons, or 11 percent of global mine supply forecast by the International Copper Study Group.
The strike "is going to last awhile," said Michael Purdy, a trader at ABN Amro Bank in New York. "We're going to have a lot of strike activity this year, and along with that, more demand out of countries that people have forgotten about," such as Japan and some European nations, he said.
Copper futures for March delivery rose 5.15 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $2.10 a pound at 8:44 a.m. on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Earlier, prices reached $2.11, the highest ever. A futures contract is an obligation to buy or sell a commodity at a set price by a specific date.
On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months climbed $124, or 2.8 percent, to $4,564 a metric ton ($2.0698 a pound). Prices earlier reached a record $4,576."