Copper closes at $7,150 on London Metal Exhange (LME)
Copper closed at $7,150 per MT on the LME after hitting a session high of $7,190. The commodity was up 3% last week. It was boosted by a positive US employment data report which revealed a declining unemployement rate. The following chart shows LME copper price year-to-date:
Copper rakes in over 80% of Zambia's foreign exchange and lower prices exprienced primarily in the first quarter of the year played a big role in the Kwacha' s depreciation (coupled with an acceleration in the growth of Zambia's imports). Demand has forex has been very high (driven by growth in imports) and supply low - inevitably leading to higher prices being paid for forex i.e. depreciation of the Kwacha. An increase in copper prices is a Kwacha-positive event which leads to an increase in the amount of forex coming into the country as copper miners sell their produce for a higher price. Should copper continue its upward momentum and importing eventually slow down, ceteris paribus, we could see a much stronger Kwacha in the second half of this year. We'll definitely be keeping track of this...
Government raises K18.6m in H1 2014 from toll gates
The governement collected K18.6m in the first half of this year from toll gates. Phase 1 of the initiative was implemented in the fourth quarter of 2013. The first phase involves toll gates which have been put up on 7 weigh bridges on selected roads - meaning only trucks passing through those bridges are being levied with the toll fees.
Start Software Technology cleared of wrong-doing in $200m digital migration tender
The Anti-Corruption Commission cleared Chinese company Star Software Technology of irregularly winning the $200m digital migration tender from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The company recently won the tender (again) after it was re-advertised by the Ministry to the chargrin of Huawei and many other competitors who had appealed the decision.
Trying to decipher this puzzle that is Zambia by using a variety of publicly available data (structured and unstructured) in conjunction with my own skill/experience. * * *