At the opening session of the three-day meeting of the Intergovernmental Council of Copper Exporting Nations (CIPEC), on Monday (24 June), the ministers of the World's four major copper exporting countries demanded more control over fixing copper prices.
At the opening session of the three-day meeting of the Intergovernmental Council of Copper Exporting Nations (CIPEC), on Monday (24 June), the ministers of the World's four major copper exporting countries demanded more control over fixing copper prices. They also criticised the influence of the London Metal Exchange.
The Conference was opened by the Zambian Prime Minster, Mr. Mainza Chona, who said that the time had come for copper producers to end the undue influence of speculators. He said that because copper prices were fixed on the London Metal Exchange, the people of Zambia had to wait for word form London before they knew how much their copper was worth.
"We therefore feel" continue Mr. Chona, "that the London Metal Exchange is a terminal market where the role of the speculator has continued to unduly influence the type of prices we get and the degree of fluctuation".
Zambia and there other members of CIPEC, including Chile, Peru and Zaire, hoe to agree during the Conference on a fixed price for copper. But it is not clear whether this would be a fixed minimum price or an actual price.
Mr. Chona said that because of the London Metal Exchange, the copper exporting countries had become prisoners of history. He called on CIPEC to follow the example of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in obtaining a fair price for their copper.
His call was supported by Peru's Minister of Energy and Mines, General Jorge Fernandez Maldonado, who said that the World energy crisis had served as a catalyst for the third world. It had shown up the fallacy that only the countries of the Third World were the ones who were dependent.
Zambia's Minister of Mines and Industry, Mr. Andrew Kashita, who was elected as Chairman of the Conference, said that the consumers and producers should reach an understanding to deal directly, rather than brought middle-men. Zambia did not believe that the London Metal Exchange was the only mechanism for settling copper prices.