Zambia Chamber of Mines president Goodwell Mateyo has projected a rise in the price of copper this year following the calming down of the trade war between the United States of America and China.

The world’s two largest economies were locked in a bitter trade dispute for the entire 2019, which saw the US and China impose tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of each other’s goods.

But this month, the two sides finally signed a preliminary deal to ease trade tensions, leaving only some of the thorniest issues that remain unresolved.

The uncertainties around the trade war weighed on the global economy, with copper prices stagnating at below US $6,000 per tonne, which have only just bounced to over US $6,300 per tonne in the wake of US-China trade deal.

Commenting on the development, Mateyo observed that an increase in copper prices this year will be positive for the industry.

“The trade war resulted in copper prices being subdued and not necessarily reflecting market fundamentals, but now that there is light at the end of the tunnel in terms of resolving this impasse, we are forecasting an improvement in copper prices, which should be positive for the industry. Demand has always been there, it’s just the uncertainties regarding this trade impasse and supply, particularly on the point of the supply side of things is what resulted in the price being subdued. But now that this has been resolved, we expect that prices will reflect the realities in terms of the match or mismatch between supply and demand,” Mateyo said.

And he added that the Chamber had still not received any response from government concerning the 2019 mining fiscal regime.

“Not formally, not in writing, I wouldn’t say that. There has been mention by the (Zambia Revenue Authority) Commissioner-General (Kingsley Chanda) in the last press conference he had that there is willingness on the part of government to re-look at a number of policy measures, but there was no specifics in terms of what exactly will be rolled back and what will remain so strictly speaking, I haven’t gotten any response or feedback from government,” said Mateyo.