Copper prices rose on Tuesday as a labor strike in Chile's largest producer Codelco closed three mining divisions raising concerns that supplies would not be able to meet worldwide demand.
Codelco, a state owned company is the largest producer of copper in the world. Operations in El Teniente, Andina and Salvador mines stopped and some workers have protested violently in a strike that started last Wednesday and sent copper prices as high as $4.045 a pound.
The company said on Tuesday it is losing over $10 million a day in a strike originated by subcontract workers who demand respect of their labor rights and agreements made in the middle of last year.
Copper futures rose 9.2 cents, or 2.38 percent to $3.9585 a pound on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange at 1:18 p.m.
The metal also rose as the euro gained to a record of $1.6002 against the dollar, boosting demand for raw materials to compensate for inflation.
Copper has increased on more demand from China, the top consumer in the world whose economy is one of the fastest growing globally, using copper for home construction, cars, and infrastructure.
Inventories in London Metal Exchange warehouses were unchanged at 11,498 metric tons on Tuesday.
Copper for delivery in three months fell $51.50 or 0.60 percent to $8,583.5 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange.