Zinc Advances to Highest in Nine Months as Stockpiles Decline

Dec 23, 2013 2:08 pm ET

Dec. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Zinc prices rose to the highest in nine months as inventories tracked by the London Metal Exchange fell to the lowest since March 2012 amid signs of an global economic rebound.

Stockpiles declined for the 38th straight session, the longest slump since November 2006. The International Monetary Fund plans to raise its outlook for the U.S. economy, and global growth will accelerate at least 3.4 percent in 2014 from less than 3 percent, according to economists at banks including Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

“Anytime you see the LME stockpiles down at very low levels, it’s showing there’s a demand for the underlying commodity,” Michael Smith, the president of T&K Futures & Options Inc. in Port St. Lucie, Florida, said in a telephone interview. “There’s optimism for the new year that the global economy is going to start to grow faster again, especially China.”

On the LME, zinc for delivery in three months gained 0.8 percent to $2,057 a metric ton at 5:50 p.m. local time. Earlier, the price reached $2,071, the highest since March 1. Stockpiles have dropped 27 percent this year.

Lead gained, while aluminum, nickel and tin fell.

Copper gained less than 0.1 percent to $7,241 a ton ($3.28 a pound). On the Comex in New York, futures for March delivery declined less than 0.1 percent to $3.3075 a pound.

--Editors: Patrick McKiernan, Millie Munshi