Zinc Poised for Longest Advance in Two Months on Demand Outlook

Feb 19, 2014 3:06 am ET

Feb. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Zinc climbed for a sixth day, the longest winning streak since December, amid forecasts that rising global demand will curb supplies and as stockpiles shrink. Nickel and aluminum also increased.

Zinc for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange added as much as 0.7 percent to $2,082.50 a metric ton, the highest level since Jan. 23. The metal was at $2,079 at 4:22 p.m. in Tokyo, up 1.1 percent this year.

Stockpiles will be “entirely depleted” by 2019 amid rising demand and slow growth in new supplies from mines, Graham Deller, an analyst at researcher CRU, said yesterday. Global demand for refined zinc exceeded output by 60,000 tons in 2013 after six years of surplus, the International Lead and Zinc Study Group said in a report on Feb. 17.

“The physical market has been tight for zinc, indicating strong demand amid limited supplies,” said Chae Un Soo, a metals trader at Korea Exchange Bank Futures Co. in Seoul.

Inventories tracked by the LME fell for a 17th day to 798,575 tons yesterday, the lowest level since December 2011, daily bourse data showed.

Copper dropped as much as 0.2 percent earlier as a private gauge of Chinese manufacturing tomorrow may show contraction for February and traded at $7,190 a ton in London. The contract for March delivery on the Comex in New York was 0.1 percent higher at $3.287 a pound. Futures for May delivery rose 0.1 percent to end at 50,690 yuan ($8,343) a ton in Shanghai.

On the LME, lead also climbed, while tin declined.

--Editors: Sungwoo Park, Jarrett Banks