Zinc Approaches 16-Month High in London as Stockpiles Decline

Jun 26, 2014 3:17 pm ET

June 26 (Bloomberg) -- Zinc rose, trading near a 16-month high, as inventories in warehouses tracked by the London Metal Exchange declined amid signs of improving demand.

Stockpiles fell for a fourth session, extending a slide to the lowest since December 2010. Zinc, used in everything from brass plumbing fixtures to steel car parts, has gained 10 percent this quarter amid signs of recoveries in manufacturing and housing. U.S. new-home sales posted the biggest one-month gain since 1992 in May, while American factories received more orders for business equipment, government data showed this week.

“There’s some demand influences and some supply influences” pushing zinc prices higher, Michael Turek, a senior director at Newedge USA LLC in New York, said in a telephone interview. “There’s genuine demand for it. The industrial performance in the U.S. is quite robust.”

Zinc for delivery in three months climbed 0.4 percent to settle at $2,190.50 a metric ton by 5:50 p.m. on the LME, after reaching $2,195.50. On June 23, prices climbed to $2,198, the highest since Feb. 15, 2013.

Copper for delivery in three months rose 0.6 percent to $6,955 a ton ($3.15 a pound) on the LME. On the Comex in New York, copper futures for delivery in September gained 0.2 percent to $3.172 a pound. Prices advanced for a 10th session, the longest rally since June 2005.

Inventories monitored by the LME have fallen 57 percent this year to the lowest since August 2008.

Nickel and lead climbed in London. Aluminum and tin fell.

--With assistance from Agnieszka Troszkiewicz in London.