Zinc Rises to 35-Month High as Supplies Drop to Lowest Since ’10

Jul 14, 2014 1:48 pm ET

July 14 (Bloomberg) -- Zinc prices climbed to a 35-month high as inventories extended a slump amid signs of higher demand.

Stockpiles monitored by the London Metal Exchange have dropped 29 percent this year to the lowest since December 2010. Demand for refined zinc will exceed output by 250,000 metric tons this year, according to BNP Paribas SA. Commodity consumption may climb in China, the world’s biggest user of industrial metals, Morgan Stanley said on July 11.

“We’re seeing declining stockpiles help provide support for zinc,” Phil Streible, a senior commodity broker at R.J. O’Brien & Associates in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “That may be an indication of rising demand.”

Zinc for delivery in three months rose 0.2 percent to settle at $2,307 a ton at 5:51 p.m. on the LME. Earlier, the price touched $2,325.50, the highest since Aug. 5, 2011. Stockpiles dropped for the 11th straight session to 659,975 tons.

Copper fell 0.5 percent to $7,122.50 a ton ($3.23 a pound). Stockpiles tracked by the LME in Busan, South Korea, have climbed sixfold this month to 12,350 tons.

Aluminum, lead and tin gained, while nickel fell.

Copper futures for September delivery fell 0.6 percent to $3.249 a pound on the Comex in New York.