Zinc price nears three-year high on concerns of supply shortages

 
Suzie Neuwirth
Zinc prices went up to $2,313 a tonne yesterday (Source: AFP/Getty Images)
Zinc approached a three-year high yesterday, as investors clamour to buy the metal amid fears of a supply shortage.

Stockpiles of zinc in London Metal Exchange warehouses have fallen 29 per cent this year, down to levels held in late 2010.

A number of mine closures and forecasts of increased demand from the US and China for automobiles have pushed zinc further into supply deficit.

Zinc for delivery in three months went up to $2,313 a tonne yesterday, close to a three-year high of $2,318.50 seen on Tuesday.

“The forward view on prices and inventories remains bullish with mine supply anticipated to fall short of demand for the next year or two,” said VSA Capital research.

“We think there is still room for prices to rise from here, at least until LME inventories level off.”

A more positive outlook on commodities also lifted the price of aluminium and copper, both of which are also facing tightening supply.

Aluminium has hit a new 13-month peak of $1,952 a tonne, with top producer Alcoa increasing its estimate for the global aluminium market deficit this year due to a lower surplus in China.

Copper inched towards a February high of $7,220 a tonne.

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