Natixis Sees Copper Prices Averaging $8,250 a Ton This Year

Copper prices will climb this year to average $8,250 a metric ton on consumption in China and supply constraints, Natixis Commodity Markets Ltd. said.

While the estimate is below its May forecast of $8,800, it’s above the metal’s average of about $8,018 so far in 2012. Aluminum and lead will average $2,000 a ton in 2012, nickel $17,250 a ton and zinc $1,950 a ton, Natixis said in a report today.

“Among the base metals, copper continues to exhibit the strongest fundamentals,” Natixis said. “Despite the weak global economy, restocking in China is driving a strong increase in apparent demand. If underlying economic conditions begin to improve, a significant rally in copper prices remains a distinct possibility.”

Gold averaged about $1,643 an ounce so far this year and that figure will fall to $1,550 for the whole year, Natixis said. It sees silver at $28.50 an ounce, platinum at $1,560 an ounce and palladium at $650 an ounce this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nicholas Larkin in London at nlarkin1@bloomberg.net

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