Zinc prices extended a rally to a 35-month high as speculation mounted that global demand will exceed supplies. Lead rose to the costliest this year.
Zinc inventories monitored by the London Metal Exchange have tumbled 30 percent this year to 653,900 metric tons, the lowest since December 2010. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. forecasts a global production deficit will widen to 154,000 metric tons next year.
“There’s some genuine supply concerns,” Rob Kurzatkowski, a senior commodity analyst at optionsXpress, a Chicago-based brokerage unit of Charles Schwab Corp., said in a telephone interview. “The decline in LME inventories has been extremely sharp. We can easily reach sub-500,000 tons by the end of the year, which should be a significant supply squeeze.”
Zinc for delivery in three months rose 0.1 percent to settle at $2,390 a ton at 5:50 p.m. on the LME. Earlier, the price reached $2,413, the highest since Aug. 4, 2011. The price has advanced 16 percent this year.
Lead climbed 1.3 percent to $2,267 a ton. The metal reached $2,279, the highest since Dec. 30.
Copper fell 0.6 percent to $7,125 a ton ($3.23 a pound), snapping a four-day rally. Freeport-McMoRan Inc. got approval from Indonesia to resume exports after a dispute with the government reduced output for six months.
Nickel and tin climbed, while aluminum fell in London.
On the Comex in New York, copper futures for September delivery fell 0.8 percent to $3.2405 a pound.