Copper prices are seen rebounding 8.4 percent as demand for the metal used in pipes and wiring expands amid signs of tightening supplies, Standard Chartered Plc forecasts.
The CHART OF THE DAY shows the 12-month average copper consumption rising to a record in China, the world’s largest buyer, while use in the U.S. climbs to the highest since 2009, based on data from the World Bureau of Metal Statistics. Global inventories have fallen by almost half this year and are near the lowest since 2008.
Wire-rod production in China will advance to 6.3 million tons this year from 6 million in 2013, driven by demand for home appliances, a survey for the International Copper Study Group showed. In the U.S., housing starts surged in July to an eight-month high. Prices will average $7,600 a metric ton in London in the fourth quarter of 2015, up from $7,010 yesterday, said Nicholas Snowdon, an analyst at Standard Chartered.
“Demand conditions are actually particularly robust,” Snowdon said in a telephone interview. “That’s the reason the market is remaining tight. That’s why we haven’t seen LME stocks start to rise. The housing market is a key driver within the U.S., in terms of demand for wiring.”
Global refined-copper output will trail consumption by 90,000 tons this year and in 2015, Morgan Stanley said this month. Mine-production growth will slow to 2 percent this year, after climbing 8.2 percent in 2013, according to the New York-based bank.
Copper fell 4.8 percent this year. China’s trade surplus surged to a record in July as export growth unexpectedly accelerated and imports fell, suggesting the U.S. and European recoveries will help sustain expansion in China.