Lead Prices Rise as Inventories Post Longest Slump in 13 Months

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Lead prices gained for the first time in three days as a measure of inventories posted the longest slump in 13 months.

Stockpiles tracked by the London Metal Exchange declined for the 10th straight session to 211,025 metric tons, the lowest since July 2. Supplies have dropped 11 percent from a 17-month high on March 23.

“It helps signal the fact that lead is a market that appears to be in a deficit situation,” Mike Dragosits, a senior commodity strategist at TD Securities in Toronto, said in a telephone interview.

Lead for delivery in three months rose 1.1 percent to settle at $2,000 a ton at 5:50 p.m. in London. Last week, the price jumped 6.2 percent, the most since May 31, 2013. The invenrtory slump was the longest since Feb. 20, 2014.

This year, lead has climbed 7.6 percent. Zinc, up 1.1 percent, is the only other price posting a gain among the six main metals in London.

On Wednesday, nickel rose 0.7 percent to $12,680 a ton. Striking workers blocked access to BHP Billiton Ltd.’s Cerro Matoso mine in Colombia.

Copper futures for July delivery increased 0.3 percent to $2.7095 a pound on the Comex in New York. Earlier, the price touched $2.6685, the lowest for a most-active contract since March 20.

In London, aluminum, copper and zinc advanced, while tin fell.

— With assistance by Joe Deaux

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