Zinc Leads Metals Higher on China With Best Run Since September

  • Chinese imports of zinc surged last month after prices slumped
  • Anglo American among top performing mining companies in London

Zincposted its longest rally since the start of September, leading industrial metals higher, on an increase in shipments to China, the world’s biggest user.

Chinese imports of zinc surged last month to the highest since May 2009 as buyers took advantage of low prices and bought in anticipation of further declines in the yuan exchange rate. The country also imported the most refined copper since at least 2008.

Mitsui Mining & Smelting Co., Japan’s top zinc supplier, said this week that prices will rise by about a third in 2016 as the market swings to the biggest deficit in more than a decade. Reduced ore supplies from Glencore Plc and output cuts in the refined metal by Chinese smelters will leave output trailing demand by 440,000 tons, reversing a glut, according to the company.

“We’ve really seen a rebound not just in copper, but the industrial commodities across the board,” David Meger, the director of metals trading at High Ridge Futures in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “As imports may have picked up, we can possibly expect a pickup in demand in China on the back of that data.”

Zinc for delivery in three months climbed 5 percent to settle at $1,590 a metric ton at 5:55 p.m. on the London Metal Exchange, the biggest gain in three months. The metal climbed for four straight days, the longest run since Sept. 2.

  • Copper rose to $4,539 a ton on the LME. Nickel gained 1.4 percent to $8,670 a ton.
  • The Bloomberg World Mining Index of shares gained as much as 2 percent. Leaders included Anglo American Plc, which advanced 12 percent, and Glencore, which added 7.7 percent.
  • BHP Billiton Ltd. gained 4 percent in London. The company vowed to do the “right thing” to support a recovery after last year’s deadly dam burst at its Brazilian iron ore venture.
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