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Copper Market May See Shortage for Third Year on China

Copper will remain in short supply for a third straight year in 2012 as China-led demand boosts prices, Japan’s top producer said.

Demand will likely exceed supply by 495,000 metric tons in 2011, the biggest deficit since 2004, compared with 214,000 tons last year, said Akira Miura, executive officer of the marketing and raw-material department at Pan Pacific Copper Co., Japan’s biggest producer. The shortage may shrink to 31,000 tons in 2012, he said.