Photographer: Bloomberg

Zinc Climbs to Highest in More Than a Year on Shortage Concerns

Updated on
  • Prices may rally to $2,500 in six months, Goldman Sachs says
  • Other metals mixed as mining stocks fall most in two weeks

Zinc climbed to the highest in more than a year on concern that supply will trail demand for the metal used in everything from auto parts to brass plumbing fixtures. Copper also gained.

Stockpiles of zinc tracked by the London Metal Exchange slipped for a ninth day and are 29 percent below a September peak. In the U.S., new-home construction rose in June by the most since February, and permits, a proxy for future construction, also climbed, signaling increased use of the metal.

Zinc has jumped 39 percent this year following the closing of two of the world’s largest mines, beating other industrial metals and offering the second-best return on the Bloomberg Commodity Index. On Tuesday, prices touched $2,248 a metric ton, the highest since May last year. Zinc may rise to $2,500 in the next six months, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said last week.

“The deficit has to make the market nervous,” Peter Thomas, a senior vice president at Zaner Group LLC, a metals broker in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “Zinc is also important in construction, and there’s no question there’s going to be concern in the market.”

Zinc for delivery in three months gained 1.1 percent to settle at $2,243 a ton at 5:50 p.m. on the LME.

“The supply situation is getting a bit tighter in the zinc market,” Tyler Broda, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets in London, said by phone. “There are still ample stocks, but we are seeing these being drawn down.”

In other base metals and mining news:

  • On the Comex in New York, copper futures for September delivery advanced 1.2 percent to $2.263 a pound.
  • On the LME, nickel and lead also gained, while aluminum and tin slipped.
  • A gauge of 18 global base metal producers tracked by Bloomberg Intelligence declined 2.9 percent, poised for the biggest loss in two weeks. Vale SA and Teck Resources Ltd. led declines in the index.