25 May 2006

Copper Gains on Speculation That Demand Will Outpace Supply

Bloomberg.com: Latin America: "May 25 (Bloomberg) -- Copper rose on the London Metal Exchange on speculation that production may not meet demand this year because of strikes and declining output at some mines.
Mexican miners yesterday began a blockade at Grupo Mexico SA's Cananea copper mine, the country's largest. There's been a strike at La Caridad mine, Mexico's second-biggest, for two months. Codelco, the world's No. 1 copper producer, yesterday warned production will decline this year and next. Demand will rise 5.2 percent this year, HSBC Holdings Plc said yesterday.
``The fundamentals of copper are very supportive,'' Roy Carson, a London-based metals analyst at Triland Metals Ltd., which trades on the floor of the LME, said today by phone. ``Codelco will produce less and strikes are still on.''
Copper for delivery in three months on the LME advanced as much as $150, or 1.9 percent, to $7,980 a metric ton. The contract was $140 higher at $7,970 as of 9:26 a.m. in London, taking its gain this year to 81 percent. Copper reached a record $8,800 May 11.
Codelco, which supplies about 11 percent of the world's copper, yesterday said its output this year will be 1.713 million tons, or 0.6 percent less than last year. Production next year will be 1.652 million tons, Codelco forecast."

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