China's increased use of copper will press inventories and raise prices of the metal, which also will spearhead base metals' rallies this year, according to a Wood Mackenzie company researcher Brook Hunt.
Having reached a record price in February, copper projects to fall short by as many as 570,000 tons this year, Bloomberg reports. Demand in China is growing 6 percent for the metal that is used to make wires. As the globe recovered from the deepest economic recession since the end of World War II, copper futures skyrocketed 30 percent.
"Fundamentally, the market's tight," metals research head Julian Kettle told Bloomberg while predicting that cash copper is poised to average $9,700 per ton this year. Last year's average was $7,543 per ton.
Shortly prior to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, copper futures were up 0.03 percent, a 0.15 cent rise to $435.15 per pound.
"There'll be a shortage of copper," said Kettle, who has been probing metal for two decades. "In the short term, the market is going to remain tight and fundamentally it's strong."
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