Demand for copper will outpace supplies, which will result in a global deficit, according to the world's third biggest mining company.
Bloomberg reports Rio Tinto Group expects China and additional emerging markets to develop more quickly than output of the metal, which is valuable for housing and appliances. This year's deficit might run as high as 500,000 tons, according to the head of the firm's copper business.
"You've got this very strong demand in the long term being driven by China," Andrew Harding told Bloomberg. "And the supply side is not going to respond with the speed to match that."
Shortly after 4 p.m. on Wednesday, copper futures increased 2.53 percent, a $10.80 climb to $437.25 per pound.
Another chief executive officer, Richard Adkerson of Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold, also remains enthused about China's prospects and its impact on the copper market. He said demand will rise despite the nation's efforts to cap inflation.
"In the long run, we are very confident about the outlook for copper demand in China," said Adkerson, whose firm is based in Phoenix.
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