Zinc extended its rally to a 10-month high amid expectations for a global shortage of one of this year’s best-performing commodities. Shares of companies producing the metal rose.
Zinc, used for rustproofing steel in everything from auto bodies to suspension bridges, has surged 23 percent in 2016, outperforming other base metals. Banks from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to Macquarie Group Ltd. see further gains for prices that have risen for six straight days.
Glencore Plc and Nyrstar, Europe’s top refined metal producer, curbed output from mines last year after prices plunged amid the worst rout since the global financial crisis in 2008. Operations such as Vedanta’s Lisheen in Ireland and MMG Ltd.’s Century in Australia have also closed. Goldman last month dubbed zinc the “bullish exception” among metals, highlighting its positive prospects in contrast to the outlook for copper and aluminum.
"Zinc has a strong uptrend behind it," Andrew Silver, a broker at Triland Metals Ltd., said by phone. "Prices are moving in advance of tighter fundamentals. Some of the fund money has come toward zinc. If demand holds up, the physical surplus will get eaten away."
Zinc for delivery in three months climbed as much as 1.7 percent to $2,004 a metric ton and traded at $1,983.50 by 10:26 a.m. on the London Metal Exchange. A sixth successive gain would be the longest run since March. On the Shanghai Futures Exchange, zinc surged as much as 4.2 percent.
Glencore, the world’s biggest zinc miner, gained as much as 1 percent in London as Nyrstar climbed 5.5 percent in Brussels. Vedanta Resources Plc and Boliden also rose, while the FTSE 350 Mining Index added 0.2 percent.
Miners are supplying less of the ore concentrate that’s refined to produce zinc, just as demand rebounds in China, the biggest user. Chinese smelters that churn out more than 40 percent of the world’s zinc may cut production for the first time in four years because they can’t get enough raw material.
Zinc stockpiles in LME-tracked warehouses have shrunk 18 percent this year to the lowest since 2009, bourse data show. Goldman predicted a global deficit of 114,000 tons in 2016, widening to 360,000 tons in 2017.
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