Japan Industry Sees Higher Copper Ingot Price

Japanese copper industry expects higher copper ingot price at London Metal Exchange, according to survey questionnaires to smelters by Japan Metal Bulletin. Some of them expect the 3-month future price could reach even US$ 5,800 per tonne under short supply. Mr. Yoshihiro Nishiyama, director of Pan Pacific Copper expects 3-month futures copper price could reach US$ 5,100 per tonne at London Metal Exchange in April-June under the tight supply in Europe and USA. He said the price could surge to more than US$ 5,500 with more purchase by Chinese users. He indicates speculative money could purchase the metal when LME copper inventory is record low level of around 120,000 tonnes. He expects, however, the price will decrease to US$ 4,500-5,000 in July-September due to the seasonal lower demand. Mr. Mikinobu Ogata, who is in charge of general manager of copper and precious metals sales and procurement for Sumitomo Metal Mining, expects 3-month futures price of LME copper moves widely at more than US$ 5,000 per tonne. He said the international supply is serious shortage due to strike at La Caridad copper mine in Mexico and fatal accident and environmental issues for Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold. He expects the price will move between US$ 5,000-5,800 in 3 months when the price surges under expectation of shortage after Batu Hijau mine of Indonesia announced output reduction.