Tight Cu Supply, Loose Pb, Zn, Ni Supply, Study Groups

International nonferrous metals study groups expect tight copper supply and loose other metals supply. International Copper Study Group (ICSG) announced on Tuesday world copper supply will be 201,000 tonnes short for the demand in 2011 and the shortage gets wider at 250,000 tonnes in 2012 under growing demand in Asia. Supply will be more than demand for other metals including lead, zinc and nickel.

ICSG expects world copper demand will increase by 1.5% to 19.676 million tonnes in 2011 from 2010. The demand decreases in Asia excluding Association of Southeast Asian Nations and Commonwealth of Independent States when Chinese demand decreased by 6% in first half of the year from same period of 2010 while the demand increases in North America and Europe. Chinese demand will increase in second half of the year while the demand decreases in European Union, Japan and USA.

ICSG expects world copper supply will increase by 2.3% to 19.475 million tonnes in 2011 from 2010. However, the supply cannot meet the demand under the slower supply growth due to lower ore grade, strike and bad weather.

International Lead and Zinc Study Group (ILZSG) announced on Monday world zinc supply will be 317,000 tonnes of oversupply in 2011 due to slower Chinese demand growth. The group expects world lead supply will be 188,000 tonnes of oversupply when the supply increases by more than 7% to 10.34 million tonnes in 2011 from 2010.

International Nickel Study Group (INSG) expects world nickel oversupply will increase to 70,000 tonnes in 2012 from 30,000 tonnes in 2011. The supply increases by 8.7% to 1.74 million tonnes in 2012 due to start of major new projects.

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