Base Metal Study Groups Forecast Oversupply in 2012

World base metal supply is forecasted to become surplus against the global demand in 2012 except for copper. International Nickel Study Group forecasted 50,000 tonnes of global nickel oversupply in 2012. The oversupply volume would increase from 30,000 tonnes in 2011 due to commencement of major nickel production projects. International Lead & Zinc Study Group forecasted 114,000 tonnes of lead oversupply and 249,000 tonnes of zinc oversupply in 2012. Lead production is expected to increase mainly in Europe while zinc production is forecasted to increase mainly in Asia.

On the other hand, International Copper Study Group forecasted 237,000 tonnes of copper supply shortage in 2012. World copper production is forecasted to reach 20 million tonnes for the first time in 2012 but the volume increase would be partially eliminated by concentrate shortage. In 2013, concentrate supply is expected to improve and world copper supply is forecasted to turn surplus by 360,000 tonnes against the demand.