Lead premiums dropped for a second month in Europe as battery demand slowed, according to three traders with direct knowledge of the market.
The copper market may “tighten up” more quickly than anticipated once buying resumes from consumers in China, the world’s biggest user of the metal, according to Standard Bank Plc.
Financing accords involving nickel are helping to absorb a glut of the metal used in stainless steel and supporting prices, according to Macquarie Group Ltd.
A surge in orders to remove copper from New Orleans stockpiles tracked by the London Metal Exchange may create the impression the market is tightening, according to Standard Bank Plc.
Copper stockpiles in warehouses monitored by the London Metal Exchange jumped the most in four years after deliveries of the metal into Antwerp, Belgium, helping send prices to a seven-week low.
Nickel, this year’s best performer on the London Metal Exchange, fell for a third day to the lowest price in almost 10 weeks as the dollar strengthened on concern that Greece’s debt crisis might spread.
Nickel, this year’s worst-performing metal, is rallying as analysts from Standard Bank Plc to BNP Paribas SA forecast a smaller-than-expected supply glut in 2013.
Copper consumption will outpace supply this year by 58,000 metric tons as demand increases and supplies are disrupted, compared with a previous forecast for a surplus, Standard Bank Plc said.
Nickel and tin will trade higher than previously expected this year and copper supply will fall short of demand as early as next year, Standard Bank said.
Copper may be set for a volatile end of the year on the London Metal Exchange because of short-term tightness in the market, Standard Bank Plc said.