JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – The prices of most commodities appeared to have stabilised, Anglo American CEO Cynthia Carroll said on Wednesday.
Carroll told the annual general meeting (AGM) in London that there were even signs of some improvement, most notably in the copper price that had increased by more than 50% from its December low.
She also noted the movement of the platinum price above $1 200/oz from its sub-$800/oz lows in October 2008, following strengthening investment demand from exchange-traded funds and supportive incentive schemes for the purchase of new cars in Germany and France.
“We are confident that the medium-term to long-term fundamentals are firmly in place for strong commodity demand growth,” Carroll said.
On the demand side, the economic recovery of the industrialised countries and the ongoing industrialisation of the major developing markets were expected to drive long-term demand for commodities, stimulated by government spending programmes in many major economies, including the US and China.
When the cycle turned, the supply of many commodities was likely to be severely constrained, owing to the downturn putting a dampener on exploration activity, in addition to the abandonment or delays of major greenfield projects, Carroll added.
Bloomberg reported that copper rose for a fifth time in six sessions in New York as declines in inventories signalled that demand was rising.
Stockpiles monitored by the London Metal Exchange (LME) fell 2,4 % to 480 400 t, the biggest one-day drop since October 21.
“The market has strengthened on the back of the decline in LME copper inventories,” said MF Global analyst Edward Meir.
Fairfax reported that nickel had risen to $12 000/t on Wednesday compared to $11 450/t the day before, with zinc at $1 455/t compared to $1 410/t of the day before.