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INTL expects copper prices to hold steady in 2013, 2014

Keywords: Tags  copper, copper prices, INTL FC Stone, Keith Gwozdz, Barbara O'Donovan

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Copper prices will remain largely unchanged in 2013 and 2014, according to Keith Gwozdz, INTL FC Stone Inc.’s head of sales in the Americas.

INTL expects cash copper prices on the London Metal Exchange to average $8,000 per tonne ($3.63 per pound) next year and $8,250 per tonne ($3.74 per pound) in 2014.

"In 2013, we’re calling for fairly similar prices to where we are right now ... probably $7,200 to $8,500 as the low and high," he told the American Copper Council fall meeting in Fort Lauderdale. "Prices are expected to hold steady and within a range—so softness near term with the expectation of people worrying about the fiscal cliff, and slightly firmer longer term."

Cash copper traded at $7,635 per tonne ($3.46 per pound) in Wednesday’s official session on the LME, while Comex copper for December delivery settled at $3.4535 per pound.

There will be modest copper consumption growth in 2013 vs. this year, while primary production capacity will build globally, but production cuts and losses will limit supply. "Chinese imports (will) remain at high levels, so a supply/demand imbalance (will lead) to a slight deficit in 2013 and 2014," Gwozdz said.

New York-based INTL anticipates that there will be a 50,000-tonne deficit in 2012 and a 5,000-tonne deficit in 2014, according to Gwozdz’s presentation. Inventories are likely to remain stable, he added.

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