Improving growth boosts metal demand
Copper futures capped the longest rally in three years as global inventories fell to the lowest in 12 months, signalling rising metals demand as economic growth improves.
Stockpiles tracked by exchanges in London, New York and Shanghai tumbled 24pc since the end of September and are at the lowest since December 14, 2012. US industrial production climbed in November by the most in a year, while euro-area factory output grew at a faster pace than economists forecast in December, separate reports showed.
Copper has rebounded 12pc since reaching the lowest in almost three years in June.
On the London Metal Exchange, supplies available for delivery from warehouses are at the lowest since August 2008. "When you start to see these types of stockpile declines, it opens the eyes of those who need copper," said Phil Streible, a senior commodity broker at RJ O'Brien & Associates in Chicago. "I would expect prices to continue to rise."
Copper futures for delivery in March advanced 0.5pc to settle at $3.3295 a pound on the Comex in New York, a seventh straight gain.
Aurubis, the world's second-largest producer of refined copper, expects "good demand" in 2014 for cathode, a form of refined metal. (Bloomberg)