Dec 17 (Bloomberg) -- Copper may rise with inventories heading for the first annual decline in six years, a survey showed.
Seven of 16 analysts, investors and traders surveyed by Bloomberg, or 44 percent, said the metal will gain next week. Five predicted lower prices and four forecast little change. Copper for delivery in three months was up $15, or 0.2 percent, this week at $9,005 a metric ton as of 4:43 p.m. yesterday on the London Metal Exchange.
Copper inventories in warehouses monitored by the LME have dropped 28 percent this year, on course for the first annual contraction since 2004. One company held 80 percent to 89 percent of the LME stockpiles as of Dec. 14, according to the bourse’s
Warrant Cash Banding Report, which includes stockpiles and open positions for the next three trading days.
"The funds are pushing copper up, and there isn’t much sense in standing in the way,” said Mark Lewon, vice president for operations at Utah Metal Works Inc. in Salt Lake City. "It seems that there is a shortage of the copper on the exchanges.”
Trading will probably slow as year-end approaches, said Marina Budayeva, an analyst at Sucden Financial Ltd. in London, forecasting copper to trade between $8,950 and $9,200 a ton next week.
The red bars on the attached chart are derived by subtracting bearish forecasts from bullish estimates, with readings below zero signaling the majority of respondents expect a decline. The green line shows the copper price. The survey data shown are as of Dec. 10.
The weekly copper survey has forecast prices accurately in 55 of the past 116 weeks, or 47 percent of the time.
This week’s survey results: Bullish: 7 Bearish: 5 Hold: 4