Dec. 23 -- South Korea's Public Procurement Service said it will raise its inventories of copper, tin and lithium in 2011, Reuters reported. "Demand for non-ferrous metals is projected to rise next year along with expanding Chinese markets, although global economies are slowing," the state-run agency said in a statement today. "Next year we will increase inventories of those metals, with prices expected to rise sharply."
The agency said it would raise copper stocks to 46 days of consumption next year from this year's 42 days, tin to 52 days from 39 days, and lithium to 70 days from 60 days. "In the medium- and long-term, we will also increase inventories of metals for which supply might be unstable," it added, referring to copper and tin.
The PPS maintains a tin stock of around 2,000 tonnes as a service to small and medium-sized manufacturers using the metal, buying tin through regular tenders. National consumption has averaged some 16,500 tpy in recent years, so 52 days’ supply is approximately 2,400 tonnes. The agency said last year that its target was to hold 60 days’ supply of all LME metals by end-2012.