LONDON, Sep 20, 2011 (Dow Jones) -- Commerzbank Tuesday cut its base metal forecasts through the end of next year, citing a marked rise in macroeconomic risk.
The German bank now sees London Metal Exchange three-month copper averaging $9,400 a metric ton in 2012, a 14% reduction from its former estimate of $10,900/ton.
In 2011, the bank sees copper averaging $9,100/ton, as opposed to $9,800/ton previously forecast.
"The commodities markets have been surprisingly robust in the current market environment, particularly compared to equities," said Commerzbank. "However, against the backdrop of continued major distortions in the financial markets and the marked rise in economic concerns, metals may suffer."
Nevertheless, the bank still sees base metal prices continuing a general upward trend.
"While we have revised down our forecasts, we have not made any major changes to the trend seen thus far, i.e. we continue to expect rising prices," Commerzbank said.
However, should the global economic slowdown accelerate and another recession become reality, Tuesday's revised forecasts "would prove to be overly optimistic," the bank added.
Commerzbank also downgraded its outlook for the rest of the base metal complex.
In 2012, the bank sees aluminum average $2,550/ton, down from $2,800/ton previously forecast. This year, it sees aluminum at $2,500/ton, down from $2,650/ton.
Lead's forecast for 2012 was adjusted to $2,450/ton from $2,700/ton and its outlook for 2011 cut to $2,500/ton from $2,650/ton. Similarly, the bank now sees tin averaging $26,100/ton next year as opposed to $31,800/ton and 27,100/ton in 2011, down from $29,200/ton.
Zinc and nickel's outlook for 2012 were cut to $2,250/ton and $22,500/ton respectively for 2012 from $2,500/ton and $26,300/ton. In 2011, Commerzbank bank now expects zinc to average $2,300/ton from $2,400/ton, while it sees nickel at $24,000/ton rather than $25,500/ton.