Thu, 17 Oct 12:33:00 GMT
Oct 17 (Reuters) - HSBC on Thursday raised its 2013 and 2014 price outlook for copper, predicting a balanced market, and cut the forecast for other base metals, mainly on a supply glut.
The bank said it expected 2014 copper prices to average $7,750 per tonne, up from a prior forecast of $7,250.
"We have cut our surplus forecast for 2014 from 630kt (kilo tonne) to just 88kt, essentially a balanced market," HSBC analysts said in a note to clients.
It also raised its 2013 copper price estimate by 1 percent to $3.33 per pound from $3.29/lb.
The bank said there was still too much aluminum and nickel, with further rationalization likely in those markets.
HSBC, however, predicted zinc shortages in 2016.
The bank trimmed its aluminum price forecasts to $1,868 per tonne from $1,934 for 2013, to $2,000 from $2,100 for 2014, and to $2,100 from $2,200 for 2015.
HSBC slashed its 2013 nickel price view by 6 percent to $15,040 per tonne to reflect current weakness in the market, but kept its 2014 outlook unchanged at $17,090.
"In the long term, we expect a move to deficit only after 2016, when there would be negligible incremental supply due to lack of new projects," the bank said.
For zinc, HSBC cut its price forecast by 2.9 percent to $1,918 a tonne for 2013 and by 3.3 percent to $2,080 for 2014, citing mainly a pickup in Chinese smelter production coupled with below-normal capacity utilization.
PLATINUM AND PALLADIUM
The bank cut its 2013 platinum price outlook by 5 percent to $1,501 per ounce but kept its 2014 forecast at $1,725.
Similarly, HSBC lowered its 2013 palladium price forecast by 2 percent to $730 per ounce but maintained its 2014 outlook of $825.
"In platinum, we believe the strong underlying fundamentals will result in its premium to gold increasing," HSBC analysts said, "and in palladium, we see the largest deficit relative to demand of any metals market."
HSBC said it expected supply growth to accelerate for iron ore, but oversupply would not drive the market until 2015.
The bank raised 2013 iron ore price forecast to $134 per tonne from $123 and kept its 2014 outlook unchanged at $115.
However, HSBC trimmed its 2015 iron ore price view by $10 to $105 per tonne.
(Reporting by Arpan Varghese in Bangalore; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)
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