Fitch Ratings increased its price indications across most base metals for the remainder of the year because of major suppliers’ tight mining outputs.
The agency raised its LME copper price indication from $5,300/mt to $5380/mt on increased demand from China, where the construction sector has recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic faster than the rest of the world. Fitch expects long-term demand to create a global supply deficit.
Fitch anticipates iron ore price indications will rise to $95/mt from $75/mt because of constricted global supply. According to the agency, Vale would need to increase production over the next two years to maintain balanced supply and demand or an oversupply situation.
The agency upped its LME nickel price indications to $13,000/mt from $11,500/mt due to the UK’s ban on imported Indonesian nickel. Demand will be driven by electric vehicle batteries.
Fitch sees an uptick in LME aluminum prices to $1,650/mt from $1,560/mt because global smelter shutdowns created a supply shortage. Demand in China has risen while it’s fallen in the rest of the world.
The agency expects LME zinc prices to settle at $2,100/mt toward the end of the year because it anticipates a global concentrate surplus. The price indication rose from $1,900/mt, and reflects high Chinese demand and subdued mining outputs.
Fitch lowered its coking coal price assumptions from $140/mt to $120/mt on lower-than-expected year-to-date market prices. Market recovery is slow with global demand (excluding China) under pressure. The UK’s ban on Mongolian coal has been lifted, and it’s led to higher supply from the nation.