Copper price unlikely to see year end price fall - Aurubis CEO
Investment fund buying seen as providing price support
HAMBURG (Reuters) -
Copper prices are likely to shake off their traditional year-end fall in 2009 because of investment fund buying, the chief executive of Aurubis, (NAFG.DE: Quote), Europe's largest copper producer, said on Wednesday.
"I do not expect a copper price fall at the end of 2009 as happens in most years," Bernd Drouven said.
Copper consumers traditionally cut their inventories at the end of the calendar year for accounting reasons and copper stocks had as usual risen in past weeks, he said at a press conference.
But this year had not seen a drop in copper prices as stocks rose, largely because of investment fund buying.
"I do not expect the investment funds to change their position so I think we will not see a drop in copper prices," Drouven said.
Copper soared to a one-week high on Wednesday as investors bought on improved industrial activity and expectations of stronger demand in the United States. Benchmark copper MCU3 on the London Metal Exchange hit $7,007.50 a tonne.
Aurubis said on Wednesday it was cautiously optimistic for its new 2009/10 financial year starting on Sept. 30 after posting earnings above forecasts in a Reuters poll
Drouven said he expected Aurubis to continue with a high level of primary copper production in 2010, provided there were no disruptions to the scrap market.
He did not expect another collapse in sulphuric acid prices, which had caused several copper smelters to cut production in early 2009 because they were unable to sell the by-product.
"I believe that we will have a good capacity usage level," he said. (Reporting by Michael Hogan; Editing by Sue Thomas)
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