LME copper prices to average $7,014 a ton this year , said Bank of America Merrill Lynch, but has a weaker forecast of $6,750 for the second quarter.The American bank said that it anticipates a small supply surplus in 2014. Analysts also point out the metal has fallen year-to-date despite strong import data from key commodity consumer China. The availability of copper in the country appears better than the rest of the world.
“This has perhaps been best reflected in price differentials between the London Metals Exchange and the Shanghai Future Exchange, which do not incentivize copper imports at present,” said the analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Analysts said that they are concerned that China's government may focus on checking the credit growth from recent years.
“In our view, there is a risk that a credit event may further reduce China's commercial copper purchases,” said the American bank, adding it is maintaining its second-quarter forecast of $6,750 a ton, or $3.06 a pound.