Lead prices reached a seven-week high on Thursday stockpiles fell amid concerns about smelter closures. Copper and zinc prices also increased as a result of limitations placed on metal from a Russian business by the London Metal Exchange (LME).
Trading was choppy as investors also tried to factor in potential loss of demand from aggressive increases to interest rates to curb inflation. Threemonth LME lead gained as much as 2.8 percent at $2,093.50 a tonne in volatile trading its highest since August 18. “The supply side shocks are just reverberating,” said Nitesh Shah, commodity strategist at WisdomTree.
“The OPEC announcement will only exacerbate the already acute energy crisis. Mine operations will be more challenging, and smelters may curtail more of their operations.” On Wednesday, OPEC+ decided to drastically decrease oil production.
The LME blocked fresh copper and zinc shipments from Ural Mining & Metallurgical Co. Ural and a subsidiary after Britain slapped sanctions on the company’s principal shareholder, Iskander Makhmudov. This led to gains for other commodities. The highest LME gainer was zinc, which increased 0.9 percent to $3,070 per tonne.