Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Copper prices predicted stable to increasing; potash to recover

Scotiabank economists predict copper prices "will likely rebound strongly in 2011 and move substantially higher (to at least US$3.30 and possibly as high as US$4.00)" as reported on Mineweb.com. This presumes speculative trading in China will ease this year and keep prices at around a $2.95 average.

Demand for potash [right] is forecast to pick up in the first half of 2010 and dramatically strengthen in the second half, with potash prices (FOB Vancouver) likely averaging about US$375. 2010 is seen as a transition year to a much stronger 2011. [there is an active exploration program underway in Arizona's Holbrook basin where as much as 25% of the US resource base lies according to an AZGS report from last year].

Interestingly, China is a big factor in the world potash market as well. Scotiabank said, "China continued to apply potash to fruit and vegetable crops this year, but under-applied potash to grain and oilseed crops, which likely contributed to a 7% decline in this year's corn crop. The soil in China is potassium deficient and increased purchases of pink potash are needed."

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