Lead, Tin Hammer Record Highs

Tight global supplies and high demand drive up prices

The prices of lead and tin hit historic peaked in London on July 18, supported by tight global supplies and fierce demand for both base metals, analysts said. On the London Metal Exchange (LME) the price per ton for delivery of lead in three months reached $3,310 the highest reading since the metal began trading in London in 1953.

Lead has hit a series of all-time highs this year, benefiting from supply shortages and soaring demand -- particularly from powerhouse economy China.

The price of tin reached $15,700 a ton -- which was the highest point since 1989 when the metal was re-introduced on the London market.

Global tin supplies also remain tight, as Indonesia, the world's second largest producer after China, continues its crackdown on illegal tin mining and smelting that has cut output in the country for much of this year. Meanwhile, production in Bolivia, which accounted for around 5% of world tin output last year, has also been hit by strike action this year.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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