Zinc, Rice and Gold

• According to GFMS Metals Consulting of UK, zinc average prices may drop 39% in 2009 as a decline in supply will be outpaced by a drop in consumption. Zinc surplus is forecast to widen to 210,000 tonnes, compared with 198,000 tonnes a year ago, before narrowing to 46,000 tonnes in 2010 and moving to a deficit of 247,000 tonnes in 2011. Zinc cash prices are forecast to average $1,150 a tonne compared with $1,870 a tonne last year. Prices have averaged $1,171.88 since January. 

• Rice prices are likely to decline, especially after elections as the rice curbs imposed by Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka in rice movement will go after the elections. According to the Food Corporation, rice stocks as on 1st March  was 21.3 million tonnes (mt) against 14.7mt during the same period a year ago. According to the Food and Agricultural Organisation, Indian rice production is likely to be a record 97.25mt, 1.6% more than last year.

• Gold, seen as a safe haven, fell over the fortnight, as investors shifted more funds into equities amid optimism that the worst of the global economic slump may be over.

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