The prices of base metals rose Monday on shortfall concerns.
The rises were fueled by increased bets on expectations of a historic deficit as economies recover from the pandemic.
Copper led the rally with a 4% rise, hitting over $9,000 a ton for the first time since 2011. It is on its way to an unprecedented 11th-month rise. Nickel climbed Monday, too, topping $20,000 a ton.
Three-month copper hit $9,052.50 a ton in London early Monday before hitting a high of $9,269.50 later in the day. In China, copper contracts hit their daily limit.
Analysts said investors are expecting an increase in demand for base metals - demand that might outstrip near-term supply. Increased demand might lead to a new commodity super-cycle and further price increases.
The rise of copper prices this week is a turnaround from its lackluster performance earlier in the month. Analysts said the price remained low owing to concerns over details of world stimulus measures and slightly lower demand from China.
Copper prices did recover during China's Lunar New Year as factories increased production. The trend is expected to continue as pandemic restrictions are gradually eased.
"Market sentiment is heated right now in anticipation of a new cycle of global inflation. Chinese investors returning from Lunar New Year holidays are waiting for more stimulus from the U.S. and Europe. Fundamentally, Chinese demand has exceeded expectations, as travel restrictions boosted consumption," analysts at Shanghai-based Goldtrust Futures said.
Last week, Goldman Sachs reinforced its bullish stance on copper. The investment bank said China's return from its weeklong break could result in an increase in demand and prices. Goldman Sachs said the market is on track for the largest deficit in more than a decade this year.
Trading on the London Metal Exchange supports Goldman Sachs' expectations, with spot contracts now trading at a premium compared with futures. The pattern - known as a "backwardation" - was also seen during the boom in Chinese demand last year.