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METALS-Nickel hits one-month high on bets of looming Chinese output cuts
October 13, 2017 / 10:54 AM / in 9 days

METALS-Nickel hits one-month high on bets of looming Chinese output cuts

(Adds closing prices)

* Nickel hits months high at $11,725/T

* LME/ShFE arb: bit.ly/2wZSAEz

* GRAPHIC-2017 metal returns: tmsnrt.rs/2eqHKkL

By Maytaal Angel

LONDON, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Nickel prices hit a one-month high on Friday on concerns China might order further output cuts as it ramps up efforts to clean its skies, while aluminium gave back gains after rising on news a Chinese city had ordered capacity reductions.

China’s Communist Party Congress takes place next week and markets expect Beijing could broaden efforts to eliminate more polluting mines and metal plants, especially during the winter months.

In aluminium news, the city of Binzhou, home to top global aluminium maker China Hongqiao Group, has ordered 2.57 million tonnes of annual smelting capacity to be closed this winter.

“The China environmental cuts are definitely having an impact. The concern is they could spread. On the nickel side there’s been reports we may see capacity cuts in nickel pig iron,” said Warren Patterson, commodities strategist at ING.

“The global economy is ticking along, China’s come back from holidays more bullish (and) every data point we see out of China, out of the U.S., out of Europe, looks fairly positive.”

China’s import and export growth accelerated in September, data showed, suggesting the economy is still expanding at a healthy pace despite widespread forecasts of an eventual slowdown.

* NICKEL PRICE: Three-month nickel on the London Metal Exchange ended up 2.5 percent at $11,675, having hit a one-month high of $11,725.

* OTHER METAL PRICES: Aluminium ended down 0.6 percent at $2,134 a tonne having rallied earlier on the output cut news; copper closed down 0.1 percent at $6,882, having hit a one-month high of $6,918.50, while zinc ended down 0.5 percent at $3,235, having hit its highest in more than 10 years last week.

* CHINA COMMODITY IMPORTS: China’s factories splurged on imported commodities last month amid rising costs and tighter raw material supplies driven by Beijing’s anti-pollution campaign. But the strength is unlikely to be sustained as many companies curb production during winter.

* WIDER MARKETS: The U.S. dollar fell on disappointing U.S. inflation data, while world stocks advanced on expectations of broad-based global growth.

* CHINA COPPER IMPORTS: China’s copper imports climbed 26.5 percent in September from a year earlier, hitting their highest monthly level this year..

* CHINA ALUMINIUM EXPORTS: China aluminium exports fell 10 percent in September from August, hitting their lowest since February.

* ZINC SPREAD: Indicating tight nearby supply, cash zinc traded at a premium of $76 a tonne to the three-month price CMZN0-3, its highest level on Reuters data going back to June 2009.

* ZINC STOCKS: LME data showed on-warrant or available zinc stocks fell to 122,425, down some 60 percent this year. MZNSTX-TOTAL

* LEAD, TIN PRICES: Tin ended down 0.7 percent at $20,600 while lead closed down 1 percent at $2,530.

Additional reporting by James Regan; Editing by Dale Hudson and Elaine Hardcastle

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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