Shanghai nickel hits record high on Indonesian ore export ban

Madiha Shakeel September 3, 2019

SINGAPORE: Shanghai nickel jumped to a record high on Tuesday, after top supplier Indonesia said it would ban exports of nickel ore from next year.

The most-traded nickel contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose as much as 6.5% to 145,850 yuan ($20,563.11) a tonne, while London nickel was up 0.3% at $18,115 a tonne by 0152 GMT.

Nickel ore exporters from Indonesia will have to stop all shipments from Jan. 1, 2020, regardless of any standing contract, two years earlier than initially indicated and sparking fears of supply shortages for the stainless steel industry.

FUNDAMENTALS

* PRICES: London copper rose 0.3%, aluminium advanced 0.3%, while zinc dipped 0.1%. Shanghai copper  dropped 0.5%, aluminium edged up 0.3% and tin  jumped 1%.

* NICKEL SPREAD: The premium of LME nickel cash over the three month contract <MNI0-3> has dropped to $58 a tonne from $104 in the previous session, indicating that tight supply has relaxed slightly.

* PHILIPPINE NICKEL: Philippine nickel mining companies are likely to boost production next year when Indonesia bans exports of the ore, but may still not be able to fill up the ore supply gap.

* INDONESIAN NPI: Indonesia may be able to plug an expected shortfall in nickel pig iron (NPI) supplies, caused by its nickel ore export ban starting next year, by boosting its own capacity to replace China’s NPI output.

* TRADE FRICTIONS: China has lodged a complaint against the United States at the World Trade Organization over U.S. import duties, saying the latest tariff actions violated the consensus reached by Chinese and U.S. leaders in a meeting in Osaka.

* CHINA: A credit-fuelled stimulus splurge could hurt China’s credit rating more than the immediate hit from U.S. trade tariffs, S&P Global’s main analyst for the country says.

* LITHIUM: Having raced to ramp up lithium production over the past five years to exploit surging prices, Australian producers are now scrambling to cut supplies as prices plummet on falling demand in the world’s top electric vehicle market. [nL3N25T41A

* For the top stories in metals and other news, click

MARKETS NEWS

* Global stocks were hit by U.S.-China trade frictions while the British pound flirted with 2 1/2-year lows as Prime Minister Boris Johnson indicated he could call an election to stymie lawmakers’ efforts to avert a no-deal Brexit.

Copyright Reuters, 2019

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