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LME Nickel Soars to 11 – Month Top on Philippines Mine Closure

28 Oct 2020 6:25 pm
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Mumbai (Commodities Control) – Nickel prices jumped to their highest in almost a year on Wednesday after a coronavirus outbreak at the biggest nickel ore producer in the Philippines.

Nickel Asia Corp suspended operations at one of its four mines until Nov. 10 after 19 employees tested positive for the virus.

The Philippines is the top supplier of nickel ore to China, the biggest consumer of the metal used in stainless steel.

Benchmark three-month nickel on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was up 1% at $16,065 a tonne by 1201 GMT after touching its highest since November 2019 at $16,310.

Nickel prices have risen 50% from a low in March as global industry reopened.

"These supply issues have come to the fore just as stainless steel production in China strengthens in the fourth quarter," said independent analyst Robin Bhar.

Nickel's spectacular rally still has momentum, but prices will retreat as supplies rise and demand dwindles, analysts say. Analysts polled this month said nickel would average $15,157 a tonne in 2021.

The market, at roughly 2.4 million tonnes a year, had a surplus of 97,900 tonnes in the first eight months of 2020, according to the International Nickel Study Group (INSG).

(Commodities Control Bureau)



       
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