METALS-Shanghai nickel supported by lower inventories and strong demand


Band Eileen Soreng

December 8 (Reuters)Nickel prices in Shanghai rose on Wednesday and were heading for their best session in two weeks, as stocks in Shanghai exchange warehouses hovered near their all-time lows, while the demand outlook remained strong.

The most actively traded February nickel contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange SNIcv1 was up 1% to 147,990 yuan (23,291.94) per ton, as of 6:40 am GMT, after rising 2.1% earlier in the session. Three-month nickel on the London Metal Exchange CMNI3 fell 0.1% to $ 20,160 per tonne.

Refined nickel stocks in ShFE warehouses NI-STX-SGH were at 5,563 tonnes last week, hovering near a record low of 4,455 tonnes reached in August. LME metal stocks MNISTX-TOTAL fell 58% from April to 110,358 tonnes, their lowest since December 2019.

LME nickel cash premium on the three-month contract MNI0-3 was $ 150.80 per tonne, indicating tight supplies nearby.

“We believe that the demand for nickel for stainless steel and non-stainless steel production will continue in 2022,” ANZ analysts said in a note, adding that demand was likely to be boosted by sales targets for electric vehicles and renewable energies.


* ShFE Copper SCFcv1 rose 0.1% to 69,610 yuan per ton, aluminum SAFcv1 gained 0.6% to 18,865 yuan per ton, zinc SZNcv1 climbed 1.4% to 23,160 yuan per ton, tin SSNcv1 rose 1.2% to 283,240 yuan per ton. Lead SPBcv1 rose 1.9% to 15,175 yuan per ton and was heading for its best day in more than a month.

* LME copper CMCU3 edged down 0.2% to $ 9,575 per tonne, aluminum CMAL3 was up 0.1% to $ 2,631 per tonne, zinc CMZN3 won 0.5% to $ 3,242 and leads CMPB3 was 1% higher at $ 2,208 per tonne.

* Copper prices are expected to fall below $ 9,000 / tonne over the next one or two months as seasonal factors loosen the physical market, Chinese demand weakens, amid shrinking US Federal Reserve , Citi said in a note.

* Peruvian government officials failed to negotiate a deal on Tuesday to unlock a key distribution corridor used by MMG Ltd. 1208.HK Las Bambas copper mine, according to the minutes of the meeting seen by Reuters.

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TOP / MTL Where MET / L ($ 1 = 6.3537 Chinese yuan)

(Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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