Nickel and tin strike new highs on supply woes
Nickel and tin hit new highs amid supply-side concerns and continued thin trading conditions as Chinese players celebrate the lunar year.
China is expected to resume trading next week.
Tin hit a new contract high of 13,850 usd a tonne amid falling inventories and continued concerns over supply disruptions in Indonesia.
Meanwhile another drop in LME stocks sent nickel to a new high of 40,250 usd earlier in the session.
At 3.26 pm, LME nickel for three-month delivery was down at 39,775 usd a tonne having risen 1,050 usd to settle at 39,850 yesterday.
Tin was up at 13,850 usd a tonne having gained 295 usd to settle at 13,495 usd yesterday.
“Nickel stocks are low, and down today,” said BaseMetals.Com analyst Martin Hayes. Nickel came off its high “in a straight line purely on profit taking,” he added.
Nickel stocks were down 468 tonnes at 3,930 tonnes, said daily LME data.
Tin continued to be driven by Indonesian supply woes.
The Indonesian government is cracking down on illegal tin mining. Last week, authorities shut down most of PT Koba Tin’s operations.
However, the metal continues to hit new highs despite “things starting to look better,” said Peter Kettle, manager of statistics and market studies at global tin resarch organisation ITRI. Kettle said major export companies would be granted export licenses at the end of the week.
No new tin supplies were added to stocks stored in LME warehouses, said an LME daily report.
Tin will be in a supply deficit of little more than 30,000 tonnes assuming the Indonesian problem is “resolved quickly,” added Kettle.
Indonesia is the world’s second largest tin producer after China.
In other metals, copper was up at 5,780 a tonne against 5,720 usd at the close yesterday, lead was flat at 1,830 usd a tonne while zinc was down at 3,310 usd against 3,325 usd.
Aluminium was also lower at 2,740 usd against 2,742 usd at yesterday’s close.