By Mai Nguyen
Aug 25 (Reuters) – Nickel prices in Shanghai and London rose on Tuesday to their highest since November, helped by falling ore inventories at Chinese ports and hopes of improving demand.
The most traded November contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange gained as much as 1.7% to 118,210 yuan ($17,102.14) a tonne before closing 1% up at 117,420 yuan.
Three-month nickel on the London Metal Exchange (LME) edged down 0.1% to $14,905 a tonne after touching its highest since November at $14,965.
“Recently nickel laterite ore prices have been continuously rising amid declining inventories at Chinese ports. Stainless steel margins have also improved recently, which should be supportive for nickel demand,” ING analysts said in a note.
The stainless steel sector is the major consumer of nickel.
“However, not helping the bull case is that stainless steel inventories are still high, whilst Indonesian supply is also adding pressure with newly-commissioned capacity,” ING added.
Indonesia is the world’s biggest nickel ore producer and a production hub for nickel pig iron and stainless steel.
* Philippine nickel ore prices <SMM-NIC-NLOLYGP> hovered around their highest since November at $10.25 a tonne.
* LME zinc rose 1.1% to $2,472.50 a tonne and tin added 0.5% to $17,395.
In Shanghai, zinc firmed by 0.3% to 19,840 while lead eased by 0.1% to 15,895 yuan.
* The global refined copper market showed a 1,000-tonne surplus over the January-May period, compared with a deficit of 270,000 tonnes in the first five months of 2019, the International Copper Study Group said.
* Top U.S.
and Chinese officials in telephone talks saw progress on resolving issues over the Phase 1 trade deal reached in January and both sides are committed to the success of the agreement, the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office said.
* For the top stories in metals and other news, click or ($1 = 6.9120 yuan) (Reporting by Mai Nguyen Editing by David Goodman)
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