Aug 17 (Reuters) – Nickel prices advanced on Monday, with Shanghai nickel set for its third straight session of gains, as ore output from top exporter the Philippines slumped in the first half of 2020 due to the COVID-19 crisis.
The most-traded October nickel contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange climbed 1.6% to 114,980 yuan ($16,565.34) a tonne by 0300 GMT, while three-month nickel on the London Metal Exchange rose 0.9% to $14,500 a tonne.
The Philippines’ nickel ore output in January-June dropped 28% year-on-year to 102,310 tonnes of nickel content, data from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau showed.
However, the two biggest nickel miners in the Philippines said they do not expect further major disruptions to their operations for the remainder of the year, even as coronavirus cases surge in the country.
Solid industrial data from top consumer China, meanwhile, boosted demand optimism for the metal, used mostly in making stainless steel.
* Nickel ore prices at Philippine ports <SMM-NIC-NLOLYGP> were hovering at their highest level in eight and a half months at $10.25 a tonne, SMM data showed.
* ShFE stainless steel futures climbed as much as 4.2% to 14,775 yuan a tonne.
* China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd is developing a new type of electric vehicle battery that contains no nickel or cobalt.
* LME copper advanced 0.3% to $6,383 a tonne, aluminium rose 0.2% to $1,749 a tonne, while ShFE copper increased 1% to 50,390 yuan a tonne and ShFE aluminium eased 0.8% to 14,250 yuan a tonne.
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* Asian shares dozed near recent highs in quiet trade as investors waited to see if the recent sell-off in longer-dated U.S.
Treasuries would extend..
1000 EU Reserve Assets Total July ($1 = 6.9410 yuan) (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Aditya Soni)
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