Nickel Prices Decline to One-Week Low Amid Increasing Stockpiles

Jun 24, 2014 6:13 pm ET

June 24 (Bloomberg) -- Nickel fell to a one-week low in London as rising stockpiles signaled ample supplies.

Inventories monitored by the London Metal Exchange rose 0.3 percent to 305,388 metric tons, within 0.2 percent of an all- time high reached last week. Prices dropped 5.8 percent this month, while an index of the six main metals traded on the LME gained 0.8 percent.

“There’s still good stockpiles of metal around,” Mike Dragosits, a senior market strategist at TD Securities in Toronto, said in a telephone interview. “It doesn’t seem like there’s any dire need of nickel ore, especially out of China.”

Nickel for delivery in three months fell 1.6 percent to settle at $18,130 a ton at 5:50 p.m. on the LME, after reaching $18,096, the lowest since June 16.

The speculative long-position accounted for about 40 percent of open interest last week, down from 61 percent in mid- May, according to Marex Spectron Group. Declines in long holdings can signal that investors are getting less bullish.

Copper for delivery in three months settled unchanged at $6,885 a ton ($3.12 a pound). Prices dropped 6.5 percent this year.

On the Comex in New York, copper futures for delivery in September gained 0.1 percent to $3.145 a pound.

Imports of refined copper into China, the world’s biggest consumer of the metal, fell 17 percent to 282,969 tons in May, from a month earlier, customs data showed yesterday.

Aluminum, lead and tin rose in London, while zinc fell.

--With assistance from Agnieszka Troszkiewicz in London.