Nickel Falls to One-Week Low on Bets Indonesia Will Ease Ore Ban

Jul 10, 2014 1:55 pm ET

July 10 (Bloomberg) -- Nickel prices fell to a one-week low on speculation that ore exports will pick up from Indonesia, the world’s top producer from mines, while trade data signaled prospects for less demand in China, the biggest metal consumer.

In Indonesia, unofficial counts by most survey companies had Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo securing more votes than his opponent in the presidential election, and the nation may relax an ban on ore exports imposed in January. China’s total exports in June trailed estimates by analysts, data showed today.

“After the elections, the market expected much of those restrictions that have been plaguing the raw-ore exports to ease up somewhat,” Bart Melek, the head of commodity strategy at TD Securities in Toronto, said in a telephone interview. “The other factor is the problem that some perceive with the export numbers from China.”

Nickel for delivery dropped 1.4 percent to settle at $19,250 a metric ton at 5:51 p.m. on the London Metal Exchange. Earlier, the price touched $19,015, the lowest since July 2. The price has jumped 38 percent this year.

Copper rose 0.5 percent to $7,162 a ton ($3.25 a pound) on the LME. The price dropped in the previous four sessions, the longest slump in a month. Aluminum, zinc, lead and tin declined.

On the Comex in New York, copper futures for September delivery gained 0.6 percent to $3.267 a pound.

--With assistance from Agnieszka Troszkiewicz in London and Xiaoqing Pi and Zhang Dingmin in Beijing.