Tin, Nickel Advance in London on Indonesia Ore-Export Ban

Tin climbed to a five-week high in London and nickel advanced after Indonesia said a plan to ban ore exports will proceed next month.

The government agreed with parliament to bar shipments of all mineral ores after Jan. 12, 2014, Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Jero Wacik said today. Indonesia is the top exporter of tin and biggest producer of mined nickel. Nickel has lost 19 percent this year, the most among six metals traded on the London Metal Exchange, amid record inventories.

Nickel and tin were “boosted by an announcement that the Indonesian ore export ban will go ahead,” Leon Westgate, a London-based analyst at Standard Bank Plc, said in a report today. “It seems that the Indonesian government may well be more determined than many expect.”

Tin for delivery in three months rose 1.1 percent to settle at $22,975 a metric ton at 5:50 p.m. local time on the LME after touching $23,198, the highest since Oct. 30. Nickel gained 0.7 percent to $13,750 a ton, after climbing to $13,918, the highest since Nov. 11.

A ban could be a “turning point” for the nickel industry, which will otherwise be in surplus the next few years, Luciano Siani, the chief financial officer of Rio de Janeiro-based Vale SA, said in an interview Dec. 2. Vale is the world’s biggest producer of the metal after Moscow-based OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel.

Aluminum fell in London, while zinc rose and lead was unchanged.

Copper for delivery in three months slid 0.4 percent to $7,069 a ton ($3.21 a pound) on the LME, the third loss in four days. Prices have fallen on concern that signs of faster U.S. growth may spur the Federal Reserve to slow economic stimulus.

Workers at Codelco’s Chuquicamata smelter in Chile went on strike Dec. 3 over bonus talks, the company said yesterday. Codelco is the world’s biggest copper producer.

Copper futures for delivery in March lost 0.6 percent to $3.2295 a pound on the Comex in New York.

To contact the reporter on this story: Joe Richter in New York at jrichter1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Millie Munshi at mmunshi@bloomberg.net

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