Nickel Stockpiles Reach 16-Month High on Increase in Rotterdam

Nickel stockpiles monitored by the London Metal Exchange reached a 16-month high on deliveries into Rotterdam warehouses.

Inventories rose 498 metric tons, or 0.4 percent, to 118,662 tons, the highest level since April 19, 2011, daily exchange figures showed. Stocks are up 32 percent this year. Rotterdam holds 58 percent of total inventories.

Demand for stainless steel, the main source of nickel consumption, “has steadily fallen back in line with the slowdown in global growth,” Wiktor Bielski, an analyst at VTB Capital Plc in London, said in a report Aug. 28. The industry accounts for 65 percent of nickel usage, according to the Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc.

Nickel output will exceed demand by 60,000 tons in 2012 and 18,000 tons next year, according to Barclays Plc. The metal for three-month delivery fell 12 percent this year on the LME, the most among the six main industrial metals traded on the exchange. Prices will rise as demand starts to improve next year, VTB Capital said.

Lead stockpiles monitored by the LME declined 1,100 tons to 311,475 tons, the lowest level since Aug. 15, 2011. Copper inventories dropped the most in almost four months to 230,175 tons.

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