Tin's Best Rally Since 2012 Leads Metals Gains on Supply Threat

  • Indonesia not planning to relax ore-export ban, offical says
  • U.S. hiring, productivity reports buoy demand prospects

Tin posted the biggest three-day gain since 2012, leading a rally in industrial metals, amid signs of shrinking supplies and an improving outlook for U.S. demand.

Tin inventories tracked by the London Metal Exchange dropped to the lowest since 2008, while an official in Indonesia, the world’s largest supplier, said the country isn’t planning to relax a ban on mineral-ore exports. Companies in the U.S. hired more workers last month, and second-quarter productivity rose more than estimated, data showed Wednesday.

“There was somewhat of a worry of additional ore coming into the market, but with a government denial, that helps prices a little, and maybe that’s why we’re seeing outperformance,” Mike Dragosits, a senior commodity strategist at TD Securities in Toronto, said in a phone interview.

Tin for delivery in three months gained 3.7 percent to settle at $15,225 a metric ton at 5:51 p.m. on the LME. Prices rose 9.6 percent in three days, the biggest such gain since August 2012. Nickel for delivery in three months added 1.1 percent to $9,870 a ton.

Indonesia toughened tin-trading rules in 2013 to boost sales of higher-value products, and followed that with new export standards last year.

Copper and zinc also gained on the LME, while aluminum and lead declined. In New York, copper futures for December delivery climbed 1.2 percent to $2.3295 a pound on the Comex.

Markets in China, the biggest metals consumer, will be closed Thursday and Friday to commemorate the end of World War II.

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