Nickel Slides to Two-Month Low on Signs of Weak Demand in China

Nickel fell for a fifth day, reaching the lowest in more than two months after trade data showed weak demand for raw materials in China, the world’s biggest metals consumer.

China’s total overseas shipments slid 6.9 percent in October in dollars, the customs administration said Sunday, more than estimated in a Bloomberg survey. Weaker demand for coal, iron and other commodities pushed imports down 19 percent, leaving a record trade surplus of $61.6 billion. A Bloomberg gauge of industrial metals has tumbled 24 percent this year with the Chinese economy poised for its weakest expansion in a generation.

"China used to be nearly half of the world’s consumption in the last 10 years, so of course, everybody is concerned,” Herwig Schmidt, head of sales at Triland Metals Ltd. in London, said by telephone.

Nickel for delivery in three months fell as much as 1 percent to $9,530 a metric ton, the lowest since Aug. 26. It settled at $9,580 at 5:50 p.m. on the London Metal Exchange. Five sessions of losses is the longest streak since late July. Tin, zinc, lead, aluminum and copper also dropped in London.

On the Comex in New York, copper futures for December delivery slipped 0.5 percent to $2.23 a pound and after settling, touched $2.2275, the lowest since September 29.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE