Nickel Declines in London on Prospects for Increased Supplies

Nickel fell in London for the first time in three sessions on signs that the highest inventories since 2010 will leave ample supplies, as mining projects boost production of the metal used to make stainless steel.

Stockpiles monitored by the London Metal Exchange have climbed 7.8 percent this year, signaling demand is lagging behind output. Inventories reached 150,906 metric tons yesterday, the highest since April 2010. Rising demand from China, which produces about 44 percent of the world’s stainless steel, won’t be enough to lift prices, Commerzbank AG said.

“Supply will no doubt easily keep pace with demand, as a number of major mining projects are currently being commissioned,” analysts including Daniel Briesemann at Commerzbank in Frankfurt said in a report today. “We therefore see limited scope for the price of nickel to rise,”

Nickel for delivery in three months declined 0.1 percent to settle at $18,700 a metric ton at 6:59 p.m. in London. In the past 12 months, prices are down 12 percent, the most among six metals tracked by the exchange’s LMEX Index.

Zinc also fell in London, while tin and lead advanced. Aluminum was little changed.

In New York, copper futures for March delivery gained less than 0.1 percent to close at $3.77 a pound on the Comex.

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