SHANGHAI, Jul. 11 (SMM) – LME nickel prices overnight opened at USD 16,349/mt, with the high end USD 16,419/mt, finding support at USD 16,050/mt. Finally, LME nickel prices closed at USD 16,077/mt, down USD 293/mt. Trading volumes increased by 707 lots to 2,585 lots, and total position was 109,233 lots, down 344 lots. LME nickel inventories were 105,006 mt, down 54 mt.
China's annual rate of imports rose by 6.3% in June, worse than expected, and weighing down LME nickel prices. Finally, LME nickel prices closed at USD 16,077/mt, down USD 293/mt.
LME base metals prices overnight fell as China's copper imports dropped sharply and the slow progress of euro zone finance minister meeting. According to China Customs, China's unwrought copper and copper semis imports in June were 346,200 mt, down 17.5% MoM, and a monthly low for the year. Both LME and SHFE copper prices dropped overnight. As the most important copper consumer in the world, falling demand in China will negatively affect global copper prices, pushing down other base metals prices. The meeting of euro zone finance ministers stated they planned to reach an agreement with Spain on July 20th that they will supply EUR 30 billion of bailout funds and the deadline of Spain to cut government deficit will be postponed to 2014. The market concerned measures resulted from the euro zone finance minister meeting will take effect slowly, weighing down base metals prices.
LME nickel prices should move between USD 15,900-16,400/mt today, and domestic spot nickel prices should move between RMB 117,200-120,500/mt.