August 30, 2019 / 4:28 AM / in 9 months

METALS-Nickel jumps as waste spill sparks supply fears

 (Updates prices, quotes)
    By Mai Nguyen
    SINGAPORE, Aug 30 (Reuters) - London nickel surged to a near
five-year peak on Friday while Shanghai nickel hit an all-time
high, as a waste spill at a nickel plant in Papua New Guinea
sparked supply shortage fears.
    Shanghai's most-traded nickel contract          jumped as
much as 3.3% to a record 130,890 yuan ($18,453.93) a tonne
before closing up 3.2%. London nickel         rose as much as
1.7% to $16,730 a tonne, its highest since December 2014. 
    A nickel plant of Metallurgical Corp of China's            
Ramu Nickel Cobalt project in Papua New Guinea is facing
compensation claims and possibly closure after it spilled waste
into a local bay, a country official said.              
    "The market is now assuming that this supply may also be
taken offline and this triggered further waves of buying and
option covering," said Malcolm Freeman of Kingdom Futures in a
    * NICKEL SPREAD: The premium for cash nickel over the
three-month contract on the London Metal Exchange (LME) MNI0-3
has spiked to a 10-year high of $99 a tonne, signalling tight
nearby supply. One party holds 50%-80% of available LME
inventories.  <0#LME-WHL>
    "(Nickel is) tight all the way out to June 2020 now," said a
metal trader.
    * NICKEL STOCKS: Nickel inventories in LME-approved
warehouses MNISTX-TOTAL have edged up in August, but are still
hovering around a six-year low, while ShFE nickel stocks last
week rose to their highest since June 2018. SNI-TOTAL-W 
    * NICKEL/TIN: ShFE nickel on Friday surpassed tin prices
         for the first time since both contracts were launched
in 2015, after LME nickel prices topped tin         on Tuesday.
    * CHINA: Factory activity in China is expected to have
contracted for a fourth straight month in August, a Reuters poll
showed, as the United States ratcheted up trade pressure and
domestic demand remained sluggish.             
    * TRADE TALKS: Beijing said Chinese and U.S. trade
negotiating teams are maintaining effective communication while
both countries gave signs that they will resume trade talks in
    * JIANGXI: China's Jiangxi Copper Co                      
produced 749,300 tonnes of refined copper cathode in
January-June, up 3.5% from a year earlier, and 102,000 tonnes of
copper concentrate during the period, up 0.2% year-on-year.
    * PRICES: LME copper         eased 0.5%, aluminium        
edged down 0.3%, lead         dipped 0.8%, while Shanghai copper
         rose 0.2%, lead          fell 0.3% and tin         
declined 0.1%.
    * ZINC: Zinc prices on both the LME and ShFE were on track
for a fifth straight monthly decline, as the U.S.-China
prolonged trade war weighed on demand outlook. LME zinc        
fell 0.9% while ShFE zinc          declined 0.2%.
    * For the top stories in metals and other news, click       
    Three month LME copper                  
    Most active ShFE copper                  
    Three month LME aluminium               
    Most active ShFE aluminium               
    Three month LME zinc                    
    Most active ShFE zinc                    
    Three month LME lead                    
    Most active ShFE lead                    
    Three month LME nickel                 
    Most active ShFE nickel                   
    Three month LME tin                     
    Most active ShFE tin                             

($1 = 7.0928 Chinese yuan)

 (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and
Subhranshu Sahu)
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