LIVE FUTURES REPORT 23/07: LME tin price climbs while tin lags behind in mixed trading

Nickel’s three-month price on the London Metal Exchange was higher during morning trading on Tuesday July 23, continuing its upward trajectory above $14,300 per tonne, while tin’s three-month price slipped to just over $17,630 per tonne - close to its lowest level since 2016.

Turnover was moderate over the morning session, with European trading hours opening to some 4,000 lots of copper and 3,500 lots of nickel exchanged, while strong selling in tin has resulted in some 213 lots traded as at 9.41am London time.

Price action in nickel has continued to follow an upward trend since breaking above the $14,000 per tonne resistance level on July 15, reaching its highest level since June 2015 at more than $15,000 per tonne.

Supporting higher prices, LME nickel stocks now total 146,670 tonnes, with some 100,422 tonnes on-warrant to mark the lowest since 2013.

“This morning has seen some buying come into the market but it feels no more than traders who shorted metals on some of [July 19’s] highs taking profits and the markets feel as if they are content to drift in the summer months,” Kingdom Futures director and chief executive Malcolm Freeman said in a morning note.

“Additionally, the reporting season in the US sees some 140 major companies releasing their results in the coming two weeks and if they reflect the slowing of the core US economy, the Dow Jones Industrial Average will look very overextended in its rally and the result could be a very sharp correction which would take the metals prices down at the same time,” he added.

Meanwhile, tin’s three-month price continued to drift lower over the morning, slipping to an intra-morning low of $17,630 per tonne, its lowest level since the price fell by some 7% to a four-year low of $17,585 per tonne on July 2.

That said, LME tin stocks continue to dwindle amid this morning’s outflow of some 120 tonnes but have failed to push tin prices higher. Total LME tin stocks are now at 6,290 tonnes, with some 4,190 tonnes on-warrant, down from some 5,935 tonnes on-warrant at the beginning of the month.

Other highlights

  • The dollar index was higher over the morning, up by 0.24% at 97.53.
  • In other commodities, Brent crude oil futures were trading 0.03% lower over the morning, recently at $63.24 per barrel.
  • In economic data due today, the United Kingdom will be releasing CBI industrial order expectations, currently set at -15, along with 10-year bond auction figures.
  • From the United States, there is existing home sales figures and the Richmond Manufacturing Index of note.