LIVE FUTURES REPORT 25/05: Nickel leads SHFE base metals higher; tin defies uptick

Nickel prices on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (SHFE) tracked those on the London Metal Exchange (LME) higher during Asian morning trading on Friday May 25 as the US dollar weakened overnight.

The most-traded July nickel contract price surged to 110,280 ($17,269) per tonne as of 09.28 am Shanghai time, up 2,090 yuan per tonne from yesterday’s close.

The three-month nickel price on the LME closed at $14,900 per tonne on May 24, up $250 from previous trading close.

The fall in the US dollar overnight boosted investor appetite, thus lifting base metals prices up except for that of tin.

The US dollar index hit a low of 93.586 at 10.00pm on Thursday, compared with its peak at 94.188 at 01.00am over the same day.

“The US-North Korea summit was called off, and this has led to a fall in the US dollar,” according to Galaxy Futures.

Lending upward momentum to the nickel price was a further dip in stock levels, while the demand from electric vehicle sector and stainless steel continue to compound broadly bullish price sentiment.

LME nickel inventory fell 774 tonnes to 296,898 total tonnes on May 24. Meanwhile, nickel inventory at SHFE warehouses also declined 2,621 tonnes week on week to 33,000 tonnes as of May 18.

“The supply deficit of nickel is still persistent in China, as the import window has remained closed and domestic stocks have been declining,” according to Galaxy Futures.

Tin under pressure

  • The SHFE July zinc contract price inched up 35 yuan to 23,470 yuan per tonne.
  • The SHFE July copper contract price increased 120 yuan to 51,550 yuan per tonne.
  • The SHFE July aluminium contract price flat with Thursday’s closing price at 14,745 yuan per tonne.
  • The SHFE September tin contract price down 1,020 yuan to 147,200 yuan per tonne.

Currency moves and data releases

  • The dollar index was up by 0.15% to 93.92 as of 09.28 am Shanghai time.
  • In other commodities, the Brent crude oil spot price edged up by 0.04% to $78.83 per barrel, and the Texas light sweet crude oil spot price was down by 0.01% to $70.72 as of 09.28 am Shanghai time.
  • In equities, the Shanghai Composite was down 0.12% to 3,151 as of 10.00 am Shanghai time.
  • In US data yesterday, new home sales in April stood at 662,000, below the forecast of 680,000. Flash services PMI and manufacturing PMI both exceeded expectations with a 55.7 and 56.6 reading, respectively.
  • In data today, Monetary Policy Meeting accounts of European Central Bank, speaking from Bank of England Governor Mark Garney, and retail sales volume of United Kingdom are of note.
LME snapshot at 0128 London time
Latest 3M  LME Prices
  Price ($/t)  Change since yesterday’s close ($)
Copper 6,886.50 6.5
Aluminium 2,283.50 2.5
Lead 2,495 1
Zinc 3,024 -10
Tin 0 -20,425
Nickel 14,885 -15

SHFE snapshot at 0928 Shanghai time
Most traded SHFE contracts
  Price (yuan/t)  Change since yesterday’s close (yuan)
Copper  51,550 120
Aluminium 14,745 0
Zinc 23,470 35
Lead 20,130 140
Tin  147,200 -1,020
Nickel  110,280 2,090

Changjiang spot snapshot on May 23
  Range (yuan/t)  Change (yuan)
Copper  51,360—51,400 200
Aluminium 14,660—14,700 100
Zinc 23,900—24,900 150
Lead 20,400—20,600 50
Tin  144,500—146,500 0
Nickel  111,300—111,400 3,000