China’s imports from Indonesia jumped to 6.12 million metric tons in January from 3.99 million tons a year earlier, the General Administration of Customs said today in Beijing.Although China has a large stockpile of nickel-containing ore from Indonesia, that stockpile is only going to last until the second half of this year, at which point the actual supply and demand balance is probably going to tighten a lot Prices are going to go up later in the year..
Nickel for delivery in three months settled unchanged at $14,365 a metric ton at 5:50 p.m. on the London Metal Exchange, ending the week 0.8 percent higher. Prices are up 3.4 percent this year, after tumbling 19 percent in 2013.
China may seek to import more refined and/or ferronickel though possibly not until later when port ore stocks are lower and domestic nickel supply tighter.
Copper for delivery in three months was also unchanged at $7,155 a ton ($3.25 a pound) in London. On the Comex in New York, copper futures for delivery in May slipped less than 0.1 percent to $3.26, after dropping as much as 0.5 percent. Lead and tin gained in London. Aluminum and zinc fell.