ANALYSIS: Rise in nickel prices on Philippines president-elect’s statements won’t stick

The rise in London Metal Exchange nickel prices this week on the back of the Philippine president-elect’s statement calling for a halt to mining at Surigao del Norte will be short-lived, according to market participants in China.

On Saturday June 4, Rodrigo Duterte described the current shape of mining in the province, on the island of Mindanao, as problematic and said it must stop, local media reported. Following the news, the three-month LME nickel price hit $8,690 per tonne on Monday June 6, up 1.75% from Friday’s $8,540 per tonne and the highest since May 17.  Reactions to Duterte’s comments Market participants in China believe that the recent rise in nickel prices is only a short-term sentiment. In 2015, China imported about 40 million wet metric tonnes (wmt) of nickel ore from the Philippines, with the Surigao district accounting for 18 million wmt, according to estimates from Chinese importers. This made it a key producer of the raw material. Around 40% of Chinese imports was 1.5% mid-grade laterite ore while 60% was 0.9% nickel content low-grade laterite ore, the data shows. Surigao del Norte is home to miners including...


Deepali Sharma

Ellie Wang

June 07, 2016

10:29 GMT