METALS-Nickel hits one-month high, aluminium rallies on China cuts
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(Updates with official midday prices)
* Nickel hits months high at $11,680/T
* LME/ShFE arb: bit.ly/2wZSAEz
* GRAPHIC-2017 metal returns: tmsnrt.rs/2eqHKkL
By Maytaal Angel
LONDON, Oct 13 (Reuters) – Nickel prices hit a one-month high on Friday on concerns China might order further output cuts in the sector as it ramps up efforts to clean its skies, while aluminium rose on news a Chinese city had ordered capacity reductions.
China’s Communist Party Congress takes place next week and markets are growing concerned that Beijing will broaden efforts to eliminate more polluting mines and metal plants, especially during the winter months.
“The China environmental cuts are definitely having an impact. The concern is it could spread across the industry. On the nickel side there’s been reports we may see capacity cuts in nickel pig iron in China,” said Warren Patterson, commodities strategist at ING.
China’s import and export growth accelerated in September, data showed, suggesting the economy is still expanding at a healthy pace despite widespread forecasts of an eventual slowdown.
* NICKEL PRICE: Three-month nickel on the London Metal Exchange traded up 2.3 percent at $11,660 in official midday rings, having hit a one-month high of $11,680.
* OTHER METAL PRICES: Aluminium traded up 0.6 percent at $2,160 a tonne in rings, copper traded flat at $6,886.50, having hit a one-month high of $6,910, while zinc was last bid down 0.2 percent at $3,245, having hit its highest in more than 10 years last week at $3,308.75.
* CHINA COMMODITY IMPORTS: China’s factories splurged on imported commodities last month amid rising costs and tighter raw material supplies driven by Beijing’s anti-pollution campaign. But the strength is unlikely to be sustained as many companies curb production during winter.
* CHINA COPPER IMPORTS: China’s unwrought copper imports climbed 26.5 percent in September from a year earlier to 430,000 tonnes, hitting their highest monthly level this year. .
* ZINC SPREAD: Indicating tight nearby supply, cash zinc traded at a premium of $91 a tonne to the three-month price CMZN0-3, its highest level on Reuters data going back to June 2009.
* LEAD, TIN PRICES: Tin traded down 0.2 percent in rings at $20,700 while lead traded down 0.2 percent at $2,550.
Additional reporting by James Regan; Editing by Dale Hudson