September 17, 2019 / 4:03 AM / a month ago

METALS-Base metals decline on poor demand outlook from China

(Adds quotes, details, updates prices)

By Mai Nguyen

SINGAPORE, Sept 17 (Reuters) - Industrial metals prices fell on Tuesday on concerns about demand from top consumer China following data that could signal weakness in the world’s second-biggest economy.

Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) fell 0.6% to $5,833.50 a tonne by 0700 GMT, while the most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) declined 0.7% to 47,340 yuan ($6,675.88) a tonne.

China’s industrial production grew at the slowest pace in 17-1/2 years last month and fixed-asset investment in January-August increased at a slightly lower rate than expected, data released on Monday showed.

“We expect prices to remain depressed this week amid a lack of fresh supportive factors. The market will continue to chew on slowing Chinese industrial activity and increased geopolitical risks in the Middle East,” ANZ analyst Soni Kumari said.

FUNDAMENTALS

* PRICES: LME zinc and lead declined 0.9% each, while aluminium fell 0.4% and tin was 1.6% lower. In Shanghai, zinc lost 1%, lead dropped 3.2%, aluminium fell 0.8% and tin was flat.

* LEAD: Belgium’s Nyrstar said it had temporarily reopened an old lead-processing plant in the state of South Australia after receiving a permit from the local environmental protection authority.

* NICKEL: LME nickel fell as much as 3% to $16,920 a tonne, its lowest since Sept. 30, while ShFE nickel ended down 3.1% at 135,110 yuan a tonne.

* CHINA NPI: China’s August nickel pig iron (NPI) output rose 36% year-on-year to 53,567 tonnes of nickel in NPI, analyst Wang Chongfeng at Grand Flow Resources said.

* “Higher profit margins encouraged Chinese NPI producers to ramp up their production. Nickel prices can level off further as the market reassess the availability of ore and supply responses after such a strong price rally,” ANZ’s Kumari said.

* NICKEL PHILIPPINES: A nickel mining hub in the southern Philippines, which produces mostly high-grade material, has suspended extraction operations indefinitely as the regional government conducts an industry audit.

* TRADE TALKS: Deputy-level U.S.-China trade talks are scheduled to start in Washington on Thursday, the U.S. Trade Representative’s office said, paving the way for high-level talks in October aimed at resolving a trade war.

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PRICES

Three month LME copper

Most active ShFE copper

Three month LME aluminium

Most active ShFE aluminium

Three month LME zinc

Most active ShFE zinc

Three month LME lead

Most active ShFE lead

Three month LME nickel

Most active ShFE nickel

Three month LME tin

Most active ShFE tin

ARBS ($1 = 7.0912 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Dale Hudson)

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