Company News

METALS-Nickel slides to 11-month low on oversupply concerns

* Resumption of Indonesian exports weighs on nickel

* Expectations grow for Philippines’ output to resume

* Metals complex recovers after U.S. manufacturing data

* LME/ShFE arb: (Updates with closing prices)

By Jan Harvey

LONDON, June 1 (Reuters) - Nickel fell to an 11-month low on Thursday as a resumption in exports from Indonesia and the prospect of a recovery in output from the Philippines stoked concerns about oversupply.

Nickel prices fell for a third straight month in May and hit their lowest since June last year on Thursday at $8,810 a tonne. They have fallen 12 percent this year, the biggest drop among major base metals.

“We saw the nickel ore export ban lifted in Indonesia, so we’ve seen Antam, for example, start exporting nickel ore to China,” ING commodities strategist Warren Patterson said.

“The other potential big change going forward is the change in the environmental secretary in the Philippines. Market expectations are that we could see some sort of relaxation in policy. So where we saw 21 mines shut or suspended, we could see some of them coming back online.”

Nickel was also caught up in broader negative sentiment after a survey showed China’s manufacturing activity contracted unexpectedly in May as demand weakened and falling factory prices dented profits. However, copper recovered lost ground after upbeat U.S. manufacturing data.

* LME NICKEL: Three-month nickel on the London Metal Exchange closed at $8,840 a tonne, down 1.4 percent.

* PHILIPPINES: President Rodrigo Duterte appointed a former army general as environment minister after Congress dismissed his first choice, who had ordered the closure of more than half of the mines in the world’s top nickel ore supplier.

* INDONESIA: The relaxation in January of Indonesia’s ban on exporting unprocessed nickel ore, which has been in place since the start of 2014, has added to concerns about rising supply.

* NICKEL STOCKS: Nickel inventories at LME warehouses MNI-STOCKS remain at elevated levels even though they were well below their 2015 peak. At more than 378,000 tonnes, stocks are equivalent almost 20 percent of global consumption, estimated at nearly 2 million tonnes this year.

* LME COPPER: Three-month LME copper ended the day up 0.3 percent at $5,699 a tonne.

* TECHNICALS: A break of resistance at $5,690 a tonne for LME copper could lead to an increase to $5,725, Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao said.

* BHP COPPER: BHP Billiton said on Thursday it had lifted a declaration of force majeure at its Escondida copper mine in Chile.

* OTHER METALS: LME aluminium closed down 0.1 percent at $1,927 a tonne, while tin finished 0.6 percent higher at $20,450. Zinc ended the day down 1.2 percent at $2,570, and lead 0.4 percent lower at $2,110.