November 8, 2017 / 12:13 PM / 2 years ago

METALS-Aluminium slips for second day as speculative flows reverse

* LME/ShFE arb:

* Reuters Base Metals Poll: (Recasts, updates with closing prices)

By Eric Onstad

LONDON, Nov 8 (Reuters) - The price of aluminium slipped further on Wednesday as investors judged its recent rally as being mainly driven by speculators rather than supply/demand factors.

Other base metals were pressured by weak imports in top metals consumer China.

China’s environmental crackdown that will force the shutdown of polluting smelters over the winter will push the global market into a deficit, but the impact is already in the price, a Reuters poll showed.

“With inventories in China still rising and the futures curve in contango, there does not seem to be a shortage of metal,” said analyst Carsten Menke at Julius Baer in Zurich.

“We believe the market has gotten ahead of itself in pricing in winter season production cuts.”

* CHINESE IMPORTS: China’s exports and import growth eased in October in a sign the world’s second-largest economy is starting to cool after a strong first half.

* ALUMINIUM: Three-month aluminium on the London Metal Exchange shed 1.1 percent to close at $2,109 a tonne after dropping 1.8 percent on Tuesday.

* NICKEL: Benchmark LME nickel rose 0.4 percent to end at $12,700 a tonne, recovering from a 2.1 percent loss on Tuesday. Nickel, which touched a two-year peak of $13,030 a tonne on Nov. 1, has gained 26 percent this year.

Analysts cautioned, however, that nickel may still have more downside, as investor excitement about the prospects of more demand from electric vehicles was seen as premature while supplies from Indonesia were rising.

“The majority of fundamental investors we spoke to (during LME Week), particularly from China, were neutral to bearish nickel at current price levels,” said Nicholas Snowdon, metals analyst at Standard Chartered in London.

* INDONESIA: Indonesia’s Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry on Tuesday said it had issued export quota recommendations for 20.4 million tonnes of nickel ore.

* COPPER: LME benchmark copper rose 0.4 percent to end at $6,855 a tonne after giving up 2.1 percent on Tuesday.

* CHINA COPPER IMPORTS: China’s unwrought copper imports fell in October from a month earlier to their lowest since April as prices soared to their highest in more than three years, while concentrate arrivals also slipped, customs data showed.

* ZINC: LME zinc gained 0.8 percent to finish at $3,192 a tonne.

* DUGALD: Zinc appeared to ignore news that MMG’s Dugald River mine in Australia was launched on Wednesday, highlighting that more supply is likely to come on stream. The mine will process an average 1.7 million tonnes a year of ore to initially produce 170,000 tonnes of zinc in concentrate.

* PRICES: Lead added 0.4 percent to end at $2,506.50 a tonne while tin shed 0.5 percent to $19,475.

Additional reporting by James Regan in Sydney; Editing by Mark Potter and David Evans

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