Nickel on MCX settled down -1.5% at 644.3 after update the Philippines' environment ministry has allowed eight suspended nickel ore miners to ship out stockpiles of mined ore temporarily boosting supply from the world's top exporter of the raw metal after a major crackdown. More than half of all mines in the Philippines have been ordered to permanently shut to protect watersheds in an eight-month campaign led by Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Regina Lopez.
Allowing the halted mines to sell their stocked nickel ore is aimed at limiting the potential build up of silt in nearby waters, an official with knowledge of the order said, rather than the government toning down its campaign.
The volume of nickel ore stocks from the mines may well exceed 1 million tonnes, or about a month's worth of consumption by top buyer China, said the official, who declined to be named because he is not authorised to discuss the matter publicly. The global market for refined nickel started the year with a 1,100-tonne deficit in the month of January due to robust demand growth from Asia and the Americas, a report from the International Nickel Study Group showed.
Nearly all of the Philippines' nickel ore is sold to China where it is used to produce stainless steel. Philippine shipments reached 30.5 million tonnes last year, or 95 percent of China's total imports of the raw material. Technically market is under fresh selling as market has witnessed gain in open interest by 2.07% to settled at 28446 while prices down -9.8 rupees, now Nickel is getting support at 639.2 and below same could see a test of 634 level, And resistance is now likely to be seen at 651.9, a move above could see prices testing 659.4.