Nickel mart keeping close watch on talks at Sudbury

Dec 19, 2006 | 02:21 PM | Meghann McDonell

A union declaration of a strike deadline at Xstrata Plc's mining and processing operations in Sudbury, Ontario, has left the nickel market "walking on egg shells," with prices likely to react sharply to any risk of a supply disruption, market sources said Tuesday.

The Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) union, now in its second week of contract talks with Xstrata executives, said that Sudbury workers would strike if a new contract is not reached by Jan. 31, when the current labor agreement expires.

With only 7,242 tonnes of the metal left in London Metal Exchange warehouses as of Tuesday, the market is perceived as extremely tight and might not wait until the end of next month to act on a potential strike, traders said.....

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