This page is archived news covering the period of April 2011
If you are looking for current daily market news, please visit here.

LME nickel prices and news

Stainless Steel News and Nickel Prices

Free comprehensive information on worldwide nickel market pricing, stainless steel prices and metals analysis and forecasts


Daily Nickel Market News & Stainless Steel Prices

Kiva - loans that change lives

 Nickel Prices

x

Friday, April 29

  No trading on the London Metal Exchange today - markets closed for Royal Wedding. Prince William and Kate Middleton are now officially the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. No tradon Monday as well. with most world markets closed for May 1st holiday.

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:10 am CST show 3 month nickel not trading. The Euro is currently trading 1/3 of 1% higher against the US Dollar. NYMEX crude is up slightly and trading at $112.96/barrel. Gold is up over 1/4 of 1% and silver is higher by 1-1/3%. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended lower, with China up nearly 1%. European markets are trading slightly higher this morning, and US futures show a quietly higher opening may be in store for Wall Street. The LME is closed today and Monday, with much of the world on holiday for MayDay, next Monday. There will be no afternoon update and we are leaving Thursday up so today's lack of news will not bore site visitors. Have a safe and restful weekend - and for much of the world, a relaxing holiday weekend!

  Reports

  • Commodities Daily - pdf here
  • Daily Market Report - pdf here
  • Commodities Report - pdf here
  • Commodities Daily - pdf here
  • Morning Montra - pdf here
  • Daily Overview - pdf here
  • Market Drivers - pdf here
  • Metals Insight - pdf here

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments - no report today
  • (SN) Business Report noted that Anglo aims to more than quadruple nickel output over the period from 2011-2020 so that it will be able to compete better with Norilsk Nickel and Vale. The group might produce as much as 180 000 tons by 2020 as Anglo increased production at its Barro Alto project in Brazil and contemplated investing another USD6 billion in two new mines in the country. Anglo's head of nickel, Walter De Simoni commented that "the nickel business is doing very well."
  • (Yieh) Taiwan’s Yieh United Steel Corp. (Yusco) announced to cut the stainless steel prices for May delivery which met market participants’ forecast.
  • (MP) China’s imports of chrome ores and concentrates increased 22% to 2,524,334 tonnes in the first quarter of 2011, according to official customs data.
  • (Reuters) Norilsk Nickel, the world's largest nickel and palladium producer, said on Thursday its first-quarter nickel output remained flat year-on-year at 71,000 metric tonnes.
  • (MBN) Taigang may fall short of 3m-tonne output goal in 2011
  • (SBB) Asian stainless prices ease amid bleak outlook
  • (CTV) A Chinese-led consortium is preparing a potential bid to acquire Lundin Mining Corp. , marking the latest move by China to secure key mining and energy resources to feed its rapidly growing economy.
  • (Interfax) China exported 84,300 tons of steel to Japan in March, a month-on-month increase of 145.6 percent, an official from the China Iron & Steel Association (CISA) said at an April 29 news briefing in Beijing.
  • (CD) The HSBC China Manufacturing PMI is unchanged in April from March at 51.8, the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) said Friday.

  Nickel miner in Solomon Islands confident it’s dealing with true landowners on Isabel - Australian miner, Axiom, says the landowners it’s dealt with on Isabel in Solomon Islands are genuine despite the government claiming otherwise. - more

  • Solomons' gold: mine set to reshape S. Pacific nation - Elijah David traipsed the 55 km in plastic sandals from his home in Guadalcanal province to the only gold mine in Solomon Islands, hoping to find work that may transform his life and that of his South Pacific island nation, for better or perhaps worse. - more

  Iron Ore-Spot prices flat, Chinese buyers cautious; indexes rise - Spot iron ore prices were flat over the week with Chinese buyers still cautious about large purchases, but traders expect offers to rise as mills rebuild stockpiles ahead of the Indian monsoon season. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Thursday, April 28

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - plus 10 to 1,269. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) China Economic Growth Faces Risks From Property ‘Shocks,’ World Bank Says // China Copper Imports May Extend Drop in April on Price, Credit Tightening // China Stocks Drop for Fifth Day, Longest Losing Streak This Year, on Rates // Japan Quake Takes Bigger-Than-Estimated Economic Toll; BOJ Lowers Forecast // Tsunami Towns Risk Becoming ‘Empty Monuments’ Unless Japan Can Create Jobs // German Unemployment Declines to 19-Year Low as Export Boom Drives Demand // Dollar Index Declines to Lowest Since 2008 on Fed Stimulus; Aussie Surges // U.K. Consumer Confidence Declines to Lowest Since Depth of 2009 Recession // European Stocks Gain for Sixth Day as Deutsche Bank Tops Profit Estimates // Bernanke Starts Dialogue With Public, Pledges to Keep Stimulus // U.S. Economy’s Growth Cools in First Quarter to 1.8% Annual Rate // U.S. Consumer Confidence Falls on Higher Gas Prices, Bloomberg Index Shows // Dollar Index Drops to Lowest Since 2008 on Fed
  • The Euro is now trading less than 1/10 of 1% higher against the US Dollar. NYMEX crude is trading slightly lower and at $112.70/barrel. Gold is up 3/10 of 1% and silver is higher by more than 1.8% and both hit record highs earlier in the session. Base metals all ended the session in the black. Indicator charts show nickel fell for much of the session, before dropping below $12.lb, then it was off to the races. For the day, week, and month, three month nickel ended at $12.17/lb . Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME approved warehouses slipped yesterday and now show just under the 117,400 tonne level. Sucden finally updated their day old chart, which reveals little change (chart here). Economic reports out today showed US GDP slowed in the first quarter, but markets and metals traders are still bullish, after Fed reserve Chairman confirmed yesterday that the 'free money' will continue to flow for awhile longer. London markets are closed tomorrow for the Royal wedding, so there will be no trading of nickel on Friday, nor will they trade on Monday for a second four day weekend for Londoners. Nickel trading on the LME will resume next Tuesday. If someone asks you how things are going this month, especially if you live in the South, point them to this chart (chart). We will post tomorrow - if there is anything to report.

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • U.S. Home Ownership Falls Back to 1998 Levels - more
  • IMF: Capital Flows to Asia Still Below Peaks - more
  • Worldwide, Young Adults Twice as Likely to Be Unemployed - more
  • Four Stories This Week Prove that the War On Terror Is a Farce - more
  • Fed Trims Its Growth Outlook - more
  • Bank Arbitrage (JPM, C) - more

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:05 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.03/lb lower, having just took a strong dive, and now showing signs of stabilization. Other London traded base metals are still trading higher, but some just barely. The Euro is trading only slightly higher against the US Dollar at the moment. NYMEX crude is lower by more than 1/10 of 1% and trading at $112.60/barrel. Gold is up nearly 1/10 of 1% and silver is higher by nearly 1.2%. In overnight trading, Asian markets traded higher, with China down 1-1/3%. European markets are trading slightly higher this morning and US futures are slightly lower, at the moment. Nickel inventories fell again yesterday.   
  • LME Morning - Dovish Fed comments attract the bulls to base metals - more
  • Reuters - Copper up on Bernanke; building inventories a concern - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments - Copper prices slumped yesterday on continuing concern about the growth outlook, soaring energy prices, and the prospect of a further rise in interest rates, particularly out of China. The weak dollar did not do much to revive the sector's fortunes, as it seems that concern about growth is overriding the bullish impact of the struggling greenback. Earlier in the day on Wednesday, a US report showing durable goods orders rising more than expected in March (coupled with an upward revision to the prior month’s reading) lifted copper off its lows, but the rally fizzled later in the afternoon. Of course, for much of the day yesterday, markets were in “suspense mode” as they awaited the Fed policy statement and the news conference held by Chairman Bernanke that followed two hours later. There was hardly anything new in either presentation apart from the widely expected move to terminate the Fed’s $600 billion bond purchase program by June. The Fed's relatively benign stance took its toll on the dollar, which weakened noticeably late in the day, slipping to $1.4780 against the Euro, its lowest level since August of 2008. Its decline had a hand in spurring precious metals higher, with gold hitting another record high, while energy added to earlier gains. However, base metals did not erase their losses, and although they had a bounce in Asian trading earlier today, they have since come off their highs, as concerns about Chinese tightening continues to weigh on sentiment. In this regard, investors fear that the authorities may raise rates possibly as soon as next month given that growth in the second quarter shows no sign of slowing down. Chinese stocks were down for a fifth straight day in anticipation of such a move. .... Nickel is at $26,675, up $45. We are seeing very neutral looking chart patterns for the moment, as prices remain stuck between the $25,000- $28,000 trading range.  (Complete Daily Metals Report here)
  • (MB) China will have 2.5m-tonne surplus in 2011
  • Talvivaara Q1 production up 10% to new high - more
  • (Bloomberg) Posco, the world’s second-biggest maker of stainless steel, will cut domestic prices of stainless steel products by 100,000 won per metric ton after prices of nickel, a key raw material, declined.
  • Axiom to begin nickel prospecting in two weeks' time - more
  • (SBB) Chinese FeCr, chrome ore import growth to slow
  • Eramet sees H1 operating profit at least stable - more
  • Universal Stainless Reports Strong First Quarter 2011 Results - more
  • Mercer Group forecasts small loss - more
  • World Bank raises China 2011 GDP forecast - more
  • Japan factory output, consumer spending plummet - more

  Talvivaara sees nickel prices softening in summer - Finnish miner Talvivaara expects nickel prices to soften over the summer months as demand from the stainless steel industry eases, though average prices for 2011 will still be close to current levels. - more

  Outokumpu's Settlement Of Accounts For Q1 / 2011 Had Loss = A Loss Of Euro 12 Million, Expected To Recover In 2nd Quarter - Outokumpu Oyj, a leading stainless steel company in Finland, released on the 20th of April (local time) their settlement of accounts for the first quarter (January - March) of 2011 but its operational result had an unexpected loss of Euro 12 million, while the operational profit for the first quarter of 2011 was Euro 33 million, which included Euro 45 million of raw-material related inventory gains. Accordingly, a net loss for the first quarter of 2011 turned to Euro 12 million. - more

  Anglo American Chasing Vale, Norilsk in Nickel as Steelmaker Demand Gains - Anglo started production at the $1.9 billion Barro Alto nickel project in Brazil’s Goias state last month and is aiming for average output of 41,000 metric tons annually. - more

  China will continue to fuel minerals boom: BHP chief - Australia's export prices could stay at stratospheric levels for another two years even if the Chinese economy begins to slow, says BHP Billiton chief executive Marius Kloppers. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Wednesday, April 27

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - plus 9 to 1,259. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) China’s B Shares Drop Most in 5 Months on International Board Speculation // China Stocks Fall for 4th Day, Longest 2011 Losing Streak; B Shares Plunge // Japan Rating Outlook Lowered to Negative by S&P on Quake Rebuilding Costs // South Korea’s Economic Growth Spurt Drives Won to Highest Close Since 2008 // Asia Stocks Rise as U.S. Consumer Confidence Gains; Canon, Samsung Advance // U.K. Economy Grew 0.5% in First Quarter on Services Rebound // Syria’s Violent Crackdown Prompts UN’s Ban to Call for an Outside Inquiry // European Stocks Climb for Fifth Day; Ericsson, Volkswagen Gain on Earnings // U.S. Gasoline Imports From Europe Decline as Climbing Prices Erode Demand // UPS Gain in Overnight Deliveries Shows U.S. Economic Confidence // Apple Denies Tracking IPhone Locations, Will Update Software // Orders for U.S. Durable Goods Increase for Third Straight Month // Central Bank Chairman Ben S. Bernanke
  • Fed Says Recovery is ‘Moderate’; Bond Buying to End in June
  • The Euro is now trading 1/3 of 1% higher against the US Dollar. NYMEX crude oil is up 3/10 of 1% and trading at $112.53/barrel. Gold and silver are both up over 4/10 of 1%. Base metals ended the session lower. Indicator charts show nickel trading was choppy today, after opening in the red but jumping into positive territory for much of the afternoon. For the day, Dow jones reports three month nickel ended at $12.08/lb , off a penny on the day. After recording only its fourth gain this month, LME recognized warehouses recorded stockpiles of nickel fell yesterday and now come in at just under the 118,000 tonne level. After 19 straight losing sessions and a loss of 335 points, the Baltic Dry Index put in a 9 point gain today. We have one more day of nickel trading to go before the Royal Wedding closes London financial markets on Friday.

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • Lenders Who Lobbied Hardest for Deregulation Took Most Risks - more
  • Prices Widening Confidence Gap Among Higher, Lower Income Groups - more
  • Why Do We Have a Debt Ceiling Anyhow? - more
  • More Than 1 Billion People Are Hungry in the World - more
  • Comparing Prices: 2011 vs 2010 - more
  • (MBA) Mortgage applications decreased 5.6 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending April 22, 2011.
  • China's foreign aid comes with 'no strings attached' - more

  Warning: Are commodities about to crash? - Copper is booming. Oil is booming. Cotton is near historic highs. Soaring raw-material costs are driving up prices for consumers, from the gas pumps to the grocery aisles. And speculators are taking record bets that prices are going to keep going up even higher. - more

  Norilsk Nickel to Develop Copper Nickel Deposits in Russia - Norilsk Nickel is planning to develop copper-nickel deposits in Russia's Voronezh Region nickel areas, the firm has announced. - more

  China has raised the mandatory quota for the production and smelting of five rare metals in 2011 - Global rare earth monopoly China has raised the mandatory quota for the production and smelting of five rare metals this year. - more

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:10 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.15/lb lower, with all London traded base metals lower at the moment. The Euro is presently trading 2/10 of 1% lower against the US Dollar. NYMEX crude is 2/10 of 1% higher and trading at $112.40/barrel. Gold ni sup 1/10% while silver is off more than 1/2 of 1%. In overnight trading, Asian markets rose slightly, while China ended down 2/3 of 1%. European markets are trading higher this morning, and US futures show Wall Street has no intention of surrendering yesterday's bullish run. Nickel inventories returned to their losing way.  
  • LME Morning - Metals head south as tighter credit conditions loom - more
  • Reuters morning - Copper falls on inventory rise, caution on Fed - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments - Most metals fell back in yesterday’s trading, weighed down by concerns of rising inflation and interest rates, while ignoring the impact of the weaker dollar. The group pared its losses by the end of the day, as a steadier energy market and resilient US equities both provided support. However, the action in silver was a stark reminder of just how quickly prices can crumble in practically any commodity these days; at one point yesterday, silver sank to $44.63, a 10% drop since the start of the week. Right now, we are off to a mixed start in most markets; metals are lower, with copper successfully holding yesterday's low of $9382 earlier today before finally breaking below it in the last twenty minutes. The rest of the group is showing more modest losses. Energy prices are up slightly in very quiet conditions, but gasoline prices continue to soar, and are now at almost three-year highs. US stocks are expected to open higher, while the dollar is weaker again, now nearing $1.47 against the Euro. We do not expect to see much action in today's session, as markets wait for the Federal Reserve’s policy statement and Chairman Bernanke's press conference that follows. The media is making a huge deal of this event, with CNBC even airing a special program almost 3 hours before Bernanke takes questions. Frankly, we do not see what the fuss is about considering that the Chairman frequently appears before Congress (and the cameras) where he has to answer a barrage of questions about the economy that are just as probing (if at times far less intelligent) than anything the press could conceivably throw at him. We expect that Bernanke will stick to the Fed's policy statement released just before he takes question, as he is not the type to spring surprises without preparing investors in advance. (As a case in point, the QE2 program itself was leaked to the Wall Street Journal prior to its debut).  ... So what is in store for metals? Will the weaker dollar (a good bet going forward) provide the next boost for the group, or will investors sell as they start discounting the somewhat moderating growth outlook? We suspect it will likely be the latter, since energy is the big wild card here and will contribute to higher inflation readings, in turn meaning that the upward rate cycle now in place in a number of countries will likely be accelerated. Certainly, this is the case in China where despite the government’s best efforts, inflation is well north of 5%, (and likely above that unofficially). Here in the US, first quarter GDP is expected to be released tomorrow, with the consensus estimate calling for a rather tepid 1.7% increase. Japan's economy remains in extremely poor shape, as the March/April numbers come in. Yesterday, we learned that March retail sales fell almost 9% from a year earlier, its biggest decline in 13 years, while executives from the automobile and steel sectors continue to postpone dates by which production and demand are expected to rebound. To make matters worse, S&P this morning cut Japan’s sovereign-rating outlook to negative, expecting Japan’s reconstruction tab to add to what’s already one of the world's highest GDP to debt load. Out of the UK, Britain’s economy rebounded in the first quarter of 2011, but the reported increase of .5% was modest, and basically offsets a similar percentage contraction seen in the fourth quarter of last year. For all practical purposes, the economy in the UK is at a standstill. ... Nickel is at $26,400, down $250. We seem to be drifting towards the lower end of the trading range, but we expect support around $25,000 to hold. (Complete Daily Metals Report here)
  • (AMM) Chinese molybdenum concentrate prices eased on Wednesday on a slowdown in trading activity, but higher-than-expected bids for ferro-molybdenum from stainless mills are expected to keep prices stable in the near-term.
  • (SBB) Molybdenum use to rise 4.5%/year until 2019: IMOA
  • Analysis: Barrick bid suggests copper will be the new gold - more
  • (SO) Taiwan's industrial production index in March this year climbed by 13.82 percent as compared to March 2010, registering a two-digit growth for the seventeenth consecutive month, according to the country's Ministry of Economic Affairs. In March, production of the manufacturing industry increased 14.37 percent, the output of mining and quarrying edged up by 1.11 percent, while production in building construction rose by2.66 percent, all compared to March 2010.
  • (ATA) The American Trucking Associations' advance seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 1.7 percent in March after falling a revised 2.7 percent in February 2011. The latest gain put the SA index at 115.4 (2000=100) in March, which was the highest level since January of this year (116.6). In February, the index equaled 113.5.
  • Atmospheric indicators remain strong, as La Niña decays - more
  • China's industry plan could strengthen state firms - more
  • 'Hot money' will keep pressure on economy - more

  China Records Largest Output Of Nickel-Contained Pig Iron For Q1 / 2011 In Its History = An Expansion Of This Production In China For Future Depends On Imports Of Nickel Ore - China is supposed to have recorded the largest quantity per quarter of nickel-contained pig iron (including low grade ferro-nickel) in its history as produced in the first quarter (January - March) of 2011. - more

  Oman-India joint venture to develop ferrochrome smelter in Sohar - The Sultanate’s first ferrochrome smelter is due to come on stream in Sohar by the end of 2011. - more

  Universal Stainless & Alloy Products, Inc. reported today that sales for the first quarter of 2011 were $59.8 million, an increase of 72% from the first quarter of 2010 and up 16% from the 2010 fourth quarter. - more

  China's Baosteel warns of end to iron ore investment frenzy - paper - Global supply and demand conditions for iron ore may reverse sooner than expected after a years-long investment frenzy, the chief of China's leading steelmaker said. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Tuesday, April 26

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - minus 4 to 1,250. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) China Said to Raise Biggest Banks’ Capital Adequacy Targets // Minmetals Drops Equinox Bid After Being Trumped by Barrick’s $7.68 Billion // Japan’s Terrifying Day Saw Unprecedented Blown Roof Expose Tepco Fuel Rods // Tepco Workers Agree to Up to 25% Pay Cut After Fukushima Nuclear Accident // Syrian Forces Strafe Daraa Streets as Death Toll From Crackdown Reaches 25 // NATO Strike on Qaddafi Compound Denounced as Italy to Join Allies’ Mission // UBS Attracts Highest Inflows Since 2007 as Profit Tops Estimates // Cameron’s Hopes of Wedding Boost for U.K. Economy Are ‘Wishful Thinking’ // Greek Deficit Tops Forecasts as Euro-Area Debt Reaches Record // European Stocks Climb for Fourth Day as UBS Surges After Attracting Funds // Biggest Banks Beating Estimates Can’t Hide 13% Drop in Revenue // Fed Confidence in Transitory Inflation Hinges on Low Wage Gains // Home Prices in 20 U.S. Cities Decreased 3.3% From Year Earlier // S&P 500 Climbs to Highest Since 2008 on Earnings; Dollar Falls
  • The Euro is presently trading 1/3 of 1% higher against the US Dollar.  NYMEX crude is off 1/2 of 1% and trading at $111.72/barrel. Gold is off 1/3 of 1% and silver is down nearly 3.9%. Base metals ended their first day back lower, but well off opening lows. Indicator charts show nickel opened much lower, only to spend the day attempting a climb out of the hole, faltering late in the session. For the day, Dow Jones reports three month nickel ended at $12.09/lb . Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME approved worldwide warehouses rose last Thursday and now show totaling just over the 118,300 tonne level. Traders returned to teh market today with Asian trading taking metals much lower. Western traders were not nearly as pessimistic and spent the day pulling prices mostly higher, although the market opened so low, that a strong daily recovery was unable to pull the metals into the plus column. This will be a short week for the London Metal Exchange as they will be shut down for the Royal Wedding on Friday.

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • (Reuters) Russia will peg its export tariff for nickel -- currently fixed at 10 percent -- to the metal prices on the London Metals Exchange, a government order seen by Reuters on Tuesday showed. The tariff will be set on a quarterly basis and will apply if the nickel price is equal or above $12,000 per tonne, the order said.
  • (PR) First Nickel Inc. is pleased to provide an update on its Lockerby Depth Project and its plans to resume production at the Lockerby nickel/copper mine, located in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. Both financing and project schedules are on track for commencement of ore production in the third quarter of this year with a ramp-up to full production of 10 million pounds of nickel and 7 million pounds of copper per year by mid 2012.
  • Metals Correction Possible Amid Value Store Call - more
  • How Gasoline Price Hikes Affect Buying Choices - more
  • Retirees Are America’s Same Old Problem - more
  • New Home Sales Fall 22% Year Over Year - more
  • The Lobbying Bubble - more

  Expansion of high-carbon ferrochrome price range of U.S. - High-carbon ferrochrome prices in recent week, the U.S. price range is widening, a report from market participants reflects the high-low-cost operators are present. - more

  Wuhan Steel expects steel demand to weaken in 2011 - China's Wuhan Iron & Steel expects steel demand to weaken in 2011, further trimming profit margins for the country's steel sector, the company said in its 2010 annual report to the Shanghai Stock Exchange. - more

  Mixed Pricing Sentiment transpires in the BRIC Countries - The MEPS BRIC Countries' average transaction price increased in four of seven product forms in April. The size of the gains varied between $US2 per tonne for reinforcing bar and $US19 per tonne for hot dipped galvanised coil. - more

  AK Steel posts surprise profit on higher prices - AK Steel Holding Corp.'s first-quarter earnings more than quadrupled over a slight prior-year profit as higher selling prices made up for slightly lower-than-expected volume. - more

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:10 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.29/lb lower, with all London traded base metals lower. The Euro is currently trading nearly 2/10 of 1% higher against the US Dollar. NYMEX crude is down slightly and trading at $112.21/barrel. Gold is lower by nearly 1/4 of 1% and silver is down 2-2/3%. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended lower, with China off more than 1/2%. European markets are trading higher this morning, while US futures show Wall Street may open higher as well. Nickel inventories broke with tradition and gained over the long weekend.    
  • Bloomberg morning - Commodities Snap Four-Day Winning Streak on Fed Speculation, China Credit - more
  • LME Morning - Metals slide on fears Fed will halt flow of easy money - more
  • Reuters - LME metals give up part of recent gains; US econ data eyed - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments - It seems that metal prices have generally been heading lower since we last wrote about the markets on April 13, although prices are still holding onto their broad trading ranges. (The exception has been aluminum, which continues to make slow and steady upside progress, and in fact, hit a new yearly high this past week of $2757). From what we have been able to gather, the various cross-currents in the markets remain intact, which explains why we have not seen more dramatic moves in one direction or another. On the plus side, the weaker dollar has remained an important prop for the commodity complex as a whole, as the greenback is now within 5% of hitting its March 2008 all-time low against a basket of currencies. Gold and silver have teed off against this weakness, with both hitting new highs in recent days. (In fact, silver took a stab at the psychologically important $50 mark yesterday before falling back). In addition, there have been no major disappointments on the US macro front, although the impact of higher energy prices this past quarter will likely trim first quarter GDP to below 2% when that number comes out on Thursday. Chinese GDP numbers for the first quarter were released last week as well, with growth coming in at 9.7% in the first quarter, higher than expected. Data out of Europe also has been strong despite a rebounding Euro, but Japanese numbers remain very weak, a symptom of the setback the country has suffered in the wake of the recent disasters. Despite these generally favorable elements, a series of negatives seem to be preventing base metal prices from soaring to new highs. For one thing, markets are becoming increasingly concerned about higher inflation readings in emerging markets, which as we have noted in previous commentary, is forcing many central banks to raise interest rates. In this regard, Chinese inflation numbers came in higher than expected this past week, forcing another rise in bank capital requirements. Moreover, the government is scrambling to prevent pricing pressures from translating into potential social unrest, as evidenced by a short-lived trucker protest this past weekend in Shanghai over rising user fees and escalating diesel prices. On the metals side, the more detailed breakdown of Chinese March import data was encouraging in that there were broad-based rebounds noted in a number of import categories, but markets seem to have been disappointed by the extent of the bounce. China's refined copper imports, for example, were up by 21.5% over February levels, but did not make up February’s entire 36% decline. Moreover, copper exports seem to be picking up pace, with about 37,000 tons of metal exported in March, a 20-fold rise over last year, and indicative of soft conditions in the local market. Elsewhere, imports of crude oil, iron ore, and nickel all rose slightly from a year ago and from February’s holiday-shortened levels, but tonnages are still far below January levels. We will summarize the latest import figures in table and chart format later in the week. Right now, we are seeing a weaker tone set in over metals, as valuations catch up to the Chinese markets. Copper is faring the worst, now trading just above $9500, off by about $200/MT. Zinc and lead were also very weak earlier in the day, off by almost $100/ton and $60/ton, respectively. We do not expect to see much action over the next day or two, as markets wait for the results of the Federal Reserve’s meeting and policy statement due tomorrow. The Federal Reserve is the only major central bank that has yet to move on rates, and so investors will be particularly interested to see if there is any subtle change in their stance. Although no one expects a rate increase, there is a growing expectation that the Fed may allow its $600 billion bond buying program to expire in June. If it does not signal such a move, we expect the dollar to weaken even further, and likely test the March 2008 lows over the course of the next several weeks. This would likely spark another round of commodity buying, with gold and oil likely taking the lead, while base metals reluctantly follow. We hope we are wrong on this count and that the Fed will indeed signal an end to its easing program. In our view, the upward commodity spiral is getting dangerous, especially from the energy side, and runs the risk of triggering a more substantial worldwide slowdown. .... Nickel is at $26,360, down $540. We seem to be drifting towards the lower end of the trading range, but we expect support around $25,000 to hold.  (Complete Daily Metals Report here)
  • (Bloomberg) The Munali Nickel Mine in Zambia, owned by China’s Jinchuan Group Ltd. and Australia’s Albidon Ltd. (ALB), plans to produce 56,000 metric tons of concentrate this year, the Post reported, citing a statement from the company.
  • (Yieh) According to statistics of Taiwan’s Customs, Taiwan imported 86,801 tons of stainless steel products in March with the average prices of NT$99,663/ton. ... Meanwhile, the country exported 127.581 thousand tons of stainless steel products in March with the average prices of NT$97,700/ton.
  • (JMB) Sumitomo Metal Industries restarted Kashima works large shape mill on Sunday after the stoppage since the major earthquake in March to make H-beam and sheet pipe.
  • (AT) Effective with shipments beginning June 1, 2011, a surcharge of $515 per ton ($25.75/cwt) is being added to grain-oriented electrical steel invoices. This surcharge is subject to monthly adjustment.
  • Air Force Looks to China When American Manufacturing Falls Short - more
  • Metals Market Equations are No Longer Simple - more

  Domestic Consumption OF Nickel Metal In Japan In February 2011 = Japan Consumed 3,670 Tons As Decreased By 4.1% From That In January - According to the statistics compiled and released by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan consumed 3,670 tons of nickel metal in February of 2011, which decreased by 4.1% compared with that (3,827 tons) in the previous month of January and also had a decline of 7.8% compared to that in the same month of 2010. This decrease in domestic consumption of nickel metal was due to less working days in February. - more

  First Nickel set to ramp-up - There was good news Monday on two fronts for Sudbury's mining industry. - more

  Norilsk Nickel denies merger talks with other companies - Russia's largest nickel miner Norilsk Nickel has denied it is in merger negotiations with any other metallurgical company, Norilsk President Andrei Klishas said late on Monday. - more

  Courtesy AISI - In the week ending April 23, 2011, domestic raw steel production was 1,840,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 75.2 percent. Production was 1,789,000 tons in the week ending April 16, 2010, while the capability utilization then was 74.0 percent. The current week production represents a 2.9 percent increase from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending April 23, 2011 is down 1.1 percent from the previous week ending April 16, 2011 when production was 1,861,000 tons and the rate of capability utilization was 76.1 percent.

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Monday, April 25

  The London Metal Exchange is closed today for Easter Monday holiday. Market will re-open on Tuesday. It will also be closed this coming Friday for the Royal Wedding.

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up

  • Baltic Dry Index - not reported due to holiday (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) China Stocks Drop to 3-Week Low as Rising Oil Prices Boost Inflation Risk // Japan Asks China, S. Korea to Base Any Import Bans on Scientific Evidence  // Thailand Renews Bid for Cambodia Talks After Battles Kill 11 // Bill Gross Battles Bond Dealers on Outlook as Treasuries Gain // Draghi Said to Be Seen by Sarkozy as Trichet’s Successor // Global Profits Top Forecasts From Apple to Novartis on Productivity Gains // Options Highest Since Lehman Shows Gains Intact as Buyers Hedge // Dollar Advances as Stock Drop Saps Demand for Assets Tied to Global Growth // Schwarzman Says Cheap Financing Is Pushing Up Prices of Buyouts // U.S. Stocks Fall as Kimberly-Clark, Commodity Shares Drop
  • The Euro is now trading over 1/10 of 1% against the US Dollar. NYMEX crude is now trading nearly 3/10 of 1% lower and at $111.97/barrel. Gold is currently up 2/10 of 1% and silver is up nearly 1.6% after Chinese media reported "China should reduce its excessive foreign exchange reserves and further diversify its holdings, Tang Shuangning, chairman of China Everbright Group, said on Saturday.". The London Metal Exchange is closed for Easter Monday. Wall Street did not open as futures had predicted and trading is lower as major indexes face resistance.

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • IMF bombshell: Age of America nears end - more
  • Number of the Week: Americans Buy More Stuff They Don’t Need - more
  • Chinese Inflation and the Impact on the US Economy - more
  • Rich People Still Don’t Realize They’re Rich - more

  Crowflight restarts operations at Manitoba mine; shares up - Canadian miner Crowflight Minerals Inc said it restarted operations at its Bucko Lake Mine in Manitoba and expects to achieve full production in three months, sending its shares up as much as 13 percent. - more

  China to have a limited chrome ore supply to maintain steel production capacity - Sahit Muja: China to have a limited chrome ore supply to maintain steel production capacity. - more

  Australia's Albidon expects to sell 56,000 tons to Chinese refiner - Australia's Albidon Ltd expects that its reactivated Munali nickel mine in Zambia will produce 56,000 tons of nickel concentrate this year, which will be sold at prevailing spot prices to Chinese metals refiner Jinchuan Group. - more

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:10 am CST show 3 month nickel untraded, as London markets are closed. The Euro is currently trading 1/4 of 1% higher against the US Dollar. NYMEX crude is up nearly 1/4 of 1% and trading at $112.55/barrel. Gold is up 6/10 of 1% and silver is up nearly 3.7%. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended lower, with China off 1-1/2%. European markets are all closed for Easter, and US futures show a positive opening for Wall Street.  

  Reports

  • Commodities Daily - pdf here
  • Morning Montra - pdf here
  • Daily Overview - pdf here
  • Metals Insight - pdf here
  • Weekly Scoreboard - pdf here
  • Robry Weekly Economic Assessment - more
  • SMM Nickel Price Forecast - more
  • ThyssenKrupp Nirosta May Stainless Surcharges - more

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments - next report on April 26 / Ed is traveling until then
  • (Reuters) Production at International Nickel Indonesia (Inco), Indonesia’s biggest nickel producer, was unaffected by a series of earthquakes that hit the island of Sulawesi on Monday, a spokesman for the miner said.
  • (Reuters) Vale, the world's largest iron ore producer, is in talks to reduce its stake in a joint venture with two South Korean firms to build an integrated steel mill in Brazil, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said on Monday.
  • (Reuters) Hachinohe nickel plant Pacific Metals Co 44,000 plans to restart ops mid-June
  • (MBN) China's imports of nickel ore rose by more than half in the first quarter of this year, as the high price of refined nickel encouraged more nickel pig iron production.
  • (BW) Latrobe Specialty Steel announced it would increase prices by 3 to 10 percent on high speed and tool steels grades, air melt stainless steels, remelted alloys and nickel based superalloys sold through Latrobe’s Distribution and Manufacturing business units. The price increase will be effective immediately on all new inquiries and with all new orders received beginning May 1, 2011. Raw material surcharges will remain in effect.
  • (Interfax) China's refined zinc and nickel imports rose in March when measured on an annual basis, while refined lead and tin imports fell, according to April 21 figures from the General Administration of Customs (GAC
  • (Yieh) According to report, China’s Taiyuan Iron&Steel Group (Tisco) announced to lower its domestic austenitic prices by RMB 700/ton for May as nickel prices have dropped about US$1,000/ton from its April prices; while, the company remained the ferritic prices unchanged.
  • (Reuters) Barrick Gold Corp said on Monday that it had struck a deal to buy Australia's Equinox for more than C$7 billion, topping a proposed takeover offer by China's Minmetals Resources

  Japan Produced 258,076 Tons Of Stainless Steel Products In February 2011= Decreased By 4% From That In Jan., Output Of Ni-Based Products Kept Same But That Of Cr-Based Decreased - According to the steel statistics released on the 15th of April by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the quantities of stainless steel products (hot-rolled products) produced in Japan in February of 2011 were as per the table attached hereto. - more

  Sumitomo Metal Restarts Works at Quake-Hit Kashima Factory - Sumitomo Metal Industries Ltd., Japan’s third-largest steelmaker, restarted all facilities at the Kashima plant today after last month’s earthquake and tsunami damaged its largest factory.  - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Thursday, April 21

  The London Metal Exchange will be closed for trading on Friday and Monday for Good Friday and Easter Monday. They will also be closed the following Friday for the Royal Wedding, and the following Monday for Early May Bank Holiday.

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up

  • Baltic Dry Index - minus 8 to 1,254. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) China Mobile Subscribers Pass 600 Million, Fueled by Users in Rural Areas // PBOC Adviser Says Yuan ‘One-Off’ Revaluation Comment Taken Out of Context // China Overnight Rate Climbs Most in Three Months on Reserve-Ratio Increase ///Mori Building Sells Five Stories of China’s Tallest Property in Shanghai // Solar-Panel Makers Gain as Fukushima Spurs Japan’s Anti-Nuclear Movement // Asian Stocks Rise to Highest in Six Weeks as U.S. Earnings Gain // Retail Sales in U.K. Unexpectedly Advance 0.2%, Buoyed by Spending on Food // German Business Confidence Fell for a Second Month in April  // Global Supply-Chain Repairs May Spur Investment Powering Economic Growth // Bernanke Market Signals No Shift With Obama Deficit Cutting // Investors In For a Shock If Rising Rates Sink Bonds, Envision's Cohen Says // Economic Outlook Brightens on Leading Indicators, Confidence // Stocks, Commodities Rise on Earnings; Euro, Swiss Franc Gain
  • The Euro is now trading 4/10 of 1% higher against the US Dollar, after hitting a 16 month high earlier in the session. NYMEX crude is also 4/10 of 1% higher and trading at $111.90/barrel. Gold is up nearly 3/10% and silver is over 2-1/4% higher. Base metals ended the session mostly higher. Indicator charts show three month nickel hesitated early, but then began to climb for the rest of the session. For the day and week, Dow Jones reports three month nickel closed at $12.20/lb . Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME approved warehouses fell again on Wednesday and now show totalling just under 117,950 tonnes. Sucden's day old nickel chart shows trading thru yesterday (chart here). Following up yesterday's report, we saw the price of nickel close above/below the $12/lb mark on a daily basis for the tenth time since early March today. Economic news out of the US were a mixed bag today, but traders are taking the Conference Board's positive economic index as the winner. Jobless claims remained above 400,000 last week, home prices continue to fall, And the Philadelphia Fed's index plummeted. World markets are closed for Good Friday tomorrow, so our next update will be on Monday.
  • Have a safe, enjoyable and blessed holiday weekend!

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • Foreign Firms Aren’t Hiring in U.S. - more
  • Putin: U.S. Monetary Policy Is ‘Hooliganism’ - more

  Japan's moly demand rises on Tepco plans for thermal power generation - Tepco, or Tokyo Electric Power Company's plans to constructing thermal power generation units to beat Japan's power shortage following its ongoing nuclear crisis is creating fresh demand for molybdenum products, market sources said Friday. - more

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:05 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.14/lb higher, with all London traded base metals higher this morning. The Euro is trading over 6/10 of 1% higher against the US Dollar at the moment. NYMEX crude is up 2/3 of 1% and trading at $112.16/barrel. Gold is up 1/4% and silver is higher by 1-1/2%. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended higher, with China up 2/3 of 1%. European markets continue to trade higher and US futures show Wall Street will open in a good mood as well. Nickel inventories fell on Wednesday.    
  • LME Morning - Metals on a roll as bullishness rekindles - more
  • Reuters - LME copper firm; dlr slips, China imports up from Feb low - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments - next report on April 26 / Ed is traveling until then
  • (Dow Jones) Nickel's "patchy" fundamentals in recent months may spark downward pressure on the metal's price in the second half of this year, says Bank of America Merrill Lynch ... Forecasts nickel to average $26,600/tons in 2011
  • (Yieh) According to report, China’s Taiyuan Iron&Steel Group (Tisco) announced to lower its domestic austenitic prices by RMB 700/ton for May as nickel prices have dropped about US$1,000/ton from its April prices; while, the company remained the ferritic prices unchanged.
  • (SMM) Jinchuan Group raised ex-works nickel prices by RMB 2,000/mt to RMB 195,000/mt on April 21.
  • (AMM) FeMo falls further out of line with molybdic oxide
  • (SBB) Taigang drops local austenitic prices by $107/t for May
  • (MBN) Outokumpu lowers May stainless alloy surcharge by €101
  • China's consumer confidence up in Q1 - more

  Market Tendency On Imports Of Ferro-Alloys At 15th April 2011 = A Fall Of Prices For Mn-Ores As Raw Material Is Causing To Feel A Bearish Sentiment - The market tendency by item on imports of ferro-alloys into Japan at the 15th April of 2011 is as follows - more

  Stainless Imports Up 62 Percent in January - Specialty steel imports in January totaled 89,916 tons, a 62.7 percent increase compared to January 2010, according to data from the Specialty Steel Industry of North America, Washington, D.C. - more

  Zambia nickel mine reopened - Australia's Albidon Ltd expects that its reactivated Munali nickel mine in Zambia will produce 56,000 tons of nickel concentrate this year, which will be sold at prevailing spot prices to Chinese metals refiner Jinchuan Group. - more

  RUSAL may seek compensation over Norilsk - Russian aluminium giant RUSAL may seek damages over the failure of a plan to increase the market value of Norilsk Nickel, RUSAL's chief executive and main owner said on Wednesday. - more

  Stainless Steel will Play an Important Role in Taiyuan City_ Knowledge is Necessary - What is stainless steel, why stainless steel does not rust, what advantages does stainless steel have, how to choose and use stainless steel knowledge,how to distinguish fake and poor quality stainless steel products and the harm it brings to people, TISCO will answer the questions one by one. - more

  China Steel keeps most prices unchanged for June - China Steel Corp (CSC), the nation’s largest steelmaker, yesterday announced it would keep domestic prices for most products unchanged for June in a move to hedge against the risk of falling demand in the wake of the March 11 earthquake in Japan. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Wednesday, April 20

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - minus 9 to 1,262. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) China ‘Shift in Rhetoric’ May Signal Yuan Gains to Counter Price Pressures // China Orders Banks to Do Another Round of Stress Tests on Property Loans // Japan’s Exports Fall More-Than-Estimated 2.2% After Quake Damages Plants // Thailand Raises Benchmark Interest Rate to 2.75% as Inflation Accelerates // Asian Stocks Rise as U.S. Housing, Earnings Boost Confidence; BHP Advances // London Skyscraper Boom Ends as City Goes ‘From Vanity to Sanity’ // Cut Diamonds Outpacing Gold Still `Grossly Undervalued': Chart of the Day // Bank of England Voted 6-3 to Hold Rate as Majority Highlighted ‘Downside’ // European Stocks Climb Most in a Month as Sales Spark Optimism on Recovery // Banks Kept Waiting for Terms of U.S. Foreclosure Accord as States Divided // Farmers Get Rich as Wheat Trade Gives Deere Record Profit: Freight Markets // U.S. Existing Home Sales Rise, Fail to Recover Ground Lost //  Stocks Climb on Earnings as Yen Weakens, Commodities Gain
  • Big day for commodities and equities as speculation money flowed. The Euro is trading over 1.1% higher against the US Dollar at the moment. NYMEX crude is up 2-2/3% and trading at $111.15/barrel. Gold is up 2/10 of 1% and silver is 2.3% higher. Base metals all ended the session higher. Indicator charts show nickel spent the entire session in a gradual and consistent climb. Dow Jones reports three month nickel gained over 4% in today's trading and ended the session at $11.97/lb .  Stores of nickel kept in LME recognized warehouses continue to slump, and now stand just over the 118,200 tonne level. Neither chart we link to daily was updated today. Shorts were caught off guard today and were forced to cover, adding more momentum to the upswing. Nickel traders appear to be trying to breech $12/lb level again. Since March 9th, we see where the $12/lb mark has been crossed at day end figures, either above or below that mark, on nine separate dates. Most of this back and forth change happened in March, with only two exchanges happening so far this month. Tomorrow may bring us #10.

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • (Dow Jones) The global nickel market was in a small deficit of 3,700 metric tons in January and February, the World Bureau of Metal Statistics said Wednesday.
  • Quantifying Impact of Japan Disasters on the Rest of Asia - more
  • Life After AAA: Analysts’ Thoughts On A ‘What If?’ Scenario - more
  • Jobless Rate Falls in Most States; West Still Lags - more
  • Comparing Debt Loads Across Nations - more
  • How Risky is the Global Economy? - more
  • The scam behind the rise in oil, food prices - more

  Upgrade product, nickel miners told - The government must come up with policies to entice or compel miners to put up beneficiating plants and other facilities that would increase the value of nickel exported by the Philippines. - more

  Outokumpu shares dented by soft 2nd-quarter outlook - Finnish stainless steel maker Outokumpu Oyj reported an underlying first-quarter operating loss and said it would at best make a small profit in the second quarter, sending its shares to a 17-month low. - more

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:10 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.33/lb higher, with all London traded base metals higher this morning. The Euro is trading 1/2% higher against the US Dollar, giving a big boost to metal trading. NYMEX crude is higher by more than 1% and trading at $109.40/barrel. Gold is higher by more than 1/2% and silver is up 1-2/3%. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended higher with China markets flat for the day. European markets are trading much higher this morning, and US futures show a triple digit gain is possible on Wall Street this morning. Nickel inventories fell again on Tuesday.
  • LME Morning - Base metals advance on supply woes - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments - next report on April 26 / Ed is traveling until then
  • (SSY) According to the latest Short Range Outlook from the World Steel Association, apparent steel use (ASU) for 2011 is set to rise 5.9% year-on-year to 1359.2 Mt after the strong increase of 13.2% in 2010. The WSA forecasts that world ASU will increase by a further 6.0% to another new record of 1440.6 Mt in 2012. Steel consumption in China is expected to rise by 5.0% in 2011 and 2012, while demand in the rest of world is predicted to grow by 6.6% tis year and 6.8% in 2012.
  • (JMB) Nickel inventory/ Below 120 thousand tons 1st in 7 months
  • (KN) March quake cuts Japan's crude steel output 2.7%
  • Outokumpu's first quarter 2011 - better demand improved profitability - more
  • More strife among Nunavik Nickel Mine partners - more
  • Japanese Steel Production - more
  • Evidence for a sustained recovery in EU manufacturing remains strong - more

  U.S., Canadian Metals Shipments Steady in March - Shipments of steel and aluminum products from metals service centers in the United States and Canada showed continued steady growth from the previous year in March, the Metals Activity Report from the Metals Service Center Institute indicates. - more

  • North American steel inventories surpass 8 million st: MSCI - March steel shipments from North American metals service centers totaled 3.82 million st, or 19% more than shipments a year ago, the US-based Metals Service Center Institute said Tuesday, adding that inventories at the end of March were nearly 8.02 million st, 23.5% more than a year ago. - more

  IFM sees steady ferrochrome prices; further cost cuts - International Ferro Metals said it expects ferrochrome prices to remain steady in the near term, with a potential to increase, driven by surging global demand for stainless steel. - more

  March 2011 Crude Steel Production - World crude steel production for the 64 countries reporting to the World Steel Association (worldsteel) was 129 million metric tons (mmt) in March 2011 and 372 mmt for the first quarter 2011. This is 7.0% higher than March 2010 and 8.8% higher than the first quarter 2010. - more

  Australia miner cranks up Zambia nickel mine - Australia-listed Albidon Ltd expects its newly reactivated Munali nickel mine in Zambia to produce around 56,000 tonnes of nickel concentrate this year, which will be sold at prevailing spot prices to Chinese metals refiner Jinchuan Group, the firm said. - more

  Gov't not helping Vale with environment - Concerning Nickel Belt Conservative candidate Lynne Reynolds' comments on what the Conservatives would do for the environment, she says that only 5% of Canadians say it is time to confront the environmental challenges we have. - more

  It's the mother lode - Quadra FNX Mining Ltd. announced Tuesday that Victoria Mine contains more than 3.4 billion pounds of nickel, copper and other metals, and that it hopes to start sinking a shaft next year. - more

  Metals X to sell Wingellina stake to Jinchuan - Metals X has entered an agreement with China's Jinchuan Group to sell a 20 per cent stake in its remote Wingellina nickel-cobalt project near the Central Musgrave Ranges through an all scrip deal worth about $50 million. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Tuesday, April 19

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - minus 13 to 1,271. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) Foreign Direct Investment in China Surges 33% as Zhou Eyes Excess of Cash // Hong Kong Office Rents, World’s Priciest, Jump to Twice City of London’s // Zhou Says $3 Trillion China Reserves Have Risen Beyond ‘Reasonable’ Level // China Crops in Shortest Supply as Vanishing Farms Spur Rising Food Futures // Chinese Stocks Slump on Inflation, U.S. Credit Rating Concerns // Euro Advances Versus Dollar, Yen as Data Points to Higher Interest Rates // Asian Stocks Fall as U.S. Credit Outlook Cut; Oil Prices Drop // Greece Default Drive Risks Reviving Contagion as Bonds Plunge // NATO Planes Hit Headquarters of Qaddafi Unit That Led Attacks on Civilians // Best BRIC Stock Rally Since 1997 Seen Doomed as Rates Increase // Greek Two-Year Yields Reach Record as Demand Wanes at Auction; Bunds Slide // European Stocks Rebound From Biggest Decline in a Month; LVMH, SKF Advance // Gold Tops $1,500 on Outlook for Escalating U.S. Debt, Dollar // Bernanke May Sustain Stimulus to Avoid ‘Cold Turkey’ End to Aid // Americans Shun Cheapest Homes in 40 Years as Owning Loses Appeal // U.S. Stocks Advance as Housing Data, Earnings Exceed Forecasts
  • The Euro continues to trade higher against the US Dollar, now up over 1/2 of 1%. NYMEX crude is up 2/3 of 1% and trading at $107.79/barrel. Gold is up slightly but off an earlier all time record high of $1500/ounce. Silver is up more than 3/4 of 1%. Base metals ended the session mostly higher. Indicator charts show nickel was not so lucky, spending most of the day positive, except for early morning, mid day, and at the closing. Dow Jones reports three month nickel ended the day at $11.47/lb . Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME approves warehouses plunged by more than 1,000 tonnes yesterday, and now total just under the 119,000 level. Sucden's day old chart shows nickel trading thru yesterday (chart here). Last summer in early August, we saw nickel fall to 115,668 tonnes, before starting a recovery that lasted into January of this year. The 155M tonne level is therefore an important level to gauge actual worldwide supply/demand estimates. After suffering a thumping yesterday, most base metals gained back some of yesterdays losses. Equity markets are also attempting a recovery, while gold hits a hugely sentimental milestone.  

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • MEPS - Steel price rises have stalled in the European market. Increased selling values sought by the domestic producers have not been implemented and figures have, in fact, slipped.
  • Suicide Rates Spike During Recessions - more
  • Economists React: S&P Outlook Cut ‘No Big Deal’ - more
  • Fed’s Bullard: Monetary Policy Ultimately Aimed at Headline Inflation - more
  • Greece Staring into the Abyss: Yields Soaring! - more

  China moly trade thins as traders turn cautious on price rebound - China molybdenum trades with Europe and Asia have slowed down this week as Chinese traders have turned cautious on rebounding prices, market sources said late Thursday. - more

  Zimbabwe bans unrefined chrome exports - Zimbabwe has banned the export of chrome ore, the mines ministry said Tuesday, in a move aimed at boosting local smelters that will now have to process the mineral before its sale overseas. - more

  Nickel Asia Q1 shipments up 97% - Nickel Asia Corp. shipped P1.97 billion worth of ore during the first quarter, an increase of P996 million during the first quarter of 2010. - more

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:10 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.02/lb higher at the moment, but indicator charts show the gain is tenuous. Other London traded base metals are mostly higher. The Euro is up 1/2 of 1% against the US Dollar, recovering some of yesterday's deep loss. NYMEX crude continues to slip, down 6/10 of 1% and trading at $106.47/barrel. Gold is off slightly while silver is off nearly 3/10%. In overnight trading, Asian markets reacted to the US credit outlook lowering and fell, with China down nearly 1.9%.  European markets are rebounding this morning, while US futures show Wall Street is in a better mood today. Nickel inventories fell hard yesterday.
  • Bloomberg morning - Copper Climbs for First Day in Seven as Decline Spurs Buying - more
  • LME Morning - Most metals stage corrective bounce, tone cautious - more
  • Reuters morning - LME copper up, technicals support; US debt warning weighs - more

  Reports

  • Commodities Daily - pdf here
  • Daily Market Report - pdf here
  • Commodities Report - pdf here
  • Commodities Daily - pdf here
  • Morning Montra - pdf here
  • Daily Overview - pdf here
  • Metals Insight - pdf here
  • Global Mining News - pdf here
  • ICDA Weekly News - more
  • Dr. Gerhard Pariser , Director Market Research of Heinz H. Pariser Alloy Metals & Steel Market Research, Germany, presentation on “Global Stainless Scrap Markets Today” - pdf here
  • Dr. Gerhard Pariser - second presentation on “Nickel First & End Use Markets” - pdf here
  • Building Materials Monitor - pdf here

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments - next report on April 26 / Ed is traveling until then
  • (MBN) Jinchuan cuts nickel prices by another 2%
  • (ACNB) Mincor March quarter nickel production down 24%
  • (SO) Chinese steelmakers Jinzhong Wanbang Industry & Trade and Taiyuan Iron & Steel, both based in Shanxi Province, have agreed to build a nickel-chromium alloy plant which will have an annual production capacity of 300000 mt
  • (RIA) Tycoons Usmanov, Deripaska unite against Potanin in Norilsk-paper.
  • (PR) European Nickel announced that irrigation of heap 1 at its heap leach trial site at the Acoje project on the island of Luzon, Philippines has commenced.
  • (Interfax) State Grid Corp. of China (SGCC), the country's largest state-owned grid operator, will invest RMB 300 billion ($45.92 billion) in grid construction projects this year, thereby pushing up China's metals consumption, a senior SGCC employee said at an April 17 conference in Beijing.
  • (AFPA) The American Forest & Paper Association released its March 2011 U. S. Containerboard Statistics Report today. Containerboard production rose compared to February 2011, with month over month average daily production up 0.8%.
  • European manufacturing leads expansion while services ease - more
  • Failure looms as new base metal products emerge - more

  Albidon cranks up Zambia nickel mine after fall - Albidon Ltd expects its reactivated Munali nickel mine in Zambia to produce 50,000 tonnes of nickel in concentrate this year, which will be sold at prevailing spot prices to Chinese metals refiner Jinchuan Group. - more

  INSG Forecasts World Nickel Consumption In CY 2011 = To Produce 1,600,000 Tons And To Consume 1,540,000 Tons - The International Nickel Study Group (INSG) held a general meeting on the 11th to 12th of April at Lisbon of Portugal and released on the 12th a summary concerning " a forecast of nickel in the world market ". - more

  Global steel use to hit record in 2012 - Worldsteel - Global steel demand will rise to a record 1.441 billion tonnes next year, driven by overall economic recovery, but austerity measures will slow growth in China, the World Steel Association said on Monday. - more

  Courtesy AISI - In the week ending April 16, 2011, domestic raw steel production was 1,861,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 76.1 percent. Production was 1,789,000 tons in the week ending April 16, 2010, while the capability utilization then was 74.0 percent. The current week production represents a 4.0 percent increase from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending April 16, 2011 is up 2.4 percent from the previous week ending April 9, 2011 when production was 1,818,000 tons and the rate of capability utilization was 74.3 percent.

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Monday, April 18

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - minus 12 to 1,284. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) China Raises Reserve Ratio to Curb Inflation as Zhou Pledges More to Come // Beijing, Shanghai Property-Price Gains Slow as China Tackles Bubble Risks // G-20 Names ‘Too Big to Ignore’ Economies, Downplays Shocks // Most Asian Stocks Retreat on China Policy Tightening Concern; AIA Surges // Euro Declines for Second Day Versus Dollar on Greece, Finland; Yen Gains // Greek, Portuguese Government Yields Surge to Records on Default Concerns // Greece Denies Restructuring Plan as Traders Raise Default Bet // Rebels in Ajdabiya Repel Attack by Qaddafi Forces as Libyan Fighting Rages // Finland's Euro-Skeptics Poised to Form Government Following Election Upset // Standard & Poor’s Puts ‘Negative’ Outlook on U.S. AAA // Kenny Says Ireland Won't Default on Debt as Greece Investor Concerns Mount // European Stocks Extend Drop as S&P Revises U.S. Credit Outlook to Negative // Halliburton Profit Rises on North American Oil Output Increase // Hybrid Funds Get Record Cash as Stocks Swing Most Since 1942 // U.S. Homebuilder Confidence Fell in April on Sales Outlook
  • A day where you will find little in the way of stocks or commodities "up" in value. The Euro is now down 1.4% against the US Dollar. NYMEX crude is down 2-1/2% and trading at $106.95/barrel. Gold is up 1/2 of 1% while silver is down 1/3 of 1%. Base metals all ended lower. Indicator charts show nickel opened higher, but spent the day in a solid and unrelenting decline. Dow Jones reports three month nickel ended the day at $11.57/lb .  Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME warehouses slipped below the 120,000 tonne level for the first time since September of last year Friday, and now show totaling just under that amount. Debt problems are stage one today with sovereign debt problems in Europe overshadowed by a S&P downgrade of US long term credit. That announcement caught everyone's attention!
  • Posted video's of the devastating tornadoes that ripped thru the American Southeast are numerous, but here is one that you should not try at home. YouTube

  Reports

  • Commodities Daily - pdf here
  • Reuters Metals Insider - pdf here
  • Robry Weekly Economic Assessment - more
  • MEPS International report: under-reporting in the Chinese steel industry explained - pdf here

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • Nickel - Major market developments in March - pdf here
  • Number of the Week: The ‘China Price’ Also Rises - more
  • Prices Outside Food, Energy Still Tame, but on the Rise - more
  • Doug Smith: A Stiletto In The Back Of Sane Housing Markets - more
  • Spring 2011 Guide of 30 Key Charts to See Before You Buy or Sell Your Home - more

  Global chrome ore prices expected to soar in 2011 - Wall Street Journal reported that China imported around 8.5 million tonnes of chrome ore in 2010 and it is expected that the amount will reach to 10 million tonnes at the end of 2011. - more

  Exclusive: Glencore worth up to $69 billion, underwriters say - Glencore is already worth as much as $69 billion, with its earnings set to double in two years, according to research from two banks underwriting the commodity trader's potentially record-breaking listing. - more

  China steel output growth lower over next 5 years - China's steel output growth is expected to average 6 percent per year over the next five years, the chief analyst for the China Iron and Steel Association (CISA) was quoted as saying on Saturday. - more

  Not another wimp out [Comparisons to Brazilian Takeover of Inco] - The Toronto Star, which is the largest circulation newspaper in the country, has an enormous impact on Canada’s federal and provincial politics as well as shaping public opinion. - more

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:10 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.03/lb lower, and still declining, with all London traded base metals lower this morning. The Euro is trading nearly 1/1% lower against the US Dollar, adding pressure on commodity trading. NYMEX crude is off 1.3% and trading at $108.24/barrel. Gold is off over 1/2 of 1% and silver is down 1%. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended lower, while China ended flat after the Chinese government raised bank reserve ratio's in another attempt to curb inflationary pressure. European trading is lower this morning on renewed sovereign-debt worries and US futures show Wall Street may open lower as well. Nickel inventories fell below the 120,000 tonne level on Friday for the first time since September of last year.    
  • LME Morning - Metals largely stable, take China policy tightening in their stride - more
  • Reuters - Copper ticks up; China policy eyed, technicals point higher - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments - next report on April 26 / Ed is traveling until then
  • (Interfax) Construction has begun on a 500,000-ton stainless steel plant in the city of Changchun, Jilin Province, state media reported April 15.
  • (SSY) According to data from the China Iron & Steel Association (CISA) quoted by major media sources, national daily crude steel production in March remained at a high level, up by 4.6% on February to 1.9 Mt.
  • (SBB) Stainless import penetration rises to 33.4% in US
  • China regions face power shortage even before summer peak - more

  worldsteel Short Range Outlook  – The World Steel Association (worldsteel) today released its April 2011 short range outlook (SRO) for 2011 and 2012. worldsteel forecasts that apparent steel use will increase by 5.9% to 1,359 mmt in 2011, following 13.2% growth in 2010. In 2012, it is forecast that world steel demand will grow further by 6.0% to reach a new record of 1,441 mmt. - more

  Negative Effects of China's RRR Hike Weaken - The People’s Bank of China announced on April 17th that it will raise its reserve requirement ratio (RRR) by 0.5%, effective from Thursday. It is the fourth such move in 2011 and the tenth since the start of 2010. - more

  50,000 Tons Of Nickel Ore Arrived At Hachinohe Port On 11th April = First Case After Gigantic Earthquake Disaster Occurred In East Japan, New Caledonian Ore - Because of the gigantic earthquake disaster occurred on the 11th of March in the East Japan, the public wharves at Hachinohe port of Aomori Prefecture have been damaged seriously, having resulted in a considerable decline of its functions, but a vessel loaded with 50,000 tons of New Caledonian nickel ore arrived at this port on the 11th of April as the first case after this enormous disaster. - more

  The Mysteries of Demand - Barrons - Investors last week got a glimpse of the commodity rally's underbelly. Analysts refer to it as "demand destruction" or "demand response," and it's not a pretty sight. - more

  Korean And Taiwanese Offering Price $3,650 C&F for Ni Series Cold Disappeared - In response to nickel price recovery of LME to the $12 range per pound, an offering price of $3,650 C&F of Ni series of cold rolled stainless sheets/coils by POSCO, Korea and YUSCO, Taiwan disappeared for the Asian market this week. - more

  Orissa plans to seek ban on iron ore export - Orissa will soon write to the central government to seek a ban on the export of iron and chrome ore from the state, a minister said Sunday. - more

  BHP Billiton plans trebling iron ore capacity - BHP Billiton has flagged plans to add an extra 240 million tonnes of iron ore capacity to its big Pilbara iron ore operations in Western Australia, if the market can handle it. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Friday, April 15

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - minus 13 to 1,296. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) China Economy Grows More-Than-Forecast 9.7% as Prices Surge Most Since '08 // China Vows to Punish Those Responsible for Leaking Economy, Inflation Data // China's First-Quarter Home Sales Rise Even as Government's Curbs Intensify // Asia Stocks Decline as China Inflation Boosts Rates Speculation // Greece Will Cut Spending, Sell Assets to Meet Debt Goal; Won't Restructure // Moody’s Cuts Ireland Rating Two Levels, Outlook Negative // Sentance Says U.K. Inflation May Exceed 5% on Pound Weakness // Qaddafi Taunts West as NATO Seeks More Attack Planes // Germany Would Back Greece Debt Restructuring, Hoyer Says // European Stocks Advance, Boosted by Nestle Sales, U.S. Consumer Confidence // BofA Posts First Profit in Three Quarters on Lower Credit Costs // Consumer Prices in U.S. Rise on Food, Fuel; Other Costs Cool // U.S. Stocks Gain After Manufacturing, Confidence Reports Improve
  • The Euro is now trading 1/3 of 1% lower against the US Dollar. NYMEX crude is up 1-1/2% and trading at $109.69/barrel. Gold is up 2/3 of 1%. while silver is 1./1% higher.  Base metals were firmly higher this morning, but ended the session mixed, yet mostly higher. Indicator charts show nickel stumbled, then shot up, then fell back, then recovered some. Dow Jones reports three month nickel ended the day and week at $11.86/lb . Stockpiles of nickel stored in worldwide LME recognized warehouses, plunged on Thursday and the last two days of declines have more than offset the prior two days of gains. Totals now stand just under the 120,500 tonne level. Sucden's day old chart shows nickel trading thru yesterday (chart here). Chart also shows technicals in oversold territory starting this morning's session. Reuters nickel chart shows nickel trading since the beginning of the year (chart here). Nickel opened technically oversold, got an initial bounce on strong China GDP numbers, fell back as traders digested China inflation numbers, then rose as equity markets gained with European sovereign debt concerns subsiding again.  Then again, the explanation for today's volatility could be a whole lot simpler than that. Who can tell? If someone could actually explain why the market did what it did, then they would probably have a fairly good idea of what it was going to do tomorrow - and they would be far too wealthy by now to share that information with the rest of us. So in the mean time, I will occasionally make up an excuse to explain the unexplainable, as long as you realize its only worth the price of admission, and we can all go forward pretending we have some idea of what is around the next corner. :-)
  • And have a safe and restful weekend!!

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • (Macquarie) Ferrochrome prices are also under some downward pressure. Although stainless steel production remains strong, spot market buying has dipped after mills were able to build some stocks during Q1 2011. In China, demand continues to be reduced to some extent by credit constraints and mills there are well stocked.
  • Fed Officials Present Diverging Views on Inflation - more
  • China Changes How It Reports GDP - more
  • Factories Hum, but Price Pressures Loom - more
  • CFOs: Revenue Surge Needed to Boost Hiring - more
  • The 15 Best and 15 Worst Mining Jurisdictions in the World - more
  • China’s Bad Growth Bet - more

  Nickel -- danger ahead - Nickel may be going the way of aluminium -- big surplus and falling price. That’s the view from ABN Amro and London-based Virtual Metals in their latest monthly metals report. - more

  A War of Words or a War of Worlds: Brazilian Vale versus North American USWA – by Kim T. Morris - 3 parts

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:10 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.22/lb higher, with all London traded base metals higher this morning on strong Chinese GDP figures. The Euro is presently trading lower against the US Dollar, by nearly 1/4 of 1%. NYMEX crude is 4/10 of 1% lower and trading at $107.67/barrel. Gold is up nearly 1/10% and silver is up more than 8/10 of 1%. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended lower, with China higher by more than 1/10%. European markets are trading slightly higher this morning and so far, US futures are trading slightly lower. Nickel inventories fell hard for a second day.    
  • Bloomberg morning - Copper Erases Gain, Heads for Weekly Loss, on China Supply, Demand Outlook - more
  • LME Morning - Metals traders cautious after bittersweet Chinese data - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments - next report on April 26 / Ed is traveling until then
  • (Reuters) Taiwan's top steel producer, said on Friday it will keep domestic prices of its steel products for June nearly flat from April-May, as higher raw material prices were capped by concerns of a demand decrease after the massive earthquake in Japan.
  • (Interfax) China’s daily crude steel output decreased 1.03 percent month-on-month in March to 1.92 million tons, according to a National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) report released April 15. 
  • (M-P) Most of China’s ferro-alloy markets were dull this week on lack of demand from physical demand from the country’s steel industry, although firm raw material costs or power shortages underpinned a few of them, such as molybdenum and manganese
  • (JMB) China Crude Steel Output Hits Record High 173.5 MT for January-March
  • (MBN) Chinese nickel output rises 5% in March
  • Chinese economy expands 9.7% in Q1 - more
  • China's slowdown – are you serious?  - more

  Nonoc nickel revival eyed - First it was Baosteel Group of China that proposed to reopen the nickel refinery of Philnico Industrial Corp. on Nonoc Island in Surigao del Norte. - more

  China's nickel ore project in Myanmar - Taiyuan Iron and Steel (Group) Co., Ltd., a world's leading stainless steel producer based in Taiyuan, capital city of northern China's Shanxi Province, has had the mining part of a nickel ore project in Taguang Taung, Myanmar, begin operation, according to company sources. - more

  Commodities - Bulls again lose grip on raw materials, China, Goldman weigh - Industrial raw materials limped towards a softer end to the week, feeling the weight of Chinese inflation fears and a series of three downbeat research notes from commodity bull Goldman Sachs. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Thursday, April 14

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - minus 15 to 1,309. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) World-Record China Reserves Pass $3 Trillion in Policy Challenge for G-20 // China's Banks Said to Need $131 Billion of Capital to Meet Stricter Rules // Brics Leaders Say Increasing Commodity Prices Pose Threat to Global Growth // Singapore Allows Further Currency Gains as GDP Grows Twice Estimated Pace // Deepest Japan Slump Since Lehman Fails to Derail Predictions for Rebound // Asia Stocks Gain; Isuzu Leads Exporters Higher, Toshiba Climbs on Earnings // Deutsche Bank Sold Mortgage-Linked ‘Pigs’ as Market Buckled, Lawmakers Say // Telefonica May Cut Workforce in Spain by 20% in 3 Years // Gulf Rulers Backing Democracy Anywhere But Home May Risk Unrest // Danone Reports Fastest Sales Growth in Three Years, Led by Bottled Water // Greek, Portuguese Yields Surge to Record as Schaeuble Raises Restructuring // European Stocks Decline for Third Day in Four; Reckitt Benckiser Tumbles // Goldman Sachs Misled Congress After Duping Clients: Levin // JPMorgan Pushing Chip Card to Wealthiest Clients in Race With Wells Fargo // U.S. Foreclosure Settlement Muddies Outlook for Mortgage Relief // Consumer Comfort Climbs for Third Straight Week // Fed's Kocherlakota Says He Doesn’t See Many Signs of Inflation Pressures // U.S. Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Jump, Reflecting Quarter-End Volatility
  • The Euro is now trading over 3/10 of 1% higher against the US Dollar, after jobless claims in the latter jumped, surprising many. NYMEX crude is now up over 9/10 of 1% and trading at  $108.10/barrel. Gold is up over 1.1% and silver is over 2-2/3% higher. Base metals ended the session mostly mixed. Indicator charts show nickel fell early, and spent the morning staggering up and down. For the day, three month nickel ended at about $11.76/lb . After adding over 1000 tonnes over the past two days, stockpiles of nickel held in LME approved warehouses tumbled yesterday, and now total just under 121,200 tonnes. Neither chart has been updated since Tuesday. US jobless claims jumped back over the 400,000 mark last week, and this with debt concerns in Europe re-surfacing, equity markets are sour today. We believe the reason metals feel back was best explained by an excerpt from an early morning Bloomberg article. "Goldman said this week the risks of investing in commodities outweigh potential gains, dropping its recommendation to buy a basket of raw materials including crude oil, copper, cotton and platinum." That is how it worked out today. Tomorrow is an entirely different story. Thankfully - it will be Friday!

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • (PR) Talley Metals Technology Inc. today announced that it will increase base prices by approximately 5% on all stainless products. The increase will be effective on orders shipped on or after May 2, 2011. Additionally, current monthly surcharges will remain in effect.
  • (PR) Carpenter Technology Corporation today announced that it will increase base prices an average of three to five percent on stainless and specialty alloys in all product forms. The increases will be effective for orders placed on or after April 15, 2011. Additionally, Carpenter said all applicable surcharges will remain in effect.
  • Beige Book: Companies Want to Pass on Higher Prices - more
  • Consumers, Data Diverge on Labor Market Strength - more
  • State Unemployment Cutbacks Mean Fewer Federal Benefits - more

  Outokumpu supplies stainless steel to the new Myllysilta bridge in Turku - The new Myllysilta bridge that will be constructed in Turku will have a modern stainless steel cladding. The cladding to be made out of Outokumpu duplex stainless steel will give an aesthetically beautiful impression to the city bridge scheduled for completion next autumn. - more

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:10 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.10/lb lower, but recovering from earlier low, with other base metals trading mixed and quiet. The Euro is trading nearly 4/10 of 1% lower against the US Dollar. Reuters reports "The dollar hit a fresh 16-month low against a basket of currencies on Thursday....". NYMEX crude is down 1/2 of 1% and trading at $106.59/barrel. Gold is down slightly, while silver is up 3/10 of 1%. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended higher, while China fell over 1/2 of 1%. European markets are trading lower this morning on renewed worries about Greece sovereign-debt troubles, and US futures show a potential negative opening for Wall Street as well. Nickel inventories fell hard yesterday.  
  • LME Morning - Metals break through technical levels, copper below $9,400 - more

  Reports

  • Commodities Daily - pdf here
  • Daily Market Report - pdf here
  • Commodities Report - pdf here
  • Commodities Daily - pdf here
  • Morning Montra - pdf here
  • Daily Overview - pdf here
  • U.S. Exports of Stainless Steel Mill Products - more

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments - next report on April 26 / Ed is traveling until then
  • (MBN) Jinchuan cuts nickel prices by 2.5%
  • (SBB) Votorantim ferronickel project remains on hold
  • (SSC) Peter Kaumanns of ISSF said in the BSSA Annual Congress on April 7, the global stainless steel production will increase by 8.3%, the situation will be the same in 2012. Senior Analyst Greg Smart of MBR predicted the global stainless steel in 2011 will increase to 33~34 million tons.The global stainless steel will keep steady growth to provide more and more demand.
  • (SSY) The world export price for hot rolled band steel slipped by $10/t from two weeks ago to $759/t, according to the latest SteelBenchmarker published by World Steel Dynamics.
  • (AMM) The bull run on commodities will be over by 2015, and star performers such as copper are likely to suffer most when it comes to an end, according to BCA Research.
  • (WA) Poseidon Nickel has signed an agreement with a Chinese construction and engineering group and Arccon Construction to design build a nickel sulphide concentrator for its Mt Windarra nickel project.
  • Five firms want to hunt for copper, nickel near BWCA - more
  • Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI): Freight Shipments Fell 1.5% in February from January - more
  • China March power use strong; supply worries loom - more

  LME METALS-Factors to watch on April 14 - more

  Inco plans to raise nickel production by 20 percent - PT International Nickel Indonesia Tbk (Inco) is aiming to increase the annual capacity of its nickel production in Sulawesi by more than 20 percent in coming years, even though it has relinquished 12.5 percent of its concessions, its top executive said. - more

  Glencore Plans Share Sale as Goldman Says Flee Commodities - Glencore International AG is starting the year’s largest initial public offering, valuing the company at as much as $60 billion, as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. urges a retreat from commodities and IPO investors shun the U.K. - more

  • Glencore Markets 23% Of World Cobalt Output, 14% Of Nickel - Swiss commodities trader Glencore International PLC controls the marketing rights for almost a quarter of the world's cobalt production, 14% of its nickel and 13% of its zinc metal, according to data published by the company Thursday. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Wednesday, April 13

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - minus 18 to 1,324. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) China’s Record Lending May Spur First Yuan Rating Cut by Fitch on Bad Debt // Pimco Is ‘Large Overweight’ on China, Sees Profit Growth After Tightening // BRICS Push Resource-Hungry China to Buy Finished Goods // Quake-Prone Taiwan Halts Nuclear Expansion as Japan Struggles at Fukushima // Asia Deficits Swell as Soaring Oil Makes Leaders Delay Subsidy Reductions // Asian Stocks Erase Declines as Carmakers Advance, Canon Climbs on Rating // King Wins ‘Breathing Room’ to Hold BOE Rate After Data // German March Wholesale-Price Inflation Accelerates to Fastest in 29 Years // Clinton's ‘Failed State’ Warning Hangs Over Libya as NATO Can't Stem Chaos // U.K. March Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Rise on Benefit Rules // Stocks in Europe Advance, Rebounding From Biggest Retreat in Four Weeks // JPMorgan Profit Rises 67% on Lower Credit Costs, Beats Estimate // U.S. Argues Over Peanuts to Tame Elderly: Laurence Kotlikoff // Retail Sales in U.S. Rose in March for Ninth Straight Month // U.S. Stocks Erase Gains as JPMorgan Leads Financial Shares Lower
  • The Euro is presently trading 2/10 of 1% lower against the US Dollar. NYMEX crude is down nearly 3/4 of 1% and trading at $105.49/barrel. Gold is slightly higher, while silver is up 4/10 of 1%. Base metals all ended the day lower. Indicator charts show nickel was in recovery mood this morning when we posted our briefing, and off earlier lows. But shortly after, the market resumed its decline. For the day,. we show three month nickel closed at about $11.86/lb , and the market surrenders the $12/lb mark - yet again! Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME approved warehouse rose for a second consecutive day, and now total just over the 122,000 tonne level. Cancelled warrants slipped back below 8%, but just barely. Neither Sucden or Reuters have updated their nickel charts today. Another quiet day on the news front.  Interesting to see cancelled warrants so high and the markets reaction. If someone is trying to lock up nickel in the hopes of driving prices higher, it is having the reverse effect with two days of solid gains in warehouses. So far, its been a very bad bet.  

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • What is REALLY Rising/Falling in Price: Items +/- 5.0 - more
  • Kansas City, Dallas Feds Want Discount Rate to Rise - more
  • U.S. Can No Longer Rely on Importing Low Inflation - more
  • Global Recovery Strengthens, Tensions Heighten - more
  • The sails go limp - more

  Now good time to hedge base metal exposure-analysts - Narrowing market price ranges suggest now may be a good time for consumers and producers to take advantage of the cheaper cost of hedging their exposure to copper and aluminium, analysts said. - more

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:05 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around no change but rising off earlier lows, with other London traded base metals trading mostly higher. The Euro is trading nearly 2/10 of 1% higher against the US Dollar at the moment. NYMEX crude is up 1/3% and trading at $106.62/barrel. Gold is up 4/10% and silver is higher by 3/4 of 1%.  In overnight trading, Asian markets ended higher, with China up 1-1/3%. European markets are trading higher this morning, and US futures show Wall Street is in a recovery mood. Nickel inventories rose for the second consecutive day.    
  • LME Morning - Metals mostly decline, pressured by renewed investment sales - more

  Reports

  • Commodities Daily - pdf here
  • Daily Market Report - pdf here
  • Commodities Report - pdf here
  • Commodities Daily - pdf here
  • Morning Montra - pdf here
  • Daily Overview - pdf here
  • Market Drivers - pdf here
  • Metals Insight - pdf here
  • US Imports of Stainless Steel Mill Products - more
  • INSG Presentation - Mr. Salvatore Pinizzotto , Managing Director, of Xida Market Research, Italy - “The Italian Stainless Steel Market, Outlook and Perspectives” - pdf here
  • INSG Presentation - Mr. Ric Deverell , Credit-Suisse, Director, Commodities Research - "Non Fundamental Factors in Nickel Pricing" - pdf here

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments - Metal prices did not budge much on Monday, the first day of sharp losses in the energy markets, but they finally buckled yesterday in the wake of another sell-off in the crude oil markets. Copper ended up with its biggest one-day loss in about five weeks, dragging many of the other metals down with it, with nickel and lead particularly badly hit. The decline in energy yesterday was triggered by a warning from the IEA that high-priced oil could weaken demand. In addition, Goldman Sachs continued to rattle the markets, this time calling for a downside target of $105 for Brent over the course of the next few months-- about $15 lower from current levels. The assessment by the IEA highlighting the potential for demand destruction makes perfect sense to us, as at $120 crude, (coupled with $4 and possibly $5 gasoline here in the US), we enter territory where energy starts to have a negative impact on both growth and consumption; that is why banking on energy and metals prices to push higher in unison is an unsustainable proposition in our view. In today's action, most markets seem to be taking a breather, and we are seeing quiet conditions prevail across the board. Crude oil prices are up marginally, helped by relatively constructive API inventory data out yesterday, while metals are mostly higher. The dollar is weaker today, back over the $1.45 level against the Euro and helping stabilize things as well, while US equity futures are called to open slightly higher. However, we do not think the downdraft that started earlier in the week is over just yet, but merely in “pause” mode. We base this view on the fact that markets are perhaps appreciating just how bad things in Japan really are -- another reason why oil prices have been weaker of late. Japan's Finance Ministry is scheduled to release its trade report for March on April 20, with retail sales data out on April 27, and industrial production numbers out on April 28. However, a preliminary government report released today, indicates that the economy remains in poor shape, as exports have declined sharply, production continues to stagnate, while household spending remains weak. In addition, a survey of purchasing managers showed that manufacturing deteriorated at its fastest pace in at least nine years in March, while confidence among merchants plunged by a record amount. ... Nickel is at $26,560, down $150, and still wobbly after the sharp $1000/ton sell-off we saw yesterday. We look for further weakness given the deterioration in the charts.  (read Ed Meir's complete morning base metals report here)
  • (Reuters) The International Nickel Study Group (INSG) said it expected the global nickel market to record a 60,000-tonne surplus this year, compared with a deficit of 30,000 tonnes in 2010. "The current INSG view for 2011 is for a modest stock build up which could grow if projects ramp up faster than estimated in the forecast," Lisbon-based INSG said in a release. It said world primary nickel output is expected to rise to 1.60 million tonnes this year from 1.44 million tonnes in 2010. Traders said that demand for the metal most commonly used in stainless steel remains lackluster at the moment with orders weak going into the second quarter. Stocks rose on the LME, the latest data showed. (Dow Jones) U.S. nickel exports fell 67.0% in February from the previous month, and was down 69.2% from the previous year, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday.
  • (Dow Jones) U.S. nickel imports fell 1.4% in February from last month, but was up 31.8% from the previous year, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday.
  • (Interfax) China deployed a total of AUD 38 billion ($38.79 billion) for the purchase of Australian mines and mining rights in 2009 and 2010, the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) announced April 12.
  • Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index - pdf here
  • (China) Fast growth of economy fuels rise in wealthiest - more
  • Warming continues in Pacific Ocean - more

  Cuba reports healthy nickel production, revenues in Q1 - Cuba has registered a healthy account of nickel production and revenues in the first quarter of 2011, a senior official said Tuesday. - more

  Indonesia Inco Eyeing More Nickel Production - PT International Nickel Indonesia Tbk (Inco) said in a statement it will double annual nickel production from 73,000 metric tonnes within the last five years to 90,000 metric tonnes in the next few years. - more

  China considers export rebate cut for aluminium products -paper - China is considering plans to either scrap or reduce export tax rebates on some aluminium extrusion products as well as on stainless steel wires and rods, the China Securities Journal reported on Tuesday, without identifying sources. - more

  Japan Continues To Ship Stainless Steel Scrap For South Korea In Order = Shinwa Steel, Onahama Scrap Yard Has Been Suspended To Operate - While Shinwa Steel Co., Ltd. of Japan has been appointed by Posco of South Korea as the agent to collect stainless steel scrap generated in Japan and to ship these cargoes for Posco, this scrap dealing company said that their shipments of stainless steel scrap from Japan to Posco have been continuing in order, even after the gigantic earthquake disaster occurred in the East Japan. - more

  Rio Tinto first quarter iron ore output falls 3pc due to weather disruptions - Rio Tinto has forecast a rise this year in production of the key steel making ingredients it mines, as its operations in Australia recover from tropical cyclones and monsoon rains that battered the country's important iron ore and coking coal regions early in 2011. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

  Dear Dish Network - You lost a customer this week. Based on your investor reports, there is apparently nothing unusual about this, as you seem to be losing a crap load of them lately. But today, you lost me. I thought I would take a moment and tell you why, since numerous calls to your establishment have proven to be no more than a waste of both our time. I have been with you for nearly 8 years and paying for the full channel package that entire period. You know, the one that is now costing over $100/month. You had my credit card, so a late payment was out of the question. In fact, I was the kind of customer you spend millions on advertising to try to get to sign up. And therein lies the rub. You are spending so much time and money trying to get new customers, that you are losing many of your loyal customers. Why? For those of us who have your old outdated systems, and old outdated antennas's, to upgrade to what you are giving away for free to 'new customers' would cost us a mint. You demand a new commitment contract, as if we haven't already proven our loyalty to you. No, you will give away the farm to someone new - in the hopes they will become like one of us. But for us, the ones who have proven to be loyal - we suddenly find ourselves treated liked caged idiots when we want to upgrade to a DVR or High Definition. The odds are in your favor that we loyal types won't change, even when you annoy us. But there are those of us who will no longer accept being treated worse than a non customer. So, after giving you every opportunity to upgrade me, and being treated 'worse' than someone who is not a paying customer, I have cancelled my service with you, and giving my loyalty to your competitor - you know the one who is giving away the farm trying to get loyal people. There is a reason why they are adding customers faster than you are losing them. And it means giving customer service more than lip service.


Tuesday, April 12

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - minus 17 to 1,342. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) Bankers Get Off Scot-Free in Industry Overhaul: Matthew Lynn // China Stocks to ‘Trend Upward’ in 2nd Quarter as Banks Gain, Nomura Says // Japan Sees Greater Hit to Economy as Its Nuclear Crisis Deepens // Indonesian Central Bank Keeps Interest Rate Unchanged as Inflation Slows // Japan Lifts Atomic Alert to Highest Level, Matching Chernobyl // German Investor Confidence Drops More Than Estimated on ECB Rate, Prices // German Inflation Unexpectedly Quickens to 2 1/2-Year High on Energy Prices // Glencore Said to Plan $9 Billion to $11 Billion Initial Offering // European Stocks Decline on Japan Radiation Leaks; BHP, Delta Lloyd Retreat // Canadian Money Floods U.S. on Widest S&P 500 Discount Since ’02 // U.S. Trade Deficit Narrowed in February as Imports Decrease // U.S. Deficit to Rise to Largest Among Major Economies, IMF Says // Stocks, Commodities Fall on Japan Earthquakes as Bonds, Swiss Franc Climb
  • The Euro is now trading 4/10 of 1% higher against the US Dollar. NYMEX crude is down 3.4% and trading at $106.18/barrel. Gold is off 2/3 of 1% and silver is down over 1/10 of 1%. Base metals ended the day lower, as commodity and equity trading boars were bathed in a sea of red today. Indicator charts show nickel spent the day in a gradual and consistent decline. For the day, we show three month nickel ended trading at around $12.11/lb . Stockpiles of nickel actually rose yesterday, an increasingly rare event these days. Totals now exceed the 121,500 tonne level. For a second day, cancelled warrants show a reading over 8%, an unusually high number. Sucden's day old chart shows nickel trading thru yesterday (chart here). US and overseas economic reports out today, were for the most part, weak at best. The US trade deficit fell, as did both imports and exports. Analysts were falling all over themselves in a rush to lower US 1st quarter GDP forecasts after the report. Small business owners turned more pessimistic. Japan raised its nuclear alert status to Chernobyl matching. This move leaves some disavowing any similarities between the two, while investors and the general public don't really care about teh details and just wonder how many ratings are left before we see, or maybe it should be said, don't see the Armageddon level. The International Nickel Study Group has started posting presentations from their Lisbon, Portugal meeting, held on 11 and 12 April 2011, online and we link to the first two below. Excellent research material!

  Reports

  • Commodities Daily - pdf here
  • Reuters Metals Insider - pdf here
  • Speaker - Mr. Ricardo Ferreira , Statistician of the INSG, review of stainless steel scrap trade 2010 - pdf here
  • Speaker - Mr. Sven F. Tollin , Chief Statistician of the INSG, review of China Nickel Pig Iron statistics - pdf here

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • Small business survey worst in five months - more
  • Real Estate Bust Hasn’t Dimmed Americans’ Faith in Real Estate - more
  • Japan More Vulnerable to Loss of Manufacturing Jobs - more
  • Economists React: China’s Trade Deficit - more
  • Money Problems That Never Seem To End: 25 Reasons To Be Absolutely Disgusted With The U.S. Economy - more
  • William Black: Why aren’t the honest bankers demanding prosecutions of their dishonest rivals? - more
  • Fade the Inflation Hysteria - more

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:10 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.27/lb lower, with other base metals trading lower as well. The Euro is trading over 2/10 of 1% higher against the US Dollar this morning. NYMEX crude is down 3/10 of 1% and trading at $109.60/barrel. Gold is off nearly 2/10% and silver is higher by 2/3 of 1%. Nickel inventories rose unexpectedly yesterday. Markets are nervous this morning, after Japan's nuclear safety agency raised the crisis level at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to 7, from level 5. (pdf here)
  • Bloomberg morning - Copper Declines in London on Japan’s Nuclear Crisis: LME Preview - more
  • LME Morning - Metals cut losses and consolidate, but softer after upswing falters - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments - Right after Friday's across-the-board surge in commodities, yesterday's session could not have been more different-- sharp retracements set in over most complexes, with the exception of base metals. The sell-off in energy was particularly pronounced, with Brent shedding about $2.70, and giving up a good portion of Fridays' gains. We were not surprised by yesterday's decline given how overbought things had become, particularly in energy. In fact, we ran a relative strength index on a Brent oil chart on Monday, and this showed prices running in the mid-to high 80s--practically off the scales. Even some of the perennial bulls in the investment banking world are now getting wary about the current run-up in commodities, with the likes of Goldman Sachs telling clients yesterday that there was a strong chance of a short-term commodity pullback, and that some profit-taking was in order. Gasoline was cited as a potential area of concern given the demand destruction that may now set in, as pump prices push well north of the $4 mark in areas of the country. The IMF also weighed in, warning that soaring oil prices and inflation in emerging economies could pose risks to the world economy, although the Fund said that they are not yet high enough to derail things just yet. Metals, which held up fairly well all day yesterday, seem to be getting hit today. However, oil prices which opened sharply lower in Asian trading earlier today, are now in positive territory, so it is possible that metals could also recover as well and push higher over the course of the day. Nevertheless, we still think commodities are overextended for the reasons we have been noting over the past few weeks, and although the charts in many complexes look compelling, the fundamentals argue for caution.  ... Nickel is at $27,250, down $455. We did get two closes above $27,500, so the stage could be set for a further advance, but here again, it is unlikely nickel will be able to sustain its technical gains if the rest of the metals, particularly copper, shows signs of weakening. (read Ed Meir's complete morning base metals report here)
  • (Yieh) According to data, Japan exported 15,770 tons of stainless steel scrap in February, surged by 2.1 times in comparison of 7,409 tons in January.
  • (DJ) Tisco, CNMC's Myanmar Nickel Project Starts Operations - Xinhua
  • (CM) China's daily crude steel output rose 4.6 percent to 1.914 million tonnes in March from February, industry website Custeel.com said on Tuesday, citing data from the China Iron & Steel Association (CISA).
  • (China) Inflation remains key risk to economy - more

  Pacific Metals to start Hachinohe nickel plant in June - Pacific Metals Co said on Tuesday it plans to start operations at its 44,000 tonnes-a-year Hachinohe nickel plant in northeast Japan in the middle of June after the facility was submerged in a devastating tsunami following a massive earthquake on March 11. - more

  Price Of Low Carbon FeCr For Shipments To Japan In Q2 / 11 Rises Considerably = Russian Product, New Prices For Regular Consumers Will Be 233 - 235 US-Cents Per Lb. Of Cr CIF - The price of Russian low carbon ferro-chrome for shipments to Japan in the second quarter (April - June) of 2011 is going to be settled with regular consumers of Japan in the range of 233 - 235 US-Cents per lb. of Cr CIF for carbon 0.1% max. material. - more

  Marcventures eyes 2 sites for nickel plant - Marcventures Mining & Development Corporation (MMDC), a unit of Marventures Holdings, is considering sites owned by Semirara Mining Corporation or Atlas Mining and Development Corporation for a possible ferro-nickel processing plant - more

  How can 30% of nickel in Rossi’s reactor be transmuted into copper and other information on the Energy Catalyzer - more

   Courtesy AISI - In the week ending April 9, 2011, domestic raw steel production was 1,818,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 74.3 percent. Production was 1,789,000 tons in the week ending April 9, 2010, while the capability utilization then was 74.0 percent. The current week production represents a 1.6 percent increase from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending April 9, 2011 is up 0.4 percent from the previous week ending April 2, 2011 when production was 1,811,000 tons and the rate of capability utilization was 74.1 percent.

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Monday, April 11

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - minus 17 to 1,359. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) Japan's Stocks Fall Led by Carmakers as Citi Cuts Rating on Quake Damage // China's Export Rebound May Let Wen Intensify Effort to Curb Surging Prices // Magnitude 6.6 Quake Rocks Japan’s Tohoku Region, Disrupts Tokyo Transport // China Inflation Is `Somewhat Out of Control’ on Weak Currency, Soros Says // IMF Set to Cut U.S., Japan Growth Forecasts Today // Germany Warns on Greek Debt, Defying Efforts to Snuff Out Crisis // Libya Rebels Spurn African Cease-Fire Plan Without Qaddafi Exit // Arab Gulf States Call for Saleh to Hand Over Yemen Power to Vice President // Ivory Coast’s Ouattara Asks UN to Neutralize Gbagbo Weapons // European Stocks Fall From One-Month High; Daimler, Hochtief Shares Decline // Discouraged Workers Stop Bernanke From Taking Much Comfort in Jobless Fall // Government Shutdown Dance Was Just a Warmup: Jonathan Alter // IMF Cuts U.S. Growth Forecast on Oil, ‘Lackluster’ Jobs Pace // Crude Oil Futures Decline From 30-Month High as IMF Cuts Growth Forecasts // Yellen Says Commodity-Price Rise Doesn’t Warrant Policy Shift
  • The Euro continues to trade nearly 3/10 of 1% lower against the US Dollar. NYMEX crude is off 1-3/4% after IMF cuts US growth estimates, partially due to higher oil prices. Gold is down 6/10 of 1% and silver is lower by more than 1/2 of 1%. Base metals ended the session mostly lower. Indicator chart show nickel slid in the first half of the session, and then rose during the latter half. By the end of the session, we show three month nickel closed at $12.54/lb . The gain was only a few cents on the day, but as Ed Meir of MF Global notes below, the technical signal a second close above $12.47/lb sends a technical signal to buy. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME approved warehouses continue to slide, and now sit just under the 121,000 tonne level. Sucden's day old chart shows last weeks bull run in detail (chart here). RBC raised its nickel forecast to $10.75/lb today, but also noted that fundamentals did not justify the current pricing and doubt they would be sustained. THE VM Group cautions nickel prices may have peaked for the year, expecting fundamentals to deteriorate. Stay tuned. 

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • April 2011 Update for TIGER: Tracking Indexes for the Global Economic Recovery - more
  • Number of the Week: U.S. Spends 141% More on Health Care - more
  • Forecasters Predict Taxes to Rise, but Not Before Election - more
  • Wholesale Inventories Rise, but Sales Drop - more
  • Fade the Consumer Credit Headline (For Now) - more

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:05 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.08/lb lower, with most London traded base metals lower as well this morning. The Euro is down over 1/4 of 1% at the moment. NYMEX crude is off over 1% and trading at $111.73/barrel. Gold is off over 1/2 of 1% while silver is up over 6/10%. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended lower, with China off 6/10 of 1%. European markets are trading lower this morning, while US futures show American traders want to buck the negative trend. Nickel inventories continued to fall on Friday.    
  • Bloomberg morning - Copper Climbs to Five-Week High on China Import Rise; Tin Jumps to Record - more
  • LME Morning - Metals turn mixed, mini-reaction seen after surge to new highs - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments - Copper rose to a one-month high on Friday, pulling the rest of the metals up with it. Tin vaulted to a new record high, while lead soared to a three-year high. In fact, most commodities were on fire last week, with robust gains seen in energy, precious metals, and grains. The weaker dollar was instrumental in lifting the group, as it sagged to a 15-month low against the Euro. Oil prices stood out in particular, with Brent spiking $4 a barrel to a 32-month high on Friday, as the deepening violence in the Middle-East, coupled with growing unease regarding the weekend Nigerian elections, fueled the complex. We are seeing a much more subdued tone today as a broad retreat in energy prices is leading to a quieter session in metals. Oil prices are down on account of a possible peace place being put forward by the African Union, which Col. Gaddafi has apparently accepted. The deal calls for an immediate end to all fighting, Libya’s cooperation "to facilitate the diligent delivery of humanitarian assistance", the protection of foreign nationals, and the start of talks involving the government and opposition figures designed to set up "political reforms necessary for the elimination of the causes of the current crisis". Glaringly absent, is an agreement for Col Gaddafi to step down, so it is unlikely that the latest proposals will fly with the opposition when the AU meets with them later today.  .... Markets still look quite overdone to us, but having said that, the Chinese trade figures are not giving the bears much to work with, as they seem to suggest that the February import dip appears to have been an anomaly. However, as we noted above, the year-over-comparisons still look sluggish for a number of items. On the metals side, there continues to be questions about the large number of copper stocks being held in bonded warehouses, now estimated to be around 700,000 tons. In fact, Reuters is also running a story today saying that some of the March copper due to arrive at Japanese ports may have been diverted to Shanghai instead, while the rest has been put into bonded warehouses in Shanghai. .... Nickel is at $27,520, down $80. and giving up some modest ground after two days of solid gains. Another close above $27,500 may set the stage for a retest of $29,425, the 2011 high.  (read Ed Meir's complete morning base metals report here)
  • (DJ) Nickel Prices Unsustainable On Fundamentals - RBC
  • (Interfax) China's steel product exports surged by 97.98 percent month-on-month in March to 4.91 million tons, according to preliminary statistics released by the General Administration of Customs (GAC) April 10.
  • (XCE) China's Jinchuan hikes Nickel prices second time within a week
  • Enriching a Few at the Expense of Many - more

  Burundi to tap nickel deposits by 2017  - Feasibility studies are sufficiently advanced for the tapping of nickel deposits in Burundi by 2017, the country's Minister of Energy and Mines, Moïse Bucumi, said. Nickel deposits in Burundi was first discovered in the 1970s and their tapping has been ongoing since then, although government has been undecided what to do with it. - more

  Marcventures eyes 2 sites for nickel plant - Marcventures Mining & Development Corporation, a unit of Marventures Holdings, is considering sites owned by Semirara Mining Corporation or Atlas Mining and Development Corporation for a possible ferro-nickel processing plant. - more

  DJ Rusal Seeks $1.5B In Damages At Court Over Norilsk Pact -Source - Rival shareholders of nickel and palladium miner Norilsk Nickel, are seeking damages in a London arbitrage court, accusing each other of breaching a joint agreement on managing the miner, a source with the knowledge of the situation said Monday. - more

  China Driving the Global Nickel Consumption - According to our latest research report “Global Nickel Market Analysis”, the global nickel industry is witnessing a positive growth with rise in production and increased demand for nickel across the world. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Friday, April 8

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - minus 25 to 1,376. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg)  European Ports Tighten Radiation Checks as Japan Ships Approach // Sony, Canon Plants Knocked Out by Aftershock, Setting Back Japan Recovery // Wen Tackling Inflation Makes Chinese Stocks a Buy at World’s Biggest Banks // Disney, China Partner Will Spend $4.4 Billion Building Resort in Shanghai //Asian Stocks Advance as Stricken Nuclear Plant Spared in Japan Aftershock // Portugal to Face Strict EU Aid Terms Amid Political Storm // European Debt Crisis Morphs Into New Phase: Mohamed El-Erian // U.S. Corn Supply Shrinking as Meat, Ethanol Demand Send Crop Price Higher // Canada Unexpectedly Loses Jobs in March as Part-time Work Turns Full-time // Lockhart Urges ‘Patience’ in Fed Policy Amid Modest U.S. Growth // Most U.S. Stocks Fall as Crude Oil Above $111 a Barrel Weighs on Airlines
  • The Euro is trading 8/10 of 1% higher against the US Dollar, its highest since January 2010. NYMEX crude is up over 1-1/2% and trading at $112.03/barrel. Gold is up almost 1% and for the 5th time this week, may close at a new record high. Silver is up 2.2% and the highest it has been since 1980. Base metals all ended higher, helped by teh higher Euro and inflation concerns. Indicator charts show nickel opened higher and didn't do much but stay higher all day. For the day and week, we show three month nickel ended at around $12.46/lb . Stockpiles of nickel stored in worldwide LME approved warehouses continue to slump and now sit just over the 121,200 tonne level. Sucden's day old chart shows nickel trading thru yesterday (chart here). A potential US government shutdown is all anyone seems to care about today. We will be surprised if they actually allow it to happen. Not much else left to say for the week, except we wish each of you a safe and restful weekend!!

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • Consumers Step Up Student, Auto Loans, Cut Back on Credit Cards - more
  • Global Interest Rates: Where Are They Rising? - more
  • IMF: ‘Increased Scarcity’ Ahead for Oil Markets - more
  • What is the Source of Record Earnings? - more

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:10 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.28/lb higher, with all London traded base metals trading higher this morning. The Euro is adding some support to the commodity rally, up over 7/10 of 1% against the US Dollar.NYMEX crude is up nearly 1-1/4% and trading at $111.66/barrel. Gold is up over 8/10 of 1% and silver is over 1/4% higher. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended higher, with China up nearly 9/10 of 1%. European markets are trading higher this morning, and US futures show no sign of being left behind. Nickel inventories continued to fall yesterday. Fund money is flowing into commodities again.  
  • Reuters morning - Copper up, tin hits record on demand prospects - more
  • LME Morning - Metals extend bull charge, sunny sentiment and soft dollar supportive - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments - Copper reached a two-week high on Thursday, but pared its gains on news that yet another earthquake hit Japan and that a tsunami warning was also issued. Although most other markets fared much worse in that they actually lost ground on the news before bouncing back, copper managed to hold on to its gains for the entire session. Despite yesterday's positive close in most metals, the real gains are setting in today. A surge in the Euro to just over $1.44, a 15-month high, has set off another sizable run in commodities, with precious metals, base metals, and oil markets all sharply higher. Silver has hit the psychologically important $40 mark, a post-1980 high, while gold is in record territory, having hit $1465. Copper is up some 2% so far, aluminum has hit a 19-month high, while tin is in record territory. There is no news we see that is behind the sharp gains; in fact, LME copper stocks have risen overnight, and although there was a dip in Shanghai holdings this week, (see our table above), inventories remain elevated. Furthermore, we are seeing more articles in the press questioning copper's sharp rebound. The Financial Times is running a piece today saying that the likelihood of large hidden stockpiles in China could eventually hit the complex hard. Markets are starting to look very frothy to us and many are quite overbought. We could see a correction set in as early as Monday if the Chinese import data comes in on the light side, which we think might be the case. The surge in energy prices is most concerning, as at these kind of valuations, inflation and interest will have rise much quicker than previously envisioned. In addition, energy is now getting to a level where it could have a serious impact on economic growth. In company news, the Financial Times reported today that First Reserve, the US-based energy and natural resources-focused private equity group, has bought more than 80% of Belgium’s Metallum for $960 mln in equity and debt. Metallum accounts for about 20% of European copper trading volumes. A director at First Reserve told the FT that the acquisition would give the private equity group exposure to copper without taking the “single asset, geological, development or country risk that is typically associated” with investments in mining. In other news, the LME will amend the prompt dates for aluminum, copper, lead, nickel, zinc, aluminum alloy and NASAAC on October 17, 2011, following a recommendation from the Trading Committee to phase out official prices for prompt dates 15 and 27 months forward. The forward prompt dates for the unofficial prices will be the same as for the official prices. Tin, steel billet, cobalt and molybdenum contracts will remain the same. ... Nickel is at $27,388, up $588; two closes above resistance at $27,500 will set the stage for a further advance. (read Ed Meir's complete morning base metals report here)
  • Drilling Continues To Intersect Massive Nickel Sulphides - more
  • Employee Loyalty Not Recession Proof - pdf here

  The scene is set for nickel and copper prices to soar - Last year’s broad-based strength in commodity markets has been thrown off course by events in Japan and the Middle East and North Africa region, splitting returns from the asset class into two camps. - more

  China scraps anti-dumping duties on Japan, Korean steel sheets - China has decided to scrap anti-dumping duties imposed for a decade on cold-rolled stainless-steel sheets imported from Japan and South Korea, the Chinese commerce ministry said on Thursday. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Thursday, April 7

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - minus 29 to 1,401. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) China Will Increase Gasoline, Diesel, Jet Fuel Prices on Rise in Crude Oil // Germany’s Future Turns East as Exports to China Eclipse U.S. // Fishing Halted in Japan’s Ibaraki After Radioactive Water Contaminates Sea // BOJ Offers $12 Billion of Quake-Aid Loans, Cuts Outlook for Japan Economy // Australia Adds 37,800 Jobs in March, Sending Currency to Highest on Record // ECB Raises Key Interest Rate to 1.25% to Stem Faster Inflation // Portugal Set to Start Talks on Bailout as Spain Threat Eases // King Faces Isolation in Europe on Interest Rates as ECB Tightens Policy // European Stocks Drop After Japan Earthquake, ECB Rate Increase // Bonds Show Investors Don’t See Risk of Fiscal Crisis in U.S. // Lehman's Creditors ‘Seriously’ Consider Proposing a Third Bankruptcy Plan // March Retail Sales at Victoria’s Secret, Costco Beat Analysts’ Estimates // U.S. Stocks Retreat on Japan Earthquake, Government Shutdown Concerns
  • The Euro is now trading 1/4 of 1% lower against the US Dollar. NYMEX crude is up more than 2/3% and trading at $109.57/barrel. Gold is down 1/4 of 1% and silver is even. Base metals ended the session mostly higher and for the most part, fairly quiet. Except for nickel, that is. Nickel took off at the opening and was up over 600 points shortly after opening, and then mellowed out, giving back about half of the morning gains. For the day, we show three month nickel closed at around $12.22/lb . Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME approved warehouse fell again on Wednesday and now sit just over the 121,700 tonne level. Sucden's day old trading chart shows nickel's strong bounce yesterday (chart here). The Japanese people can not seem to catch a break. Another 7.1 earthquake struck just east of the island this morning, but so far, it appears , it gave birth to no tsunami (graph). NYMEX crude is over $109/barrel, US retail stores reported strong sales in March, and Europe raised interest rates.

  Reports

  • Commodities Daily - pdf here
  • Reuters Metals Insider - no report today
  • Commodities Daily - pdf here

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • QBAMCO - Apropos of Everything - pdf here
  • Ex-Fed Official, Now Citigroup Director, Attacks Dodd-Frank - more
  • Fed Would Stay Open Amid Government Shutdown - more
  • Temporary Layoffs during the Great Recession - more
  • The middle-income trap - more

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:10 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.33/lb higher, but has apparently leveled off, with other base metals mostly higher. The Euro is 1/3 of 1% lower against the US Dollar at the moment. NYMEX crude is up slightly and trading at $108.90/barrel. Gold is up slightly as well, and silver is up nearly 2/10 of 1%. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended lower, with China up 4/10 of 1%. European markets are trading higher this morning , and US futures are slightly positive at the moment. Nickel inventories fell hard yesterday.   
  • LME Morning - Metals sustain advances, investment flows add to demand hopes - more
  • Reuters - Copper helped by upbeat industry comment, tin strong - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments - Copper prices rose yesterday for their biggest daily percentage gain in two weeks, as the euro pushed higher and as shorts continued to cover in the wake of the Chinese rate hike from earlier this week that failed to have much impact on the downside. The euro rose to a 14-month high of over $1.4330 late last night, but has since receded to trade around $1.4260. The currency has dealt with two major announcements over the last 24 hour period; the first was an expected rate hike that has just been put through by the ECB, and the second was the announcement out of Portugal last night formally asking the EU for a bailout, making the country the third one in the Euro zone to turn to its peers for help. In an address to the nation on Wednesday night, the caretaker prime-minister, Mr. Jose Sócrates, said that he had no choice but to seek help given the crushing terms that the debt markets were imposing on it. The bailout puts Portugal in a difficult spot since elections are not being held until early June, so it is not clear how the aid package will be negotiated, but the main opposition is likely to join forces with Mr. Socrates while Parliament could also be called back if needed. Of course, the price for a bailout will be steep, as the EU will demand significant austerity measures. We suspect the reason the Euro is holding up fairly well on news of yet another bailout is due to fact that the markets may be somewhat relieved that the Portuguese asked for the money quickly and did not drag things out as the Irish did. In addition, the Portuguese bailout will be relatively small (60-90 billion Euros) and should not exert undue pressure on the ECB's stabilization fund. Most importantly, events leading to the bailout are not impacting Spanish paper --at least not yet -- and we suspect that this is a source of immense relief to the markets as well. As of this morning, a Spanish auction was reportedly well received, with borrowing costs down somewhat from the last round. Metals are sharply higher again this morning, led primarily by copper, which is now over $9700. We suspect prices are moving higher in light of the steady Euro and, more importantly, in anticipation of Chinese March import data that will come out on the 11th. The numbers are expected to show a rebound from depressed February levels, although the possibility of a disappointment cannot be ruled out.  .... Nickel is at $27,120, up $690, and continuing to do well this week; we are, however, approaching resistance at $27,500. (read Ed Meir's complete morning base metals report here)
  • (SMM) Jinchuan Group Raises Ex-works Nickel Prices to RMB 197,000/mt on April 7
  • (JMB) NSSC to Reduce Ni Stainless Flat Steels Price in April by $100 per tonne
  • (MP) US ferro-chrome set to come under pressure on buying slowdown and additional supply
  • CASS - North American shipment volume increased 6.9% in March 2011, a gain of 13.8% from March 2010. The year-over-year change in expenditures was 33.6%.
  • China’s March commodity imports to bounce off Feb lows - more

  Details of Japan refinery, utilities and smelter shutdowns-FACTBOX - The following is a status list of nuclear plants, thermal power stations, oil refineries, ports and metal-related industries shut in Japan following a massive earthquake on Friday. - more

  Focus on nickel & cobalt - The trend of future nickel production is changing. Nickel laterites are most likely to be developed as the world’s future primary nickel sources. - more

  Talvivaara misses target but hits output record - Miner Talvivaara Mining announced record levels of nickel output during the first three months of 2011, but production still came in below the company's previous guidance. - more

  Atlas unit to resume nickel mining operations - Berong Nickel Corp., a subsidiary of Atlas Consolidated Mining and Development Corp., is set to resume its nickel laterite mining operations in the next few weeks, top company officials said. - more

  Steel company profits up 52% in 2010 - The China Iron and Steel Association's (CISA) 77 member companies in 2010 made a total of 89.7 billion yuan ($13.7 billion) in profits, with an average profit margin of 2.9 percent. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Wednesday, April 6

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - minus 32 to 1,430. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) Wen's Inflation ‘Tiger’ May Find Cage Door Closing as PBOC Increases Rates // Fishing Halted in Japan’s Ibaraki After Radioactive Water Contaminates Sea // Radioactivity Found in Fish as Tepco Purges Nuclear Plant // China Raises Interest Rates to Counter Inflation Pressure // Monaco Is World’s Most Expensive Place to Buy Luxury Homes for Third Year // NATO Blamed as Libyan Rebels Flee Assault By Qaddafi Forces // Crude Oil Trades Near 30-Month High in New York, Reversing Earlier Losses // European Stocks Advance on Bank Capital Increases, German Factory Orders // Bernanke Faces Possible Fed Split on Maintaining Stimulus // Congress Leaders Battle Clock for a Deal to Avert U.S. Government Shutdown // U.S. Fiscal Crisis in Spitting Distance: Laurence Kotlikoff // Colombia Said to Reach Labor Deal With U.S. in Talks on Trade Agreement // U.S. Stocks Fluctuate as Tech Shares Gain, Commodity Shares Fall
  • The Euro is now trading 7/10 of 1% higher against the US Dollar. NYMEX crude is currently up 1/10 of 1% and trading at $108.44/barrel. Gold is down nearly 1/10 of 1%, after setting a record high earlier, and silver is up 1/10 of 1%. Base metals ended the day solidly higher, but we are unable to find any commodity except cotton that did better than nickel. Indicator charts show nickel opened higher, and climbed steadily all day long. For the day we show three month nickel closed at about $11.95/lb and appeared to still be climbing in after market trades. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME approved warehouses fell again on Tuesday and now total just over the 122,900 tonne level. Reuters day old chart shows nickel trading thru yesterday (chart here). The market gave up the $12/lb level last Wednesday and almost got it back today. No hard news affecting the supply or demand fundamentals today, so trading was based primarily on speculation and inflation protection buying, juiced by a higher Euro.

  Reports

  • Commodities Daily - pdf here
  • Reuters Metals Insider - no report today
  • Commodities Daily - pdf here
  • Commodities Daily - pdf here
  • MF Global Monthly Commodity Overview - pdf here

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • Citigroup Boosting Commodity Investment Team to Tap Demand - more
  • Wages Fared Better in Recession Than Recovery - more
  • How Oil and Food Prices Impact Asia, and Other Economic Tidbits - more
  • Forget Unemployment Extensions, Cutbacks More Likely - more
  • 10,000 Shipping Containers Lost At Sea Each Year…Here’s a Look At One - more
  • Tepco Stops Leak From No. 2 Reactor at Stricken Fukushima Nuclear Station - more
  • More Hawkish Rhetoric - more

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:10 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.25/lb higher, with most base metals trading higher this morning. The Euro is trading 1/2 of 1% higher against the US DOllar, assisting commodity traders. NYMEX crude is flat and trading at $108.33/barrel. Gold is up 2/10% and silver is higher by 8/10 of 1%. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended higher, with China up nearly 1.2%. European markets are trading higher after German factory orders rose more than forecast, and US futures are much higher as well. Nickel inventories dropped again on Tuesday.    
  • LME Morning - Metals mostly higher, lead and aluminium near multi-year peaks - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments - Copper ended higher on Tuesday, reversing earlier losses that set in after China's rate hike failed to rattle the market apart from an early wobble. We suspect the Chinese rate rises are not doing much to dislodge the upward run in commodities, as investors have yet to see any fallout from tighter money coming out in the way of deteriorating Chinese macro data. Until that happens, it seems that most markets are either going to push higher (such as oil) or stay at elevated levels (such as many of the base metals). The next headline that could potentially set the markets back somewhat could be the rate increase coming out of the ECB possibly by tomorrow, but here again, judging how easily markets shrugged off the Chinese rate move, we suspect the ECB announcement will not cause much of a ripple either. Copper prices also received additional support yesterday from comments made by China's Chinalco that growing global copper consumption is expected to be supportive, while a generally upbeat tone from the CRU conference in Chile also helped. In today's action, we are building on yesterday's modest gain, with copper now trading back over the $9500 mark. Other metals are also higher, with nickel having a particularly good day. Oil markets are mixed, with the WTI contract slightly lower, but Brent is up by some $.20. The dollar is much weaker today, now at $1.4300 against the Euro, while US stocks are expected to open slightly higher. .... Nickel is at $26,000, up $590, and having a decent pop today. (read Ed Meir's complete morning base metals report here)
  • (JMD) Cold-rolled Ni stainless steel market price/ Continues to rise by 10 thousand yen in Kanto
  • URU JV completes Zebediela nickel acquisition  - more
  • China's growth to slow to 9.6% in 2011: ADB - more
  • China inflation may hit 6%, no end to tightening: Paper - more
  • Durbin calls for steel industry trade relief - more

  Finland's Outokumpu to cut up to 350 jobs - Finland's loss-making stainless steel producer Outokumpu will cut up to 350 jobs as it tries to slash costs in Europe, the company said on Wednesday. - more

  Metals, chrome ore prices are expected to soar - Metals, chrome ore prices are expected to soar. China imported around 8.5 million tonnes of chrome ore in 2010 and it is expected that the amount will reach to 10 million tonnes at the end of 2011. - more

  Market Tendency On Imports Of Ferro-Alloys At 31st March 2011 = Wholly Inclined To Weak View, Marked How To Cope With Settlement Of Accounts Ended On 31st March 2011 - The market tendency by item on imports of ferro-alloys into Japan at the 31st March of 2011 is as follows - more

  New Vale CEO must balance interests - Murilo Ferreira, the future chief executive of Brazilian mining giant Vale SA, faces a delicate balancing act to satisfy the company’s investors and the politicians that pushed out his predecessor. - more

  Victims of Somalia Pirates Call for Release - Slamet Juari, captain of the MV Sinar Kudus boat, has called on the Indonesian government to immediately release him and 19 other crew members. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Tuesday, April 5

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - minus 36 to 1,462. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) China Raises Interest Rates to Counter Inflation Pressure // Sovereign Default-Swap Trades Double on China Slowdown: Australia Credit // Radiation Evacuees Left Guessing by Information Blackout in Japan Shelters // Copper Seen Rising 18% on Biggest Mine Shortages Since 2004 // Tepco Dumps Radioactive Water at Sea as Japan Seeks Russia Help With Waste // Asian Stocks Drop as Tepco Dumps Radioactive Water in Ocean; Toyota Falls // France, UN Attack Gbagbo Forces as Ouattara Troops Ready Battle // Fiat Said to Plan Increase in Chrysler Stake to 30% Within Weeks // Portugal’s Long-Term Credit Rating Is Lowered One Level to Baa1 by Moody’s // European Stocks Advance as Texas Instruments Deal Buoys Technology Shares // Bernanke Says Fed Must Monitor Inflation ‘Extremely Closely’ // Office Market in U.S. Begins Recovery as Vacancy Rate Declines // U.S. Service Industries Grew Less Than Forecast in March // Stocks in U.S. Advance on Optimism About Takeover Deals, Company Earnings
  • The Euro has turned higher against the US Dollar, but only slightly at the moment. NYMEX crude is down 1/3 of 1% and trading at $108.11/barrel. Gold i sup 1-1/4% and silver is up 1-1/2%. Base metals ended the session mixed and for the most part, had a yawner day. Indicator charts show nickel stumbled early, but after falling near the $25,000 tonne level, traders spent the afternoon taking the price gradually higher. For the day, we put a close at about $11.54/lb , down a penny from yesterday. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME approved warehouses slipped yesterday and now total just 123,200 tonnes. Sucden's day old chart shows nickel trading thru yesterday (chart here). And we stumbled across an interesting graph showing the annualized daily volatility of some commodities for 2010 and nickel took second place. Keep that for the boss who thinks your buy timing stinks.

  Reports

  • Commodities Daily - pdf here
  • Reuters Metals Insider - no report today
  • Commodities Daily - pdf here
  • TED Data Points - more
  • Electralloy Raw Material pricing - pdf here (nice graphs)

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • (Prestige Economics) In 2011, we expect nickel prices will rise to an average price of $30,725 per ton. In 2012, we expect the price for nickel to rise further and average $37,500 per ton.
  • Fed’s Evans: Without Wage Hikes, Little Inflation Pressure - more
  • Recovery in the U.S. Beats Other Advanced Economies - more
  • Fed Not to Blame for Rising Commodity Prices, Paper Argues - more
  • To Contain Future Budget, US Must Raise Taxes By 35%, Cut Entitlements 35% - more
  • Bernanke in Q&A: "Inflation will be transitory" - more
  • Fairewinds Associates watches Fukushima - more

  Jubilee to buy chrome company - Mining exploration and development company Jubilee Platinum, which is listed on London's AIM and the JSE, on Tuesday unveiled plans to acquire a company that treats chrome ore in the platinum-rich western Bushveld.  - more

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:10 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.15/lb  lower, but indicator charts show it may be leveling out for the moment. Other London traded base metals are lower as well. The Euro is down nearly 4/10 of 1% against the US Dollar, after US Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke acknowledged the Fed was watching inflation signs 'extremely closely'. NYMEX crude is down 1/2 of 1% and trading at $107.92/barrel. Gold is down more than 1/10 of 1% and silver is lower by more than 6/10%. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended lower, after China raises interest rates for the fourth time this year. European markets are lower this morning and US futures are slightly lower at the moment. Nickel inventories fell yesterday.
  • Bloomberg morning - Copper Advances on Supply Shortage Forecast; Lead Gains to Three-Year High - more
  • LME Morning - Metals consolidate below highs, still steadier - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments - Copper finished lower on Monday after an initial burst higher failed to sustain itself, but other metals managed to hang on to modest gains. Copper’s sluggish tone was reinforced by a two-day holiday in China, coupled with the week-long CESCO/CRU mining conference in Chile. So far, initial reports from the conference have been quite upbeat, with most speakers pointing to tight supply and healthy demand to support their relatively rosy outlook for prices going forward. We would agree, but are nonetheless quite wary about short-term prospects, particularly going into Q2. In this respect, we think markets have not adequately discounted what could be a soft patch in terms of demand likely caused by a ratcheting higher of interest rates and typified by rising inventories. Speaking of rates, we did see another increase overnight, this time coming from China, where the central bank hiked rates by another 25 basis points. Metals initially sold off on the news, although prices have been coming back in the last hour, as the increase may have been partially discounted and previously expected. More importantly, investors are sensing that rate increases have not stopped the pace at which the Chinese economy is growing, which is why we are not seeing a sharper selloff set in over metals. That can change if additional rate rises are put through with a more discernable impact on economic activity being noted. .... Nickel is at $25,265, down $235, and still on a downward trajectory chart-wise. (read Ed Meir's complete morning base metals report here)
  • (AK) AK Steel has advised its customers that a $390 per ton surcharge will be added to invoices for electrical steel products shipped in May 2011.
  • (Reuters) Norilsk Nickel launches $1.2 bln share buyback
  • (SBB) Baosteel stainless sales volume rose 6% last year
  • ‘Smokin’ times in red-hot metals sector - more

  Benchmark Price Of FeCr Is Being Shaken In Europe = Resistance From China, European Mills Are Checked Through Purchases At Discounted Prices - An existence of the benchmark price for charge chrome (high carbon ferro-chrome) is being shaken in Europe. - more

  Brazil's Vale names new CEO under government pressure - Brazilian mining giant Vale named a new chief executive under withering government pressure, a move that may spark fears of state meddling in Brazil's private sector but is not expected to dent investor confidence in the firm. - more

  • Vale Names Ferreira CEO as Agnelli Leaves Amid Brazil Criticism - Vale SA controlling shareholders named Murilo Pinto de Oliveira Ferreira to replace Roger Agnelli as chief executive officer after the Brazilian government criticized management at the world’s largest iron-ore producer for the past two years. - more

  St George Mining in BHP nickel deal - BHP Billiton's nickel division has entered into a deal with St George Mining regarding the junior metals explorer's East Laverton property in the north-eastern Goldfields. - more

  Burundi to tap nickel deposits by 2017 - Feasibility studies are sufficiently advanced for the tapping of nickel deposits in Burundi by 2017, the country’s Minister of Energy and Mines, Moïse Bucumi, said. - more

  Iron ore output and exports - The Supreme Court on Tuesday overturned a ban on iron ore shipments from the southern state of Karnataka, freeing up about a quarter of exports from the world's third-largest supplier. - more

  Courtesy AISI - In the week ending April 2, 2011, domestic raw steel production was 1,811,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 74.1 percent. Production was 1,776,000 tons in the week ending April 2, 2010, while the capability utilization then was 73.2 percent. The current week production represents a 2.0 percent increase from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending April 2, 2011 is down 1.7 percent from the previous week ending March 26, 2011 when production was 1,843,000 tons and the rate of capability utilization was 75.4 percent.

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Monday, April 4

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - minus 22 to 1,498. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) Copper Seen Rising 17% to Record as Shortages Overcome Weaker China Demand // Brunswick Forecasts China Yacht Sales to Increase 25% This Year // Minmetals Offers to Acquire Equinox for $6.5 Billion // Japan's Tankan Signals Concern That Business Confidence Will Keep Sliding // Commodities Climb to Two-Year High as Takeovers Buoy Stocks, U.S. Futures // Tepco to Dump Radioactive Water in Sea to Keep Reactors Stable // Asian Stocks Rise on U.S. Jobs Report, China's Takeover Bid; Equinox Gains // Euro Has Best First Quarter as Trichet Transforms Into Hawk // Trichet Seen Burying Ailing Nations With Rate Rise on Inflation // Spain’s Deficit Fight Risks Setback as Zapatero Quits Election // Fight for Ivory Coast's Abidjan Enters Fifth Day, Food Supplies Run Short // Glencore Said to Consider Starting IPO Next Week; Investment Values Surge // Most European Stocks Advance; Rhodia Surges After Takeover Bid From Solvay // Wall Street Trading Revenue Seen Falling 4th Straight Quarter // Lockhart Says Growth ‘Well Established,’ Faces Headwinds
  • The Euro is down over 1/10 of 1% against the US Dollar at the moment. NYMEX crud eis up 3/10 of 1% and trading at $108.26/barrel. Gold i sup 1/3 of 1% and silver is up 1/8%. Base metals ended the session mixed and mostly higher. Indicator charts show nickel was trading choppy early, but pulling out gains for the most part, until mid afternoon, when prices fell sharply. For the day, three month nickel ended at about $11.55/lb . Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME approved warehouses fell on Friday, and now stand just over the 123,750 tonne level. Sucden finally updated their day old trading chart (chart here). Looks like Allegheny Ludlum is the monthly winner for being the first US mill to publish May stainless steel surcharges. They show 304 stainless surcharges dropping from $1.36/lb to $1.30/lb and 316 stainless dropping from $1.947/lb to $1.856/lb.  April could potentially prove to be a make or break month, and thus a volatile month for metal trading. Last year things started slowing down in May and by September the talk was whether we were in a double dip or not. We are showing some strain earlier this year, be it for geo-political reasons, natural disaster reasons, inflationary concerns, etc. Whether the world economy can overcome the pressure, remains to be seen, but indicators imply that the economic recovery ship has sailed and despite some choppy seas, and some headwinds to fight, shows no signs of returning to dock.   

  Reports

  • Commodities Daily - pdf here
  • Reuters Metals Insider - no report today
  • Robry Weekly Economic Assessment - more
  • Allegheny Ludlum May stainless steel surcharge - more

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1% - more
  • More Jobs Doesn’t Necessarily Mean More Good Jobs - more
  • Economists React: Upside Potential for Jobs Is ‘Tangible’ - more
  • Mortgage paperwork mess: the next housing shock? - more
  • Retirement in the Liquidity Trap - more

  Lesson in Being a State Company - Last week’s ouster of the chief executive of Vale, the mining giant based in Rio de Janeiro, sends a terrible signal to the markets about the Brazilian government’s intentions. - more

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:10 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around  $.02/lb higher, in choppy trading, with other base metals higher as well. The Euro is currently lower against the US Dollar, but less than 1/10%. NYMEX crude is up 3/10 of 1% and at $108.26/barrel. Gold is up nearly 6/10 of 1% this morning and silver is up 1.7%. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended higher, with CHina up 1-1/2%. European markets are trading higher this morning, and US futures imply Wall Street has no intention of giving up on its April bull run. NIckel inventories fell on Friday.
  • LME Morning - Metals track higher, tight lead market hits three-year peak - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments - Copper ended lower on Friday, starting the new quarter on a weak note after losing 2.4% in the first. The rest of the group also pushed a little lower, a rather surprising performance given that energy prices closed higher, while US stocks also finished in the black on account of rather constructive macro data out of the US. In this regard, US nonfarm payrolls came in at 216,000 in March, beating estimate of 185,000. February’s job count was also upwardly revised to 194,000 jobs. The unemployment rate ticked down from 8.9% in February to 8.8% in March. The only major negative was documented in the hours and wage categories -- both the average workweek and hourly earnings were unchanged from February levels, and this could prove to be something of a headwind going forward, as in the least, it will add pressure businesses to keep price growth at a minimum. In addition to the jobs report, sentiment was also boosted by the Institute for Supply Management’s March report, which showed that economic activity in the U.S. manufacturing sector expanding for the 20th consecutive month. The ISM index came in at 61.2, a slight decrease from February’s 61.4 reading, but nevertheless was firmly in growth mode, dovetailing similarly strong manufacturing readings we got from other countries (listed in Friday's note). We are seeing good gains in metals today, with lead particularly strong on reports that Mitsubishi said it will boost lead output by 16% in the April-to-September period to meet increasing demand for batteries. Copper is up also by about $100 a ton, buoyed by reports that Hong Kong-based Minmetals Resources made an unsolicited offer of about $6.5 billion in cash for Equinox Minerals, which if successful, would land it control of Africa’s largest copper mine. Minmetals bid a 23% premium to Equinox’s closing price on Friday in order to secure the company, but the bid depends on Equinox dropping its C$4.4 billion offer for Canada’s Lundin Mining. The deal is China’s biggest minerals takeover, and would give Minmetals control of the Lumwana copper mine in Zambia as well as Saudi Arabia’s biggest copper deposit.  ....  Despite the current bounce we are seeing in metals, we remain cautious about the short-term outlook given the various variables we have outlined in previous commentary. In particular, the specter of rising interest rates practically the world over, has us the most concerned, as it will most likely dent growth prospects going into the second half of the year. In addition, we think commodity markets are underestimating just how bad the situation in Japan is, as whole industries have yet to get back on their feet. Auto sales, for example, are down some 37% in March, this according to figures released by Japan's Auto Dealer Association, while industrial production as a whole may be down by a whopping 10%. Some of this nervousness may be getting picked up by metal producers. In this regard, the Financial Times carried a story over the weekend saying that some copper producers have started to protect themselves against a fall in copper prices by hedging, something they typically do not do, as they are suspecting upside gains may be limited from here, particularly given doubts that are emerging about end-user demand out of China.  .... Nickel is at $25,730, up $130, and very quiet, with a tight $400 trading range in place. Our chart shows that a downward drift is still in place. (read Ed Meir's complete morning base metals report here)
  • (Reuters) The term price for ferrochrome to Japan for the April-June quarter rose 10 cents per pound from the previous quarter to $1.43, a Japanese company official said on Monday.
  • (SBB) Ferro-molybdenum moves up after weakening in Europe
  • (SMM) Jinchuan Group Cuts Ex-works Nickel Prices to RMB 192,000/mt on April 2
  • Higher Food Prices Seen Swamping Consumers With Inflation - more

  Nickel Price Collapse Unsettles Stainless Steel Market - The LME nickel price plummeted from nearly US$29,000 per tonne on March 5 to just above US$25,000 per tonne on March 15. - more

  Brazilian mining giant Vale CEO Agnelli to depart - The chief executive of the world’s largest iron-ore miner, Brazil’s Vale SA, will be leaving the company, a move that was reportedly sought by the Brazilian government. - more

  China's Exports Of Molybdenum In February 2011 Exceeded Considerably Its Imports = Basic Tone, Having Weakened International Prices Of Moly, Is Changing With View To Bottom Out - According to the customs-statistics released in China, the quantities (on Mo content base) of molybdenum exported and imported by China in February of 2011 were <> exports : 2.654 million lbs., <> imports : 1.458 million lbs. and <> balance : 1.196 million lbs. (an excess of exports). - more

  Union calls for probe after BHP fire - Workers at BHP Billiton's Mount Keith project have claimed they were forced to flee the after an apparent explosion at the site this morning. - more

  China Stops Ordering Japanese Scrap Steel on Radiation Risk, Umetal Says - Chinese buyers stopped new orders of scrap steel from Japan and blocked some existing cargoes because of concern over radiation from a crippled nuclear plant, researcher Umetal.com said. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Friday, April 1

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - minus 10 to 1,520. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) China Manufacturing Grows at Faster Pace as Economy Withstands Tightening // Hong Kong House Prices Likely to Drop 25%-30% as Rates Rise, Barclays Says // ‘Lehman Shock’ Is Kid Stuff Next to Fukushima: William Pesek // China's Stocks Rise Most in Four Weeks After Manufacturing Growth Quickens // Japan Auto Sales Plunge Record 37% as Quake Deters Buyers, Shuts Factories // Japan Reviews Water Tests Showing Radioactive Iodine at 10,000 Times Limit // Portugal Accepts Rising Yields on 14-Month Notes in Bid to Avoid Bailout // Libyan Rebels Seek Cease-Fire After U.S. Vows to Withdraw Jets // Ivory Coast Rebels Seize State TV, Attack Gbagbo Palace // European Factory Growth Slows as World Relies on China // Russian Economy Grew 4.5% in Fourth Quarter, Less Than Economists Forecast // European Stocks Gain as U.S. Payrolls Top Forecasts; Bank of Ireland Jumps // Manufacturing in U.S. Expands at Close to Seven-Year High // Ford March U.S. Car Sales Rise 16%, Better Than Expected // U.S. Payrolls Grew 216,000 in March; Unemployment at 8.8% // Stocks Rise as Payrolls Beat Estimates; Gold, Debt Risk Decline
  • The Euro is presently trading 3/10 of 1% higher against the US Dollar. NYMEX crude is up 3/4 of 1%, trading choppy and at $107.54/barrel. Gold is off nearly 4/10 of 1% and silver is up only slightly. Base metals ended the session mixed after a late session jump by the Euro helped evaporate earlier losses. Indicator charts show nickel opened lower, and kept sliding until mid afternoon, when Euro's sudden bounce helped nickel regain some. For the day and week, we show three month nickel closed at about  $11.66/lb . Stores of nickel kept in LME approved warehouses ended March with a rare gaining day, and now totals just shy of the 124,000 tonne level. After only three gaining days during the month, stockpiles fell by 6,630 tonnes during the month. Reuters nickel chart shows how nickel has done so far in the first quarter of 2011 (chart here). Business news was pretty positive today, with 3 of the 4 major PMI's we follow coming in with positive readings. All but China were lower than last month, but only Japan, courtesy the earthquake and tsunami, gave a negative reading. People in th US are getting back to work, albeit slowly, but according to MarketWatch, some of this is at the expense of co-workers. MarketWatch article today - "For the first time in more than five years, the private-sector added more than 200,000 jobs for two months in a row. More than 60% of industries were hiring. That’s the good news for people who’ve been looking for a job. The bad news is that, if you already had a job, wages haven’t kept up with the rising cost of living. For the 80% or so of us who actually work (as opposed to supervising others), average hourly wages actually fell in March — from $19.32 to $19.30. " Oh well - it's good to see people working again.
  • Have a restful and safe weekend!!

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • The Missing Sense of Urgency for Jobs - more
  • Saudi Government’s Break-Even Oil Price Rises $20 In A Year - more
  • Views From the Ground: Comments From Purchasing Managers - more

  Norilsk Nickel re-elects Voloshin as board chairman - Alexander Voloshin, who lost his chairmanship of the world's top nickel producer, Russia's Norilsk Nickel, at last summer's annual shareholders' meeting, regained his position on Friday, the firm said. - more

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:10 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.22/lb lower, with all other London traded base metals lower at the moment. The Euro is currently trading only slightly lower against the US Dollar.  NYMEX crude is up 4/10 of 1% and trading at $107.17/barrel. Gold is up over 1/10 of 1% and silver is up about the same. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended higher, with China up 1-1/2%. European markets are trading higher this morning and US futures show Wall Street has no intention of being left behind. Nickel inventories rose on Thursday.  
  • Bloomberg morning - Copper Drops, Heads for First Weekly Fall in Three, on China Rates Concern - more
  • LME Morning - Base metals decline as hawkish tone intensifies - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments - Copper finished modestly lower yesterday, and also closed the quarter down 2.4%, its first quarterly loss since June of last year. Most other metals fared much better, with aluminum rising 7.2% and tin up 18.3% on the quarter. Lead and nickel were up by 5.3% and 4.6%, respectively, but zinc fell 3.2%. Right now, we are starting the new quarter off in negative fashion, with copper down again, with its weakness this time impacting the rest of the group more directly. Aluminum looks particularly sluggish, now at $2620, down $27, and close to a one-week low. In other markets, the dollar is stronger today (now at $1.4140 against the Euro) on account of continued Eurozone funding worries. In this regard, Portugal sold some short-term bonds (June 2012) today, but at rates that were almost double what was achieved only nine months ago, meaning that the country will almost surely have to resort to a bail-out in the next few months. The country's president called for a snap election on June 5 following the government's resignation earlier this month and warned the next government faced an unprecedented economic crisis. ..... Elsewhere, a number of purchasing manager indicators are also out; China’s manufacturing growth accelerated for the first time in four months, as a purchasing managers index rose to 53.4 in March from 52.2 in February. Although the reading came under the median forecast of 54, it nevertheless indicates that activity is still expanding. Out of Europe, Markit's Eurozone manufacturing purchasing managers' index dipped to 57.5 last month from February's near 11-year high of 59.0, but the output price index rose to its highest level since Markit began tracking it in November 2002, almost certainly assuring a rate hike by the ECB next week. In India, the HSBC-sponsored PMI index held steady at a four-month high of 57. However, despite eight interest rate increases in the past year, the Indian survey showed input prices in March at their highest level since the poll was started in April 2005. It will be interesting to see what the Japanese figures will show when they come out; already, JPMorgan economists are forecasting a whopping 10% drop in industrial production in March– four times the decline that followed the 1995 Kobe earthquake. Japan’s Tankan survey was out yesterday, and showed a positive reading, but with 72% of companies replying before the quake, its results were not accurate. The government plans to re-release the survey on April 4th. Our view on the metal markets remains unchanged; we expect a bumpy second quarter ahead, as the likelihood of a stronger dollar in light of Eurozone debt issues, coupled with the headwind of rising interest rates, (fueled by rising inflation now clearly evident through much of the system), will likely reduce metal demand going forward. Japan will also be operating at a much reduced rate for the next several months at least, removing an important buyer from the markets, at least for some metals like aluminum..... Nickel is at $25,615, down $480, with charts looking slightly more negative than did earlier in the week.  (read Ed Meir's complete morning base metals report here)
  • (SKRIN) Norilsk Nickel ’s net loss nearly $144mn in 4q10
  • (SBB) Chinese 304 stainless prices drop another RMB 200-300/t
  • Wal-Mart CEO Bill Simon expects inflation - more
  • China's March PMI of manufacturing sector rises - more

  Nickel’s supply side a cocktail of ‘unknowns’ - Supply was always going to be the “known unknown” in the nickel market this year. Specifically, how would the new generation of mega projects using high-pressure-acid-leach technology (HPAL) fare? - more

  Unapplied Preferential Duties Cause To Change Trend For Imports Of Ferro-Alloys = Imports Of Manganese Ferro-Alloys Have To Pay GATT Tariffs - The imports of ferro-manganese, silico-manganese and other ferro-alloys into Japan are not allowed to apply for preferential duties from the 1st April of 2011. - more

  Nickel mine moves closer to reality - Another hurdle has been cleared for development of the country's largest undeveloped nickel deposit. - more

  Vale's Main Shareholders' Group Seeking Replacement for CEO Roger Agnelli - Vale SA , the world´s largest iron- ore producer, said its controlling shareholders are seeking to replace Chief Executive Officer Roger Agnelli after he was criticized for not spending enough on some Brazilian projects. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

March Archives


Chart Info Delayed 1 Day

Chart temporarily down

Chart temporarily down


Translate this page to French | German | Spanish | Italian | Portuguese | Chinese | Japanese | Korean | Russian


All prices shown on this page are indications only. "A Guide To LME Trading"...pdf here "The ABCs of a Metals Exchange" ...pdf here (Molybdenum prices are for molybdenum oxide, an ingredient and major price factor in 316 stainless) (all ton listings are metric tons = 2204.622 pounds ) Updated daily before 8 am CST and before 1 pm CST weekdays - Disclaimer Candlestick Pattern Dictionary here / Intro to Candlesticks here Original content and opinions copyright www.estainlesssteel.com. Note - For real time and official LME prices, LME requires a user subscribe to be an authorized LME vendor.

Site Sponsors

Advertise your company on this site

Your banner here

Daily Reports

MF Global
Commonwealth Bank

3/14 Market Prices
not official prices

ferrochrome and chromium prices

Moly Oxide (>51%)
$17.33/lb
 
Source

Ferrochrome(60-65%)(HC)
$1.37/lb
 

3/14 Scrap Price

Stainless Steel (LTL/ton)
$1.12/lb
 ferrochrome prices and molybdenum prices

Smaller Quantities
$.70/lb
 chromium prices and nickel prices

MEPS Stainless Steel Price Index

Global 304 SS Index

nickel prices

North America 304 Index

price of stainless steel

304 SS Index

price of nickel

Asia 304 SS Index

MEPS Composite Steel Price Index

Global Composite

North America Composite

Media

Bloomberg TV
Bloomberg Asia
CNBC Metals
CNN News
Resource Radio
BNN Reports

Other Sites

Baltic Dry Bulk Index
Nickel Mining Stock
Stainless Steel Videos
USGS Mineral Reports
Industrial Metals Index
Nonferrous Metals Index
Global Steel Production
World Disaster Info
Investor Guide
Recession Recovery
Rasmussen Reports

Today's Market

USA Economic Calendar
USA Economic Calendar
World Economic Calendar
World Economic Calendar
Live Commodity Prices
World Stock Markets
North/South America
Europe Markets
Asia/Pacific
TED Spread
LMEX Index
VIX Index
US Futures

Other Sites

Nickel Mine Closures
China Financial
EconMagic
US Debt Clock
Worldwide PMI
NOAA El Nino Updates


LME Margins
LME Calendar
LME Ring Times
Metals MSDS
Nickel Toxicology
Stainless Steel MSDS
USGS Molybdenum Info
USGS Nickel Information
USGS Chromium Information
Tariff Codes (many countries)
Metric Stainless Steel Fasteners


Price of Nickel

Nickel Graph Temporarily Down

1 and 5 year nickel chart

Sempra Delayed Price
Daily Commodity Prices

Sucden's Evening Base Metals Report

Site Pages

Nickel Price Charts/Forecasts
Stainless Steel Graph/Charts
Stainless Steel Surcharge
Nickel/Stainless Research
Stainless Steel Literature
Make your own charts
Nickel Price Archives
Ferrochrome Facts

Prices/Analysis

china stainless steel news
Shanghai
Shida Morning Post

india stainless steel and nickel news
India MCX

Archives

2020
January February

2019
January February March
April May June July August
September October
November December

2018
January February March
April May June July August
September October
November December

2017 and prior






Stainless Steel MSDS
USGS Nickel Information
USGS Chromium Information
USGS Molybdenum Info
Tariff Codes (many countries)

Nickel Publications at Amazon

Contact author  /   EStainlessSteel Home Page

Your free daily news source for nickel, molybdenum, ferrochrome, chromium, iron ore and stainless steel market prices and news.

Any reproduction in whole, or in part, without permission from the author is prohibited.
© 2003-2019