This page is archived news covering the period of April 2020
If you are looking for current daily market news, please visit here.



Stainless Steel News and Nickel Prices


Please visit our April sponsor - Scott Stainless helps keep this daily news site free to visitors




Thursday, April 30

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Wednesday's trading session at $5.59/lb ($12,320/tonne). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.03/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses went unchanged yesterday and once again, started the day just under the 231,200 tonne level. So far, the last day of April's trading is rather ho-hum. US equity futures are quiet, while European markets have turned lower in the last hour. Base metals are also all trading lower, with the Euro quiet as well. For the trading price of nickel, April was much better than March, although much of the speculation was based on hopes for a brighter future, as the present remained rather dim. With many economists forecasting a horrible recession in our immediate future, we are not sure how soon we will see the brighter future. Stay at home orders are beginning to be rescinded in the US, with social distancing still the word of the day. For better or worse, Americans can move around a little more freely, which means, as long as they remain healthy, spirits will be improved. Over 60,000 Americans have died to date, and many Americans are apprehensive about a second round. Americans heard yesterday, that in a US test, Remdesivir appeared to help the sickest covid-19 patients, while a similar, but smaller Chinese study, found little difference. We want to again thank our April sponsor, Scott Stainless Steel. Because of them, and other monthly sponsors, we continue to bring you daily updates on the nickel and stainless steel markets. Over 1,000,000 diagnosed patients worldwide have now recovered from covid-19. And that doesn't count those who were never diagnosed.Stay safe, and have a great day.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.32/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - London copper set for biggest monthly gain since Dec 2017 on improving demand - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Vale’s Performance in 1Q20 - pdf here
  • Lundin Mining Performance in 1Q20 - pdf here

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
States with/without stay at home orders - more
Kinsa U.S. health monitor - here
Covid-19 County Tracker - here
Covid-19 Projections by country/state - more

Remdesivir in adults with severe COVID-19: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicentre trial - more
Coronavirus may lurk deep in lungs after patients recover, study suggests - more


Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here

     Wednesday's market review - Copper hits 6-week peak on stronger demand prospects - Copper prices climbed to a six-week high on Wednesday as the prospect of stronger demand in top consumer China and output disruptions outweighed expectations of rising supplies from producers emerging from new coronavirus lockdowns. - more

      Taiwan’s Tang Eng raises stainless steel export prices for May - Tang Eng Iron Works Co., one of the leading stainless steelmakers in Taiwan, announced its stainless steel price for May yesterday. - more

      China’s stainless steel exports increase almost 25% y-o-y this Mar - According to the official statistic from the Chinese government, the total exports of stainless steel from China this March were around 368,000 tons, increased by almost 25% year on year. - more
  • China’s stainless steel imports reach 60,000 tons this Mar - more
      Glencore slashes spending and output guidance, says can ride out coronavirus - Glencore cut its 2020 capital expenditure and output targets on Thursday to reflect the impact of the coronavirus on its operations, saying the belt-tightening left it well placed to weather the pandemic. - more

      Brazil's Vale receives non-binding offers for New Caledonia assets - Brazilian iron ore miner Vale SA has received non-binding offers for its nickel mining operations on the Pacific island of New Caledonia, an executive said in a call with analysts on Wednesday. - more

      Scrap Report A Priceless Commodity - The scrap metal industry is unpredictable, but with innovation and persistence, businesses can persevere.  - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Stocks Mixed While U.S. Futures Edge Up; Oil Gains: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • Shanghai Futures Exchange Stainless - here
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Wednesday, April 29

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Tuesday's trading session at $5.60/lb ($12,350/tonne). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.04/lb lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose just slightly on Tuesday and started the day just under the 231,200 tonne level. Not a lot to talk about today. America moves toward reopening, with apprehension the best word to describe it. While no state qualifies under the President's two week drop guideline, numerous states have, and are returning to business - albeit, unlike the usual we are used too. Nickel's trend since March 23rd and dipping below $11,000/tonne, has been bullish, and at least for the short term, is likely to remain so. Stay safe and have a great day.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.31/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Shanghai zinc jumps to 2-month high on supply tightness - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
States with/without stay at home orders - more
Kinsa U.S. health monitor - here
Covid-19 County Tracker - here
Covid-19 Projections by country/state - more

Updated Timeline Notes
Nov 17(19) - China identifies (in March 2020) the first possible covid-19 victim - from Hubei province (source)
Dec 21 (19) - China epidemiologists publish in China medical report a cluster of patients with "pneumonia of an unknown cause" 
Dec 31 (19) - China and Taiwan both notify the World Health Organization of a new virus
Dec 31 (19) - China advises their citizens of unknown virus spreading in Wuhan
Dec 31 (19) - US CDC alerted to 'cluster' of 27 cases of pneumonia in China
January 3 - Chinese scientists identify a new strain of coronavirus and name it covid-19
January 11 - China reports first covid-19 fatality in Wuhan
February 2 - Philippines reports first covid-19 fatality outside of China
February 6 - Tests later reveal United States first covid-19 fatality dies this date in California
April 27 - World suffers 3 millionth known case of covid-19, with over 1.9 million listed active
April 27 - US reports its 1 millionth known case of covid-19, with over 800,000 showing as active
April 27 - China reports Wuhan, China has no known active covid-19 cases, after last hospitalizations released

April 28 - US announces more citizens have died from covid-19 in 12 weeks, than died over a span of 20 years, in the Vietnam War.


Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here

     Tuesday's market review - Copper steady, focus on stagnating growth and demand - Copper prices steadied on Tuesday as the market focused on stagnating economic activity and falling demand due to the coronavirus crisis, but production cuts by major miners because of lockdowns provided support. - more

      World's mine workers resist quick restart amid coronavirus - As mining heavyweights South Africa and Peru move to lift coronavirus lockdowns, workers in deep mines are resisting going back to work without adequate protective gear and information about cases at sites, with one major union filing legal action against restart plans. - more

      Nickel and Nickel Products Export from Russia in 2019 - According to SeaNews Russian Foreign Trade Customs Statistics online service, exports of nickel and its products from Russia in 2019 amounted to 272.2 thousand tons (+10% year-on-year) worth $2.9 bn (+12.2%). - more

      What Will Distribution Look Like Post-Virus? - The worst of the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be over in the US, where the number of daily new confirmed cases of the virus and deaths have leveled off and begun to decline into late April. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • U.S. Stock Futures Climb With Oil; Dollar Weakens: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • Shanghai Futures Exchange Stainless - here
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Tuesday, April 28

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Monday's trading session at $5.56/lb ($12,240/tonne). Indicators at 6:10 am CST today show nickel trading around $.05/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses remained the same on Monday and once again, started just over the 231,100 tonne level. With only three sessions remaining in April, cancelled warranted have recorded in the 23% range every day this month so far. Nickel started out strong yesterday, but ended the day $10/tonne lower than Friday. Prices are starting today's session higher again, and it remains to be seen if the early gains will hold. Lot more green on the commodity trading board this morning, so traders must be seeing their risk appetite returning. All the talk in the US right now is about the return to business and the new normal. We added a troublesome article below from Bloomberg about what is happening in Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, but who recorded no cases yesterday, for the first time since early December. With the US no where near 'beating' this virus, it is interesting to read how people are reacting in a place where, for all practical purposes, they have beaten it. The fear factor is real and could affect economic spending for a very long time after politicians have declared we are open for business.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.30/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper falls as virus-led demand worries outweigh output cuts - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Barchart 304 SS Scrap Index - $.229/lb
  • The Nickel Age of Superconductivity: It’s Hydrogen’s Fault  - more

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
States with/without stay at home orders - more
Kinsa U.S. health monitor - here
Covid-19 County Tracker - here
Covid-19 Projections by country/state - more

Total confirmed COVID-19 deaths by income - more (more charts here)

Inside the Dystopian, Post-Lockdown World of Wuhan - (excerpt of possible interest) But inasmuch as citizens can return to living as they did before January, it’s not clear, after what they’ve endured, that they really want to. Shopping malls and department stores are open again, but largely empty. The same is true of restaurants; people are ordering in instead. The subway is quiet, but autos are selling: If being stuck in traffic is annoying, at least it’s socially distanced. - more


Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here

     Monday's market review - Copper hits six-week high on hopes for demand revival - Copper bounced to its highest in about six weeks on Monday as investors hoped that easing of lockdowns and factory restarts would revive metals demand hit by the coronavirus pandemic. - more

      Lockdowns and low prices generate nickel supply shock: Andy Home - If the boredom has well and truly set in after weeks of travel restrictions and social distancing, you could always join metal traders in a game of lockdown lottery. - more

      Philippine nickel miners to restart coronavirus-shuttered sites - The Philippines’ top two nickel miners said on Tuesday they expect to gradually resume mining and shipping operations in the country’s main ore-producing region starting on May 1, following shutdowns to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. - more

      Business Economists' Outlook Darkens Since Virus Hit - A survey of U.S. business economists in mid-April found that one-third of their companies had shut down at least some of their operations, and two-thirds had laid off or furloughed workers or cut their pay to try to minimize the impact of the coronavirus. - more

      Courtesy AISI - In the week ending on April 25, 2020, domestic raw steel production was 1,250,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 55.8 percent. Production was 1,892,000 net tons in the week ending April 25, 2019 while the capability utilization then was 81.3 percent. The current week production represents a 33.9 percent decrease from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending April 25, 2020 is down 2.1 percent from the previous week ending April 18, 2020 when production was 1,277,000 net tons and the rate of capability utilization was 57.0 percent. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Stocks Advance With U.S. Futures; Oil Trims Drop: Markets Wrap - more
  • Blog: Economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak in China - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • Shanghai Futures Exchange Stainless - here
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Monday, April 27

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Friday's trading session at $5.56/lb ($12,250/tonne). Indicators at 6:20 am CST today show nickel trading around $.07/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses jumped higher on Friday and started the last week of April just over the 231,100 tonne level. Nickel is trading higher for a third consecutive sessions, as bulls make a second attempt to separate themselves from the $12.000/tonne trap they have been stuck at. A Chinese province is considering stockpiles of non ferrous metals to juice their local economy, which is probably helping base metals in general. Euro is trading higher for the day, but lower for the month, so probably offering little incentive. All the talk is kick starting the economies with plans in motion to reopen many business'.  While China is getting a lot of negative press due to the fact this pandemic started there, China's response to the crisis, gives the rest of the world a starting point. The world saw its 3,000,000th victim this morning. Out of 1.4 billion citizens, China had 801 active cases yesterday, and no deaths. The US, with nearly 330 million residents, had 813,000 active cases yesterday and saw 1,147 residents die. Some of these protesters who refuse to answer their country's call to stay home, need to be reminded that freedom isn't free. Stay safe and have a great week.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.28/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - London copper nears 6-week high as economies reopen; stimulus measures eyed - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Scotiabank Metals Strategy: Macro Update for Metals - pdf here
  • thyssenkrupp Steel Europe Strategy 20-30 - pdf here

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
States with/without stay at home orders - more
Kinsa U.S. health monitor - here
Covid-19 County Tracker - here
Covid-19 Projections by country/state - more

Coronavirus: China’s mask, gown markets in chaos as shortages of vital raw materials sow more mayhem - more
EU toned down report on Chinese disinformation after Beijing threatened ‘repercussions’, diplomatic sources say - more

On Friday morning, the death from covid-19 for the US rolled over 50,000. The closest picture we could find to give one an idea of how many people that is - completely full the Stanford stadium (USC) holds 50,000 spectators - photo here

One of the tragic stories of this outbreak that appears to have gotten lost in the media cycle, is the spread of covid-19 in Veteran's (VA) facilities. On Friday, the number of cases in these centers was on par with Rhode Island or Missouri, with deaths double that of Rhode Island's. Right behind the older veterans in number of active cases (over 7,000 today), is active military service members. And our answer to demands that prisoners be released early because of the pandemic, for every prisoner that has died from covid-19, over 16 veterans housed in VA facilities have died.

New York City sees increase in cases of people ingesting household cleaners after Trump's disinfectant gaffe - more

Copper has superior antibacterial effect, but in case you hear otherwise in a future White House briefing, please allow us to be the first to warn you against swallowing pennies as a potential covid-19 treatment. Since 1982, pennies are made of zinc with only 2.5% copper. If you are lucky enough to find a penny made of copper, all you will get out of swallowing it, is a penny in your ..... toilet.

In the mean time, if you feel you need to swallow an antiseptic ... try Everclear Grain Alcohol - at 190 proof, it's 95% alcohol.


Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here

     Friday's market review - Copper slips on worries about recession, virus drug trials - Copper prices retreated on Friday on fears about a deep global recession and pessimism over the development of drugs to treat COVID-19. - more

      China's Gansu considering metals stockpiling plan - govt official - China’s Gansu province is considering a plan to commercially stockpile nonferrous metals, a local government official said on Monday, after Yunnan unveiled a similar initiative to boost its coronavirus-hit economy.  - more

      South Korea's POSCO cuts 2020 steel output, sales targets by 7% on COVID-19 impact - South Korea's steelmaking giant POSCO said Friday it has lowered its production and sales forecasts for 2020 by 7% as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage demand. - more

      US Steel to cut capacity at Mon Valley, possibly elsewhere: sources - US Steel is set to cut additional blast furnace capacity at its Mon Valley location outside of Pittsburgh amid depressed demand conditions, according to multiple market sources. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • U.S. Futures Rise With Stocks While WTI Oil Slumps: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • Shanghai Futures Exchange Stainless - here
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Friday, April 24

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Thursday's trading session at $5.53/lb ($12,190/tonne). Indicators at 7:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.01/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose on Thursday and started today just under the 230,700 tonne level. Another week and in the stainless steel and nickel industry the talk has once again, been pandemic centric. For some, or many, it is hard to make long term plans when a silent enemy has taken charge of the present, and threatens to control the future. Some are merely in survival mode, with expectations for the future on hold. There are attempts to kick start the economy in some areas and it remains to be seen if a frightened public will play their more important part in the equation. We suspect it will take a very, very long time for public confidence to return to pre covid-19 levels. We have all seen good times before and for those old enough to remember, 2008 was a rough year for the world as well. That one was easier to fix, but no less painful financially for many. While not trying to minimize what we are experiencing today, it is stated to show our lives are sometimes controlled by cyclically up's and down's, and what is down today, will rise again. So hang in there. In the mean time, it's the weekend. If you can, and it's allowed where you live, get outside and get some sunshine this weekend. As long as you stay away from others, and wear a mask, you'll be fine. We hope to see you again next week, and in the mean time, stay safe and have a great weekend!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.27/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper eases on worries about recession, virus drug trials - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Steel Insights, April 2020 - online here
  • Barchart 304 SS Scrap Index - $.228/lb
  • SFSA Casteel Reporter - more
  • U.S. Imports of Stainless Steel Mill Products - more
  • China Economic Update: April 2020 - more

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
States with/without stay at home orders - more
Kinsa U.S. health monitor - here
Covid-19 County Tracker - here
Covid-19 Projections by country/state - more

Coronavirus: Covid-19 was in US earlier than first thought. Here’s why that’s important to know - more


Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here

     Thursday's market review - Copper follows oil higher, demand outlook shaky - Copper prices rose on Thursday alongside oil, but analysts said the gains are unlikely to be sustained as poor demand prospects are likely to be reinforced by data showing further economic deterioration due to the coronavirus pandemic. - more

      Cobalt price, nickel usage limit damage to EV Metal Index - 2020 was supposed to be the breakout year for electric vehicles around the globe. - more

      Taiwan's stainless steel exports to Italy plummets in Q1-Q3 - Italy, which has ranked first of Taiwan's stainless steel exporter for three consecutive years, reduced its import volume by more than half year on year in the first quarter. - more

      China steel inventories extend fall fuelled by construction demand, nonferrous stocks ease - Steel stockpiles in China fell for a sixth straight week helped by accelerating demand in construction sector, but were still hovering near a five-year high as mills ramped up production after slowing output during the height of the coronavirus outbreak. - more

      World Bank slashes outlook for oil, metals as coronavirus crushes demand - The World Bank slashed its outlook for oil and metals prices on Thursday due to the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic and said the commodity market shock could hit developing countries hardest.  - more

      Grainger Q1 Sales Accelerate Amid Pandemic - While many large distributors were hurt by the impacts of COVID-19 in Q1, Grainger's US segment outgrew the MRO market by 700 basis points. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • U.S. Futures Rise; Oil Fluctuates With Treasuries: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • Shanghai Futures Exchange Stainless - here
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Thursday, April 23

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Wednesday's trading session at $5.42/lb ($11,950/tonne). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.10/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell by one lot on Wednesday and started the day just under the 230,400 tonne level for a second day. The commodity board is mostly green this morning, as an increase in oil prices infuses some risk confidence in traders. Nickel, which had closed under the $12,000/tonne level for the first time this week yesterday, has climbed back above this morning. With nickel apparently trading on oil speculation this week, it tends to tell us that the market is looking elsewhere for trading triggers, with the stainless steel industry very quiet. There is a report posted below that European steel orders are down 75%, with March steel production figures showing a YOY 6% decrease. IHS Markit PMI forecasts were released overnight for Europe, and dismal would be a little too positive to describe them. "The IHS Markit Eurozone Manufacturing PMI fell to 33.6 in April of 2020 from 44.5 in March." Any number below 50 means an economy is in deterioration. These are initial numbers and will be finalized late next week, when US numbers will be released.  Stay safe.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.26/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper follows oil higher, demand outlook shaky - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
States with/without stay at home orders - more
Kinsa U.S. health monitor - here
Covid-19 County Tracker - here
Covid-19 Projections by country/state - more

For those buying into the China should have acted quicker accusations - it was determined yesterday - nearly 10 weeks 'after' the fact - that the US first fatality took place 3 weeks earlier than thought - First known U.S. coronavirus death occurred on Feb. 6 in Santa Clara County - more  If memory serves us correctly, after determining it was a newly identified 'Legionnaires Disease' that killed convention attendees back in the 70's/80's, further research determined attendees at a convention two years prior had been sickened by the virus as well. The point? "He who is without sin, cast the first stone." Let the scientists determine what happened in China, the errors everyone made in this process, and how to do better the next time. Let the medical scientists find the drugs that actually won't kill you, and might cure you. Politicians, especially those who have no clue, need to shut up, stop deflecting responsibility by playing the blame game, and clean their own house.

Coronavirus study points to vast number of cases under the radar in China - more


Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here

     Wednesday's market review - Copper firms as supply fears, China demand support prices - Copper prices firmed on Wednesday as major miners warned that the coronavirus crisis would cut output and financial markets stabilised after two days of chaos caused by oil price falls. - more

      Merafe Resources - Shareholders of the Company are advised that the European benchmark ferrochrome price has been settled at 114 US cents per pound for the second quarter of 2020, an increase of 12.9% from the 101 US cents per pound price in the first quarter of 2020. - source

      Indonesia issues rules putting floor price on nickel ore - Indonesia’s Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry has revised regulations on the pricing of minerals, including putting a floor price on nickel ore, Bambang Gatot Ariyono, director general of coal and minerals, said on Thursday. - more

      EU steelmakers face 75% order slump, crisis could halve output: association - European Union steel production has already been cut by 50% as a result of the current coronavirus crisis with further losses expected as mills' new order bookings are down by as much as 75%, European steelmakers' association Eurofer told S&P Global Platts on Wednesday. - more

      March 2020 crude steel production - World crude steel production for the 64 countries reporting to the World Steel Association (worldsteel) was 147.1 million tonnes (Mt) in March 2020, a 6.0% decrease compared to March 2019. - more

      WBMS Press Release April 2020 - (excerpt) The nickel market was in surplus during January to February 2020 with production exceeding apparent demand by 20.1 kt. In the whole of 2019, the calculated deficit was 17.9 kt. Reported stocks held in the LME at the end of February 2020 were 82.1 kt higher than at the end of the previous year. Refined production in January to February 2020 totalled 366.2 kt and demand was 346.1 kt. - more

      PolyMet remains determined to build Minnesota mine - TSX- and NYSE American-listed Polymet remains “determined and confident” that it will advance its copper/nickel mine on the Iron Range, Minnesota, and this week turned to the Supreme Court to view a lower court ruling on the company’s air permit. - more

      Extracting battery metals from seafloor may beat traditional mining - study - Mining battery metals from the ocean floor could potentially eliminate or dramatically reduce most of the environmental and social impacts associated with the extraction of riches from the Earth’s surface, a new study claims. - more

      Distributor Pandemic Sales Index Improves for Week of April 13, But Skepticism Abounds - Indian River Consulting Group’s (IRCG) distributor Pandemic Revenue Index (PRI) showed considerable improvement from a week prior, though the firm is skeptical about any correlation to improving business conditions amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • U.S. Futures, Europe Stocks Fluctuate; Oil Jumps: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • Shanghai Futures Exchange Stainless - here
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Wednesday, April 22

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Tuesday's trading session at $5.55/lb ($12,225/tonne). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.12/lb lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose on Tuesday and started today just under the 230,400 tonne level. What had turned bullish last Friday, has returned bearish. Nickel is trading back below the $12,000/tonne level, having closed below that level the last three sessions. The commodity board on the whole, looks much different than yesterday, with a lot more green showing. Base metals are also mostly trading higher, except lonely nickel. Reuters is quoting Nornickel as estimating a 120,000 tonne nickel surplus this year, which is probably not brightening traders days. LME stockpile numbers rose sharply in January and February, then fell slightly in March, but so far this month, have returned to growth, evidence of Nornickel's prediction. It's hump day and it appears the bear may have put the lasso on the bull again. We are seeing reports that China and Taiwan are trying to raise stainless steel prices, but with little support from nickel, or demand, we doubt they will hold (if the reports are true). It's hump day, and we start the day with predictions from the United Nations that parts of the world will see biblical style famines due to the coronavirus. And with that cheerful thought, we wish you a safe and profitable day.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.24/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Base metals attempt a rally after oil slump deters risk - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Scotiabank Commodity Note - pdf here
  • Worldsteel Life Cycle Inventory Study 2019 - pdf here

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
States with/without stay at home orders - more
Kinsa U.S. health monitor - here
Covid-19 County Tracker - here
Covid-19 Projections by country/state - more

Coronavirus: the Wuhan lab conspiracy theory that will not go away - more
Coronavirus pandemic will cause global famines of 'biblical proportions,' UN warns - more


Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here

     Tuesday's market review - Industrial metals sink as oil market turmoil rattles investors - Industrial metals prices fell on Tuesday, with copper down more than 2% as a collapse in oil prices rattled investors, pushing global stock markets lower and the dollar higher.  - more

      Russia's Nornickel sees downside risk to 2020 sales volumes - Sees global nickel market surplus at 149,000 tonnes in 2020 - more

      London Metal Exchange will reopen ring trade: CEO -  The London Metal Exchange will be returning to open outcry trade once it is possible to do so, and the recent move to 100% electronic trading is only temporary, LME CEO Matthew Chamberlain told S&P Global Platts on Tuesday. - more

      Nunavik’s Raglan mine reopens despite outrage from Makivik Corp. - Nunavik’s Raglan nickel mine is reopening, following its closure on March 24 due to Quebec’s COVID-19 business shutdowns. - more

      Companies Find Getting Back to Work Easier Said than Done - As officials tussle over when and how to “reopen” the US economy, some corporations are taking the first steps toward bringing their employees back to work. - more

      PolyMet asks Minnesota Supreme Court to review air permit ruling - PolyMet leaders are calling on the state's highest court to review a lower court's ruling surrounding a permit necessary for the company to move ahead with its plans for a copper nickel mine on the Iron Range. - more

      Courtesy AISI - In the week ending on April 18, 2020, domestic raw steel production was 1,277,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 57.0 percent. Production was 1,892,000 net tons in the week ending April 18, 2019 while the capability utilization then was 81.3 percent. The current week production represents a 32.5 percent decrease from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending April 18, 2020 is up 1.7 percent from the previous week ending April 11, 2020 when production was 1,256,000 net tons and the rate of capability utilization was 56.1 percent. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Copper can save lives and kill viruses - more
  • How global pandemic jeopardises China's metals supply chain - more
  • U.S. Futures Advance With Stocks; Oil Pares Drop: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • Shanghai Futures Exchange Stainless - here
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Tuesday, April 21

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Monday's trading session at $5.68/lb ($12,520/tonne). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.12/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Monday and started today just over the 230,000 tonne level. Reported stockpile numbers are above where we started the month and cancelled warrants have stayed in the 23% range all month. After following Shanghai trading higher yesterday, LME traders have broke with their no action overnight and are heading lower this morning. Market media outlets don't really seem to be trying to give a reason today, and since the commodity boards are a near sea of red this morning, we suspect it has something to do with oil trading in negative territory yesterday. If the life blood of the worldwide economy can trade below zero, what does that tell us about said worldwide economy? Sometime this morning, the world saw its 2,500,000th confirmed victim to covid-19, with the US going over the 800,000 number later today. Three months ago today, a 35 year old male became the first confirmed case of covid-19 in the United States (in Snohomish County, Washington). Three months and 42,000+ dead later, we have over 1/3 of our fellow Americans who feel the country isn't reopening fast enough. That 35 year old who had traveled to Wuhan, China - he recovered after two weeks in the hospital. Stay safe out there and have a great day.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month -  $5.22/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Zinc prices fall on oversupply concerns as coronavirus dents demand - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • NAB China’s economy at a glance – April 2020 - more

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
States with/without stay at home orders - more
Kinsa U.S. health monitor - here
Covid-19 County Tracker - here
Covid-19 Projections by country/state - more

Coronavirus attacks lining of blood vessels all over the body, Swiss study finds - more


Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here

     Monday's market review - Nickel prices jump after Vale trims output target - Nickel prices jumped to their highest in more than a month on Monday after mining company Vale slashed its annual output target for the stainless steel ingredient due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. - more

       Global molybdenum production rises while usage falls in 2019 - Global production of molybdenum rose by to 575.4 million pounds in 2019, up 1% from 571.5 million pounds in 2018, according to figures released today by the International Molybdenum Association (IMOA), a non-profit trade association representing the interests of the world's molybdenum producers, converters, consumers and traders. - more

      Analysis: China's steel market unlikely to fully recover from virus impact until H2 - China's domestic steel market will continue to face downward pressure in the second quarter due to high steel production, soaring steel inventories, depressed exports and lackluster demand in the manufacturing sector. - more

      The muddied waters of mining in Papua New Guinea - Just north of Australia, the island split into Papua and Papua New Guinea is famously underexplored, though over the years inroads have been made and tantalising glimmers of hidden mineral wealth have been quickly followed by some of the world’s biggest miners. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • The Price of Oil Futures Dropped Below Zero for the First Time Ever. Here's Why - more
  • U.S. Stock Futures Retreat; Crude Oil Rout Worsens: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • Shanghai Futures Exchange Stainless - here
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Monday, April 20

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Friday's trading session at $5.47/lb ($12,055/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.14/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Friday and started the week just under the 230,200 tonne level. Having successfully broke free last week, of the channel it had been trading in for some time, technicals turned bullish on Friday and even with a stronger Dollar overhanging traders, LME nickel is trading higher today. Considering the timing of most of today's gain in price coming in overnight trading, we suspect this is more of a reaction to the jump in Shanghai nickel than anything else. We suspect traders would be wise to pay attention to what is happening to oil demand - and the crash in prices there - before turning too bullish, too quickly. This cursed virus isn't going anywhere anytime soon, and just because some politician says its time to reopen, does not magically make the threat disappear. We had a local business close after one employee showed up to work sick and later tested positive. Everyone else in the business was quarantined after 13 of them began to show symptoms. Is that the future? And how will you determine an employee or customer walking thru your front door is not sick? Test results are pending. We also see the biggest risk to the economic recovery being a return of consumer confidence. How quickly will Americans become confident enough to risk eating out, going to a movie, visiting a sporting event, etc? If people aren't spending money, then the economy can not recover. Without money too spend, the economy can not recover. It is a cycle that does not appear to be promising at the moment, and that is why so many economists are forecasting doom and gloom ahead. We can only hope that someone gets a vaccine approved sooner than later. Never looked forward to getting a shot before, but am personally way beyond tired of having no life beyond the back yard.  Another week is upon us. Those goals you set at the beginning of the year are probably history by now, and many of you have shifted from growth mode to survival mode. Hang in there - good times will return. Like the vaccine, hopefully sooner than later. Stay safe and have a great week.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.19/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Shanghai nickel jumps over 4% as Vale cuts output forecast - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Wells Fargo Weekly Economic Commentary - pdf here

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
States with/without stay at home orders - more
Kinsa U.S. health monitor - here
Covid-19 County Tracker - here
Covid-19 Projections by country/state - more

Can a face mask protect me from coronavirus? Covid-19 myths busted - more


Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here

     Yesterday's market review - Copper logs biggest weekly gain since Feb 2019 on signs of China recovery - Copper rose to a one-month high on Friday on plans for the U.S. economy to re-open and signs of recovery in China’s industrial output, even as growth in the top metals consumer contracted in the first quarter. - more

      Brazil's Vale slashes 2020 production forecast for iron, copper, nickel - Brazilian miner Vale SA on Friday cut its forecast for production of iron ore fines and pellets, copper and nickel in 2020, saying in a securities filing that the new coronavirus outbreak was delaying some facilities from reopening. - more

      Molybdenum ore spill is China's biggest tailings leak in nearly 20 years - A spillage of waste molybdenum ore in northeast China last month was the biggest tailings leak the country witnessed in almost 20 years and needed the toughest environmental emergency response, the environment ministry said on Monday. - more

      Steel demand to shrink 7.7% this year: Indian Steel Association - "We estimate finished steel demand in India to fall in calendar year 2020 to around 93.7 million tonne from an estimated actual of 101.5 million tonne in 2019, a decline of 7.7% or roughly by about 8 million tonne this calendar year," ISA said. - more

      The Study of Corrosion Behavior and Hardness of AISI Stainless Steel304 in Concentration of Chloride Acid Solution and Temperature Variations - pdf here

       Outokumpu appoints Heikki Malinen as President and CEO - Outokumpu’s Board of Directors has appointed Heikki Malinen as President and CEO of Outokumpu and the Chairman of the Leadership Team.  - more

      Mining projects to slow further in Q2 2020 - The share of global mining projects that advanced to the next stage of development has decreased from 3.8% in Q4 2019 to 2.8% in Q1 2020, and is expected to slow further in Q2 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak, according to a new report by energy research company global data. - more

      Sales: Same Game, New Rules - While sudden, massive disruption doesn't throw out all the rules of selling, it does remove or change at least a handful. - more

  • Metalforming Group Sees Unprecedented Decline - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • U.S. Futures Decline While Oil Plunges Below $14: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • Shanghai Futures Exchange Stainless - here
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Friday, April 17

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Thursday's trading session at $5.34/lb ($11,765/tonne). Indicators at 6:50 am CST today show nickel trading around $.10/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose on Thursday and started today just over the 230,300 tonne level. Except for lead, all London traded base metals are higher this morning, as traders gamble the world reopening their economies sooner than later, will pay off. And since you may be hearing a lot in the next few days about a drug called Remdesivir, if it turns out to have merit, stocks could continue to jump. Another 5+ million Americans filed for unemployment last week. More Americans have filed for unemployment in the last month than live in the state of Florida, the 3rd most populous state in the Union. The curve peak is holding but 30,000 more Americans are still getting sick every day and over 2000 are dieing. We are not out of the woods yet. Stay safe and have a restful weekend.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.17/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - LME copper set for best week since Feb 2019 on U.S. plans to reopen economy - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Barchart 304 SS Scrap Index - $.228/lb
  • USGS Chromium Statistics and Information - pdf here
  • Scotiabank Base Metals Quarterly - pdf here

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
States with/without stay at home orders - more
Kinsa U.S. health monitor - here
Covid-19 County Tracker - here
Covid-19 Projections by country/state - more

How Widespread Is the Impact of the COVID-19 Outbreak on Consumer Expectations? - more
Searching for answers in Wuhan’s coronavirus aftermath: people at epicentre of China’s crisis want explanations - more


Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here

     Thursday's market review - Copper gains on China data but recession concerns cloud outlook - Copper prices firmed on Thursday as data from China pointed to signs of gradual recovery from the novel coronavirus, but gains were capped by concerns about global growth and falling metals demand. - more

      Nickel prices get a boost from pandemic-driven ore supply tightness - Dwindling nickel ore supply from the Philippines amid measures to contain the new coronavirus has boosted nickel prices in China despite weak demand from the stainless steel sector. - more

      China’s stainless steel hits over seventh session high - Stainless steel futures in China extended gains into a seventh session on Wednesday as restocking demand from traders rose, while raw material supply disruptions due to suspension at Philippines' nickel mines also supported prices. - more

      Stainless steel outlook: Markets in disarray compound weak New Year - The COVID-19 pandemic is heavily impacting all nickel and stainless steel supply chains -when they were already facing weaker prospects. - more

       Global molybdenum production rises while usage falls in 2019 - Global production of molybdenum rose by 1% in 2019 to 575.4 million pounds from 571.5 million pounds in 2018, figures released today by the International Molybdenum Association (IMOA) show. - more

      Taiwan’s YUSCO optimistic about stainless steel future prices - According to the announcement from Yieh United Steel Corp. (YUSCO), the largest integrated stainless steelmaker in Taiwan, the strong nickel prices might push the stainless steel prices to hike sharply next month. - more

      See Which Industrial Supply Execs. Were Named to Trump’s Economic Revival Groups - On Tuesday, a White House press release said that President Donald Trump announced the various executives, economics, scholars and industry leaders who together will form what is called the Great American Economic Revival Industry Groups. - more

  • Distrib. Pandemic Revenue Index Down 29% for Week of April 6 - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Stocks and Futures Rally on U.S. Reopening Plans: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • Shanghai Futures Exchange Stainless - here
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Thursday, April 16

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Wednesday's trading session at $5.34/lb ($11,765/tonne). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.02/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose on Wednesday and for the first time since the end of February, they rose by over 1000 tonnes. We opened this morning with just under the 230,100 tonne level in stock. Thursday's can be quiet and this one is no different. Nickel continues to slip but remains above the channel it was stuck in. Last week. we here in the US, were seeing an average of 2,000 of our fellow Americans die each day from covid-19. This week, that number has spiked to 2,500 a day. New cases in the US appear to have peaked between April 4th and 10th, and until yesterday, was averaging below the 30,000 level. Hopefully yesterday's 30,000+ was a blip, although it serves as a reminder that while it is fine to figure out how best and safest to reopen the economy now, the time to do so has yet to arrive.  Stay safe and have a great day.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.16/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Shanghai aluminium hits near 4-week high as China inventories dip - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Nickel Institute Technical Guides (numerous) - free downloads here
  • Fed GDPNow Forecast - pdf here
  • Fed US Economic Activity - pdf here
  • Barchart 304 SS Scrap Index - $.233/lb

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
States with/without stay at home orders - more
Kinsa U.S. health monitor - here
Covid-19 County Tracker - here
Covid-19 Projections by country/state - more

Federal Reserve - The COVID-19 Pandemic and the Fed’s Response - more

Highly pathogenic avian flu in SC turkey flock is no threat to human health - more


Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here

     Wednesday's market review - Copper falls as recession fear grips markets - Copper fell on Wednesday as moves by China’s central bank to bolster the economy were overshadowed by predictions of a deep global recession, which drove down stock markets and oil prices. - more

      COVID-19 Impacts To Metals Prices: Volatility Is Here To Stay - Part 1 - While we expect that prices for the metals covered here will rebound in the second half of the year, we have significantly reduced our price forecasts since early March to reflect the considerably more severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic than previously anticipated. - more

      U.S. Forest Service denies Minnesota request for unreleased research on copper mining impacts - The Minnesota DNR hasn't determined how to respond or what it means for Twin Metals. - more

      Secret agent' couple charged over Department of Mines tender corruption scandal - A WA public servant and her partner have been charged with corruption and disclosing government secrets following allegations the pair rigged a tender process to win contracts. - more

      Industrial Production Posts Biggest Drop Since 1946 - American industry collapsed in March as the pandemic wreaked havoc on the U.S. economy. Manufacturing and overall industrial production posted the biggest declines since the United States demobilized after World War II. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • U.S. Futures Rise With Dollar Before Jobless Data: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • Shanghai Futures Exchange Stainless - here
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Wednesday, April 15

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Tuesday's trading session at $5.39/lb ($11,885/tonne). Indicators at 6:20 am CST today show nickel trading around $.03/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Tuesday and started today just under the 229,000 tonne level. Nickel continued to climb away from the channel it had traded in and today's slight setback has not put it back in the same. Multiple possibilities for why the market is down today. Global stocks are down on IMF forecasts that the covid-19 crisis will put the world in a recession as bad as we have seen since the 1930's depression. Be careful IMF - the U.S. President just pulled funding from the WHO because they put out news he didn't like, so walk softly. Apparently we want all the profits from world globalization, but none of the risk. One of the reactions to the IMF prediction is a stronger US Dollar, which always adds negative pressure to base metals trading. The talk remains on how to reopen the economy, with the President claiming he has 'absolute authority', and many governors ignoring him and working together on their own plans. Hopefully, no one is kidding themselves. Until we have a vaccine and worldwide immunization program in place, forecast to be next year at the earliest, our daily lives can not be the same as pre-covid-19 days. And if the IMF forecasts prove to be correct, that will be an understatement. We will see. Many of the covid-19 forecasts have proven to be too extreme - let;s hope the IMF is incorrect as well. Stay safe and have a great day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.14/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - London copper edges up as China cuts borrowing costs - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Glencore Update on COVID-19 - more
  • Scotiabank Market Commentary - pdf here

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
States with/without stay at home orders - more
Kinsa U.S. health monitor - here
Covid-19 County Tracker - here
Covid-19 Projections by country/state - more

China’s initial coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan spread twice as fast as we thought, new study suggests - more
Global reaction to Trump withdrawing WHO funding - more

US distributor Fastenal reported yesterday "... March sales of our fastener products declined 10.1 percent on a daily basis as industrial activity slowed, while our safety business grew 31.0 percent on a daily basis as we were able to source and deliver critical personal protective equipment supplies to the marketplace. In addition, while our manufacturing and non-residential construction end markets were down 1.1 percent and 7.8 percent on a daily basis, respectively, our government business was up 31.1 percent on a daily basis with sales to health care organizations more than doubling." Their first 2020 quarterly report, issued yesterday as well, stated..  "Individually, sales of our fastener products declined 2.6% on a daily basis over the first quarter of 2019, representing 32.9% of sales in the first quarter of 2020. Sales of safety products grew 18.4% on a daily basis over the first quarter of 2019, representing 19.8% of sales in the first quarter of 2020. Sales of our remaining products grew 1.6% on a daily basis over the first quarter of 2019, representing 47.3% of sales in the first quarter of 2020." They added "In March, this customer mix remained a factor but the widening growth differential between higher-margin fastener sales and lower-margin safety sales produced a greater product mix impact and increased the overall effect of mix on our gross profit percentage." The effect of the covid-19 arrival became very apparent in March, and should make an even more noticeable effect in the next quarters results.


Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here

     Tuesday's market review - Copper propelled to 4-week high by disrupted supply, demand hopes - Copper prices hit a four-week high on Tuesday, boosted by coronavirus-linked supply disruptions and expectations of stronger demand, although gains were capped by caution over the pace of an economic recovery. - more

      COLUMN - How low can we go? Analysts slash base metals forecasts: Andy Home - Three months can be a very long time in markets, the last three months particularly.  - more

      Covid-19: Panoramic suspends Savannah nickel mine operations - Australian development and exploration firm Panoramic Resources has temporarily suspended the operations of Savannah nickel mine in Western Australia due to the ongoing impact of the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic. - more

      IMF: Economy to Suffer Worst Year Since Great Depression - Beaten down by the coronavirus outbreak, the world economy in 2020 will suffer its worst year since the Great Depression of the 1930s, the International Monetary Fund says in its latest forecast. - more
  • The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow - more
  • OSHA recommends face shield and homemade mask for workers—as a last resort - more
      Courtesy AISI - In the week ending on April 11, 2020, domestic raw steel production was 1,256,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 56.1 percent. Production was 1,892,000 net tons in the week ending April 11, 2019 while the capability utilization then was 81.3 percent. The current week production represents a 33.6 percent decrease from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending April 11, 2020 is down 18.1 percent from the previous week ending April 4, 2020 when production was 1,534,000 net tons and the rate of capability utilization was 68.5 percent. - more

      Norilsk Nickel donates $143mn to fight coronavirus, steps up its social care of workforce in Russia’s remote Far North - Russia’s biggest metal and mining company Norilsk Nickel, owned by tycoon Vladimir Potanin, has donated RUB10.5bn ($143mn) towards the fight against the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) virus and to protect the health of its workers. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Stocks Drop With U.S. Futures; Bonds, Dollar Jump: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • Shanghai Futures Exchange Stainless - here
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Tuesday, April 14

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Thursday's trading session at $5.29/lb ($11,670/tonne). Indicators at 6:20 am CST today show nickel trading around $.07/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell ever so slightly on Thursday and start this week just over the 229,000 tonne level. Nickel finally punched its way out of a tight channel it had traded in for weeks on Thursday and so far today, it appears the bull remains on the loose. Considering nickel is trading a little over $1/lb lower than it was on January 1st, it has a lot of 'loose' to recapture. World markets are trading on hopeful signs out there that the virus spread is stabilizing. While 30,000 new patients a day is still rather disheartening (in the U.S.), the fact that we are seeing some stability in that number over the past week, means the so called peak may have been met, and we must see a peak, before we can experience a downturn. This is nationwide because there still are hot spots in the US where new cases are still rising. Attention has shifted back to reopening the economy and this has traders in a good mood. The President has proclaimed he has the sole power to order people back to work, although he refused to order them out of work, leaving that responsibility to the state governors. We suspect the economy will slowly reopen, with hot spots taking longer to open, and new hot spots breaking out, and forcing some areas to re close temporarily. Until a vaccine is developed and approved, we remain hostages to this invisible enemy. In the mean time, many of our daily readers are hurting. Business has and is slowing for those lucky enough to remain working. We live in a new world of firsts .... and worsts. But gradually, as we journey thru life, we will exit the messy period, and this will all be a bad memory in our rear view mirror. It is up to each of us to find the good in the bad, and if we can't find it .... to make it. Have a great week and stay safe.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.12/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - London copper hits four-week high as mines halt operations to contain virus - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Barchart 304 SS Scrap Index - $.234/lb 
  • Metalforming Magazine - online here
  • U.S. Economy in a Snapshot - more
  • Producer Price Index ...  for ... Stainless and Other Alloy Steel Scrap - chart here

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
States with/without stay at home orders - more
Kinsa U.S. health monitor - here
Covid-19 County Tracker - here
Covid-19 Projections by country/state - more

Deadly coronavirus comes in three variants, researchers find - more
White House Slams Voice of America; VOA Fights Back - more
How US media dish out their own propaganda on China and Covid-19 - more

Will best practices for COVID-19 shop safety work when fabricators come back? - more


Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here

     Thursday's market review - Copper set for biggest weekly rise in 14 months as risk appetite improves -  Copper prices were set for their biggest weekly gain in more than a year after signs that the spread of the coronavirus may be slowing lifted risk assets.  - more

      European stainless steel prices running stably - It was understood that due to the lower nickel prices in the past week and the resumption of production at Italian steel mills, European stainless steel prices were basically stable. - more

       April 2020 SRO postponement and other updates - In light of the unprecedented disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic, worldsteel has taken the decision not to publish its April Short Range Outlook (SRO) for steel demand this month. - more

      Trump executive order calls for commercializing the solar system, mining the moon - Neil Armstrong captivated the world when he took "one giant leap" onto the moon's dusty surface in 1969. - more

      Manufacturing supply chains, jobs reports show obvious downturn amid COVID-19 crisis - Industry economists anticipate April manufacturing numbers to be even more distressing - more

  • Metal Supply Chain Rises to Occasion - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • 16.8M Americans on Unemployment - more
  • Stocks, U.S. Futures Gain Before Earnings Season: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • Shanghai Futures Exchange Stainless - here
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Thursday, April 9

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Wednesday's trading session at $5.22/lb ($11,510/tonne). Indicators at 6:10 am CST today show nickel trading around $.01/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses remain unchanged for the fourth time this month, and started the day just under the 229,100 tonne level. Nickel is trying hard to break out of the channel it has traded in since mid March. It broke above for a short period yesterday, and has made multiple attempts today, but so far, all attempts have been unable to stick. The bulls want to run, but so far the barbed wire is holding. The news media, always in search for an explanation, are crediting the closure of the Philippine nickel mines for boosting the markets this morning ..... and then the trading price retreated. The on again, off again, mine closures do add a huge question mark to nickel ore supplies to the world's largest consumer, China, but until they have been closed for more than a few days at a time, the question mark is more of skepticism, rather than concern. If one were to look at LME stockpile movements to gauge the supply/demand needs of the world, we are down around 800 tonnes over 7 sessions, and four of those sessions have recorded no change - something we don't remember ever seeing before this pandemic. So we continue to sail in uncharted waters. How else can one see our country experience a second day with over 30,000 'more' Americans get sick and nearly 2,000 'more' die..... and we see it as hopeful news? Stay safe and have a great day.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.11/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Nickel climbs to highest in nearly 3 weeks on Philippine supply disruption - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Barchart 304 SS Scrap Index - $.234/lb
  • Fastener Distributor Index - March 2020 - pdf here
  • Steel Times International - online here
  • Scotiabank Metals Strategy: Precious Monthly & Update - pdf here
  • US Economic Indicators:Durable Goods Orders& Shipments - pdf here

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
States with/without stay at home orders - more
Kinsa U.S. health monitor - here
Covid-19 County Tracker - here
Covid-19 Projections by country/state - more

Three in Four in U.S. Have Self-Isolated in Their Household - more


Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here

     Wednesday's market review - Coronavirus-wrecked demand pushes aluminium to 4-year low - Aluminium prices slipped to their lowest level in more than four years on Wednesday as falling demand due to the new coronavirus and expectations of a large surplus this year were reinforced by rising stocks. - more

      Chinese molybdenum miner halts production after tailings spill - Yichun Luming Mining Co Ltd, the owner of a tailings dam in northeast China that leaked last month, contaminating the local river system, has been ordered to suspend molybdenum production, according to a report on a provincial government website.  - more (this story seems to be snowballing)
  • China Railway's molybdenum unit suspended for tailings dam leakage - more
      Vale extends Voisey's Bay shutdown by as much as three months - Vale announced Wednesday it will extend the care and maintenance period at the Voisey’s Bay copper mine by up to three months as it continues to monitor the impact of COVID-19. - more

      Philippines' top nickel miners halt operations to contain coronavirus - The Philippines’ top nickel ore producers, Nickel Asia Corp and Global Ferronickel Holdings Inc, are suspending mining and export operations in a southern province to comply with coronavirus-containment measures.  - more

      SLN staff moved after New Caledonia raid - New Caledonia's SLN nickel company says it has transferred some employees and their families to Noumea after a night-time break-in at staff quarters. - more

      Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/508 of 7 April 2020 imposing a  provisional anti-dumping duty on imports of certain hot rolled stainless steel sheets and coils originating in Indonesia, the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan - pdf here

      Distributors and a Pandemic: What it Means to Move During a Crisis - To gain more control in this volatile and unpredictable market, distributors need to mobilize, observe, validate and enable – or MOVE. Here’s how. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • U.S. Futures Fluctuate While Stocks Pare Gains: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • Shanghai Futures Exchange Stainless - here
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Wednesday, April 8

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Tuesday's trading session at $5.20/lb ($11,470/tonne). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.01/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose for the first time this month, and we started the day just under 229,100 tonnes level. It took eleven weeks but Wuhan, China officially lifted their lockdown overnight and returns to their 'new' normal.  Wuhan is important to the pandemic for many reasons, but primarily it is believed to be the spot where this virus originated, and also the first region to be put on quarantine. Wuhan was and is the test case on how to beat the bug. Based on this timetable, we might see some sort of return to life here  in the States by early June, although with far less stringent quarantine measures in place, that remains questionable.  The US case level rose by 33,331 yesterday, a new high, but only slightly higher than the prior record, so the curve continues to level off. 400,000 Americans have been diagnosed positive so far. The fatality rate continues to explode, and rose by nearly 2,000 Americans yesterday. Nickel prices continue to go absolutely no where fast, and the industry news we found is below. It's hump day and for those of you deemed  essential, we thank you for being out and about. Everyone be safe and have a great day.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.09/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - London copper eases as pandemic hits demand, supply worries cap losses - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Barchart 304 SS Scrap Index - $.237/lb
  • Stainless steel in bridges - pdf brochure here
  • ATI SRP & SSSP April Surcharge Announcement - pdf here

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
States with/without stay at home orders - more
Kinsa U.S. health monitor - here
Covid-19 County Tracker - here
Covid-19 Projections by country/state - more

Coronavirus: why do 'recovered' patients test positive again?  - more (old news in China, let's not re-learn this)
Watch full NBC News Special Report: Coronavirus Pandemic - more


Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here

     Tuesday's market review - Copper rallies to near 3-week high on hopes of slowing pandemic -  Copper prices surged to their highest in nearly three weeks on Tuesday on some signs that the coronavirus pandemic may be slowing and on hopes that heavy bouts of stimulus will repair economic damage. - more

      In uncertain times, global metals exchange volumes surge: Andy Home -  The spread of the deadly coronavirus has upended industrial metal markets, with many plunging to multi-year lows and volatility spiking across the board. - more

      DeepGreen to make run for battery metals from seafloor - DeepGreen Metals, a Canadian start-up planning to extract cobalt and other battery metals from the seafloor, has added a new area to its seabed portfolio, which it believes could potentially help it solve the bottleneck supply of critical battery metals needed for the world’s green energy transition. - more

      Philippines' No. 2 nickel ore exporter halts mining operations amid coronavirus concerns - Global Ferronickel Holdings Inc, the Philippines' second-biggest nickel ore producer and exporter, said on Wednesday it has decided to suspend mining operations to allay growing concerns over the spread of the coronavirus. - more

      The owner of this smelly skyline on the Arctic tundra is now Russia's richest - Vladimir Potanin has built much of his fortune by polluting the Arctic. In 1995, he acquired a stake in Norilsk Nickel during the privatization of Russian state-owned enterprises. - more

  • Possible Toxic Crisis Looms in Russian Far East Because of Industrial Disaster Inside China - more

      ‘Them plants are killing us’: inside a cross-border battle against cancer in Ontario’s rust belt - Two communities — one in Canada, one in the U.S. — share both a border along the St. Marys River and a toxic legacy that has contributed to high rates of cancer. - more

      SLN quarters broken into in New Caledonia - Reports from New Caledonia say a group of men broke into the staff quarters of the SLN nickel company in Kouaoua, setting a house on fire and burning a vehicle. - more

      Distrib. Pandemic Index: Sales Down 14% for Week of March 30 - The latest reading was technically a one-week improvement, but commentary indicates that is due to large back-orders in shipping. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Europe Stocks Slip, U.S. Futures Flat; Dollar Up: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • Shanghai Futures Exchange Stainless - here
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Tuesday, April 7

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Monday's trading session at $5.13/lb ($11,305/tonne). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.05/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses went unchanged again, of the third time in the last four sessions, and started the day just over the 228,600 tonne level again. Commodities are trading mostly higher this morning, and most analysts are crediting less doom and gloom news as a factor. Today, we will see the world pass the 1,000,000 actively sick level, having passed the million 'case' level last week. Of that number, nearly 370,000 cases are classified 'closed', of which 1 in 5 have died, the rest recovered.  The good news, at least to traders, is the United States rate if infection, country wide, seems to have stalled around 30,000 new cases per day. This means little to those who are sick, but the all important curve must reach a plateau before it can even begin to fall. The death rate, however, continues to climb in the US, although there are little hints of hope it may be stalling in some of the harder hit European countries. We recommend the video report below on NBC's Kate Snow sharing every parents fear during this crisis. It's hard to see the positive when we are experiencing so much death, but there it is..... the best we have to offer. Stay safe and have a great day.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.08/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper near 3-week high on signs of slowing coronavirus death toll - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
States with/without stay at home orders - more
Kinsa U.S. health monitor - here
Covid-19 County Tracker - here
Covid-19 Projections by country/state - more

Google's Mobility Map - more

NBC News’ Kate Snow opens up about caring for husband who has coronavirus symptoms - more
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson in intensive care for coronavirus - more
Coronavirus Outbreak Sends Consumer Expectations Plummeting - more


Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here

     Monday's market review - Copper firms on slowing coronavirus infections, inventory drop - Copper rose on Monday, supported by a slowdown in the death toll from coronavirus in some European countries and falling inventories, though fears of recession continued to weigh on prices. - more

      Chromium: Mintal halves ferrochrome capacity for month of April - Amongst ferrochrome closures in Inner Mongolia this week was Mintal, announcing that the company will halt high-carbon ferrochrome production at two of its 75,000kVA furnaces after the Qingming Festival on 4 April. - more

      Nickel Asia resumes mining operations amid Covid-19 - Mining firm Nickel Asia Corp. (NAC) is set to resume its mining operations, particularly its ore shipment activities after the provincial government of Surigao del Norte amended a recent order that temporarily suspended the operations of mining and mineral processing plants in the province. - more
  • Nickel mining in Surigao del Norte, Philippines, remains suspended as the region recorded its first COVID-19 case - more
      Courtesy AISI - In the week ending on April 4, 2020, domestic raw steel production was 1,534,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 68.5 percent. Production was 1,892,000 net tons in the week ending April 4, 2019 while the capability utilization then was 81.3 percent. The current week production represents a 18.9 percent decrease from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending April 4, 2020 is down 8.1 percent from the previous week ending March 28, 2020 when production was 1,670,000 net tons and the rate of capability utilization was 71.6 percent. - more

      Steps Distributors Should Take Now to Emerge Stronger When Recovery Arrives - Robert Kravitz examines what distributors and other B2B organizations should be doing to retain jobs, maintain operations and hold on to customers. - more

  • B2B Sales: Are You Creating Enough Personal Value? - more
  • Manufacturing supply chains, jobs reports show obvious downturn amid COVID-19 crisis - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Coronavirus darkens Asia’s economic outlooks: JCER survey - more
  • U.S. Futures Rally With Stocks While Bonds Retreat: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • Shanghai Futures Exchange Stainless - here
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Monday, April 6

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Friday's trading session at $5.09/lb ($11,225/tonne). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.01/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell slightly on Friday and started this week just over the 228,600 tonne level. Nickel continues to trade rangebound, as it has since mid March. In industry news, one of the Philippine islands has resumed shipping nickel ore. Norilsk is warning it may bot find buyers for all of its nickel as demand continues to slump. And for American business', UPS and FedEx are no longer guaranteeing deliveries, so next day air shipments might not arrive as hoped. The US will jump over the 10,000 level today in number of recorded covid-19 deaths, and recorded twice as many deaths as Italy or Spain yesterday. In total number of active cases, the US will jump over the 350,000 case level today, equivalent to Italy, Spain and Iran - all combined. We want to thank those of you who are classified essential workers and do not have the luxury of working from home. The stainless steel and nickel industry would completely collapse without your daily efforts and we do thank you for that. Stay safe and have a great week!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.08/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper rises on lower exchange stocks, potential output cut in Chile - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Barchart 304 SS Scrap Index - $.235/lb
  • Recycling Today April 2020 - online here
  • US Exports of Stainless Steel Mill Products - more

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
States with/without stay at home orders - more
Kinsa U.S. health monitor - here
Covid-19 County Tracker - here
Covid-19 Projections by country/state - more

Coronavirus: young people more likely to retest positive after treatment, study says - more
Coronavirus can remain on face masks for up to a week, study finds - more

March 2020
At this time, face masks are NOT recommended to protect yourself from COVID-19. Here’s why from medical site:
    Most face masks are not adequate protection against a respiratory virus.
    Most individuals do not know how to properly use a face mask in order to protect themselves from disease.
    Using a face mask will only give you a false sense of security and make it easy to forget other, more effective forms of disease prevention like social distancing and hand washing.

April 2020
We mentioned before that two of three reasons given until recently for telling Americans not to wear a mask, implied the average American was not smart enough to use them. It now appears that the first reason given is no longer valid as Americans are being advised to voluntarily wear any type of face mask, homemade or otherwise (just not medical), to help stop the spread of covid-19. All those Asian's wearing face masks from day one appear a lot less ridiculous these days, now don't they?

If you are hearing the new justification that Americans are now being recommended to wear masks because of the possibility of "asymptomatic transmission", we share this from the World Health Organizations report from Thursday. "An asymptomatic laboratory-confirmed case is a person infected with COVID-19 who does not develop symptoms. Asymptomatic transmission refers to transmission of the virus from a person, who does not develop symptoms. There are few reports of laboratory-confirmed cases who are truly asymptomatic, and to date, there has been no documented asymptomatic transmission. This does not exclude the possibility that it may occur. Asymptomatic cases have been reported as part of contact tracing efforts in some countries."


Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here

     Friday's market review - Copper slips on fears about demand after dire U.S. jobs data -  Copper prices slipped and aluminium carved out a four-year low on Friday on worries about an extended erosion in global demand for metals due to the coronavirus pandemic after dire U.S. employment data.  - more

      Nornickel may not sell all output if coronavirus crisis drags - report - Russian nickel and palladium producer Norilsk Nickel (Nornickel) may find it hard to sell all of its output, as it normally can, if the coronavirus crisis persists, the company’s largest shareholder and president told a daily newspaper.  - more

      Philippines' Nickel Asia to resume ore shipments as coronavirus mining ban lifted - Nickel Asia Corp, the Philippines’ largest nickel ore miner and exporter, said on Monday its two units in Surigao del Norte province will resume ore shipments as the local government has allowed mining operations to resume after a suspension to curb the potential spread of the coronavirus. - more

      FedEx, UPS Suspend Service Guarantees - The parcel logistics giants outlined measures taken to accommodate delays and disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. - more

      Saxo Bank Q2 Outlook: Commodities look to fiscal bazooka for support - The global economy is currently dealing with the biggest demand shock since the global financial crisis, plus a global supply shock and an oil price war which is driving a destruction of capital. - more

      U.S. imports of Stainless steel wire decreased 28.77 percent from $41 million to $29.2 million through the first two months of 2020 when compared to the same period the previous year, according to WorldCity analysis of the latest U.S. Census Bureau data. - more

  • U.S. imports of Stainless steel, not less than 600mm wide decreased 12.74 percent from $111.07 million to $96.92 million through the first two months of 2020 when compared to the same period the previous year, according to WorldCity analysis of the latest U.S. Census Bureau data. - more
  • U.S. exports of Stainless steel wire decreased 13.22 percent from $23.11 million to $20.05 million through the first two months of 2020 when compared to the same period the previous year, according to WorldCity analysis of the latest U.S. Census Bureau data. - more
  • U.S. exports of Stainless steel, not less than 600mm wide decreased 18.28 percent from $134.48 million to $109.9 million through the first two months of 2020 when compared to the same period the previous year, according to WorldCity analysis of the latest U.S. Census Bureau data. - more
  • U.S. imports of Misc. stainless steel bars, rods decreased 25.89 percent from $88.4 million to $65.52 million through the first two months of 2020 when compared to the same period the previous year, according to WorldCity analysis of the latest U.S. Census Bureau data. - more
  • U.S. exports of Misc. stainless steel bars, rods increased 14.37 percent from $56.5 million to $64.62 million through the first two months of 2020 when compared to the same period the previous year, according to WorldCity analysis of the latest U.S. Census Bureau data. - more
  • U.S. imports of Nickel increased 10.43 percent from $193.27 million to $213.42 million through the first two months of 2020 when compared to the same period the previous year, according to WorldCity analysis of the latest U.S. Census Bureau data. - more
  • U.S. exports of Nickel decreased 5.60 percent from $40.94 million to $38.64 million through the first two months of 2020 when compared to the same period the previous year, according to WorldCity analysis of the latest U.S. Census Bureau data. - more
       European steel output, prices seen returning to 2009 levels as pandemic hits - Europe's steel industry has been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic. - more

       COVID-19 kills worker at First Quantum’s Cobre Panamá mine - Panama’s Ministry of Health confirmed that one person died at the Cobre Panamá operation due to complications caused by the novel coronavirus infection. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Small Business Aid Program Gets Off to Rocky Start - more
  • Coronavirus upends global food supply chains in latest economic shock - more
  • Stocks Jump With U.S. Futures on Easing Virus Toll: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • Shanghai Futures Exchange Stainless - here
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Friday, April 3

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Thursday's trading session at $5.13/lb ($11,310/tonne). Indicators at 6:50 am CST today show nickel trading around $.02/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses appear top have gone unchanged for a second consecutive day, although we are seeing at least one report of a decline of just over 400 tonnes. The majority of the reports we monitor show no change, so we show totals remain just under the 228,800 tonne. Nickel is trading quietly today, and remains rangebound. Except for an unusual dip that took place on Wednesday, where prices fell sharply to just below the $11,000 tonne level, and almost immediately rebounded, prices have traded inside a very narrow range for a few weeks now. News, which also bounced on Wednesday, has dried up to end the week. It's been another brutal week for many, and the new month has started in worse shape than the last. It is hard to be optimistic about April, with experts and politicians both promising it will be harder than March. The elephant in the room is making no attempt to hide or be quiet, but considering that is all we have talked about for much of the year, we are ending this week by ignoring him. Stay safe by staying home, and relax. There are very few occasions in life where doing nothing can save your life, so once again, relax. At what time in your life have you been told that sitting home in your underwear all day and drinking beer while watching tv could ultimately save the world? Never! But today, my friend, you are a hero for doing that very thing! So relax ... and save the freaking planet!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.08/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - London copper on track for first weekly gain in six weeks - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Manufacturing Engineering: April 2020 - online here
  • Barchart 304 SS Scrap Index - $.228/lb
  • Fed State Coincident Indexes Jan 2020 - pdf here
  • U.S. Imports of Stainless Steel Mill Products - more
  • U.S. Economic Activity March 31 - pdf here

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
States with/without stay at home orders - more

If you looked up your are last week when we posted this link, compare it to today - Kinsa map
Coronavirus: lockdowns must last six weeks to bring pandemic under control: researchers - more
Fox News host asks a doctor about the government’s coronavirus response — some say his answer might have cost him a return appearance - more

The U.S. fatality rate from covid-19 continues to grow and at 2.4%, is nearly double that of Germany.


Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here

     Thursday's market review - Aluminium prices pinned at four-year low as supply glut balloons - Aluminum fell for a fourth straight session on Thursday as China factory activity showed minimal growth in March, adding to concerns about falling metals demand and a ballooning supply glut as the coronavirus outbreak spreads further. - more

      Pressure builds on China's raw materials supply chains: Andy Home - China is ready to move on from the coronavirus and get back to business as usual.  - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Brace for the ‘deepest recession on record,’ says BofA analysts, as jobless claims surge to 6.6 million - more
  • Fitch sees ‘deep global recession’ just 10 days after predicting slow economic growth - more
  • 6.6 Million Americans Filed for Unemployment Last Week - more
  • U.S. Futures Slip With Stocks; Dollar Extends Gain: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • Shanghai Futures Exchange Stainless - here
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Thursday, April 2

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed yesterday's trading session at $5.11/lb ($11,255/tonne). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.02/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses went unchanged on Wednesday and started the day just under the 228,800 tonne level for a second day. We had lots of industry news yesterday, and today, we have zip. Indonesia miners want their government to lift the ban on exporting nickel ore, and depending how hard the world recession hits that country, that option may be something they say no to now, but consider later. Shanghai nickel dropped hard on the news, but LME traders aren't buying in yet. Nickel continues to trade on the high side of the channel it has traded in since the last third of March. We are ignoring the elephant this morning, but we need to find a mouse, to return the favor. Stay safe and have a great day.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - 5.09/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Shanghai aluminum hits 4-yr low, coronavirus clouds demand outlook - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - not posted
  • Barchart 304 SS Scrap Index - $.242/lb
  • Scotiabank Commodity Price Index: Uncharted Waters - pdf here
  • Metals: Bumpy road in search for the bottom - more
  • Link Magazine - online here

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
States with/without stay at home orders - more

The world will see its 1 millionth case of covid-19 sometime today.

On Tuesday, the United States suffered more deaths than Italy for the first time. At 4,000 on Tuesday, and over 5,000 yesterday, the US now ranks third in total deaths, behind Italy and Spain.

Yesterday afternoon - of 930,819 total worldwide cases, 74% are still listed as sick, with 5% of them critical. Of the 26% no longer listed as active (240,552), 81% of the number are listed as recovered, with the other 19% listed as deceased. The recovery rate has fallen from 94% the first week of March, to 81% yesterday.

Florida governor joins the majority of the country with a state wide stay at home order. 15 states still have not. Who will be the last governor to wake up?

Chinese county goes into coronavirus lockdown as country tries to get back to work amid fear of second wave - more


Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here

     Yesterday's market review - Aluminium hits four-year low as global manufacturing shrivels - Industrial metals prices fell sharply on Wednesday after data showed global factory output shrinking fast, with expectations of a vast supply surplus pushing aluminum below $1,500 a tonne for the first time since 2016. - more

      Indonesia nickel miners urge end to export ban to cushion coronavirus impact -  Indonesia should allow exports of nickel ore to help offset the impact of the fall in exports of processed nickel caused by the coronavirus outbreak, the Indonesian nickel miners’ association (APNI) said in a document seen by Reuters.  - more

      Russian Freighter Changes Out Entire Crew After COVID-19 Infection - Russian metals producer Nornickel announced Tuesday that an engineer aboard one of its freighters, the Norilskiy Nickel, has tested positive for COVID-19. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • U.S. Futures Advance; Oil Surges on China Move: Markets Wrap updated an hour ago - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • Shanghai Futures Exchange Stainless - here
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Wednesday, April 1

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Tuesday's trading session at $5.21/lb ($11,480/tonne). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.08/lb lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Tuesday and started the new month just under the 228,800 tonne level. Nickel, while lower this morning, is trading in the middle of a range it has been in for some time now. Nearly everything is trading lower this morning, both equities and commodities, as predictions for covid-19 fatalities in 'best case scenario's' continue to climb.  Over the weekend, the numbers the White House released were 100-200,000. Last night, that official forecast rose to 100-240,000. We past the 4,000 level last evening, and the forecasted numbers are staggering.  The President warned that the next two weeks would be very painful for the country, and we suspect the pain will last much longer than that. The US will cross the 200,000 active case threshold today, and likely reach a quarter million by Friday. In other words, the elephant in the room is not being quiet. We want to take the opportunity to thank our March sponsor Texas Pipe again, for their multi-month sponsorship. For April, we introduce Scott Stainless Steel. We thank them for making this site free for visitors during the month of April, and invite you to visit their web site. Lot of industry news today so we leave you with it. May April bring the world a healthier outcome than March did.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.39/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper falls as fast-spreading coronavirus threatens demand - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Dallas Fed US Economic Activity - pdf here
  • Vale Covid-19 Update - pdf here
  • U.S. Imports of Stainless Steel Mill Products - more
  • USGS Chromium Statistics and Information Dec 2019 - pdf here
  • Metalforming Magazine April 2020 - online here
  • Barchart 304 SS Scrap Index - $.245/lb

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
States with/without stay at home orders - more

Coronavirus deniers take aim at hospitals as pandemic grows - more
WHO stands by recommendation to not wear masks if you are not sick or not caring for someone who is sick - more
Model cited by White House says 82,000 people could die from coronavirus by August, even with social distancing - more
Should We All Be Wearing Masks In Public? Health Experts Revisit The Question - more

(This change is frustrating because it appeared to be quite obvious from the very beginning that masks were a necessity. The government said no, giving three reasons - two of which basically implied Americans weren't smart enough to use them right. In reality, evidence seems to be coming to light that the country had a limited supply, and still does, and wanted emergency workers to have priority access. So, while their motive was honorable, and emergency workers should and must have priority access to the full range of PPE's, the government appears to have misled the American public ..... yet again. Anyone surprised?)

March 16 - Governor of Florida refuses to shut down beaches crowded with out of state spring breakers
March 23 - Governor of Florida orders mandatory 14 day self quarantine for all arriving visitors from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
March 31 - Florida still has no statewide stay at home order even though it is a major retirement state and ranks fifth in number of cases in the United States - more  map of cases  (moved into 5th place yesterday, bumping Massachusetts - 1 of only 7 states to grow in new cases by over 1,000 yesterday. Washington, one of the earlier states to put stay at home orders in place, grew by only 232 cases yesterday. )

Captain of aircraft carrier asks U.S. Navy to evacuate crew amid 'accelerating' COVID-19 outbreak - more


Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here

     Tuesday's market review - Copper suffers worst quarter since 2011 as coronavirus crushes demand - Copper prices rose on Tuesday after data showed an unexpected rebound in factory activity in China, but were set for their worst quarter since 2011 as the coronavirus outbreak shut down swathes of the global economy, reducing the need for metals. - more

      South Africa lockdown squeezes global chrome supply - Samancor Chrome, one of the world’s biggest ferrochrome producers, has declared force majeure because of South Africa’s 21-day coronavirus lockdown, removing further supply from global chrome markets. - more

      Worker at Russia's Nornickel vessel tested positive for coronavirus - Russian nickel and palladium producer Norilsk Nickel said on Tuesday that a mechanic at one of its vessels tested positive for the coronavirus. - more

      Raymond James lowers metals forecasts for 2020 - Raymond James has updated its metal price forecasts for the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. - more

      China-owned PNG nickel plant output down in 2019 after spill - Production at Metallurgical Corp of China’s (MCC) Ramu nickel-cobalt project in Papua New Guinea dropped in 2019 from the prior year due to a plant shutdown last October, a company spokesman said on Wednesday. - more

      Taiwan’s Tang Eng plans to reduce stainless steel production due to coronavirus epidemic - The outbreak of coronavirus epidemic gave a press on demand for stainless steel worldwide, and the demand in market will remain weak in the short term.  - more

      Miner South32 files request for arbitration in Colombia royalty dispute - Mining company South32 has filed a request for arbitration at the World Bank over a dispute with Colombia concerning royalty payments from its majority-owned Cerro Matoso ferronickel mine, the company confirmed on Tuesday. - more

      Anglo American seeking to mine on indigenous lands in Brazil’s Amazon - Anglo American, one of the biggest mining companies in the world, and its two Brazilian subsidiaries have submitted nearly 300 applications to dig for gold and other minerals inside indigenous territories in the Brazilian Amazon, records seen by Mongabay show. - more

      Vale donates $100,000 to Sudbury Food Bank - Nickel miner Vale has donated $100,000 to the Sudbury Food Bank to help address community demand, which is expected to increase as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. - more

      FMA economist: Turning the coronavirus corner in four to five weeks - Social distancing will continue to diminish spread of COVID-19 and help revive U.S. economy - more

      EU Covid-19 response: hope for support of European metal industry and other businesses - While the coronavirus rages on its destructive path across the world, the European metals industry is bracing for a major disruption and painful losses throughout the year. - more

      Home office: how the metal industry can leverage digitalisation now - The metal industry ´home office worker´ has become a normal feature in a once so traditional industry. - more

      Virus Slump Expected to Rival Historically Big Recessions - Analysts found that many downturns are set to be deeper than those endured in the aftermath of the global financial crisis of 2008. - more

      Courtesy AISI - In the week ending on March 28, 2020, domestic raw steel production was 1,670,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 71.6 percent. Production was 1,913,000 net tons in the week ending March 28, 2019 while the capability utilization then was 82.2 percent. The current week production represents a 12.7 percent decrease from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending March 28, 2020 is down 9.8 percent from the previous week ending March 21, 2020 when production was 1,852,000 net tons and the rate of capability utilization was 79.4 percent. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • U.S. Futures Fall With Europe Stocks; Bonds Climb: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • Shanghai Futures Exchange Stainless - here
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart


March Archives


Chart temporarily down

Nickel Graph Temporarily Down

Chart temporarily down




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


(all ton listings are metric tons = 2204.622 pounds ) Updated Monday thru Thursday before 7 am CST, Friday version before 8 am CST - Disclaimer Original content and opinions copyright www.estainlesssteel.com. All prices shown on this page are indications only. Please note - for real time and official LME prices, LME requires a user subscribe to an authorized LME vendor.




Price of Nickel

Nickel Graph Temporarily Down

Daily Commodity Prices

Site Pages

Stainless Steel Surcharge
Worldwide PMI

Archives

2020
January February March
April May June July August
September

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