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



Stainless Steel News and Nickel Prices


Our August sponsor - An anonymous individual helps keep this daily news site free to visitors



Monday, August 31

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Friday's trading session at $7.00/lb ($15,442/tonne). The London Metal Exchange is closed today, for a national holiday, and will return tomorrow. SMM reported nickel ended higher in China today, and Friday reported that nickel ore inventories stored at Chinese ports fell 36,000 wmt to 8.35 million wmt. Roskill analysts, in an article linked below, stated ".... with a large nickel surplus looming for the remainder of the year, underpinned by the impacts of COVID-19 on demand, it is hard to see this price rise being sustained over the remainder of the year." We really have yet to identify the key to this most recent bullish run, other than Elon Musk drawing attention to the industry in his now well known remarks. We hope we are wrong but it seems this might be a case of the 'big boys', experienced in the volatility of base metal trading, taking advantage of the sudden attention, and drawing suckers bets from those chasing the bull. This type of herd mentality seldom ends well and the 'big boys' will likely be the drivers behind the drop that will eventually come. We discussed Shanghai stockpiles on Friday and nickel ore stockpiles fell .004% last week, not exactly what we would call 'concerning'. We want to thank our anonymous donor for supporting the month of August. It's a special reader who supports the site out of their own pocket, and we truly appreciate them. It's the last day of the month, and a Monday to boot. Stay safe, and have a great week!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $6.57/lb (average for August)
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Shanghai copper posts longest monthly winning streak in 11 years - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index - $.2391/lb
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures -  15,100
  • University of Michigan: Consumer Sentiment - more
  • Advance U.S. International Trade in Goods - pdf here
  • Advance Monthly Wholesale Inventories - pdf here
  • U.S. Economic Activity - pdf here (updated 9 am CST)

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 hits fresh 2-year high on weak dollar, falling stocks - Copper hit its highest level since mid-2018 on Friday as the dollar extended losses and visible inventories pointed to a steady recovery in demand for the metal. - more

      Stainless steel markets in ‘wait and see’ mode as September approaches - Stainless steel markets are cautiously optimistic regarding demand in the remainder of 2020. A steady, month-on-month, increase in activity has been witnessed, following the easing of lockdown restrictions, in many countries. - more

      Metals demand outperforming GDP metrics, copper leads way - Roskill - Metals demand is outperforming broader economic indicators, with copper leading the way among base metals on a stimulus-fueled infrastructure drive as economies recover from COVID-19, consultant Roskill said. - more

      Taiwan’s Yusco hikes stainless steel prices for Sep to reflect surged costs - Yieh United Steel Corp, a leading stainless steel mill in Taiwan, announced its new prices for September today (August 28). - more

      Nickel Monthly News For The Month Of August 2020 - Nickel spot prices were higher again in August, and the LME inventory was slightly higher than last month. - more

      Often-overlooked duplex stainless steels better for corrosion resistance - Duplex stainless steels, which have a higher chromium content and lower nickel content, are more resistant to pitting and can withstand higher temperatures, which make them a viable solution to unique applications that have a higher likelihood of pitting, says Chemical Corrosion Services consultant Simon Norton. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Stocks Advance With U.S. Futures; Yen 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

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
Coronavirus Recovery Tracker - more
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Did you know an employee hospitalization or death from covid can cause a workplace OSHA audit? - article from May

Friday, August 28

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Thursday's trading session at $6.86/lb ($15,130/tonne). Indicators at 6:55 am CST today show nickel trading around $.14/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose on Thursday and end the week about where they did last week, just shy of 239,000 tonnes.We are reading that some metals analysts are giving a reason for the bullish nickel market as a drop in Chinese inventories. Shanghai Futures Exchange publishes their nickel stockpile numbers each Friday. Today's released numbers are 33,374 deliverable tonnes. This time last year, they stood at 25,262 tonnes and they started the year at 37,304 tonnes.  China media is reporting Indonesia President Widodo has ordered that the nickel ore industry in that country must trade based on a benchmark price that will be set by the government. It will be interesting to see how this works out and when and if we find a story giving more details, we will link to it. Indonesia wants to become a major player in the production of electric vehicle batteries, so this move to remove some of the volatility in nickel prices, may be to give that industry a boost. London metal markets are closed on Monday but we will post an update. Lot to read today for those interested. While we may all have become numb to the horror of nearly 180,000 Americans being killed since March, there are still over 1000 of us dieing from this silent killer every day. So stay and play safe, and enjoy your weekend.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $6.55/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper set for third straight weekly rise after Fed policy shift - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index - $.2395
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures -  15,080
  • United States Corporate Profits - more
  • United States Initial Jobless Claims - more
  • United States Kansas Fed Manufacturing Index - more
  • US Economic Indicators:Industrial Production - pdf here
  • US Economic Indicators:Durable Goods Orders & Shipments - pdf here
  • United States GDP Growth Rate - more
  • Manufacturing Engineering: September 2020 - online here
  • Manufacturing Outlook August 2020  - online here
  • USGS Molybdenum in May 2020 - pdf here
  • USGS Chromium in May 2020 - pdf here
  • ITA July Monthly Steel Factsheet - pdf here

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 turns positive on U.S. Fed address - Copper gained on Thursday, reversing earlier losses after the U.S. Federal Reserve said it would promote higher inflation, a move that could weaken the dollar and boost commodities priced in the greenback. - more

      Eramet: Operations at Indonesia's Weda Bay nickel smelter resume after flood - Activities at Indonesia's Weda Bay smelter complex, one of the country's main nickel processing hubs, returned to normal on Thursday after being hit by floods a day earlier, its operator said. - more

      Further call in New Caledonia to halt Vale sale - There is further pushback in New Caledonia to the sale of the Brazilian-owned Vale nickel plant to an Australian company. - more

      Russia’s Non-Ferrous Metals Export Up Month-on-Month in June - According to the RF Federal Customs Service, during January-June 2020 Russia exported some 1.1 mn tons of unwrought aluminum, down 33.5% year-on-year. In terms of value, unwrought aluminum export dropped by 36.7% year-on-year down to $1.8 bn. - more

      Boliden announces €40m nickel expansion in Finland - Swedish miner Boliden has announced a €40-million expansion of its nickel operations at Harjavalta, Finland. - more

      Zebediela nickel project exploration work to recommence - Aim-listed explorer and developer URU Metals reports that geological exploration work will soon restart at its 100%-owned flagship Zebediela nickel project, which is situated on the northern limb of the Bushveld Complex in Limpopo, South Africa - more

    Europe July 2020 - The European passenger plugin market is on fire, having registered over 113,000 registrations in July (+213% YoY, highest growth rate in 5 years), the market's second record performance in a row,  ... - more
  • New study discovers why 'nickel-rich' battery materials suffer from fatigue - more
      France accused of being partial as New Caledonia independence vote nears - New Caledonia's UNI pro-independence party alleges the French state fails to be impartial in the lead-up to the October referendum on independence. - more

      Japan extracts cobalt, nickel from seabed - The Japan Oil, Gas & Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) has extracted oceanic crust samples from the seabed that contain nickel and cobalt deposits. - more

      Despite Progress in Some Areas, US Economy Still Far From Pre-Pandemic Level - Most say the economy is growing again, yet scars are sure to remain from the catastrophic April-June quarter. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • U.S. Futures Rise, Dollar Sinks After Powell Shift: 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

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
Coronavirus Recovery Tracker - more
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Thursday, August 27

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Wednesday's trading session at $6.84/lb ($15,077/tonne). Indicators at 6:10 am CST today show nickel trading around $.05/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose by two lots on Wednesday and remain just above the 238,800 tonne level. Nickel closed above the $15,000 tonne level yesterday, for the first time this year, and remains above that level this morning. $15,170/tonne is the next line of technical resistance, but its hard to see that putting up much of a fight at this point. Most technical signals remain bullish. LME nickel trading will end on Friday for the month of August, as London markets are closed next Monday for Summer Bank Holiday. It's Thursday and we are on the downhill slide. Stay safe, and have a great day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $6.53/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Nickel hits 9-month high on demand boost, supply worries - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index - $.2394/lb
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures - 14,980
  • BHP's economic and commodity outlook - more
  • United States Durable Goods Orders - more (full report)
  • U.S. Imports of Stainless Steel Mill Products - more
  • GDPNow estimate for real GDP growth in the 3rd quarter of 2020 is 25.6% - 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 rises towards two-year high as inventories fall, shares gain - Copper prices pushed towards a two-year high reached earlier this month on Wednesday as inventories in the London Metal Exchange (LME) system fell to the lowest in 14 years and stock markets rose. - more

      Tsingshan's Indonesia Weda Bay halts nickel smelting due to floods - PT Indonesia Weda Bay Industrial Park (IWIP), operator of the nickel smelting facility controlled by China's Tsingshan Holding Group and France's Eramet, said it was halting operations due to flooding. - more

      China becomes net steel importer in July for 2nd month in a row - China became a net importer of steel for the second consecutive month in July, despite crude steel production rising 9% year on year during the month, according to customs data released Aug. 26. - more

      Notice of initiation of an expiry review of the anti-dumping measures applicable to imports of stainless steel cold-rolled flat products originating in the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan - pdf here

      Local firms still not aware of anti-dumping investigations - While local export products have been facing more anti-dumping investigations and tax evasion cases in foreign countries, Vietnamese enterprises are still unaware of the risk. - more

     Tesla Battery Day Gets Livestream Next Month - One of the biggest events for Tesla is the company’s Battery Day, which was set to be held way back in May or June. - more 

      Twin Metals critics laud Pebble Mine decision - Local business owners and wilderness advocates are calling on the Trump administration to take a skeptical look at the proposed Twin Metals copper-nickel mine just upstream of the Boundary Waters, and they’re citing the administration’s recent about-face on an equally controversial copper mine in southwest Alaska as justification. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Distributor Pandemic Index Narrowly Holds in Positive With Slight Gain - more
  • Coalition Letter on the Executive Order Deferring Payroll Tax Obligations - more
  • Stocks Drop and Bonds Advance Before Powell Speech: 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

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
Coronavirus Recovery Tracker - more
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Google searches for ‘panic attack,’ ‘anxiety attack’ hit all-time high during coronavirus pandemic - more  (most of us might be bor-vid, but not everyone is. Lot of very nervous parents sending their kids to school these days. Have you identified how your company can offer safety and security to your customers?)
Learning from COVID-19: What’s Next for Your Supply Chain? - more

Wednesday, August 26

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Tuesday's trading session at $6.77/lb ($14,923/tonne). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.08/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose on Tuesday and started today just over the 238,800 tonne level. Nickel is trading over the $15,000/tonne level this morning, for the first time since mid-November of last year. At that time, the market was recovering from a "Indonesia won't be shipping anymore ore" panic driven bull run, that had ended abruptly the prior September, with nickel failing to beat the $18,000/tonne level. We are now in an "Elon wants more nickel" bullish run, although nickel stockpiles have yet to reflect any reason for overly optimistic traders.  Keep in mind that every bull run has its reasons and fervent believers - and every bear market is a reflection of those reasons, hopes or fears, not quite panning out. WorldSteel published its July estimates yesterday. China's crude steel production was up 9.1% compared to July 2019, and for increases, that was about it. The U.S. was down 29.4%, the EU down 24.4%, and India down 24.6%. But.... the future has to be better and Elon wants more nickel, so buyers are buying what buyers buy. It's another hump day, the last for August. Enjoy your day and have a wonderful day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $6.52/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper rises as investors cheer trade talk, COVID-19 treatment progress - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index - $.2394/lb
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures -  15,085
  • Modern Metals August 2020 - online here
  • Metalforming Magazine August 2020 - online here
  • Conference Confidence Survey - more
  • Australia State Economic Handbook - pdf here

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 supported by low stocks and weaker dollar - Copper prices steadied on Tuesday as uncertainty about demand prospects triggered some profit taking, while historically low inventories and a weaker dollar provided support. - more

      China Baowu Steel to take control of stainless steelmaker TISCO - China Baowu Steel Group, the country’s top steelmaker by output, has agreed to take a controlling stake in Taiyuan Iron & Steel (Group) Co Ltd (TISCO) in the latest consolidation of the country’s mammoth steel sector. - more

      Steel Imports Down 19% Year-to-Date Through July 2020 - Based on preliminary Census Bureau data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported today that the U.S. imported a total of 2,690,000 net tons (NT) of steel in July 2020, including 1,367,000 net tons (NT) of finished steel (up 92.0% and 3.6%, respectively, vs. June final data). - more

      Ring Of Fire and SSM Plant Still A Go With No Delays As Per C19 - If you were wondering ; the Ring of Fire and Sault Ste. Marie’s chosen location regarding the proposed ferrochrome plant have not been blindsided by the Pandemic. - more

      WA miners fret over Queensland virus spread - Western Australia’s resources industry is preparing for the possibility of a hard border closure in Queensland, its biggest source of essential fly-in, fly-out workers. - more

      Rare and valuable plants that naturally “mine” large quantities of nickel are thought to be hiding in Indonesia’s forests – but it is a race to discover them before they are wiped out. - more

      Video Exclusive: ID Chats With Fastenal CEO About NHL-MRO Deal - On Aug. 19, Fastenal announced that it is the NHL's new MRO partner through 2024. Here, CEO Dan Florness talks with ID's Mike Hockett about how the deal happened and how Fastenal will make it work. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • 6 Reasons Steel is One of the Most Used Metals Today - more
  • EV fires with Chinese batteries expose technology gap - 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

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
Coronavirus Recovery Tracker - more
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Fauci says Pence listens to him even though he's 'the skunk at the picnic' - more

Tuesday, August 25

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Monday's trading session at $6.76/lb ($14,906/tonne). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.01/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Monday and started today just under the 238,500 tonne level. Nickel bulls are staring hard at the $15,000/tonne level this morning, but have yet to test the level. Shanghai metals markets ended mostly lower for a second day, with nickel ending higher again. World Steel Association is out with July production numbers and with little else in the industry to talk about, the Elon Musk nickel challenge is still getting a lot of ink. Nickel may be borrowing some momentum from copper, which Reuters reports, is seeing inventory levels at 13 year lows. We don't follow copper, but the old timers will tell you there was a time, not so long ago, when copper was looked to as a gauge of the economy. That is, back when fundamentals meant something. Not much news, but we leave you with what we found. Stay safe and enjoy your Tuesday!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $6.50/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper slips as uncertainty triggers some profit taking - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index - $.2395/lb
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures -  14,900
  • NABE August 2020 Policy Survey - pdf here

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 rises as LME inventories dwindle to 13-year low - Copper prices rose on Monday as stockpiles in the London Metal Exchange (LME) warehouse system fell below 100,000 tonnes for the first time since 2007 and the approval of a coronavirus treatment in the United States boosted equities. - more

       July 2020 crude steel production - World crude steel production for the 64 countries reporting to the World Steel Association (worldsteel) was 152.7 million tonnes (Mt) in July 2020, a 2.5% decrease compared to July 2019. - more

      Elon Musk Thinks Nickel Is The New Gold: Here’s Why - Tesla CEO Elon Musk emphasizes the importance of the nickel element in every opportunity he finds. - more
  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk Promises to Generously Reward Anyone Who Can Supply Him this New ‘Fool’s Gold’ - more
      Courtesy AISI - In the week ending on August 22, 2020, domestic raw steel production was 1,412,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 63.0 percent. Production was 1,841,000 net tons in the week ending August 22, 2019 while the capability utilization then was 79.1 percent. The current week production represents a 23.3 percent decrease from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending August 22, 2020 is up 2.5 percent from the previous week ending August 15, 2020 when production was 1,377,000 net tons and the rate of capability utilization was 61.5 percent. - more

      Nickel mined in Cuba enters a world of secrecy when it leaves the island, because it is illegal in the United States to use any product containing nickel mined in Cuba. And why that matters for U.S. importers, distributors, and customers in the last year - read here  (it is nearly impossible to determine where the nickel in your stainless steel came from - and these days, that could be a very good thing.)

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • German crude steel output drops sharply again in July - more
  • European Stocks Climb on Trade Hopes, German 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

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
Coronavirus Recovery Tracker - more
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Monday, August 24

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Friday's trading session at $6.65/lb ($14,660/tonne). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.11/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel went unchanged on Friday and start the week just over the 238,900 tonne level.  U.S. stainless steel surcharges are out for September and for 304 stainless, they are the highest this year, while 316 remains below pre-covid levels. Apparently this is due to an increase in their surcharge formula, as even their surcharge sheets confirm that nickel averaged lower this month than in January, with the surcharge for nickel coming out higher. Chrome is averaging higher than it did in January as well. Not much in the world of news today. Shanghai nickel ended higher overnight, with their other base metals ending mostly lower. LME base metals are all higher so far this morning. Markets are higher across the board this morning on news the Trump administration may order the FDA to grant emergency approval to a University of Oxford vaccine so that it is released prior to the election. Is this the same President that recently signed an order 'deferring' payroll taxes and then told Americans they could keep the money if he is reelected? In most corners of the world that is called bribery, but here in America, we call it politics. Haven't heard that remark repeated since.  Daily new cases of covid continue to decline in the US, based on the seven day average. With schools and colleges reopening, most expect those numbers to rise in the coming weeks. Daily deaths also continue a slow slide, and hopefully, that trend will continue. Nickel is trading at 2020 highs and the bull appears to have the $15,000/tonne level in its sites. It's the last week of August and the last week to meet any personal goals you had set for the month. Stay safe and have a great week!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $6.48/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - London copper rises as inventories slip to 13-year low - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index - $.2429/lb
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures -  14,880
  • Market Briefing:Commodity Prices - pdf here

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 as global economy struggles, weekly gain in sight - Copper fell on Friday as concerns mounted over the recovery of some of the world’s largest economies, but rising Chinese demand and low inventories kept prices on track for a weekly gain. - more

      Elon Musk Is Going To Have a Hard Time Finding Clean Nickel - Elon Musk promises a “giant contract” with the miner that can supply nickel for Tesla Inc. batteries at low cost with minimal environmental impact, yet the industry’s messy track record may make that deal difficult to clinch. - more

      Indonesia's biggest nickel smelter says output not disrupted by worker protest - Operations at Indonesia's largest nickel smelting facility were not disrupted by worker protests outside the plant on Saturday over shifts during the coronavirus pandemic, a spokesman for PT Indonesia Morowali Industrial Park (IMIP) said on Monday. - more

      Profit Drivers to Maximize Manufacturing Recovery - Despite the ongoing ambiguity, many manufacturers are not just surviving, but thriving by asking questions focused on innovation and collaboration. - more

  • Unemployment Applications Reflect Painful US Economy Progression - more
  • Metal fabricators: Share your success, for the sake of manufacturing - more
  • Broken links: supply chain management amid global disruption - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • European Stocks Rise to 1-Week High; Copper 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

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
Coronavirus Recovery Tracker - more
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Friday, August 21

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Thursday's trading session at $6.64/lb ($14,635/tonne). Indicators at 6:20 am CST today show nickel trading around $.03/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Thursday and started today's session just under the 239,000 tonne level. Cancelled warrants jumped to 24.99% yesterday, which could mean a surge in orders. Yesterday, when we linked to the story about New Guinea blocking entry to Chinese nickel mine workers because they had been immunized, we thought the story might be a stretch, as we could find no other outlet carrying the story. Well after we posted, the story blew up, at least in that region of the world. You might think that immunizing your workers, to protect them, would be an admirable thing to do, with the pandemic already having visited some mines in Papau. But apparently someone at the mine let officials in that country know that we have a group of Chinese workers arriving this week, and oh by the way, they might show up as positive for the covid-19 as they were immunized prior to leaving. If one thinks about that for a moment, one might understand why Papau said 'hold the boat', or in this case, 'the plane'. It's hard enough to know who to believe these days, but does anyone know if a person can be 'positive' for covid-19, and not be contagious? If so, how does science decide who is 'false positive' due to an immunization, and who really had the virus? This situation had brought to light another interesting scenario that the world will have to confront in the upcoming months. China is doing what is best for its citizens, and in response Papau is doing what it feels is best for its citizens. Neither should be questioned for their motive, and the confusion is understandable.  Other than this little diplomatic crisis, caused by some nickel  mine workers just trying to get to work, industry news was rather light this morning. Enjoy your weekend, stay safe, and we hope to see you back here again next week.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - 
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Shanghai aluminium touches 28-month high on demand hopes - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index - $.2433/lb
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures -  14,660
  • McKinsey & Company report - The coming shakeout in industrial distribution - pdf here

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 prices falter on demand doubts and profit-taking - Copper prices fell on Thursday as profit-taking on Federal Reserve policymakers’ concern about U.S. growth was reinforced by doubts over whether a recent price rally was justified by the fundamentals. - more

      PNG Cancels flight Carrying Chinese Mine Workers - A flight from China, scheduled to arrive today in Port Moresby, was cancelled by Controller David Manning. - more
  • China faces questions over 'vaccinated' workers sent overseas - more
  • Manning: China Flight Cancelled - more
      China’s crude stainless steel output goes up in Jul m-o-m, y-o-y - According to statistics, the output of crude stainless steel from China’s 32 stainless steel mills totaled around 2.7 million tons in July, up by 7.68% compared to the previous month and 2% from the same month a year ago. - more

      German battery recycling project awarded $1 million in public funding - The Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labor and Housing of the German state of Baden-Württemberg has announced it will finance a two-year project aimed at investigating how to best reclaim battery electrodes. - more 

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Stocks, Futures Gyrate on Economic Data; Euro Dips: 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

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
Coronavirus Recovery Tracker - more
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Column: I had COVID-19, and these are the things nobody tells you - more

Thursday, August 20

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Wednesday's trading session at $6.68/lb ($14,725/tonne). Indicators at 6:20 am CST today show nickel trading around $.01/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose on Wednesday and started today just over the 239,300 tonne level. Chinese traders took nickel lower after the Fed revealed on Wednesday, it wasn't as enthusiastic about a quick rebound in the US economy, as traders appeared to be. The U.S. Dollar bounced on the news, and at least for the moment, the Fed has taken some of the air out of the bull's balloon. London traders, at least so far, dropped nickel lower in overnight futures, but have recovered most of that this morning. The WBMS reports the nickel industry was in supply surplus the first six months of 2020; by 31 kt. We would note that LME stockpiles numbers grew from 150,690 tonnes to 233,898 during that same period. New Caledonia natives, who made raids on the Goro plant when it was under construction, now are protesting Vale's decision to sell it. Go figure. And the Daily Mail is throwing a fit about Chinese nickel workers in Papau New Guinea being immunized for covid. Based on their web page, we are not real sure if this is a news site; rather it appears they are trying to make noise to get us to click on their site so they can sell stuff in an overabundance of adds. We, of course, added a link to the site like dopes - because in that mess of adds, is a story we could find no one else telling today. Trust us, we tried. And with the year just barely over half way over, a pandemic killing hundreds of thousands, and sickening far more, with extreme weather events bearing a resemblance to "Biblical proportion", with all the lost jobs, and unpaid bills, and spreading hunger in some areas... with all this we find out yesterday that we came close to being hit by a Tesla sized asteroid. The fact that one that size almost hit us is not the bad part of this story - as had it hit our atmosphere, it would have burnt up and likely made a heck of a light show. That part of this story that is rather unnerving, is no one saw this asteroid coming, until after it had already passed the planet. Stay safe out there and have a great day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $6.62/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper tracks equities, other risky assets lower on dovish Fed - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index - $.2431/lb
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures -  14,820
  • MineLens survey confirms the significant impact of COVID-19 on mining operations - pdf here

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 rallies to highest since 2018 on weak dollar and falling output - Copper prices rallied to their highest in over two years on Wednesday, boosted by a weaker dollar, low stocks and falling output. - more

      January to June 2020 Metals Balances - (excerpt) The nickel market was in surplus during January to June 2020 with production exceeding apparent demand by 31 kt. In the whole of 2019, the calculated deficit was 26.9 kt. - more

      Global crude steel output to fall as China widens its gap with others, says BHP - Global crude steel production will decline this year by 6 percent, even as leading producer China widens its lead in production over other countries helped by a smart recovery of its economy from the pandemic, Australian mining major BHP has said. - more

      Guinea pigs: China uses trial COVID-19 vaccine on miners in PNG as state-owned companies are used for mass scientific experiments - China may have already trialled a coronavirus vaccine on miners at a site in Papua New Guinea, using workers at companies owned by the communist state as lab rats - more

      New Caledonia's FLNKS backs Kanak opposition to Vale sale - Leaders of New Caledonia's pro-independence FLNKS movement say they back Kanak chiefs opposed to the sale of the Vale nickel plant. - more

      BHP, the world’s largest miner, backs away from coal projects - BHP, which is based in Melbourne, Australia, said Tuesday that it will try to sell its 80% stake in the BHP Mitsui Coal joint venture, which owns two Queensland mines that produce lower-quality coking coal, which is used for steelmaking. It’s also looking to offload its thermal coal assets in Australia and Colombia. - more

      Distributor Pandemic Index Holds Steady, Just Above Breakeven - Now with 26 weeks of data, the index shows a six-month snapshot of how year-over-year weekly sales have fared for a pool of 12 varying distributors. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Asteroid 2020 QG Discovered After Making The Closest Fly-By Of Earth On Record - more
  • Stocks Drop After Fed Flags Risk; Treasuries Rise: 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
  • US Economic Indicators:ATA Truck Tonnage Index - pdf here
  • FRED Truck Tonnage - more
  • US Economic Indicators:Manufacturing Production & Capacity by Major Industries - pdf here

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
Coronavirus Recovery Tracker - more
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Wednesday, August 19

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Tuesday's trading session at $6.65/lb ($14,670/tonne). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.05/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose slightly on Tuesday and started today's session just under the 238,600 tonne level. This week is starting to show a stark reversal of what typically happens in the nickel industry. Typically, LME traders are followed by Shanghai traders, with an occasional refusal to play ball by the latter. This week, however, Shanghai traders turned bullish Monday with such gusto, LME traders seem to be having difficulty playing catch-up. Thus, we are watching LME nickel prices jump this week. Except for the overbought signals, technical indicators remain very bullish. And a second close above what we thought would put up more of a fight, $14.500/tonne, indicates technically that the bull has plenty of room to run. So, we suggest stainless steel producers and consumers sit back, pour a mixed drink of Jack Daniels and Alka-Seltzer, and wait for the bear to bite. And nickel producers, enjoy the good times while they last. Because they don't forever. If you don't believe me, BHP's new leadership announced this week that they will putting an emphasis on nickel for their future growth. This same company, in the last decade and under the old leadership, was trying to unload their nickel mine's as it was an industry they were no longer interested in being a major player in. Times change. And for those having to source nickel, a little too extreme sometimes. Stay safe and enjoy your hump day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $6.44/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - London copper jumps to highest in over two years as output falls - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index - $.2489/lb
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures -  14,780
  • U.S. Truck Tonnage - more
  • U.S. Corporate Tax Rate - more (hit 50Y tab)

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 hits near four-week high on Chinese recovery, weak dollar - Copper prices gained on Tuesday for a third straight session, touching their highest in nearly four weeks, lifted by optimism over economic recovery in top metals consumer China and by a weaker dollar. - more

       Top 9 Countries That Produce the Most Nickel in the World - Here we are coming with a brand new article about another essential mineral after gold, zinc, rare earth metals, and tungsten; let’s check out the list of the top 9 countries that produce the most nickel in the world based on Insider Monkey’s latest article, as usual. - more

      Reprieve for molybdenum prices from China's import surge - An upsurge in Chinese demand and imports of minor metal molybdenum have revitalized prices of the stainless steel ingredient, but a reversal is expected as local production ramps up after disruptions. - more

      Largest shareholder in Russian nickel producer points to ‘destructive behaviour’ of co-owners - Interros Holding, which manages 34.54 per cent of shares in Russian mining giant Norilsk Nickel has said that one of its fellow shareholders, Russian aluminum giant Rusal, is attempting to exploit a recent fuel spill in order to place pressure on Norilsk Nickel to push through a new shareholder agreement that would guarantee Rusal the highest dividend payout. - more

      Iron ore futures advance on China steel demand, spot price at 13-month high - Iron ore futures firmed on Tuesday, gaining as much as $3 a tonne, on expectations that steel usage in China would remain robust in the coming months and offset sluggish demand overseas. - more

      Steel market wrestles with slow recovery - Steel industry sentiment took a more pessimistic turn in July and August as COVID-19 continued to outsmart government and health officials who can’t seem to unite on a strategy that will stem the spread of the virus. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Stocks Climb After Wall Street Record; Gold Dips: 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

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
Coronavirus Recovery Tracker - more
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Tuesday, August 18

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Monday's trading session at $6.63/lb ($14,610/tonne). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.04/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Monday and started today's session just over the 238,500 tonne level. After creeping up into the 24% range for the latter half of July, cancelled warrants returned to the 23% range on the last day of that month, and have remained there ever since. After dropping from a high of 38%+ in March, cancelled warrants have remained within a tight range. Having posted this blog since 2003, we do not remember the volatility in cancelled warrants ever disappearing for this long. And it is going to be hard to convince us of a major rebound in demand recovery, until we see some of that volatility return to stockpiles. Nickel rose again overnight in China markets, and is on the increase in London this morning. The US Dollar continues to weaken, which is adding positive momentum to base metals trading as well. We show nickel trading, at the moment, at a level not seen since just before last Thanksgiving. The level of resistance we were looking to put up a fight, did only temporarily, and a second close above $14,500 today, gives the bull more room to run - technically speaking. For those looking for a reason why the bull is loose again, you will need to look elsewhere. We don't spend a lot of time trying to explain that which is unexplainable. Others have to create headlines every day and have to come up with the 'why's'. If one really knew 'why' the market was reacting as it was, they would be so wealthy from past trades, that they really wouldn't care any longer what the market was doing. It's Tuesday and for those that are suffering from bor-vid, please stay safe and have a great day.  
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $6.43/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper gains for third session on Chinese recovery, weak dollar - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index - $.2489/lb
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures -  14,950
  • SFSA CaSteel Reporter - pdf here
  • U.S. Economy in a Snapshot - pdf here

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 hits highest in nearly 9 months on Philippine supply concerns - Nickel prices surged to their highest in nearly nine months on Monday on concern over supply from the Philippines, the leading exporter of the stainless steel raw material. - more

      DMCI Mining reports increased shipments - DMCI Mining Corporation reported that it shipped 853,197 wet metric tons (WMT) of nickel ore from January to June, a 25 percent jump from 681,360 WMT compared to the same period last year. - more

      BHP pivots from coal, gas to copper, nickel - BHP has revealed close to $US10 billion ($13.8 billion) worth of carbon intensive assets in four Australian states are not part of its long-term plans, as new chief Mike Henry continues his mission to reshape the company toward “future facing'' commodities like oil, copper and nickel. - more

      MySteel Global – China’s Jan-July steel output grows faster by 2.8% - China’s crude steel output grew at a faster pace over January-July, with the total tonnage up 2.8% on year to 593 million tonnes against the yearly growth of 1.4% over the first half of 2020, according to the latest data from the country’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). - more

      Courtesy AISI - In the week ending on August 15, 2020, domestic raw steel production was 1,377,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 61.5 percent. Production was 1,841,000 net tons in the week ending August 15, 2019 while the capability utilization then was 79.1 percent. The current week production represents a 25.2 percent decrease from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending August 15, 2020 is up 1.7 percent from the previous week ending August 8, 2020 when production was 1,354,000 net tons and the rate of capability utilization was 60.4 percent. - more

      A rush is on to mine the deep seabed, with effects on ocean life that aren't well understood - Mining the ocean floor for submerged minerals is a little-known, experimental industry. But soon it will take place on the deep seabed, which belongs to everyone, according to international law. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Stocks Drift Up With U.S. Futures; Dollar Weakens: Markets Wrap - more
  • Economic Recovery Hit by Rise in Coronavirus Cases Across Europe - 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

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
Coronavirus Recovery Tracker - more
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Are Financially Distressed Areas More Affected by COVID-19? - more

Monday, August 17

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Friday's trading session at $6.52/lb ($14,365/tonne). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.11/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses remained flat on Monday and started the week just over the 238,600 tonne level. Nickel jumped in Asian markets overnight, with Chinese business media crediting the news of a Chinese vaccine being patented in that country. On the other hand, Reuters is crediting this report "Nickel content of ores extracted by miners in the Philippines, the world’s biggest exporter of the material, dropped 28% year-on-year to 102,310 tonnes in the first half of 2020, data from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau showed." with causing the jump. You can decide, but we seriously doubt the Philippines shipments totals had anything to do with other base metals ending higher in China overnight, nor did they have a lot to do with Chinese equity markets ending higher. News of a vaccine right now, when it seems to carry more legitimacy than Russia's last announcement, is going to be seen as bullish by the markets. And while American politicians may squirm at the news of potential Chinese success, those of us not running for reelection and getting real tired of walking around looking like a masked bandit, hope its the first of many success stories. The kicker to the nickel industry, is the same day nickel traders are successfully pushing above the $14,500/tonne level on vaccine or supply news, it is being reported that a Chinese company is developing an EV battery that will not use nickel. if they are successful, this will be a huge kick in the pants to the industry, and with Elon Musk's latest remarks ringing in our ears, his interest in the 'problem' of high nickel prices implies a willingness on his part to look at other options. Been an interesting Monday already and the eastern sky has yet to release the sun. We are in a new week and starting the last half of the work month. Stay safe and have a great day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $6.41/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Nickel rises as ore supply from Philippines falls - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index - $.2487/lb
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures -  14,300
  • Manufacturing & Trade Inventories & Sales - pdf here
  • Manufacturers Sales - more
  • Vale’s ESG agenda - pdf here
  • Commodity Prices - Yardeni Research - pdf here
  • Sumitomo Research - pdf here
  • Fed U.S. Economic Activity - pdf here (updated 9 am CST)

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 gains on China data, heads for weekly rise - Copper rose on Friday as industrial data from top consumer China pointed to a steady economic recovery, helping fuel the first weekly gain in about a month. - more

      BNC is nickel price conundrum - Bindura Nickel Corporation (BNC) may have to rethink its smelter restart plans given the poor outlook of global nickel prices. - more

      China's CATL is developing new EV battery with no nickel, cobalt, exec says - China's Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd (CATL), a Tesla supplier, is developing a new type of electric vehicle (EV) battery that contains no nickel or cobalt, a company executive said on Saturday. - more

      China’s iron ore port congestion to ease by end of August - The China Iron and Steel Association (CISA) expects the current iron ore discharging difficulties and congestion issues at Chinese ports to ease by mid- or late-August with the improving weather and the coronavirus spread being under control, the association shared in a WeChat post on August 11. - more

      How to keep employees focused during a pandemic - Events of the past few months have been disruptive for all manufacturers and fabricators, and the next few months may be just as disruptive. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Global recession begins to bite hard; India limps back nervously from lockdown - more
  • Europe Stocks Mixed; U.S. Futures Rise With Gold: 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

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
Coronavirus Recovery Tracker - more
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Friday, August 14

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Thursday's trading session at $6.40/lb ($14,100/tonne). Indicators at 7:30 am CST today show nickel trading around $.10/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose over 1000 tonnes for a second consecutive day on Thursday, and started today's session just over the 238,600 tonne level. Base metals are all trading higher this morning, with China data encouraging, and the U.S. Dollar continuing its fall. Month will hit the half way point this weekend. If you have 1 minute and 37 seconds free, we invite you to review a video clip by Outokumpu on Vimeo (video here). Absolutely beautiful - with more to come in the upcoming weeks. Lot of news and reports below for your weekend reading. Stay safe and have a great weekend.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $6.41/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper gains on China data but heading for weekly loss - more
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index - $.2489/lb
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures -  14,300
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • June 2020 Freight Transportation Services Index - more
  • US Economic Indicators:ATA Truck Tonnage Index - more
  • United States Export Prices - more
  • United States Import Prices - more
  • University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment - more (updated 10 am CST)
  • Steel Benchmarker Price History August 12 - pdf here

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 slips on weak Chinese demand, Chile turns on supply taps - Copper prices eased on Thursday as concerns over supply from South America receded and seasonally weak demand in top consumer China resurfaced.  - more

      BIR: Global stainless steel demand expected to slide by 12% in Q2 - According to the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR)’s Stainless Steel & Special Alloys Committee, global stainless steel demand was expected to drop by 12% in the second quarter of this year, reaching 11.9 million tons. - more

      Philippine nickel miners see 2020 back on track after virus hit H1 sales - The two biggest nickel miners in the Philippines do not expect further major disruptions to their operations this year, after posting lower first-half ore sales due to lockdown measures aimed at containing the coronavirus.  - more

      Surge in China’s stainless steel output revives nickel market, but surplus a cause for worry - Rapidly rising stainless steel production in top consumer China has helped to preserve demand and prices of key ingredient nickel, but analysts still expect a supply overhang of the metal valued for its anti-corrosive properties. - more

      TISCO plans to build iron-nickel & short-process stainless steel project in Indonesia - Taiyuan Iron and Steel (Group) Co., Ltd. (TISCO) signed a planning contract with China Metallurgical East for a project short-process stainless steel in Indonesia. - more

      Assessing the Pandemic Impact on Wholesale Distribution's 4 Major Segments - SAP's Magnus Meier discusses COVID-19's various impacts on wholesale distribution's four largest segments: Health care, industrial, food service and high-tech. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • U.S. Futures Slip; Travel Rules Hit Europe Stocks: 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

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
Coronavirus Recovery Tracker - more
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Chinese cities find virus in Brazilian chicken wings, Ecuadorian shrimp packaging - more
States’ rush to reopen slowed U.S. recovery, Boston Fed chief says - more

Thursday, August 13

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Wednesday's trading session at $6.46/lb ($14,245/tonne). Indicators at 6:20 am CST today show nickel trading around $.01/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses jumped on Wednesday and started today's session, just over the 237,200 tonne level. That's the biggest one day gain  recorded since early May.  Another quiet news day with nickel doing a lot of nothing over the past 24 hours. Posted a link in other news below about Elon Musk's new truck prototype. As well as his future starship he tested again last week, Mr Musk, or his engineers, are very fond of stainless steel. Stay safe and have a great day!!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $6.41/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper dips on tepid Chinese demand, U.S. stimulus uncertainty - more
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index - $.2491/lb
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures -  14,200
  • NAB Australia August 2020 The Forward View - pdf here
  • NAB Minerals & Energy Outlook: August 2020 - pdf here
  • U.S. Imports of Stainless Steel Mill Products - more
  • US Economic Indicators:ATA Truck Tonnage Index - pdf here
  • United States Government Budget - 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 rises as stocks and oil rally, dollar slips - Copper rose on Wednesday as stock markets rallied, oil prices climbed and the dollar weakened, though lackluster factory data in Europe fed concerns that demand will remain weak and the market oversupplied. - more

      Russia's Rusal posts H1 net loss, sees weak aluminium prices in 2020 - Russian aluminium giant Rusal said on Thursday its recurring net loss totalled $76 million in the first half of 2020 after a profit of $666 million a year ago as the novel coronavirus outbreak hit demand. - more

      Horizonte Minerals secures $325 mln in financing for Brazil nickel project - Horizonte Minerals said on Wednesday it has secured a $325 million syndicated loan to help fund construction of a nickel mine in Brazil, and is in advanced talks to secure a further $115 million from offtakes and equity by the end of the year. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • How Indestructible Is the Cybertruck Really? The Bullet, Keys and Hammer Test - 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

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
Coronavirus Recovery Tracker - more
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Pompeo: Chinese threat may be worse than a 'Cold War 2.0' - more (with tensions on the rise, where is your inventory originating from?)

Wednesday, August 12

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Tuesday's trading session at $6.50/lb ($14,330/tonne). Indicators at 6:10 am CST today show nickel trading around $.07/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Tuesday and started the day, for the third consecutive day, just under the 235,900 tonne level. Nickel appears to be looking at the $14,000/tonne level for support, testing it earlier in today's session. News is quiet today, as the typical beginning of the month news rush starts to ebb. Stay safe out there, and have a great hump day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $6.40/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper falls on U.S. stimulus uncertainty, firmer dollar - more
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index - $.2491/lb
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures -  14,700
  • Fastener Distributor Index – July 2020 - pdf here
  • Producer Price Index by Commodity for Metals and Metal Products: Steel Wire, Stainless Steel  - more
  • Producer Price Index by Commodity for Pulp, Paper, and Allied Products: Corrugated Paperboard - more
  • Producer Price Index by Industry: Corrugated and Solid Fiber Box Manufacturing - 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 dips as U.S.-China tensions simmer, economy weighs - Copper dipped on Tuesday as investors worried about U.S.-China tensions and the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. - more

      Stainless surge revives nickel market, but surplus still looms -  Rapidly rising stainless steel production in top consumer China has helped to preserve demand and prices of key ingredient nickel, but analysts still expect a supply overhang of the metal valued for its anti-corrosive properties. - more

      Russia's Nornickel H1 profit slides as it sets aside $2 bln for fuel spill claim - Russia’s Norilsk Nickel said on Tuesday its net profit plunged in the first six months of 2020 after setting aside $2.1 billion in reserves for an environmental damage claim after a major fuel spill in the Arctic. - more

      DMCI net income falls 62% to P1.4 B in first semester - Diversified engineering conglomerate DMCI Holdings, Inc. posted a 62 percent drop in consolidated net income to P1.4 billion in the second quarter of 2020 from P3.7 billion during the same period last year. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • U.S. Futures Rise With Bond Yields; Gold Rebounds: 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

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
Coronavirus Recovery Tracker - more
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Tuesday, August 11

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Monday's trading session at $6.48/lb ($14,280/tonne). Indicators at 6:10 am CST today show nickel trading around $.05/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell by one lot yesterday and start the day about where the did yesterday, just under the 235,900 tonne level. Nickel continues a slow retreat this morning, but its way too early to say the bull has been fenced. He is resting, but the bears have yet to put a rope on him. US Dollar is back down this morning, which is giving base metals some support. In Europe, Outokumpu expects 3rd quarter demand for stainless steel to fall. And in Russia, shareholders of Nornickel are being told their money is appreciated, but opinions are not. Stainless steel scrap in the U.S. and futures on SHFE in China are both off recent highs. Stay safe and have a great day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $6.40/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - LME copper eases on stronger dollar, rising Sino-U.S. tension - more
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index - $.2492/lb
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures -  14,450
  • U.S. Economic Activity - pdf here

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 rallies as spotlight shifts back to stronger demand - Copper prices recovered on Monday as the market turned its attention back to robust economic growth and demand in China and expectations of an upturn at manufacturing companies in Europe and the United States. - more

       Outokumpu foresees drop in Q3 stainless steel delivery  - Because of the low demand in Europe and the impact of the Covid-19 epidemic impact, Outokumpu forecasted that its stainless steel deliveries will decrease by 10% in the third quarter compared to the previous quarter.  - more

      Russia's Nornickel no longer needs shareholder agreement, says co-owner - An eight-year-old shareholder agreement signed by Russian mining giant Norilsk Nickel’s major owners has become a relic of the past which the $44 billion miner does not need, Vladimir Potanin, its largest shareholder, told Reuters. - more
  • Norilsk – the “diamond” of the Russian North: the city’s history, the health and life expectancy of Norilsk residents, its areas and the sights - more
      Noront fired up to resume work in Ring of Fire - “Timmins stands to be one of the major hubs and centres that will support the Ring of Fire development in future years" - Alan Coutts - more

      U.S. Metal Manufacturers Statement on Section 232 Aluminum Tariffs on Canada - The last 24 hours is more evidence of why the reliance on tariffs as a trade policy was largely abandoned in the 1930s. Hours after President Trump reimposed 10% Section 232 tariffs on aluminum imports from Canada, ..... - more

      Courtesy AISI - In the week ending on August 8, 2020, domestic raw steel production was 1,354,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 60.4 percent. Production was 1,841,000 net tons in the week ending August 8, 2019 while the capability utilization then was 79.1 percent. The current week production represents a 26.5 percent decrease from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending August 8, 2020 is up 2.0 percent from the previous week ending August 1, 2020 when production was 1,328,000 net tons and the rate of capability utilization was 59.3 percent. - more

      June Metalworking Orders Spike 56% from May - Year-over-year and year-to-date orders were still down through June, but regardless, it was quite a rebound month. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Stocks Climb Globally While Dollar Slips With Gold: 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

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
Coronavirus Recovery Tracker - more
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Monday, August 10

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Friday's trading session at $6.51/lb ($14,360/tonne). Indicators at 6:10 am CST today show nickel trading around $.02/lb lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose on Friday and start the week just under the 235,900 tonne level. Nickel is quiet in London this morning, with nickel down slightly, possibly on a stronger US Dollar. Traders appear to be in a holding pattern this morning, either waiting on a report, someone else to blink first, or American traders to start their day. Mysteel is reporting that at the end of July, nickel ore inventory levels at 13 ports in China were down 44% from the beginning of the year. The world recorded its 20 millionth covid-19 victim over the weekend, with the U.S. claiming a little over 25% of that total. India has bumped the U.S from the top spot in daily new cases over the past few days. Lot of apprehension out there, with schools opening back up. There are thousands of professionals around the world, working around the clock, creating vaccine's to beat this bug into submission. And another day means we are one day closer to that victory. Keep your spirits up, protect yourself and those around you, and 2020 will soon be little more than a memory. Stay safe and have a great week!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $6.40/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Shanghai copper at 1-month low on Sino-U.S. rift, stimulus uncertainty - more
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index - $.2508/lb
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures -  14,520
  • United States Consumer Credit Change - more
  • United States Wholesale Inventories - more
  • Monthly Wholesale Trade - pdf here
  • United States Imports of Nickel - more
  • Sumitomo Quarterly Results for FY2020 - pdf here

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 drops to one-month low on profit-taking, higher dollar - Copper prices fell to one-month lows on Friday as a higher dollar triggered profit-taking on long positions, but expectations of stronger growth and demand around the world limited losses. - more

      COVID-19 turns Indonesian ore export ban into curse for nickel market: S&P - The global primary nickel market will reach its first surplus in five years and prices will drop 7% year-over-year, according to recent market research by S&P Global Market Intelligence. - more

      Munali Nickel Mine suppliers complain over non-payments - Zambian suppliers to Mabiza Resources Limited have complained of harsh conditions and non-payment for the services rendered to the mine. - more

      Russian Arctic peoples appeal to Elon Musk for Nornickel boycott - A group of indigenous people in Russia are asking Tesla’s Elon Musk to stop buying supplies from miner MMC Norilsk Nickel until the company compensates them for environmental damage to their ancestral lands. - more

      China's July iron ore imports hit record high on robust demand - China’s iron ore imports in July surged to a record, up 24% from a year earlier, customs data showed on Friday, driven by shipments from miners and resilient demand as the economy bounced back after disruptions from the coronavirus pandemic. - more

      Distributor Pandemic Lessons and Silver Lining - COVID-19 has hammered manufacturing on an unprecedented scale. And yet, it's effectively shown the dire need for technology in distribution. - more

  • Canada to Impose $3.6B in Retaliatory Tariffs on US - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • 'Bull everything' rally leaves investors wondering what to own - more
  • MSP: 400 pound stainless steel block stolen - more
  • Elon Musk tests his planned stainless steel starship - more
  • Stocks, U.S. Futures Gain After Trump Extends Aid: 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

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
Coronavirus Recovery Tracker - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Coronavirus: Chinese firm signs deal to get access to promising Oxford University vaccine - more
Tracking the COVID-19 Economy with the Weekly Economic Index - more

Within days of the largest retail stores in the United States, including Walmart, launching mask policies for all customers, the curve in daily new cases peaked and began to fall. Coincidence?

Friday, August 7

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Thursday's trading session at $6.57/lb ($14,480/tonne). Indicators at 7:20 am CST today show nickel trading around $.04/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose on Thursday and now totals just shy of the 236,300 tonne level. Lot of news for your weekend, so we leave you with it. Stay safe and have a great weekend!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $6.37/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper slides on profit-taking, demand hopes bolster sentiment - more
  • SMM Evening Comments - no update posted
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index - $.2521/lb
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures -  14,860
  • US Exports of Stainless Steel Mill Products - 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 drifts lower as surplus looms - Copper prices drifted lower on Thursday as investors questioned whether demand would improve enough to extend a rally beyond two-year highs reached last month. - more

       SA ferrochrome output facing major wipe-out amid unstinting Eskom tariff inflation - Eskom price inflation could result in serious curtailments of Glencore’s South African ferrochrome business, the group said today. - more

      U.S. exports of Stainless steel wire decreased 5.90 percent from $67.83 million to $63.83 million through the first six 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 31.67 percent from $418.61 million to $286.03 million through the first six months of 2020 - more
  • U.S. imports of Stainless steel wire decreased 28.81 percent from $108.85 million to $77.49 million through the first six months of 2020 - more
  • U.S. imports of Stainless steel, not less than 600mm wide decreased 16.63 percent from $316.95 million to $264.23 million through the first six months of 2020 - more
  • U.S. exports of Misc. stainless steel bars, rods decreased 14.02 percent from $188.75 million to $162.29 million through the first six months of 2020 - more
  • U.S. imports of Misc. stainless steel bars, rods decreased 29.37 percent from $288.86 million to $204.02 million through the first six months of 2020 - more
  • U.S. exports of Nickel decreased 26.79 percent from $151.63 million to $111.01 million through the first six months of 2020 - more
  • U.S. imports of Nickel decreased 6.46 percent from $671.81 million to $628.42 million through the first six months of 2020 - more
      Protesting Indonesian students write to Chinese ambassador threatening to deport workers - The students have been protesting since March over the phased arrival of 500 Chinese nationals to work at nickel smelter projects in Sulawesi. - more

      Sumitomo predicts record annual loss as COVID-19 hits nickel project - Japanese trading house Sumitomo Corp <8053.T> on Friday forecast a record net loss of 150 billion yen ($1.4 billion) for the year to March due to hefty one-off losses including a writedown on its Ambatovy nickel project in Madagascar amid the COVID-19 shock. - more

      Aperam: EU’s current quota to bring huge import pressure to H2 market - The European Commission decided to make country quotas for each quarter; however, Aperam, a stainless steel manufacturer bases in Luxembourg, though that the commission had to adjust the quotas measure in line with the demand situation in the European market caused by the COVID-19 epidemic. - more

      New Caledonia nickel ore sale denounced - A pro-independence party in New Caledonia has added its voice against this week's government decision to allow nickel ore exports. - more

      North American companies eager to answer Tesla boss Elon Musk's call to action for nickel - Nickel companies in North America got a shot in the arm after Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk urged miners to produce more nickel, a key ingredient in the batteries that power the company's electric cars. - more

       World steel production slumps in H1 2020 in the wake of coronavirus pandemic - Steel market fundamentals weakened considerably in the first half of 2020, due to the spread of the coronavirus. - more

      It’s Time for Glencore to Embrace Change -  Ivan Glasenberg has built up a formidable commodities giant. The Glencore chief executive officer’s resolute belief in the counter-cyclical value of a trading business paid off in the first half of 2020, with an oil bonanza that helped ease blows dealt by the coronavirus. - more

      Minnesota Natural Wonder Is On Trump Team’s Hit List To Despoil - Trump administration action that could spoil a Minnesota wilderness with acidic damage for centuries would benefit the landlord of the president's children. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Comparison of Stainless Steel and Galvanised Steel in General Applications - more
  • A Monthly Peek into Americans’ Credit During the COVID-19 Pandemic - more
  • U.S. Futures Slide Before Jobs Data; Dollar Rises: 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

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
Coronavirus Recovery Tracker - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Thursday, August 6

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Wednesday's trading session at $6.54/lb ($14,415/tonne). Indicators at 6:10 am CST today show nickel trading around $.02/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose on Wednesday and started today, just under the 235,900 tonne level. Nickel has traded as high as $14,600/tonne this morning, but is currently trading just south of $14,500/tonne. We are still curious if the $14,500 level puts up any extended resistance, but with the momentum nickel has at the moment, it's hard to see what might slow it down. The Shanghai Metals Market apparently tired of trying to second guess London Metal Exchange traders and played catch up overnight. The New Caledonia government has approved requests to export low grade nickel ore. With Indonesia no longer exporting, and the Philippines entering their wet season, and thus not shipping, this nickel will be welcomed by buyers. Since this type of nickel is some of the most dangerous cargo to ship in the world, due to its moisture content, the longer shipping route opens this supply up to serious logistical concerns. The world passed the 19 million mark on diagnosed covid-19 cases yesterday, and here in the States, someone will become the 5 millionth diagnosed American sometime today. Stay safe and have a great day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $6.32/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Shanghai base metals jump on Chinese demand, rising supply fears - more
  • SMM Evening Comments - no report
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index - $.2523/lb
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures -  14,640
  • U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services - pdf here
  • BEA June 2020 Trade Gap is $50.7 Billion - more
  • U.S. Imports of Stainless Steel Mill Products - more
  • The Australian Mining Review - online here

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 up on demand hopes, sliding inventories - Copper prices rose on Wednesday as expectations of stronger economic growth and demand due to central bank and government stimulus, a lower dollar and sliding stocks boosted sentiment. - more

      China's crude stainless steel production increases in Jul m-o-m - According to statistics, the production of crude stainless steel from China’s 32 stainless steel plants totaled around 2.71 million tons in July, up by 7.68% compared to the previous month and 2.00% from the same month a year ago. - more

      New Caledonia approves export of nickel ore - The New Caledonian government has approved the export of nickel ore after being lobbied by two nickel companies seeking to sell low-grade ore. - more

       Hard data for first quarter of 2020 underlines severe impact of COVID-19 pandemic on European steel - The COVID-19 pandemic has slashed steel consumption forecasts as well as the overall economic outlook across the EU and the world. - more

      Nickel 'battery' demand on the rise - Nickel Bulls are really putting the work in recovering an impressive 22.5% from the pandemic March lows. - more

      Giga Metals aims to develop world’s first carbon-neutral mine - Giga Metals announced that, together with Greg Dipple of the University of British Columbia, the company is working towards developing the world’s first carbon-neutral mine. - more (Paging Elon Musk! You rang?)

      Arctic wastewater dump near Russia's Norilsk was toxic, says Greenpeace - Water samples taken by Greenpeace in Russia’s Arctic at the site of a wastewater dump by mining giant Norilsk Nickel contained 50 times the permitted level of toxic substances, the environmental campaign group said on Wednesday. - more

      Fastener Distributor Index Slows Slight July Slowdown, But Still Expanding - The latest index was positively led by strong sales, distributor inventories and pricing, while hurt by employment and customer inventories. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • European Stocks Slip on Earnings; Gold Advances: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
Coronavirus Recovery Tracker - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Wednesday, August 5

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed yesterday's trading session at $6.40/lb ($14,120/tonne). Indicators at 6:05 am CST today show nickel trading around $.07/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose on Monday and started today's session just under the 235,500 tonne level. Nickel closed well above the $14,000/tonne level yesterday, and so far today, appears to have no intention of giving that level up. At the moment, nickel is trading around $14,300 per tonne.Technical signals are nearly all flashing buy and traders are apparently listening. The U.S. Dollar has resumed falling, which is helping base metals in general. Nickel, at this point, does not appear to need a falling Dollar to do anything except add momentum. The bull is loose and for traders and cowboys alike, trying to catch and control him at this point, is dangerous. Even professional bull fighters know when to get out of the way. Stainless steel users, and now EV battery consumers, like Mr Musk, must sit on the sidelines and wonder when and where this stampede will end. Slow news day, so we leave you with what we found. Stay safe and have a wonderful'hump day'.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $6.25/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper edges lower as output from Chile, Peru rises - more
  • SMM Evening Comments - no report posted
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index - $.2522/lb
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures -  14,550
  • U.S. Manufacturers' Shipments, Inventories, and Orders - pdf here
  • United States IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index - more
  • United States Factory Orders - 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 leaps to highest since January as demand rebounds -  Aluminum prices rose to their highest since January on Tuesday as strong factory data, a resurgent auto market and rising Chinese demand fueled expectations of a tightening market. - more

      Tesla CEO's challenge sets stage for starring performance from nickel - Are we about to see 2017's lithium boom repeated in the nickel market? Based on the recent comments of Tesla chief executive Elon Musk, we just might. - more

      Chinese Worker Facing Trial in Indonesia over Fatal Accident - A Chinese national who works at a nickel smelter in Indonesia’s Southeast Sulawesi province will stand trial on charges of involuntary manslaughter after he allegedly drove a truck over and killed a colleague last month, police said Tuesday. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Europe Stocks, U.S. Futures Gain; Gold Tops $2,000: 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

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
Coronavirus Recovery Tracker - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Tuesday, August 4

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Monday's trading session at $6.35/lb ($13,955/tonne). Indicators at 6:10 am CST today show nickel trading around $.01/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose by a single tonne on Monday and remains just under the 235,300 tonne level. Nickel traded over the $14,.000/tonne level yesterday, for the first time since January. If traders can successfully beat this level, we feel the next big hurdle the market must beat is the $14,500/tonne level. In 2019, nickel peaked on August 1st and began a slide that did not end until the end of March of this year. Except for little run in early December, that peaked out just shy of the $14,500 tonne level. Might mean absolutely nothing, but for the technical traders, it could tell us this was the best charge the bulls could pull off in a pre-covid bear market. In the mean time, traders have to beat the $14,000/tonne level, and based on the positive trend nickel has been on since late March, the market has yet to lose momentum. India has passed the United States the last few days in new daily covid cases and deaths. This is a record no one wants but we here in the States, are glad to be rid of. Permanently, we hope. Stay safe, and have a great day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $6.21/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - London copper eases as investors eye next cue - more
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index - $.2523/lb
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures -  14,350
  • United States Imports of Nickel - more
  • U.S. All Employees: Total Nonfarm Payroll - more
  • Recycling Today August - online here
  • U. S. Report On Business July Manufacturing PMI - 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 rebounds from three-week low on strong China data - Copper prices bounced off three-week lows on Monday after robust factory data in China raised hopes of recovering demand in the world’s top metals consumer. - more

      Vale keeping safety in mind during Voisey's Bay ramp-up: Nain mayor - As the province moves through the different levels of COVID-19 restrictions, businesses that had slowed down or ceased production are ramping back up again, including the mine in Voisey’s Bay. - more

      Tree leaves dying days after massive air-pollution cloud - “Back to the 90s, when businesses shit on the laws,” is just one of many comments after people started to post photos of dying trees on Region51’s Vkontakte page in Murmansk this weekend. - more

      Courtesy AISI - In the week ending on August 1, 2020, domestic raw steel production was 1,328,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 59.3 percent. Production was 1,846,000 net tons in the week ending August 1, 2019 while the capability utilization then was 79.3 percent. The current week production represents a 28.1 percent decrease from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending August 1, 2020 is up 0.6 percent from the previous week ending July 25, 2020 when production was 1,320,000 net tons and the rate of capability utilization was 58.9 percent. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Stocks Lose Steam on Earnings; Bonds Turn Higher: 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

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
Coronavirus Recovery Tracker - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Monday, August 3

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Friday's trading session at $6.25/lb ($13,780/tonne). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.03/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose slightly on Friday and start the new month just under the 235,300 tonne level. For the month of July, LME numbers rose 260 whole tonnes, making it a month where supply and demand were about the same. Sherritt is warning of a coming shortage in nickel based on the fact nickel prices are a level that is discouraging mining companies from making long range investments into new mines.  This is a rather safe prediction as it is part of the nickel cycle, and one we already experience earlier this century. Then we saw nickel prices hit well over $20/lb and if hadn't been for the Chinese coming up with a way to use what was then called 'pig nickel', it could have gone much higher. It's a new month and a new sponsor who wished to remain anonymous. We want to thank him as well as our July sponsor, Duraloy. The Disney saying above, erroneously credited to others, reminds us that there is good in bad, joy in sorrow, beauty in ugly, and opportunity in adversity. In these difficult and challenging times, thoughts like this are easy to forget. It;s a new week, a new month, and a new opportunity. Opportunity for what is up to you. The winners are on the move, so decide today if you want to lead or follow. Stay safe and have a great day and may August be a wonderful month for you.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $6.05/lb (July average)
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper hits three-week low on demand fears and firmer dollar - more
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index - $.2548/lb
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures -  14,290
  • U.S. Personal Saving Rate - more
  • University of Michigan: Consumer Sentiment - more
  • Metalforming Magazine August issue - online here
  • NAB US Economic Update  - pdf here
  • Sucden Quarterly Metals Report - pdf here

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 dips on month-end profit-taking, firmer dollar - Copper prices dipped on Friday as speculators locked in profits after July recorded a fourth straight month of gains for the metal amid a recovery in top consumer China. - more

      China's crude stainless steel output declines in H1 2020 y-o-y - According to the latest statistics, China's crude stainless steel output in the first half of the year decreased by 393,100 tons or 2.74% compared with the same period of 2019. - more

    Global Top 20 June 2020 - Registrations were down 22% in June, which if isolation sounds bad, the truth is that the 230.000 units registered last month represented the 3rd best result in the last 18 months and a new year best, so one can hardly complain, especially considering that the second half of the year has great growth prospects, which might even turn around the YTD numbers, currently down by 16% YoY. - more
  • Global passenger EV sales forecast to reach 6.2 million units by 2024: MI - more
      200 suppliers threaten to grab Munali Nickel Mine assets over $18m debt - Over 200 contractors have threatened to take the law into their own hands and confiscate whatever assets they can to recover the US $18 million owed to them by Mabiza Resources, operators of Munali Nickel Mine in Southern Province. - more

      Mining sector adjusts operations amid Covid-19 - Mining companies are being forced to adjust their operations so as to remain afloat despite the threat of Covid-19, as well as keeping focused towards attaining the US$12 billion mining economy by 2023. - more

      How Manufacturing HR Can Reduce Risk as COVID Reshapes Employee Interaction - As manufacturing human resources professionals cope with fear and uncertainty across their workforce, they must focus on three key areas. - more

  • US Wages, Benefits Grew at Slowest Pace in 3 Years in Q2 - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Europe Stocks Rise on Factory Data; Bonds Slip: Markets Wrap - more
  • Brief fire kills worker at Russia's Nornickel power plant - 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

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
Coronavirus Recovery Tracker - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more


July 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