This page is archived news covering the period of December 2019
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Stainless Steel News and Nickel Prices

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Friday, December 13

LME nickel prices  Daily Abridged Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Thursday's trading session at $6.34/lb ($13,980/tonne). Indicators at 6:20 am CST today show nickel trading around $.10/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME license warehouses rose yesterday, but after what we have seen this week, a 1100+ tonne gain would have been a large increase a month ago, but this week, is mere chicken scratch. We started the day just over the 123,300 tonne level. Equity markets are cheering what they believe will be some sort of announcement today on aspects of a US-Chine trade deal - a phase two if you will. President Trump, who has been in the media for all the wrong reasons lately, needed this win and  the impeachment news could have helped get this deal done. Regardless, investors are betting whatever is announced will help get China's economy back on track.  Notorious nickel, with a mind of its own, was already in a bullish bounce this week, but the market could be using the trade news to keep the bulls in line. It's been your typical Friday the 13th type of week, with nickel's short term trend turning bullish, while at the same time London Metal warehouses being flooded with nickel inventory. Oh well.... we did call it "notorious nickel". We wish each of you a safe and relaxing weekend, and hope to see you again next week. We start the last half of the last month of the 2010's decade on Monday.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $6.08/lb
  • Nickel (day old) price chart and history - here 

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper heads for best week since Feb on U.S.-China trade relief - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Eramet update press release - pdf here
  • USGS Monthly Chromium September - pdf here
  • What Drives Nickel Prices –A structural VAR Approach - pdf here

     Thursday's market review - Copper rally falters after 7-month high as producers hedge - Copper prices pulled back from fresh highs on Thursday as miners hedged to take advantage of the strongest levels in seven months. - more

      China's 2020 crude steel output expected to drop - govt research body - China's crude steel output in 2020 is expected to ease from a record high this year to 981 million tonnes, a government consultancy said on Thursday. - more

      Nickel mining resisted in Indonesia - A looming export ban on raw nickel has prompted a wave of Chinese investment in nickel smelters, prompting local resistance - more

      Ramu LOs reap lucrative benefits, highlights Tobe - The Ramu nickel/cobalt project in Madang has offered more than K144 million worth of business opportunities to the landowners during the construction phase from 2006 to 2012, according to the company. - more

      Agencies to take comments on plan for Minnesota mining -  Friends and foes of copper-nickel mining are mobilizing supporters for a meeting Thursday on a proposal aimed at protecting more than 234,000 acres of land near a pristine Minnesota wilderness area. - more

  • Teck seeking state’s permission to explore minerals near Babbitt  - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Zim makes strides towards methane gas - more
  • Freight Transportation Service Index up 1.3% in October, BTS says - more
  • Trump signs off on deal to pause US-China trade war - more
  • Stocks Surge on Trade Deal Hopes; Pound Rallies: Markets Wrap - more
Thursday, December 12

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Wednesday's trading session at $6.28/lb ($13,850/tonne). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.01/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel store in LME licensed warehouses rose by nearly as much as it has the last two days combined and now sits just over the 122,000 tonne level. If there is any justice in the world, then the Chinese stainless steel producer, who was taking so much nickel earlier in the fall, in an apparent attempt to goose prices, is now having to dump some of this nickel back on the market at an incredible loss. In the mean time, this sudden spurt is really confusing the market. Market showed 69,276 tonnes with 47.11% reserved at the end of last week. Since then they have grown by 52,782 tonnes, and cancelled warrants is  in the 16% range, the lowest it has been in ... we can't remember the last time it was this low. One might think a market already apprehensive over world trade wars and slowing stainless production might look at this sudden extra supply as a pendulum in the old supply and demand scenario and yet, the market is trading at its high for the month, and has, at least for the moment, set up the $14,000 tonne level as resistance. This could be a move by the bulls to hurt the bears, who have been winning for some time, and force them to cover their short bets before Christmas. These type of bullish runs can go either way, so its too early to tell if the market has found a floor. So the bulls are defending $13,000/tonne, and the bears are fighting the $14,000/tonne level. Sounds like the last few weeks of December could remain interesting.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $6.06/lb
  • Nickel (day old) price chart and history - here 

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Nickel prices hit 2-week highs as investors cover short positions - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Barchart US 304 SS Scrap Price Index - $.239/lb

Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

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

     Wednesday's market review - Copper hits highest level since July on hopes of U.S. tariffs delay - Copper prices touched a near five-month high on Wednesday on hopes that the United States would delay imposing more trade tariffs on goods from China, which would signal a detente in the dispute that has sapped metals demand.  - more

       Stainless steel melt shop production increased first nine months of 2019 - The International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF) has released figures for the first nine months of 2019 showing that stainless steel melt shop production increased by 3.4% year–on–year to 39.8 million metric tons. - more

      Apprehension in New Caledonia amid Vale's restructure - There is unease and uncertainty in New Caledonia after the Brazilian miner Vale announced its plans to divest itself of its interests in New Caledonia. - more

      After tumult of six months, ferrochrome plant reopens - Six months after lying defunct, the state-owned ferrochrome and alloys plant at Jajpur Road has become fully functional. - more

      Precious metals drop in November as investors seek riskier assets; nickel slumps - The S&P GSCI index of commodities was little changed in November as investors' renewed risk-on sentiment weighed on the appeal of gold while nickel experienced its worst drop in eight years. - more

      Our country can't be pressured: Jokowi talks trade strategies - President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has laid out strategies that could bring about a competitive edge for Indonesia when the country faces pressures from other countries over its trade policies, from palm oil to nickel. - more

      Mines close for a second day due to load-shedding - Most of SA’s underground mines suspended work for a second shift due to uncertainty about electricity supply from Eskom, which is struggling to keep its power plants operational. - more

      What are the pitfalls of deep sea mining? - Resting atop Thomas Peacock’s desk is an ordinary-looking brown rock. Roughly the size of a potato, it has been at the centre of decades of debate. - more

      List of banner sponsors for 2020 - We thank them for their support and helping make it possible to keep the site live for 2020

  • Duraloy - January/July
  • Taunton Metals - February/June/October/December
  • Texas Pipe - March/September/November
  • Scott Stainless - April
  • RHS Stainless - May
  • Gerald Bogdan (individual - August

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • U.S. Futures Edge Higher; Stocks, Bonds Fluctuate: Markets Wrap - more
  • A quick guide to the US-China trade war - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • Shanghai Futures Exchange Stainless - here
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
Wednesday, December 11

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Tuesday's trading session at $6.08/lb  ($13,405/tonne). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.04/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose by another astounding amount yesterday, and started today's session just under the 96,800 tonne level. Stockpiles have grown by nearly 27,500 tonnes this week. Cancelled warrants have now slipped to the 30% range. After hitting its lowest since mid July, and very near the average price for all of 2018, nickel bounced Tuesday, gaining $.03/lb over Monday's close, and $03/lb lower than Friday's. And its trading higher today. If you are wondering why nickel trading has turned positive at the same time stockpiles are growing, you are not alone. Once again, we see evidence of why we encourage buyers of nickel and stainless steel to put down the oars, and go with the flow. Trying to fight that which one can not understand is a fool's errand. We hope to learn where all this nickel is showing up from. We have a sneaky suspicion it has something to do with the LME investigating where all the nickel went earlier in the fall, but have nothing to base that hunch on other than the amounts involved.  We will see - or maybe we never will. Bunch of market news and reports - we leave you to it.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $6.05/lb
  • Nickel (day old) price chart and history - here 

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper hits highest level since July on hopes of U.S. tariffs delay - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Barchart US 304 SS Scrap Price Index - $.251/lb
  • ING Commodities Outlook - pdf here
  • U.S. Imports of Stainless Steel Mill Products - more
  • US Exports of Stainless Steel Mill Products - more (final thru Oct)
  • Anglo American Investor Call - pdf here
  • NAB Minerals & Energy Outlook: December 2019 - pdf here
  • Mining Zimbabwe - 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 - Nickel rebounds from five-month low as Indonesia ban looms - Nickel bounced from a five-month low on Tuesday as investors regarded a sharp downtrend as overdone given an export ban on ore from Indonesia from 2020 is expected to tighten the market. - more

      Analysis: Nickel weakness showing no sign of easing - Nickel has fallen from grace in recent weeks, having been the sector darling for much of 2019, leading to talk about how low the metal can head before bottoming out. - more

      The future of nickel: tensions, trade bans and technology - It’s an interesting time for nickel on the global markets. - more

      Price of HC FeCr in China Continues to Show Tapering Down Trend = Rumor of reduction in stainless steel production due to environmental regulation = The price of high-carbon ferro-chrome in the Chinese domestic market has continued to show a tapering down trend, and the current price of Inner Mongolian product is in the range of CNY5,800 to CNY5,900 per ton, down by CNY100 to CNY300 from the end of last week. (Hereinafter, the price is per ton) - more

      Anglo American shares stay in green despite 2020 output cuts - Anglo American PLC have seen their shares in green despite cuts to its 2020 output guidance. - more

      Madagascar plans higher royalties on nickel, cobalt, at least 20% stake in mining production - Madagascar plans to increase its royalties on nickel and cobalt to 4% from 2% at present, a draft mining law said on Tuesday. - more

      Indonesia nickel ore royalties double in regulations shake-up - Major nickel ore exporter Indonesia will double royalties on sales of the ore to 10% while also adjusting the charges for other minerals, according to a copy of new government regulations seen by Reuters. - more

  • Investment shortfalls cause 30% drop in nickel smelter construction by 2022 - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • U.S. Futures, Stocks Drift Before Fed; Bonds Climb: Markets Wrap - more
  • USMCA is finally done. Here’s what is in it - more
  • WTO chief: 'Months' needed to fix disputes body - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • Shanghai Futures Exchange Stainless - here
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
Tuesday, December 10

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Monday's trading session at $6.05/lb ($13,340/tonne). Indicators at 6:20 am CST today show nickel trading around $.15/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME license warehouses is the story of the day, after growing by 14,200 tonnes in one day. We would have to go back thru our records, but we believe this is the biggest one day receipt we have seen in many years. Stockpiles started today just over the 83,500 tonne level and cancelled warrants fell to the 38% range. The market, obviously, is reacting negatively to this shocking one day growth and we are wondering if this is reflection of the slowdown in stainless steel production, or more evidence of less savory activity. Regardless, another day like today and we will be close the 100,000 tonne level again. A few years ago, that level would have been very concerning. Today, apparently the market is less so.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $6.07/lb
  • Nickel (day old) price chart and history - here 

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper slips from 4-month high as markets watch tariff deadline - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Mirae Asset Weekly Commodity Alerts - 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 scales 4-1/2-month peak on China demand optimism -  Copper prices climbed to 4-1/2-month highs on Monday as hopes of stronger growth and demand in top consumer China were reinforced by numbers showing surprisingly robust imports. - more

      China stainless steel production inched up 0.7% in November -  Production of stainless steel in China inched up in November, after two consecutive months of decline, as 200-series producers recovered from maintenance. - more

      Afarak warns of retrenchments at South African subsidiaries - Specialist alloy producer Afarak has said two of its South African subsidiaries – Afarak Mogale and Ilitha Mining – might retrench some employees. - more

      Works restart at Forrestania Nickel Operation in Western Australia - Nickel mining firm Western Areas has resumed normal operations at its Forrestania project in Western Australia, following a bush fire incident last week. - more

      China's steel mills alter iron ore procurement preferences as market changes focus - Attractive steel margins and a relative lack of pollution controls are having a marked impact on the iron ore procurement preferences of China's steel mills in December ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday that falls early in 2020, on January 25. - more

      Courtesy AISI - In the week ending on December 7, 2019, domestic raw steel production was 1,821,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 78.7 percent. Production was 1,861,000 net tons in the week ending December 7, 2018 while the capability utilization then was 79.4 percent. The current week production represents a 2.1 percent decrease from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending December 7, 2019 is down 0.8 percent from the previous week ending November 30, 2019 when production was 1,835,000 net tons and the rate of capability utilization was 79.3 percent. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • U.S. Futures Drop With Stocks; Treasuries Edge Up: Markets Wrap - more
  • China Nov exports fall, but import growth hints of recovering demand - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • Shanghai Futures Exchange Stainless - here
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
Monday, December 9

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Friday's trading session at $6.11/lb ($13,475/tonne). Indicators at 6:20 am CST today show nickel trading around $.12/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose on Friday and started the week just under the 69,300 tonne level. Stockpiles remain ahead for the month. Nickel  turned bullish to end last week, but for whatever reason the market was goosed, it appears to have been little more than a dead cat bounce. Nickel fell back to around $13,200 tonne this morning and has done very little since. A survey published in China on Friday show analysts polled there, felt nickel would remain bearish this week by a margin of 3 to 1.
  • Since we have enough advertisers to cover 2020 (we will list them at a later day), we are introducing a new layout for the new year, which we will be tweaking over the next few weeks. While not exactly relevant to those already in the stainless steel business, we kept and improved the section on "Why Stainless Steel" for  visitors. We are here to provide you with industry news, but we will take any opportunity we can, to interest visitors in stainless steel. "Other News" has been moved to the bottom, and will contain news that may or may not be of relevance or interest to you. Today, we point to articles about the sudden closure of Celadon Trucking and the crisis building in the trucking business, which those in your company responsible for shipping, may need to apprised of. We also added a few macroeconomic reports to the bottom while we will keep posting industry reports at the top. We are open to suggestions and if there is something you feel other members of the industry might be interested in, let us know. But please remember, if you send us an email, put "stainless steel" in the header. We discovered we had our spam filter turned up way too high last month, and since we abandoned its use, we are inundated daily with spam.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $6.08/lb
  • Nickel (day old) price chart and history - here 

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper scales 4-1/2-month peak on China demand optimism - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • U.S. Imports 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

     Friday's market review - Copper rises on U.S. jobs growth and China tariff rollback - Copper prices rose sharply on Friday after data unexpectedly showed U.S. employment rose at the fastest rate in 10 months in November, suggested the economy was not in danger of stalling. - more

      Nickel output to hit over 40 million WMT in 2020 - The country’s nickel output is seen to increase next year, reaching more than 40-million wet metric tons (WMT), the Philippine Nickel Industry Association (PNIA) said. - more

      Chinese media is reporting 300 series production made up 48.5% of stainless steel production last month. In an update we posted in March 2008, 300 series stainless production made up 58.13% of all stainless steel production in China then. 400 series production made up 25.52% back in March 2008 - 20.43% last month. 200 series, which made up 16.35% in 2008, measured 31.1% last month.  200 series stainless contains less nickel than 300 series.

      Samancor to cut chrome ore, ferrochrome output - A continued deterioration in market conditions, depressed prices and higher electricity tariffs has prompted Samancor Chrome to reduce its chrome ore and ferrochrome production levels for 2020. - more

      Glencore investigated by Serious Fraud Office over suspected bribery  - The Sydney Morning Herald has reported the SFO investigation added to ongoing corruption probes into one of the world's biggest commodities traders in the U.S. and Brazil. During the same period, most large miners' stock has risen. - more

      84 FR 66883 - Circular Welded Austenitic Stainless Pressure Pipe From the People's Republic of China: Continuation of Antidumping Duty Order and Countervailing Duty Order - more

      China Macro & Metals: Steel output falls, but property creates bright spots - Chinese steel production posted a rare drop in October, while domestic steel prices have been buoyed by the property sector.  - more

       Carbon and Alloy Steel Threaded Rod From Taiwan: Final Affirmative Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • U.S. Futures Edge Lower With Stocks as Bonds Climb: Markets Wrap - more
  • Trump will make final call on China tariffs, likes direction of talks - Kudlow - more
  • Celadon Trucking largest and latest trucking company to close - more   more 
  • Yardeni Research ATA Truck Tonnage Index - pdf here
  • Yardeni Research PMI Surveys - pdf here

  Morning Nickel Prices

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • Shanghai Futures Exchange Stainless - here
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
Friday, December 6
    If you would be interested in sponsoring a banner across the top of the news page in 2020, please contact us at info@estainlesssteel.com and put "stainless steel" in the e-mail topic so our spam filter lets you thru. We thank you for your support.

LME nickel prices  Friday's Abridged Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Thursday's trading session at $6.03/lb (13,310/tonne). Indicators at 6:40 am CST today show nickel trading around $.07/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell slightly for a fourth day and started the day just under the 68,900 tonne level. Cancelled warrants are now up to near 48%. Reuters reporter Andy Home is watching the cancelled warrants as well and warns of a potential trap building for the bears (see below). Nickel bounced off $5.92/lb early yesterday and has been rebounding since. Has nickel finally found a floor? Stay tuned. Have a safe and relaxing weekend and we invite you to join us next week.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $6.08/lb
  • Average price of LME traded nickel in first half of 2019 - $5.59/lb / 2018 - $5.95/lb / 2017 - $4.73/lb / 2016 - $4.36/lb /

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Most industrial metals gain on trade deal optimism - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here  
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Glencore Investor Update - pdf here
  • Nickel Magazine Vol.34, No.3, 2019 - here
  • Thyssenkrupp AG 2018/2019 Annual Report - pdf here
  • Mineral Industry Surveys Chromium September 2019 - pdf here
  • U.S. Imports for Consumption of Steel Products October 2019 - more

     Thursday's market review - London copper slips as trade-deal doubts linger - Benchmark London copper prices dipped on Thursday amid scepticism over the chances for a near-term preliminary trade deal between Washington and Beijing, despite U.S. President Donald Trump sounding positive again about the prospects. - more

      Nickel bubble deflates but a bear trap may be opening: Andy Home - The nickel price bubble is slowly deflating but bears would be advised to tread carefully with a sharp fall in LME inventory threatening a repeat of the time-spread turbulence that rocked the London market in late September. - more

      Indonesia revises down outlook for nickel smelter capacity by 2022 -  Indonesia expects to have 29 nickel smelters operating by 2022, with total annual input capacity of nearly 70 million tonnes, a mining ministry official said on Friday, in a downward revision of a November projection of ore refining capacity. - more

      Doubt cast over planned restructure of New Caledonia‘s Vale nickel plant - Doubt is being cast on the feasibility of the planned restructure of New Caledonia‘s loss making Vale nickel company, which its Brazilian owner has put up for sale. - more

  • Chinese company could buy New Caledonia's Vale nickel plant -report - more

      Australia's Panoramic rejects Independence's takeover offer, plans capital raise - Australian nickel miner Panoramic Resources on Thursday recommended that its shareholders reject a takeover bid by larger peer Independence Group NL and went ahead with a capital raising effort, breaching an offer condition. - more

      Russian Miner “Nornickel” is Testing a Trading Platform for Digital Metal Tokens - Russia’s biggest refined nickel producer, Nornickel, has announced that the testing of its digital platform that would promote the sales of metal tokens has commenced. - more

      Queensland council says Palmer firms owe $2.5m in unpaid bills - A Queensland council is pursuing two of Clive Palmer's companies in court seeking millions owed in rates and water charges. - more

      EV battery costs, and emissions, fall dramatically as capacity increases - The rise in production of battery packs to supply the increasing demand for electric vehicles (EVs) has results in significant falls in both prices and emissions, according to new reports. - more

Thursday, December 5
    If you would be interested in sponsoring a banner across the top of the news page in 2020, please contact us at info@estainlesssteel.com and put "stainless steel" in the e-mail topic so our spam filter lets you thru. We thank you for supporting this site.

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing (7:00 AM CST is 12 PM in London)

  • Nickel closed yesterday's trading session at $5.95/lb   ($13,120/tonne). Indicators at 6:20 am CST today show nickel trading around $.01/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell only slightly for a third consecutive day and started the day just over the 68,900 tonne level. LME warehouse shipments have done a whole lot of nothing the last three days, but consecutive warrants remain above 42%, so one would think shipments would pick up later in the month. Nickel fell below support on Tuesday and fell below the $6/lb level yesterday for the first time since mid July. We are now looking at the  starting level of the last bull run as strong technical support - or around $5.45/lb. This year has so far turned out to be the story of two halves. A two month bull run starting in January, ended the first of March, and over the next 4 months, nickel lost half of what it had gained. The second bull run started the first of July, lasted two months again, and has been falling ever since.  If the current trend does not end, all gains from the last run will disappear, and we could start working on the gains nickel made in January, and did not lose. This has been one of those years that drives stainless steel manufacturers, distributors and users absolutely crazy, with the volatility of nickel having a huge effect on the daily price of stainless. Four months ago, you were lucky if a quote for a stainless steel product lasted a day, now the buyer is wary to commit on the concern there will be a better price tomorrow. And the distributor, who has to commit to buy their inventory 3 to 6 months before they will actually have the material in their hands to sell .... watch as purchases they made four months ago, stuff they don't even have their hands on yet but are committed to, are now more expensive than current orders. And to keep their inventory cycling, they are likely looking at lower profit margins down the road.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $6.12/lb
  • Average price of LME traded nickel in first half of 2019 - $5.59/lb / 2018 - $5.95/lb / 2017 - $4.73/lb / 2016 - $4.36/lb /

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - London copper slips as trade-deal doubts linger - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here  
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Stainless India - pdf here
  • Intermodal Weekly Market Report - pdf here
  • U.S. Imports of Stainless Steel Mill Products - more
  • Cleveland-Cliffs to Acquire AK Steel - investor presentation here

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • China Stainless Steel Scrap Market News / Price - more
  • Scotiabank Reports - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - (chart)
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • Gunsynd buys into Solomon Islands nickel company - more
  • Stocks back to 'risk-on' after Trump trade war scare - more
  • U.S. Futures, Stocks Advance as Bonds Edge Lower: Markets Wrap - more

     Yesterday's market review - Copper prices rise on trade deal prospects - Copper rose on Wednesday on reports of progress towards an initial U.S.-China trade deal,though gains were capped by scepticism in some quarters. - more

      China’s stainless steel PMI in Nov comes to 45.21%, lower than expectation - According to the report, the stainless steel’s Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for China in November was 45.21%, lower than the previous’ expectation, which showed the recent market was hard to operate for the mills. - more

      Vale to exit New Caledonia, eyes Indonesia to boost nickel output - Brazil’s Vale SA plans to exit its troubled New Caledonia assets but still aims
to ramp up nickel output ahead of rising demand for electric batteries, executives said on Wednesday. - more

      Mining firms anchoring power imports: ZETDC - Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) acting director Ralph Katsande has said large mining firms are sustaining the country's power imports. - more

      Tariffs and tribulations: recasting US metals industries - “Trade wars are good, and easy to win,” President Donald Trump tweeted in March 2018 after imposing sweeping tariffs on US imports of steel and aluminum.  - more

  Morning Nickel Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here or here (updated)
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more  more
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - online here
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply news and information free of charge. Contact us
Wednesday, December 4
    If you would be interested in sponsoring a banner across the top of the news page in 2020, please contact us at info@estainlesssteel.com and put "stainless steel" in the e-mail topic so our spam filter lets you thru. We thank you for your support.

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing (7:00 AM CST is 12 PM in London)

  • Nickel closed yesterday's trading session at $6.07/lb ($13,375/tonne). Indicators at 6:20 am CST today show nickel trading around $.02/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell even more slightly than the day before (how does 1 lot sound?), and started the day just under the 69,000 tonne level, again. Nickel traded fairly quiet yesterday, but then in the afternoon, decided to take up skydiving as a side hobby. That continued overnight, and this morning, has seen the trading price bounce off overnight lows. Stockpile numbers have done a big nothing this week, but cancelled warrants continue to rise and are over 41%, and were under 34% this time last week. Outokumpu published Environmental Product Declarations for stainless steel last week and if you don't need to download a copy now, consider bookmarking the link for later (see below). And Goro is for sale - again.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $6.17/lb
  • Average price of LME traded nickel in first half of 2019 - $5.59/lb / 2018 - $5.95/lb / 2017 - $4.73/lb / 2016 - $4.36/lb /

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Nickel falls on trade fears, China stainless steel oversupply - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here  
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Vale Day Presentation - pdf here

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • China Stainless Steel Scrap Market News / Price - more
  • Scotiabank Reports - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - (chart)
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • Confronting Weed in the Workplace - more
  • Stocks Rally on Fresh Hopes for U.S.-China Deal: Markets Wrap - more

     Yesterday's market review - Rising Chinese supplies push lead to five-month lows - Lead prices hit five-month lows on Tuesday as funds and traders bet on weaker prices because of rising production of the auto battery metal in China and the potential for market surplus. - more

      Vale puts New Caledonian nickel plant up for sale - Brazilian miner Vale has put its 95 percent stake in its New Caledonian nickel plant at Goro up for sale following years of huge losses. - more

      Outokumpu environmental product declarations (EPD) for stainless steel - We offer quantitative and verified information on the environmental impact of our main products for the architecture, building and construction in the form of environmental product declarations and LEED fact sheets for green building. - more

      Government Fines Axiom for Alleged Breaches - Axiom Mining has received fines and demands from the Solomon Islands Government. - more

      Glencore's Glasenberg says successor could be in place next year - Glencore could announce a new chief executive next year once a new management team is in place, its current boss told an investor meeting on Tuesday as the commodities giant laid out its priorities for 2020. - more

      Suppliers demand minister’s dismissal as Munali Nickel Mine debt constricts them - Over 200 Zambian companies are on the verge of bankruptcy after Munali Nickel Mine operating as Mabiza Resources Limited proposed a three-year payment plan for goods and service supplied to the mine this year threatening thousands of jobs. - more

  Morning Nickel Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here or here (updated)
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more  more
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - online here
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply news and information free of charge. Contact us
Tuesday, December 3
   If you would be interested in sponsoring a banner across the top of the news page in 2020, please contact us at info@estainlesssteel.com and put "stainless steel" in the e-mail topic so our spam filter lets you thru. We thank you for your support.

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing (7:00 AM CST is 12 PM in London)

  • Nickel closed Monday's trading session at $6.22/lb ($13,720/tonne). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.04/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell only slightly and stockpile totals stand just under the 69,000 tonne level. Cancelled warrants continue to climb, so someone is placing orders - whether for consumption or to hide is the unknown. After a steep drop on Friday, Monday's market showed some stability, even gaining a few cents. But that has apparently turned out to be what some traders call a 'dead cat bounce', with  prices back show this morning. After doing this for many years, it has become apparent from watching news sources and analysts reports, that we as humans, what to know why things are happening the way they are happening. And we have also learned that much of the time, the reasons given are total malarkey - meant to sound good, and make sense, but mean very little. Watching the market is like watching a herd of deer, cows, ... basically any hoofed animal. Something happens to spook a small section of the herd and they run one way or the other, with most of the herd having no clue why they are running. Some of the time the herd just munches on grass, and the market is quiet. People who watch the market love this condition, because there really isn't anything to explain. Downstream users also love this market condition as they can safely predict what prices are going to be next month. But those who live off the 'market' hate it. A quiet herd means nothing is happening and it means no one is hunting. The nickel market has seen little quiet time this year, running hither for part of the year, and thither the other. So why is the market running thither at the moment?  Ask the guy next to you. He's not trying to outrun the herd.... just you. $6.19/lb remains as minor technical support, and another newsy day.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $6.89/lb (average November)
  • Average price of LME traded nickel in first half of 2019 - $5.59/lb / 2018 - $5.95/lb / 2017 - $4.73/lb / 2016 - $4.36/lb /

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper prices slide as new U.S. tariffs add to trade fears - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here  
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Mirae Asset Weekly commodity alerts - pdf here
  • PUC Monthly Report - pdf here
  • China Economic Update: December 2019 - more
  • The Australian Mining Review - online here
  • RBC Commodity Price Monitor - pdf here

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • China Stainless Steel Scrap Market News / Price - more
  • Scotiabank Reports - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - (chart)
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • China Suspends U.S. Navy Port Calls in Hong Kong - more
  • Toyota to invest $2 billion in developing EV's in Indonesia - more
  • US reinstates tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum from Brazil, Argentina - more
  • Did Trump talk bluster or was he hinting that China talks collapsing? Either way, stock futures slump - more
  • Stocks, U.S. Futures Drop on Trump Trade Remark: Markets Wrap - more

     Monday's market review - Zinc hits 3-month low on scepticism over China buoyancy - Zinc sank to its lowest in nearly three months on Monday and other industrial metals also posted losses as investors doubted that upbeat manufacturing data in China pointed to an economic recovery. - more

     Nickel downstream sector activity contracted for 8th straight month in Nov  – Manufacturing activities across nickel downstream sectors in China weakened as expected in November and remained in contraction for the eighth consecutive month, weighed by production cuts of stainless steel and continued sluggish demand from electric vehicles, according to SMM survey. - more

      Ni SUS Scrap Price in Last Week of November JPY110,000 to JPY115,000 = Price in Kansai and Chubu areas is also lowered following Kanto area =
As of November 26, the stainless steel mills in the Kanto area purchase nickel-containing stainless steel scraps (SABOT) at JPY110,000 to JPY115,000 per ton (delivered at plant). (Hereinafter, the price is per ton)  - more

      Nickel Monthly News For The Month Of November 2019 - Nickel spot prices were lower in November, and the LME inventory hits a 10-year low at only 67k tonnes. - more

      Nickel Ban; Minister Luhut Ready to Face European Union's Lawsuit - Coordinating Minister of Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan confidently conceded the European Union’s plan to file a lawsuit against Indonesia to the World Trade Organization (WTO) after Indonesia decided to stop exporting nickel ore starting from January 1, 2020. - more

      Sustainable steel indicators 2019 and the steel supply chain - As COP25 begins today, the World Steel Association (worldsteel) publishes Sustainable steel - Indicators 2019 and the steel supply chain. - more

      84 FR 66154 - Welded Stainless Steel Pressure Pipe From Malaysia, Thailand, and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Continuation of Antidumping Duty Orders - more

      Courtesy AISI - In the week ending on November 30, 2019, domestic raw steel production was 1,835,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 79.3 percent. Production was 1,903,000 net tons in the week ending November 30, 2018 while the capability utilization then was 81.2 percent. The current week production represents a 3.6 percent decrease from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending November 30, 2019 is down 1.4 percent from the previous week ending November 23, 2019 when production was 1,861,000 net tons and the rate of capability utilization was 80.4 percent. - more

  Morning Nickel Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here or here (updated)
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more  more
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - online here
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply news and information free of charge. Contact us
Monday, December 2
   This news site has been online for 16 years. Today, we have a loyal group of daily followers and visitors, who drop in to catch up on the prior days events, and get a feel for what nickel might do the next. Thru our 16 years, we have remained a free source, looking to click adds on the page as the primary source of income. That source of income has no longer become practical, as more visitors block 3rd party adds and the clicks that do come, are of far less value today than they were just a few years ago.

That leaves us with one feasible option to raise revenues, or close the site. Before we start the 2020 year, we invite 12 advertisers to buy a banner to replace the add across the top of the news page. The 728 x 90 banner will be posted for an entire month in 2020.  If you would like to sponsor a  month personally, we can post any appropriate banner that you desire (ie possibly non profit, awareness, etc). The cost for the space/month is $300 per month and depending on the commitments received, we will determine by the end of this year, whether continuation of the site is economically feasible.

Free metals news site have come and gone in the last decade, and we are one of the last to remain so. But click revenues have nearly ceased, and it is no longer feasible to continue under the current model. So we look to you for help. If you would like to help keep this site active, please contact us at info@estainlesssteel.com and please put "stainless steel" in the e-mail topic so our spam filter lets you thru. Payments will be accepted by Paypal to the same address. We thank you for your support and hope to continue with you thru 2020.

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing (7:00 AM CST is 12 PM in London)

  • Nickel closed Friday's trading session at $6.20/lb ($13,670/tonne). Indicators at 6:20 am CST today show nickel trading around $.02/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses ended last week just over the 69,000 tonne level. For the month of November, nickel stockpiles rose 2,730 tonnes. Cancelled warrants may have bottomed out, falling as low as 33.65 last Wednesday, but reading in the 36-37% range since. Prices were hit hard over the Thanksgiving holiday. We show the closing price fell a total of $710 per tonne ($.32/lb) on Thursday and Friday, with the market falling below the psychological, and technically important $14,000/tonne level. Right now the market is trading at its highest level nickel traded at in the first five months of the year, before the market hit a three month skid. This was the first bullish run of 2019, and it lasted from January 2nd thru March 5th. The second run started on June 10th and ended September 9th. Nickel is still up nearly 30% year to date, so if the bear stays in control, it still has a lot of room to roam before the price turns sour for the year. Nickel is still the only LME traded base metal that is trading positive for the year, so the negative pressure is intense. The US and Chinese manufacturing PMI's came in with a positive reading for November, while Europe and Japan readings remain negative (here). We have a lot of news, and a lot of reports posted today. It's the first day of the last month of the last quarter of the last year of the second decade of the 21st century. In 30 days, we enter the 2020's. Someday, Netflix will broadcast a show called the 2020's and a much older us will watch the show with fond memories. How fond those memories will be depends on what plans we are making today. May it be a great week for you.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - TBD
  • Average price of LME traded nickel in first half of 2019 - $5.59/lb / 2018 - $5.95/lb / 2017 - $4.73/lb / 2016 - $4.36/lb /

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Zinc hits six-week low on skepticism over China's factory data - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here  
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Desjardin's Commodity Trends - pdf here
  • Scotiabank Commodity Price Index - pdf here
  • Mineral Commodity Summaries Chromium - pdf here
  • U.S. Imports of Stainless Steel Mill Products - more
  • Wisdom Tree Commodity Monthly Monitor - pdf here
  • BMO Commodities Outlook for November 2019 - pdf here
  • World Bank Global Monthly - pdf here
  • Wells Fargo Weekly Economic & Financial Commentary - pdf here

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • China Stainless Steel Scrap Market News / Price - more
  • Scotiabank Reports - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - (chart)
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • The Stainless Steel Family - pdf here
  • Eurofer About Stainless Steel - more
  • BHP Facts about Nickel - pdf here
  • S&P Five global trends for the ferrous and steel sectors - more
  • 'Shocking' metallic gunk contaminates Sydney drinking water dams - more
  • Light Duty Electric Drive Vehicles Monthly Sales Updates - more
  • Vale to use artificial intelligence at its nickel mine  - more
  • Stocks Rise, Bonds Slump After Robust Factory Data: Markets Wrap - more

     Friday's market review - Nickel records biggest monthly fall since 2011 - Nickel hit its lowest in more than four months on Friday and posted its steepest monthly loss in eight years on faltering steel output from top producer China and waning impact from an Indonesian ore export ban. - more

      Vale set to downscale New Caledonian nickel plant - The Brazilian miner Vale is set to downscale its nine-billion US dollar nickel plant in New Caledonia in the face of competition from China. - more

       European Stainless Steel Prices Lose Link to Raw Material Costs - European stainless steel prices continue to fall, relative to the costs of the constituent raw materials. - more

      Nickel ore at center of new RI-EU trade row - Indonesia's surprise plan to ban the export of nickel two years early may scare foreign investors away from Southeast Asia's biggest economy, analysts say, as it could cement a reputation for policy flip-flopping. - more

  • Eu Provides Deadline For Indonesia To Resolve Nickel Export Ban - more
  • Indonesia Rule on Nickel Helps Playfair Mining in Norway - more
  • DPR Suggests Establishment of Committee to Beat Nickel Cartel  - more

      Phillippines eyes bigger share of China nickel market - The Philippines has ramped up nickel ore exports to China this year as it seeks a bigger market share in the country ahead of Indonesia's export ban in 2020. - more

      Indian consumption per capita of stainless steel hits record high in 2019 - The Indian Steel Minister Mr. Kulaste said when he attended the ceremony of the 30th-anniversary celebration for Indian Stainless Steel Development Association (ISSDA) that India's stainless steel consumption per capita hiked to new level 2.5 kgs in 2019 which was more than 100% raised against 1.2 kgs per capita in 2010. - more

      Hyundai invests 1.55 billion USD in first Indonesia plant - Hyundai Motors has entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Indonesian government to build a vehicle manufacturing plant in Kota Deltamas, east of Jakarta, where an “electric production line is also being explored.” - more

  • EUROFER Supports EU Action against Indonesian Nickel Policy  - more

      Positive spotlight shone on Thompson at Winnipeg mineral convention, says councillor - News that Vale Manitoba Operations could possibly spend $1 billion over five years to deepen Thompson mines in anticipation of a growing demand for nickel as a component of batteries for electric vehicles made Thompson the talk of November’s mineral exploration conference in Winnipeg. - more


  Morning Nickel Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here or here (updated)
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more  more
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - online here
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply news and information free of charge. Contact us

November Archives


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"A Guide To LME Trading"...pdf here (all ton listings are metric tons = 2204.622 pounds ) Updated Monday thru Thursday before 7 am CST - Disclaimer Original content and opinions copyright www.estainlesssteel.com. All prices shown on this page are indications only. Note - For real time and official LME prices, LME requires a user subscribe to an authorized LME vendor.



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