This page is archived news covering the period of December 2020
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Stainless Steel News and Nickel Prices


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Thursday, December 31

    Markets are closed Friday for the New Years holiday so our next update will be Monday, January 4th. May 2021 be a year of health and happiness for you, and for all of us. As the fictional character, Colonel Sherman T Potter, in a M*A*S*H New Years TV episode toasted "Here's to the New Year. May she be a damn sight better than the old one, and may we all be home before she's over."

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Wednesday's trading session at $7.61/lb  ($16,780/tonne). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.06/lb lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose on Wednesday and started the final day of trading in 2020, at just over the 246,700 tonne level. Nickel continues to fall and this morning, is testing another level of technical support at $7.53/lb. Technical indicators are sending strong sell recommendations, but that can change in a millisecond, and tends to mirror more what is happening, than foretelling what will happen. With trading today, the final of the year, trading houses could be merely squaring their books, and locking in their profits for the final month/quarter. And with that, we log another year, and thank you for spending a minute or two of your day with us. We want to thank each of our 2020 sponsors for making this daily page possible. And on Monday, one of our first ever site sponsors is back to start us on another year. May it be a great year for us all. Stay safe, enjoy your holiday weekend, and we hope to see you next year.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $7.63/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning -
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index - $.3005/lb
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures -  13,100
  • US Steel Import Monitor - more
  • Advance U.S. International Trade in Goods - pdf here
  • Advance Monthly Wholesale Inventories - 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 drifts lower in thin trading as coronavirus cases rise - Copper prices slipped on Wednesday in depleted volumes as the end of the year approaches, pressured by surging coronavirus infections driven by a new variant of the virus. - more

      Taiwan’s Yusco raises stainless steel prices for Jan 2021 - Yieh United Steel Corp. (Yusco), a leading stainless steel mill in Taiwan, announced its new prices for January 2021 today (December 30). - more

      Explainer: What's driving New Caledonian protests against Brazilian mining giant Vale - Riots erupted in December in New Caledonia, a French territory in the Pacific, with protesters blockading nickel mines and challenging Brazilian mining giant Vale’s latest attempt to sell its local business. - more

      Brazil, Australia iron ore shipments set 2020 record; China spearheads other commodities performances; Soybean the best performer - The total volume of iron ore dispatched to global destinations from Australia and Brazil was 29.7 million tonnes in December, the highest since June 2019, according to a survey from Mysteel. - more

  • China iron ore surges over 50% in 2020, up for second straight year - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • European Stocks Fall on Final Trading Day of Tumultuous Year - more
  • Miners praise U.S. spending bill that funds rare earths programs - 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
White House Coronavirus Task Force public reports for all 50 states - more

Wednesday, December 30

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Tuesday's trading session at $7.68/lb ($16,925/tonne). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.06/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Tuesday and started today just over the 246,100 tonne level. Nickel closed back below the $17,000 tonne level last evening and so far this morning, has slipped further. Business media appears to be blaming the new variant of covid that is now popping up all over the globe, including the first case in the U.S, as spooking the market. We wonder how much of the LME's trading is actually 'steered' by London traders and not computer generated. Computers care only about the virus in the context of its effect on the market, and thus would not be concerned with the fact that London itself is shut down. Traders working from home 'in London', who are seeing little more than doom and gloom on their local news, and out their windows, however, might let their personal concerns affect their business decisions. It might make for an interesting study - or not. The Euro is up for the week, which typically gives support to base metals trading. We show technical support at  $7.60/lb. Stay safe and have a a great day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $7.63/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper drifts lower in thin trading as coronavirus cases rise - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index - $.2988/lb
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures -  13,330
  • EV Sales Europe November 2020 - more
  • BMO 2021 Outlook: From Pandemic to Pandemonium? - pdf here
  • China Set New Plug-In Car Sales Record In November 2020 - more
  • Europe: Plug-In Electric Car Sales Tripled In November 2020 To New Records - more
  • The Month Coronavirus Unraveled American Business - A WSJ Documentary - video 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 - Aluminium hits lowest level in a month, copper climbs -  Aluminum prices fell to their lowest level in a month on Tuesday as investors worried that rising production would add to surpluses, while copper rose on hopes a U.S. aid package would boost economic activity. - more

      Taiwan’s stainless steel mills expected to raise prices for Jan due to high nickel prices - The LME nickel price has closed the US$17,000/ton level currently. - more

      India likely to impose anti-dumping duty on certain kind of steel imports from few countries - The government of India is likely to impose anti-dumping duty for five years on certain type of steel products from few countries, including Japan and Korea, to guard domestic players from cheap imports on recommendation from the Commerce Ministry. - more
  • Forging industry seeks ban on steel, iron ore exports; Foundry industry demand import duty cuts - more
  • Facing flak from different quarters, steel manufacturers defend price hikes in letter to PMO - more
       Indonesia says $9.8 billion EV battery MOU agreed with LG Energy Solution - Indonesia and a unit of South Korean firm LG Group have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on a $9.8 billion electric vehicle (EV) battery investment deal, the head of Indonesia’s Investment Coordinating Board said on Wednesday. - more

      Courtesy AISI - In the week ending on December 26, 2020, domestic raw steel production was 1,600,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 72.3 percent. Production was 1,815,000 net tons in the week ending December 26, 2019 while the capability utilization then was 78.5 percent. The current week production represents a 11.8 percent decrease from the same period in the previous year. - more

      Has Your Sales Spark Died? - How excited are you about the products and the market that you are selling into? - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • U.S. Stocks Set for a Rebound, Dollar Weakens: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

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
White House Coronavirus Task Force public reports for all 50 states - more

Tuesday, December 29

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Thursday's trading session at $7.75/lb ($17,095/tonne). Indicators at 6:10 am CST today show nickel trading around $.01/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose on Thursday and started today's session just under the 246,800 tonne level. Nickel jumped back above the $17,000 tonne level on Thursday, after falling below for a few days prior. Shanghai markets traded both Friday and Monday and ended higher, with their nickel back to where it was trading last Wednesday. This morning, little is happening yet, but the weekend news for commodity traders was mostly bullish, President Trump signed the stimulus package and since world economies apparently only exist now with an IV of government stimulus attached to their arm, traders will see this as positive. A Brexit agreement was reached in Europe, helping lessen the shock of the UK's departure. And in the U.S., covid numbers are down - average daily deaths falling by around 500 to less than 2300 per day. Horrific indeed, but better than the previous seven days. New cases numbers are down as well, and if this continues, we just might have seen this bubble's peak. We say might, as we have heard no one actually forecast that. We hope each of you have a Merry Christmas. Stay safe out there and have a great day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $7.63/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - London copper edges up on U.S. stimulus paychecks optimism - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index - $.3074
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures -  13,230
  • University of Michigan: Consumer Sentiment - more
  • Manufacturing Engineering: January 2021 - online here
  • United States Imports For Consumption Of Stainless Steel 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 - Industrial metals cement gains with hopes of strong demand in 2021 - Copper hovered near its highest since 2013 on Thursday and other industrial metals rose as investors bet on strong demand next year and stock markets rallied as the European Union and Britain agreed a trade deal. - more

      Fitch Solutions Forecasts 8.3% Surge in Nickel Mine Output - Australia, with a solid project pipeline, will continue to remain as a best-performing major producer. - more
  • China - Marginal growth in steel use expected - more
      Steel Imports Down 22.1% Year-to-Date Through November - Based on preliminary Census Bureau data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported today that the U.S. imported a total of 1,370,000 net tons (NT) of steel in November 2020, including 1,181,000 net tons (NT) of finished steel (down 9.2% and 5.5%, respectively, vs. October final data).  - more

       Apple’s Rumored Entry into EV Industry Has Implications for Miners of EV Battery Metals - This week, market reports of Apple’s potentially producing a battery-powered electric vehicle (EV) again began to surface. - more
  • November Breaks Italy’s EV Sales Records As Fiat 500e Enters Market - more
  • EV Sales China November 2020 - more

      The unstoppable rise of iron ore: A global perspective - Iron ore prices are soaring. Prices have reached approximately $160 per tonne by the middle of December. - more

      Distributor Pandemic Revenue Index Shrinks Further to Just Above Breakeven - Though it was a second-straight deceleration week, it was the fifth-straight positive reading. - more

  • How Different Business Sectors Fared During a Pandemic-Stricken 2020 - more
  • Record month for new powerboat retail sales - more
  • Understanding the Impact of COVID-19: The Top Five LSE Posts of 2020 - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Top U.S. Health Officials Warn of Post-Holiday Coronavirus Surge - more
  • Vietnam imposes anti-dumping tax on Chinese cold-rolled steel - more
  • EU states unanimously back Brexit trade and security deal - more
  • Malaysia will impose provisional anti-dumping tax on steel products from Indonesia and Vietnam. - more
  • U.S. Futures, Global Stocks Ride the Stimulus Wave: 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
White House Coronavirus Task Force public reports for all 50 states - more

Thursday, December 24
   The London Metal Exchange is closed Monday for Boxing Day, so our next update will be Tuesday, December 29th. Have a very Merry Christmas!

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Wednesday's trading session at $7.66/lb ($16,880/tonne). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.07/lb higher, Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose on Wednesday and started today's session just under the 246,700 tonne level. Nickel has bounced off a technical line of support with some gusto, and the recent decline appears to have been little more than a trap for the bears to short the market, and now be forced to cover the bet. There is always the chance the gamble may still pay off for the shorts, but we will let them hold their breath, so that we don't have to hold ours.Reuters gave the reasons for the increase in base metals  as "thanks to strong Chinese demand and massive speculative investment." We question the 'strong Chinese demand', although we are reading Chinese media reports that producers are stockpiling ahead of the New Year shutdown, which comes on February 12th this year. We are also seeing reports of shutdowns being ordered for metal producers in certain cities thru the end of the year due to power shortages. The 'massive speculative investment' is what fuels many bullish runs, and these many times turn into little more than bullish bubbles that pop. And while stainless steel down stream distributors and users hope for price stability, they have grown accustomed to these price spikes. It's Christmas Eve and the London Metal Exchange is closed tomorrow for Christmas, and Monday fro Boxing Day. Our next update will be next Tuesday. We wish our readers the healthiest and Merriest of Christmas'!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $7.62/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Industrial metals cement gains with hopes of strong demand in 2021 - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index - $.3029/lb
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures -  13,325
  • U.S. Imports for Consumption of Steel Products - more
  • US Economic Indicators:Industrial Production - pdf here
  • Advance Report on Durable Goods Manufacturers' Shipments, Inventories, and Orders - pdf here
  • US Economic Indicators:Durable Goods Orders& Shipments - pdf here
  • The New York Fed DSGE Model Forecast - December 2020 - more
  • Indian Stainless Steel Industry 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

     Wednesday's market review - Copper pushes back towards highs as investors regain nerve - Copper prices pushed back towards multi-year highs on Wednesday, with stock markets and oil prices also rising as investors who had been spooked by the emergence of a more contagious variant of the coronavirus regained their nerve. - more

      Taiwan’s stainless steel prices impacted by surging prices of carbon steel scrap - It was expected that Taiwan’s main upstream mills will hike their stainless steel prices for January 2021 due to the high costs of nickel and scrap. - more

      MySteel Global – Demand-side reform to drive China’s steel in 2021 - 2021, the first year of the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025), will mark the start of demand-side reform in China’s economy and global market, and China’s steel industry will also be driven by demand, with its growth outpacing that in supply to reach its peak in the next five years, Wang Jianhua, Mysteel’s chief analyst, shared at the Mysteel Annual Summit in Shanghai on December 20. - more
  • China to lower import tariff on more products in high demand for 2021 - more
      Rosstat: Russian stainless steel production increases in Nov y-o-y - According to statistics from the Russian Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat), Russian stainless steel production totaled around 16,200 tons in November, increasing by 22.1% from the same month a year ago and also up by 5.8% compared to the previous month.  - more

      Revisiting iron ore pricing mechanism holds risks and opportunities for market - An almost doubling of iron ore prices over the past six months led Chinese steelmakers last week to call for a change in the current pricing mechanism. - more

      COVID, Acquisitions Dominate ID's Top 20 News Items of 2020 - COVID-19 dominated all news cycles in 2020, and it was no different on ID. Take a look at what made the biggest waves this past year. - more

      Studying the onset of galvanic steel corrosion in situ using thin films: film preparation, characterization and application to pitting - This work reports about a novel approach for investigating surface processes during the early stages of galvanic corrosion of stainless steel in situ by employing ultra-thin films and synchrotron X-radiation. - pdf here

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Europe Stocks, Pound Rise Ahead of Brexit Deal - more
  • After divesting its Region steel mills, ArcelorMittal building $600 million furnace in Alabama - 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
White House Coronavirus Task Force public reports for all 50 states - more

Wednesday, December 23

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Tuesday's trading session at $7.56/lb ($16,675/tonne). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.01/lb lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose on Tuesday and started today just over the 246,300 tonne level. Nickel is struggling this morning, and testing a technical line of support. Technical signals were sending a strong sell signal last night, but are neutral this morning. U.S. stainless steel surcharges for January 2021 are out, and at their highest since November of last year (posted here). The average price of LME cash nickel is at its highest since October of last year. For those new to the stainless steel industry and wonder why we spend so much time on nickel, you have your answer. Consumer Reports is reporting that 71% of U.S. drivers surveyed said they were interested in getting an electric car - someday. EV sales in Europe are setting records, so the potential for this industry to start sucking up larger amounts of nickel for their batteries is mind boggling and has nickel bulls salivating. In the mean time, for those of you who sell stainless steel and have sales quota's to meet, there is a benefit to higher prices. If one can maintain their profit margin during a period of price increases, higher cost means higher sales, without higher volumes. It's no growth, growth, and the opposite can become painfully clear in a market heading in the opposite direction. Then higher volumes are necessary just to cover lower sales dollars on maintained profit margins.  Today is Wednesday, for but for may of us, we have already passed the week's hump, with tomorrow being Christmas Eve. Stay safe out there, and have a great day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $7.63/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Nickel hits 2-week low as virus, iron ore trading curb weigh - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index - $.3003/lb
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures -  13,275
  • Scotia Commodity Prices Get Another Shot in the Arm - pdf here
  • Australia Resources and Energy Quarterly: December 2020 - here
  • US Economic Indicators:Industrial Production - 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 - Lead steadies as growing stockpiles weigh - Lead prices steadied on Tuesday from four days of losses as rising stockpiles and expectations of surplus supply added to fears that a more infectious variant of the novel coronavirus will slow global economic recovery and metals demand. - more

       November 2020 crude steel production - World crude steel production for the 64 countries reporting to the World Steel Association (worldsteel) was 158.3 million tonnes (Mt) in November 2020, a 6.6% increase compared to November 2019. - more

      Asian stainless mills withdraw offers as nickel surges - Global stainless steelmakers are scrambling to adjust their pricing levels, due to rapidly escalating nickel costs.  - more

      Non-Ferrous Metals Export Down in January-October 2020 - According to the RF Federal Customs Service, during January-October 2020 Russia exported 2.1 mn tons of unwrought aluminum, down 14.3% year-on-year. In terms of value, unwrought aluminum export declined by 19.2% year-on-year down to $3.3 bn. - more

     Apple eyes autonomous electric car to rival Tesla with “breakthrough” battery - (excerpt) This is not only cheaper to make than the typical nickel-manganese-aluminium (NCA) chemistry of today’s lithium-ion batteries, but is also less likely to overheat. - more

  • Will Apple’s EV benefit Korean battery industry? - more

      The rise and rise of iron ore - Iron ore prices are soaring. Values reached approximately US$160 per tonne by the middle of December. This level was last recorded in early 2013. - more

  • MySteel Global – CISA predicts iron ore price to correct downward - more

     2021 metal fabrication forecast: The road to recovery continues - How fabricators perform next year depends on end markets, more shops embracing the fiber laser - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Challenging times ahead for North American steel buyers - more
  • Europe Stocks Climb With U.S. Futures; Dollar 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
White House Coronavirus Task Force public reports for all 50 states - more

Tuesday, December 22

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Monday's trading session at $7.84/lb ($17,275/tonne). Indicators at 6:05 am CST today show nickel trading around $.12/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell slightly on Monday and started today just shy of the 245,100 tonne level. Nickel is sharply lower this morning, but is still well above a two week low. While metals and minerals are mostly lower this morning, the Euro has recovered and there is no panic selling of commodities. Yet. There is always that outside danger that the bears could jump in and short the market heavily, and technical levels under pressure could see the price plummet. And there is always the chance this is an opportunity for the bulls to sucker the bears into an investment trap. We never know what is actually happening, until after the fact. One of the reasons we report on the market, and our risk threshold is too low to actually 'play' the market. If you follow the SHFE Stainless Steel Future price below, you will notice is dived last night. Its lowest this month was 13,065 and its highest was 13,945 yesterday. Today's drop to 13,255 was one of the biggest one day movements we have seen since it began trading. May mean little, but we have noted that some metals analysts watch this as a sign of stainless steel sales and pricing activity in China. Slow news day, but that is too be expected the next few weeks. Stay safe out there, and have a great day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $7.62/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Lead prices tumble as stockpiles grow - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index - $.2792/lb
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures -  13,255
  • ATA Truck Tonnage Index - pdf here
  • Fed - What’s Up with Stocks? - 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 - Industrial metals fall as new virus strain unnerves markets - Copper and other industrial metals prices sagged on Monday as a more infectious strain of the coronavirus threatened to wreak further damage on the global economy and investors ditched riskier assets. - more

      Indian ISSDA hopes government to cancel import duty on ferronickel & stainless steel scrap - In the coming Budget for the fiscal year 2021-22 requested to the Indian Ministry of Finance, the Indian Stainless Steel Development Association (ISSDA) urged the government to cancel import duty on ferronickel and stainless steel scrap, which are currently subject to a basic customs duty (BCD) of 2.5%. - more

      Courtesy AISI - In the week ending on December 19, 2020, domestic raw steel production was 1,619,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 73.2 percent. Production was 1,815,000 net tons in the week ending December 19, 2019 while the capability utilization then was 78.5 percent. The current week production represents a 10.8 percent decrease from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending December 19, 2020 is up 3.3 percent from the previous week ending December 12, 2020 when production was 1,567,000 net tons and the rate of capability utilization was 70.9 percent. - more

      Gazing Into Manufacturing and Distribution's 2021 Crystal Ball - COVID-19 debunked our belief that digital transformation was already the norm. Here's what will be key in the new year. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • European Stocks Bounce Back as Dollar Advances: 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
White House Coronavirus Task Force public reports for all 50 states - more

Monday, December 21

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Friday's trading session at $7.94/lb ($17,495/tonne). Indicators at 6:10 am CST today show nickel trading unchanged. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose on Friday and started this week just shy of the 245,200 tonne level. Nickel spiked higher earlier today, but a sharply lower Euro may be putting too much negative pressure on traders, and at present, nickel is down $5 per tonne. It appears, thru trading this morning and over the past few weeks, that  the $8.05/lb level has been putting up strong resistance.The Euro is lower, as are U.S. futures, on concerns over the new strain of covid that has forced London to shut down, and fellow European countries to ban traffic to and from that country. This new strain is not being reported as being anymore dangerous than the others, but it is apparently 60% more contagious. Fitch Solutions, in a new quarterly report, is forecasting nickel will average $15,250/tonne in 2021. This is an increase of $250/tonne from a prior forecast. It's Christmas week and typically, this and next week, are a Vice President of Workplace Productivity's worst nightmare. Both are short week's, with U.S. markets closed both Friday's, and London being closed these two days and next Monday as well, for Boxing Day. This may be a different holiday season than any of us have experienced before, but news flash, Christmas has not been cancelled. And contrary to recent conspiracy theories, Santa has not been quarantined, and his visa's have not been cancelled. However, it is more important this year, than in past years, that the kids are asleep and kept socially distant from the white bearded trespasser. And it probably wouldn't hurt, to leave out a little hand sanitizer with your cookies and milk. Christmas is for the kids .... and the kid in each of us ..... so this week, its very important that we take care of the kids .... big and small. Be safe out there, enjoy your short week, and Merry Christmas you big old kid.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $7.61/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - no report filed
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index - $.2750/lb
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures -  13,945
  • U.S. Economy in a Snapshot - 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 pares gains after breaking above $8,000 level - Copper pulled back after breaching the $8,000 a tonne level on Friday as some investors were cautious due to a tapering off of physical demand at high prices. - more

      Base Metals Get Supercharged Thanks to China Rebound - Industrial metals are well on their way to being among the top performers of 2020, supported by red hot demand from China and global supply concerns. - more

      5 reasons why commodities prices have jumped in recent weeks - Industrial metals such as copper, iron ore and palladium have seen a sharp rise so have crude and rice. - more

      Eramet's New Caledonia nickel smelter to boost power as blockades ease - The nickel smelter of French group Eramet’s SLN subsidiary in New Caledonia will ramp up power again on Monday after the easing of blockades that disrupted ore supply, SLN said. - more

      Inside Supply Management’s Best of 2020 - For supply management professionals, the mere mention of the number will invoke the most challenging year of their careers — and for many, changes on the job were accompanied by significant personal-life adjustments. - more

  • Despite Solid October Gain, US Cutting Tool Orders Still Down 22% YoY - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Stocks, Futures Slump on Virus Curbs; Bonds Rally: 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
White House Coronavirus Task Force public reports for all 50 states - more

Friday, December 18

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Thursday's trading session at $7.95/lb ($17,525/tonne). Indicators at 7:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.04/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses went unchanged on Thursday, and remain just above the 244,200 tonne level. The trend line for the week is flat, but beyond that, including back to the end of March, the trend line remains bullish. The Reuters Metals Morning report is worth reading. While analysts tend to focus on copper, as they do in today's report, what affects one base metal, can and often does, effect the others. Fundamentals gives each their independence from the others in the base metals group, but in speculative markets, like the one we are in now, the level of risk over the commodity spectrum, can be a beacon for all. For instance, copper entered their 2020 bull market the exact same day nickel did. Aluminum, a few weeks later. World stainless steel production fell about 8% YOY during the first nine months of this year, according to statistics released by the ISSF yesterday. And it's Friday. Another week is nearly in the bag and with holiday breaks approaching, it makes it the last full week of the year. Stay safe out there, enjoy your weekend, and with only a week left, Merry Christmas!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $7.58/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper pares gains after breaking above $8,000 level - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index - $.2737/lb
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures -  13,860

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 pushes towards highest since 2013 with $8,000 in sight - Copper prices neared their highest in almost eight years on Thursday as stockpiles around the world fell, the U.S. Federal Reserve promised to pump more money into markets and hopes for a U.S. stimulus package this week grew. - more

       Stainless steel production decreases by 7.8% to 36.7 million tons in the first nine months of 2020 - The International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF) has released figures for the first nine months of 2020 showing that stainless steel melt shop production decreased by 7.8% year–on–year to 36.7 million metric tons. - more

      Major Arctic polluter will shut down harmful smelting works on Christmas Day - An industrial facility in Russia long responsible for harmful pollution will shut down on Christmas Day, a move cheered by Bellona, which has long sought to staunch emissions fouling the northern reaches of Norway and endangering health on both sides of the border. - more

      South Korean enterprises request to cancel AD investigation on stainless steel from Taiwan, China, Indonesia - The Korean Trade Commission (KTC) initiated an anti-dumping investigation on stainless steel coils from Taiwan, China, and Indonesia at the request of POSCO on September 17. - more

      Putin: Nornickel should bear responsibility for Arctic fuel spill - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that nickel and palladium producer Norilsk Nickel should bear responsibility for a major fuel spill at its power station in the Russian Arctic earlier this year. - more

      PTDA Raises 2021 Outlook - The association's Q3 sales index halved the year-over-year severity of decline from Q2. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Futures Steady After S&P Record; Dollar 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
White House Coronavirus Task Force public reports for all 50 states - more

Thursday, December 17

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Wednesday's trading session at $7.90/lb  ($17,415/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.07/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Wednesday and started today just over the 244,200 tonne level. Nickel closed at its lowest this week on Wednesday, but trading has rebounded this morning after hitting a low around $7.86/lb.  For the time being, the bull may be taking a break to build momentum for another run at a six year high, although we are seeing a stronger Euro, and that will keep the bulls interested. Shanghai nickel fell to its lowest since last Friday, with stainless futures up, but actual 304 SS in China losing some steam overnight. MEPS is reporting the steel industry in Europe is in a panic mode, due to shortages there (article linked below). Lots of reports posted on Wednesday and linked below as well. It's Thursday and only one week left until Christmas Eve. Stay safe out there and have a great day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $7.55/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - London copper set to gain for third day on U.S. stimulus hopes - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index - $.2737
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures -  13,785
  • ATA Truck Tonnage Index - pdf here
  • Truck Tonnage - more
  • NY Fed Business Leaders Survey - pdf here
  • Empire State Mfg Supplemental Survey Report - pdf here
  • Manufacturers Sales - more
  • MINE Magazine - online here
  • China’s Economy at a Glance – 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 heads towards 8-year high on demand hopes and inventories - Copper prices rose towards eight-year highs on Wednesday as optimism about strong demand in top consumer China was reinforced by falling inventories, a lower dollar and the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in some major economies. - more

      Stainless steel prices in Taiwan's market bounce due to soaring nickel prices - Under the influence of the high-level nickel price in the international market, as well as the increasing stainless steel price in the Chinese market, mainly caused by the lack of material, Taiwan's stainless steel market situation turns better currently. - more

      January to October 2020 Metals Balances - The nickel market was in surplus during January to October 2020 with production exceeding apparent demand by 63.7 kt. In the whole of 2019, the calculated deficit was 27.6 kt.  - more

      Equipment torched as worker protest paralyzes Indonesia nickel plant - Violent protests by hundreds of workers at one of Indonesia’s biggest nickel smelters on Sulawesi island operated by PT Virtue Dragon Nickel Industry (PT VDNI) had “paralyzed” its activities, the China-backed company said in a statement. - more

      European steel market in panic mode - European steelmakers continue to raise their prices for new transactions on almost a daily basis. - more

      Distribution Trends Emerging in 2021 - Next year will see unique trends in the distribution section that contradict the hype around a slowdown in strategic growth and technology investment. - more

      Distributor Pandemic Revenue Index Regresses to Modest Growth - Though down considerably from the week before, the newest reading was the fourth-straight with at least 2.9 percent year-over-year growth. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Europe Stocks Gain on Vaccine Hope; Dollar Slumps: Markets Wrap - more
  • India’s ‘mystery illness’: Nickel found in milk samples - 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
White House Coronavirus Task Force public reports for all 50 states - more

Wednesday, December 16

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Tuesday's trading session at $7.98/lb ($17,590/tonne). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.07/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose on Tuesday and started today just over the 244,300 tonne level. LME warehouses have 2,652 more tonnes of nickel in their stockpiles than they did at the beginning of the month. Nickel is lower this morning and there is no real clear answer why, with the news mostly being bullish. Strikes have spread from New Caledonia to the more important supply source of Indonesia. The Euro traded for its highest level since 2018 earlier this morning. And Shanghai markets saw nickel ending higher and the stainless steel future price jumping sharply. But after hitting $8.10/lb yesterday, nickel has been in a slow decline, that picked up a little steam in overnight trading. One can see the volatility of the market, when comparing yesterday's LME official cash price of $8.01/lb to the monthly average we maintain of $7.52/lb. This has been a good week for industry related news so we leave you with it. Half the month is behind us and half the week is upon us. Stay safe and have a great day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $7.52/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper rises as China data, vaccine roll-out boost sentiment - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index - $.2705/lb
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures -  13,745
  • Manufacturing Production &Capacity by Major Industries - pdf here
  • Industrial Production - 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 - China data and vaccine optimism lift copper price - Copper prices were supported on Thursday by factory data from China showing economic growth in the metal’s top consumer and also helped by the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in major economies. - more

      Protest at China-backed nickel-smelting firm in Indonesia turns violent, with buildings and vehicles torched - A demonstration by some 800 Indonesian
workers looking for a pay rise from a Chinese-backed nickel firm on Sulawesi island turned violent on Monday, with buildings and heavy machinery torched after management failed to meet the protesters. - more
  • Equipment torched as worker protest paralyses Indonesia nickel plant - more
  • Tsingshan Iron and Steel’s Anti-dumping Investigation - more
      Funds flock to base metals, but will they stay? Andy Home - Funds have returned to the base metals complex in a big way as investors buy into the COVID-19 recovery story. - more

      Crystal gazing at 2021 commodities cycle – only bet is on the pace of coronavirus recovery - The spread of the Covid-19 pandemic led to lockdowns and economic devastation across the world.  - pdf here

      Iron Ore Rockets To $160 A Ton And China Cries Foul - Like all trade wars the David v Goliath fight between China and Australia is morphing into a lose/lose game of point scoring with China trying to humiliate its smaller target only to see Australia skip away unscathed, so far. - more

  • Have the iron ore bears got it wrong? - more

      When the Highest Bid for Contractual Agreements Still Wins the Price War - An excellent sales rep knows how to submit a bid that is higher than the rest of the competition and still win the contract. Here’s how. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Global Stocks Advance, Dollar Weakens Ahead of Fed: Markets Wrap - more
  • Euro Tops $1.22 for First Time Since 2018 on Recovery Optimism - 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
White House Coronavirus Task Force public reports for all 50 states - more

Tuesday, December 15

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Monday's trading session at $7.98/lb  ($17,600/tonne). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.05/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose on Monday by nearly 1000 tonnes and started today just over the 244,200 tonne level. Nickel tested $8.06/lb twice yesterday, but $17,770/tonne appear to be putting up some resistance. $17,900 is still the level we are watching, and if traders breech that level with any kind of momentum, then there is no telling when the bull will be brought under control. The last time nickel traded at $17,901 was back in 2014. The next few weeks could prove interesting, or depressing if you have to buy nickel laden stainless. Some stainless inventory is depleted due to the instability in markets, so this would be the worse time to restock unless you believe the bull has a lot more staying power. China nickel broke with playing follow the leader with the London Metal Exchange overnight, with nickel closing lower. The US saw its 300,000 covid fatality yesterday, and will see its 17 millionth confirmed case today. The seven day average rate is now over 2500 deaths per day. India, which has had the second highest number in cases, will reach 10 million confirmed cases today. Brazil will pass 182,000 deaths today, having the second highest number of fatalities in the world.  It's Tuesday and the half way point in the month. Only two more weeks left of 2020. Stay safe out there and have a great day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $7.47/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Industrial metals slip as virus resurgence weighs - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index - $.2705/lb
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures -  13,470
  • Desjardin's Commodity Trends - pdf here
  • 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

     Monday's market review - Industrial metals climb on optimism over vaccine rollout - Base metals rose on Monday as investors pinned hopes for a global economic recovery on the rollout of coronavirus vaccines and progress in Brexit talks. - more

     “Long-lasting bull market for virtually all commodities”: Goldman Sachs - The world is entering a “long-lasting bull market” for commodities, with even oil set to benefit as recent underinvestment, dollar weakness, government spending and the energy transition boost demand across the board, Goldman Sachs’ global head of commodities research, Jeffrey Currie, said. - more

      Metal Shipments Close to Year Ago Levels in the U.S. and Canada - Steel and aluminum shipments in the U.S. declined modestly in November compared with earlier months this year. In Canada, steel shipments were essentially flat with year-ago levels and up significantly in aluminum. - more

      Stainless steel prices in Southeast Asia increase - According to the market news from Southeast Asia, the recent export price of stainless steel from China to Southeast Asia showed a strong increase, mainly caused by the strong nickel price and unstable freight rate. - more

      Fire breaks out at Vale mine amid protests in New Caledonia - A fire broke out at nickel mining facilities owned by Brazil’s Vale SA in New Caledonia during local protests, the company said on Monday, as a simmering political dispute on the Pacific Island shows no signs of abating. - more

      Battery with more nickel could be an electric vehicle breakthrough - A new battery material design relying on more nickel could lead to electric vehicle power systems that are cheaper and offer greater range. - more

      Tesla and Indonesia look to secure supply chain partnership - Tesla will send a team of representatives to Indonesia in January to scout the possibility of establishing a supply chain partnership, the country’s government said in a statement on Saturday. - more
  • Nickel reserves, Job Creation Law may help Indonesia attract Tesla: Expert - more

      Russian stainless steel market results in Nov 2020 - According to statistics, in November of this year, the volume of apparent consumption of stainless steel in Russia increased by 6.3% compared to the same period a year ago. - more

      US Metalworking Machinery Orders' Year-Over-Year Gap Continues to Narrow - October orders for manufacturing technology were down 20 percent year-over-year, but that's a major improvement from this past Spring. - more

      In the week ending on December 12, 2020, domestic raw steel production was 1,567,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 70.9 percent. Production was 1,815,000 net tons in the week ending December 12, 2019 while the capability utilization then was 78.5 percent. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • U.S. Futures Rise With European Stocks After Slump: 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
White House Coronavirus Task Force public reports for all 50 states - more

Monday, December 14

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Friday's trading session at $7.87/lb ($17,360/tonne). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.34/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose on Friday and start the week near the 243,300 tonne level. The increase we are showing this morning is real and nickel is now trading only $.12/lb lower than it was in 2014. Back on August 1st of last year, nickel traded at $17,900/tonne for a moment, before entering a bear market that lasted until March 1st of this year, with prices bottoming out just under the $11,500/tonne level. On March 1st, while pandemic was still a word so new to our daily vocabulary, that many of us were still learning how to spell it properly, nickel started its most recent bull market. On Tuesday of last week, the bull got a fresh shot of adrenaline and the market appears to have gone bat crap crazy. Business media has a list of reasons they give in their daily articles, but most of these are listed in the books "How to Explain the Unexplainable in Six Simple Words" or "Article Title's For Markets Out of Control". In other words, speculative poppycock. The markets are optimistic, which is great, but that optimism is, or has, lost all sense of reality. And stainless steel users are set to learn that the hard way, when prices increase again next month. It's Monday again, and words comes, that Indonesia not only wants Elon Musk's next EV battery factory, and next EV car factory, but also want to launch his space rockets from the island chain. Tad greedy, don't you think? New Caledonia natives, having lost the most recent Independence vote, have zoned in on Vale's old Goro mine, as their trigger point for protests against France. And in Canada, Vale's Coleman mine hits 50 years old. It's Monday, and the calendar offers another week. Stay safe out there and have a great day ..... and week.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $7.41/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - LME base metals rise on vaccine optimism, U.S. stimulus hopes - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index - $.2768
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures -  13,600
  • SFSA CaSteel Reporter - pdf here
  • Producer Price Index by Commodity: Corrugated Paperboard - more
  • Producer Price Index by Industry: Corrugated Shipping Containers for Paper and Allied Products - more
  • Producer Price Index by Commodity: Metals and Metal Products: Steel Wire, Stainless Steel - more
  • Producer Price Index by Commodity: Metals and Metal Products: Steel Pipe and Tube, Stainless Steel - more
  • Producer Price Index by Commodity: Metals and Metal Products: Copper and Nickel Ores - 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 slips on profit-taking amid worries on Brexit, U.S. stimulus - Copper slipped on Friday after touching another multi-year peak, hit by profit-taking amid worries about a U.S. stimulus deal and a potential collapse in Brexit trade deal talks. - more

      Eramet's New Caledonia nickel smelter low on ore after protests - The nickel smelter of Eramet SA’s SLN subsidiary in New Caledonia is running low on ore due to widespread protests over the sale of another nickel operation in the French Pacific territory, Eramet said on Friday. - more
  • Protests erupt in New Caledonia over proposed sale of major nickel mine - more
  • SLN mine still shut amid New Caledonia nickel debate - more
     Tesla teams to visit Indonesia to check on investment in EV components: government  - Tesla, the U.S. automaker, will send delegations to Indonesia next month to discuss potential investment in a supply chain for its electric vehicles, the government said on Saturday in a statement. - more
  • Indonesia courts SpaceX as new rocket launch site - more
      Vale's Coleman Mine marks 50 years in operation - Vale marked the 50th year in operation of its Sudbury-area Coleman Mine on Dec. 10. - more

      Success of Twin Metals copper mine hinges on holding every last drop of tainted water - The Twin Metals copper-nickel mine would cover nearly 2 square miles at the north end of Birch Lake, at a joint where the South Kawishiwi River runs north to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Stocks Kick Off Week on Bullish Note; Pound Surges: 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
White House Coronavirus Task Force public reports for all 50 states - more

Friday, December 11

   We sent out invoices on  Monday for all reserved 2021 sponsorships. If you did not receive an invoice or  we have not reserved a particular month for you, please contact us again.  We still have monthly sponsorships available for those who might be interested.

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Thursday's trading session at $7.89/lb ($17,390/tonne). Indicators at 7:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.06/lb lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Thursday and started today's session just under the 243,200 tonne level. The bulls took the markets higher yesterday, and while things have calmed this morning, with some minor profit taking, it is becoming apparent the bulls have no intention of settling down in greener pastures yet. The highest nickel has traded since 2014, was when it hit $17,900/tonne ($8.12/lb) on August 1st of last year. That is now worth watching, as business media use words like 'boom' and 'demand' in their headlines, only to retreat to such words as 'speculation' or 'forecasts" in their articles. While stainless steel futures in China do not reflect any change in what has been happening there most of the year, the resurgence in iron ore prices, have given traders hope. Reuters reports "Analysts at ANZ said nickel prices would average around $16,500 a tonne in 2021." One would like to think that all of this market enthusiasm is based on an overall change in the mood of the market, and that attitudes are getting a positive boost from the vaccine announcements this past week. On the other hand, they need to be careful not to price stainless steel markets out of a very competitive and in some cases, still struggling environment. While the news that the fire trucks are on the way is helpful, the forest fire is still eating up trees and homes in the mean time. So stay safe out there, and have a relaxing and enjoyable weekend.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $7.36/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper slips on profit-taking, worries over Brexit, U.S. stimulus - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index - $.2729
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures -  13,600 
  • Steel Import Monitor (new version) - more
  • Nickel Magazine Vol.35, No.3, 2020 -  pdf here
  • NAB The Forward View – Global: December 2020 - 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 - Nickel leaps to highest since October 2019 on steel boom -  Nickel rose more than 4% on Thursday as resurgent demand from Chinese steel mills and a rapid rally in iron ore futures fuelled a rush of speculative buying, pushing prices above $17,500 a tonne for the first time since October 2019. - more

      Sizzling industrial metals rally set to stretch into 2021 -  Industrial metals, the best-performing commodities sector over the past six months, look set to extend their surge into 2021 as a China-led global economic recovery, a weak U.S. dollar and potential supply disruptions continue to lend support. - more

  • For commodities, 2021 is a times a-changin' bet on the pace of coronavirus recovery: Russell - more
      Tensions flare on restive French Pacific island over nickel plant sale - French police evacuated workers from a nickel plant operated by Brazilian mining giant Vale on the French Pacific island of New Caledonia on Thursday after pro-independence activists attempted to storm the facility to prevent its sale. - more

      Sulfide mining rules change delayed by typo; Canadian firm eyeing 2 sites in Wisconsin - Efforts to update Wisconsin's nearly 40-year-old rules on sulfide mining hit a snag Wednesday over an apparent missing word that determines when tribal governments should be notified. - more


      October Steel Shipments Down 14.7% from October 2019 -  The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported today that for the month of October 2020, U.S. steel mills shipped 6,747,709 net tons, a 1.3 percent increase from the 6,662,904 net tons shipped in the previous month, September 2020, and a 14.7 percent decrease from the 7,914,276 net tons shipped in October 2019. - more

      Distributor Pandemic Index Has Largest Non-Holiday Gain Yet - It bucked a three-month holding pattern of low to mid-single-digit growth. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Stocks Slump, Dollar Rebounds Amid Risk-Off Mood: 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
White House Coronavirus Task Force public reports for all 50 states - more

Thursday, December 10

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Wednesday's trading session at $7.59/lb ($16,730/tonne). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.05/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell slightly on Wednesday and started today just over the 243,400 tonne level. The nickel bulls proclaimed they were in charge yesterday, and nickel ended much higher. It continues higher this morning. Shanghai stainless steel futures are trading higher than they were when the month started, but well off their highs of last months, so this implies production in China has not yet recovered from its recent slowdown. EV sales continue to climb, and in some areas of the world, are setting new records. LME stockpiles are higher than they were when the month started, and well above where the year started. Vaccine approvals are giving hope but the process of inoculating the world, and seeing this coronavirus become a part of history, will not be accomplished until well into the future. In the mean time, the U.S. added just under 1/4 million new cases yesterday, saw over 3,000 more Americans die, and the current spike has yet to peak.  So why are nickel prices racing higher? Your guess is as good as ours, but it appears much of the trading is based on technicals, and not fundamentals. So sit back, and watch the ride, and we wouldn't be completely out of line, based on historical precedent, to say we could easily see nickel  do what the Starship SpaceX did yesterday. Stay safe and enjoy your Thursday!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $7.32/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Aluminium rises on supply concerns, copper recoups losses - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index - $.2732
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures -  13,270
  • Gross Domestic Product by U.S. County, 2019 - more
  • Monthly Wholesale Trade - 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 - Vaccine optimism pushes industrial metals higher - Copper and other industrial metals rose on Wednesday as optimism over the rollout of coronavirus vaccines bolstered expectations for a rebound in global economic growth and metals demand. - more

      Strong iron ore prices support higher steel prices globally - Prices of iron ore and steel generally rise in tandem. Contributing to strong iron ore prices are Vale’s delayed recovery in iron ore production and solid Chinese demand. - more

      AISI Releases November SIMA Imports Data - Based on the Commerce Department’s most recent Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis (SIMA) data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported today that steel import permit applications for the month of November totaled 1,408,000 net tons (NT)*. - more

      How to Upskill Face-to-Face Salespeople for Virtual Selling - Industrial sales heavily relies on in-person relationships. So, what are the top skills virtual sales teams must improve? - more

  • How to overcome metal fabrication’s recruitment challenge - more

      Is it Time to Fire a Customer? - Distributors will typically do anything they can to keep a customer, but everyone has their breaking point. - more

      Knight Architects’ stainless-steel bridge opens in Lake District - The 55m-long crossing – the UK’s first stainless-steel road bridge – replaces a 250-year-old three-span stone arch bridge, destroyed by flooding five years ago - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • U.S. Futures Edge Up After Tech Slide; Euro 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
White House Coronavirus Task Force public reports for all 50 states - more

Wednesday, December 9

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Tuesday's trading session at $7.45/lb ($16,425/tonne). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.05/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell slightly on Tuesday and started today just under the 243,500 tonne level. Nickel spent another day doing a whole lot nothing yesterday, but bulls appear to be pushing their luck this morning. The Euro is still stuck in idle, so while it is not offering much new help, it is not helping the bears either. Currently nickel is trading off its early morning high, bu the bulls do not appear to be giving up just yet, and fighting to hold onto their gains. England gave its first immunization shots yesterday. One down and about 7,800,000,000 more to go. Sorry, this is a two shot shot - so make that nearly 16 billion more to go. At 1 million shots a day, 7 days a week, that means we will attain 100% immunization in about 44 years. So get in line early - it could be a long wait. Somebody needs to start working on an invisible mask that actually works. Could probably make a fortune as we suspect they will be around awhile. Hey, it's hump day, and this afternoon, we start the down hill slide toward the weekend. Any goals today? Ever heard of someone winning a race by watching from the sidelines? Stay safe out there, have a great day, and go get 'em!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $7.30/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper rises on Britain's vaccine rollout, U.S. stimulus hopes - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index - $.2811
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures -  13,270 
  • Quarterly Report - Manufacturing, Mining, Wholesale Trade, and Selected Service Industries - 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 rally falters as prices slip from multi-year high - Copper edged down on Tuesday from the previous session’s multi-year peak, but strong demand and forecast supply shortages are expected to keep prices high. - more

      MySteel Global – China’s Jan-Nov steel exports down 18%, imports up 74% - China exported a total of 48.8 million tonnes of finished steel over January-November, down 18.1% on year, while its finished steel imports surged 74.3% on year to 18.9 million tonnes over the same period, according to the latest statistics released by the country’s General Administration of Customs on December 7. - more

      Goldman's Metal Bull Has Tunnel Vision - The metal bulls are charging. Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which sees a commodities rally ahead on a par with the 2000, says copper could test its record high of just over $10,000 by 2022. - more

      The Number Nine Shaft at Vale's Stobie Mine site is being demolished - Officials with the company say the structure will be demolished this week - more

      India decides to extend AD duties on cold-rolled stainless steel from 6 countries & EU - According to the announcement from the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) of India, at the request of producers, India has decided to extend the anti-dumping (AD) duties on cold-rolled stainless steel sheets from China, Taiwan, South Korea, the EU, South Africa, Thailand, and the US, until January 31, 2021. - more

      What Should Distributors Do When a COVID-19 Vaccine Arrives? - Mandatory vaccinations for employees have, historically, been legal and not necessarily uncommon. - more

  • US Productivity Increased at 4.6% Rate in Third Quarter - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Stocks Rise, Bonds Dip Amid Hope for Stimulus Deal: Markets Wrap - more
  • Exclusive: Fitch says upgrades of major economies unlikely in 2021 despite COVID-19 vaccine - 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
White House Coronavirus Task Force public reports for all 50 states - more

Tuesday, December 8

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Monday's trading session at $7.43/lb ($16,370/tonne). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.02/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose on Monday and started today just under the 243,600 tonne level. Nickel pulled a yawner yesterday. closing on $30/tonne lower than Friday's close. The market is back up by about $40/tonne this morning, so unless something else happens, today will be equally exciting. Market analysts seem to be split on why markets are doing what they are doing this morning. Most seem to blame the coronavirus spike, where the seven day average of deaths hit 2,300 Americans a day yesterday, an all time record high. Others are blaming the tension between China and the U.S., after the latter placed sanctions on fourteen Chinese legislators for their part in the new security law for Hong Kong. Since nickel has done very little this week, we suspect it probably has a lot to do with the fact the Euro appears to have lost steam in its advance against the U.S. Dollar. It's that day again, friendless Tuesday. They sing songs about Monday and Friday, make commercials about Wednesday, even have catchy phrases for Thursday, but poor little Tuesday seems to be that 24 hour spread between the start of the week and half way to the half way point in the week. It's not Monday, but it seems so far from Friday. the love appears lacking. But Tuesday can be your personal day of the week - the day you make those calls you really would rather not make. Do your dirty work this Tuesday, and enjoy the rest of the week. Stay safe and have a great day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $7.28/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper slips from near 8-year high on U.S.-China tensions - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index - $.2810/lb
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures -  13,300
  • Stainless steel for designers - pdf here
  • 100 Inspirational Women in Mining - 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 retreats from 8-year peak on profit-taking - Copper prices slipped on Monday after earlier hitting near eight-year highs as profit-taking on long positions triggered by data showing a drop in copper imports by top consumer China was reinforced by a firmer dollar. - more

      US stainless steel market worries short supply on soaring future demand - The recent rebound of demand in the US stainless steel industry has led to shortages for several kinds of steel. - more

      China's November iron ore imports fall 8.1% m/m on falling shipments - China's November iron ore imports fall 8.1% m/m on falling shipments - more

      Bidder for New Caledonia's Vale nickel plant pulls out - The South Korean company Korea Zinc has pulled out of plans to bid for the Brazilian-owned Vale nickel plant in New Caledonia. - more

  • Corporate buyout threatens civil war in New Caledonia - more

      Courtesy AISI - In the week ending on December 5, 2020, domestic raw steel production was 1,579,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 71.4 percent. Production was 1,818,000 net tons in the week ending December 5, 2019 while the capability utilization then was 78.6 percent. The current week production represents a 13.1 percent decrease from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending December 5, 2020 is up 1.2 percent from the previous week ending November 28, 2020 when production was 1,561,000 net tons and the rate of capability utilization was 70.6 percent. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Stocks Drop With U.S. Futures as Virus Cases 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

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
White House Coronavirus Task Force public reports for all 50 states - more

Monday, December 7

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Friday's trading session at $7.44/lb ($16,400/tonne). Indicators at 6:05 am CST today show nickel trading around $.04/lb lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose on Friday and started the week just over the 243,400 tonne level. After closing below the $16,000/tonne level on Thursday, for the first time in eight sessions, nickel bounced higher on Friday, thanks in part to an ever strengthening Euro. After nickel ended higher on Friday, SMM markets this morning, played catch-up. At present, the Euro is off last weeks highs, and nickel has drifted a little lower was well. The big news Friday was the announcement that Allegheny Technologies is getting out of the stainless steel business and concentrating on the higher dollar part of their business. Today, is the anniversary of the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor; an attack that pulled the U.S. into World War Two. Until 9/11, of this century, it was the deadliest attack made by a foreign country on U.S. soil.  Two events, both deadly, but successful only in getting America's full attention - an undivided attention they learned to regret. That said, we tip our hat on this 'infamous' anniversary, to the ever smaller 'greatest generation'. It's a new week, and there are customers to be serviced - and thanked. Stay safe out there and have a great week!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $7.25/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper slips from near 8-year high on falling Chinese imports - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index - $.2822
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures -  13,300
  • United States Imports of Nickel - chart here
  • BEA October 2020 Trade Gap is $63.1 Billion - more
  • US Durable Goods Orders& Shipments - pdf here
  • US Manufacturers' Shipments, Inventories, and Orders - pdf here
  • U.S. Imports for Consumption of Steel Products - pdf here
  • Fastener Distributor Index - 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 strides to highest peaks since 2013 on U.S. stimulus plans - Copper prices pushed to the strongest levels since March 2013 on Friday as U.S. politicians moved closer to agree on long-awaited stimulus spending that would boost the economy. - more

      ATI Exits Standard Stainless Sheet Products, Redeploys Capital to High-Return Opportunities - Allegheny Technologies Incorporated today announced that it is exiting standard stainless sheet products,streamlining its production footprint, and investing in enhanced capabilities to accelerate the execution of its high-value strategy, primarily in aerospace and defense. - pdf press release here

      U.S. imports of Stainless steel wire totaled $11.1 million in October, a change of -27.81 percent from the same month one year ago. - more

  • U.S. exports of Stainless steel wire totaled $11.37 million in October, a change of -5.63 percent from the same month one year ago. - more
  • U.S. imports of Misc. stainless steel bars, rods totaled $31.92 million in October, a change of -22.61 percent from the same month one year ago. - more
  • U.S. exports of Misc. stainless steel bars, rods totaled $21.81 million in October, a change of -26.21 percent from the same month one year ago. - more
  • U.S. imports of Nickel totaled $96.12 million in October, a change of -29.93 percent from the same month one year ago. - more
  • U.S. exports of Nickel totaled $20.21 million in October, a change of 19.88 percent from the same month one year ago.  - more
      Vale postpones sale of operations in New Caledonia - Vale will postpone the sale of its Goro nickel and cobalt operations in New Caledonia, at the request of local authorities, the company said on Friday. - more

      Glencore boss Glasenberg to step down, Gary Nagle named new CEO - Glencore boss Ivan Glasenberg is to step down next year and Gary Nagle, head of coal assets at the mining and trading group, will become the new CEO. - more
  • Mining Billionaire Leaves a Dirty Task to His Successor - more

      MySteel Global – China’s steel export prices continue to surge - Chinese steel producers hiked their prices of steel products for export for the third week last week, even though steel prices at home had been softening, particularly those of long steel, Mysteel Global noted. - more

      Concerns over impact statement for fast-tracked Solomon Islands nickel mine - A prominent conservation group has described the environmental impact statement for a proposed nickel mine in Solomon Islands as extremely poor, grossly insufficient and vague. - more

      Nickel production program evaluated in Cuba - The production of nickel and cobalt in the municipality of Moa, east of the country, and the investment in this industry were analyzed by Commander of the Revolution Ramiro Valdés, Deputy prime minister of Cuba, transcended today.  - more

      Fastenal's Daily Sales Accelerate Further as Fasteners Near Breakeven - Growth had steadily slowed from June through September, but has picked back up as fastener sales continue to climb back. - more

  • Container shortages impact fastener supply chain - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Stocks Slide as Pound Drops on Brexit Deadlock: Markets Wrap - more
  • What is the strongest metal in the world? Top 10 contenders - 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
White House Coronavirus Task Force public reports for all 50 states - more

Friday, December 4

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Thursday's trading session at $7.23/lb ($15,945/tonne). Indicators at 7:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.06/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose on Thursday and started today just under the 242,600 tonne level. Nickel closed below the $16,000 tonne level last night for the first time this week, and is trading about that level again this morning. The Euro continues to trade higher against the U.S. Dollar, which is handcuffing any attempt by the bears to drive nickel lower. But the lack of any real serious changes in the supply - demand fundamentals is keeping the bulls at bay. Indonesia has announced it is extending their ban on the exporting of nickel ore until June 2023, and we posted an article below that explains why. Indonesia is pulling out all the stops to become a major player in the EV industry, and their supply of nickel helps logistically when it comes to battery production. Industry news was back to slim pickins today. In covid news, the New York Times vaccine tracker states that there are currently 58 vaccines in clinical trials on humans and 87 more in preclinical investigations on animals. Those that are taken orally are interesting, especially for those of us who dislike needles. That's it for another week, and we try to end it on some good news. The first week of December is nearly in the bag, so stay safe out there and have a relaxing and safe weekend.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $7.24/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper rises, set for fifth straight weekly rise on U.S. stimulus hopes - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index - $.2965
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures -  13,065

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 clings to gains as caution starts to take hold - Copper hovered near 7-1/2 year highs on Thursday, supported by upbeat economic readings for top consumer China and vaccine developments, but analysts said the rally may have run its course for now. - more

      Aperam hikes European stainless steel alloy surcharges for Dec - Aperam, a stainless steel manufacturer bases in Luxembourg, hiked its alloy surcharge for European austenitic stainless steel for December. - more

      Indonesia regulator eases lending rules for electric vehicles - Indonesia is keen to create a full nickel supply chain industry, starting from mining the ore, extract nickel chemicals used in EV batteries, down to building EVs at home. - more

  • Indonesia to woo Tesla investment in push to become battery superpower - more
      Kindred Spirits in stainless steel - Almost 200 years ago, two tragedies on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean gave way to an unforgettable act of kindness. - pdf here

      Fed Report: Virus Surge Slowing US Economy - The report said that among the sectors doing better were manufacturing, housing construction and existing home sales. - more

   Other News

  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, December 3

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Wednesday's trading session at $7.26/lb ($16,010/tonne). Indicators at 6:10 am CST today show nickel trading around $.01/lb lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell slightly on Wednesday and this morning, remain just above the 241,800 tonne level. Seeing some separation yesterday and today, with the Euro trading higher than it has in the last 2-1/2 years, while last night, nickel closed just about as close to the $16,000 tonne level as it could. For much of Wednesday afternoon, the trading price was under that level, as it is again this morning, albeit barely. For traders, nickel is potentially entering a stage where there is risk for a sudden and sharp movement - one way or the other. The $16,000/tonne level has become far more than a psychological point, and even more than a technical point. As the bears and bulls play tug-of-war for control, the flag sits over this level. As tension increases, there is always a chance we could see one side or the other stumble, and the market suddenly spike - or drop. This could be followed by a rush that lasts for awhile, or an immediate opposite reaction that gives the immediate benefit to the party that stumbled. Momentum is stagnant, but tension is tightening - so the next few weeks could prove interesting. Or not. If we knew what was going to happen with any degree of certainty, we would be a retired rich investor - and since we never did, none of those three words are applicable. Lot of industry news today, from both the stainless steel and nickel sectors. Yesterday we reported that Tuesday's covid daily death toll was second only to April's worst day. That lasted one day, as yesterday, the U.S. saw its highest number of deaths from covid since the pandemic began with 2,831 losing their battle with the virus. So while we can not let it beat us, we can make the adjustments to our lifestyle to combat the hidden killer. Stay safe out there and have a great Thursday!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $7.25/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - ShFE aluminium slips from 9-year high on profit-taking - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index - $.2969
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures -  13,080
  • Beige Book - 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 down as firm dollar prompts profit taking - Copper prices eased on Wednesday as the higher dollar triggered profit taking on long positions, but losses were limited by expectations of strong demand in top consumer China and hopes for coronavirus vaccines. - more

      China’s stainless steel demand expected to increase in Dec - According to the downstream market of stainless steel in China, the sales of household appliances showed a slight decrease this October, with a range of 9,800 tons, but still faced an almost 10% year on year increase in sales. - more

      Ulbrich adds rolling mill to Connecticut plant - Ulbrich Stainless Steels & Special Metals Inc. has announced the addition of a 20-high rolling mill at its Wallingford, Conn., location.  - more

      Vale's disappointing iron ore output adds fuel to scorching price rise: Russell - The hottest major commodity of 2020 is getting even hotter, with iron ore boosted by news that one of the world’s biggest producers will not meet its output targets this year. - more

      Vaccine news boosts European stainless steel market - As we head into the final few weeks of 2020 the European stainless steel market is turning its attention to what the new year will bring. - more

      Vale 'hopeful' on positive outcome for VNC nickel plant as sale deadline looms - Brazilian miner Vale is "hopeful" that a positive decision will be made within the next two days on the future of its Vale Nouvelle Caledonie (VNC) nickel and cobalt operation in New Caledonia, the company's base metals executive director, Mark Travers said, Dec. 2. - more

      Nornickel to sell less palladium, nickel than it produces in 2020 - head of sales - Russia's Norilsk Nickel will sell slightly less nickel and palladium than it produces in 2020 as the Covid-19 pandemic reduced industrial demand, the world's leading producer of the two metals told Reuters. - more

      Brazil's Vale output goals lag forecasts, sets emission targets - Brazilian miner Vale on Wednesday unveiled iron ore production targets that lagged previous forecasts while underlining its efforts to pay reparations related to a dam disaster and lower carbon emissions in the coming years. - more

    Battery costs fall, make electric vehicles cheaper - BMI - The cost of battery cells used for electric vehicles has fallen to an average of $110 per kilowatt hour (kWh), making such cars competitive with those using internal combustion engines (ICE), according to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence (BMI). - more

      Distributor Pandemic Index Holds Steady Despite Component Variation - The index showed a modest year-over-year gain for the holiday-shortened selling week of Thanksgiving. - more

  • The Evolution of Warehouse Logistics - more
  • Biden Says He Won't Immediately Lift China Tariffs - more
  • Chinese Junk Could Sink The Profits Of Big Iron Ore Miners - more

   Other News

  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

Wednesday, December 2

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Tuesday's trading session at $7.38/lb ($16,280/tonne). Indicators at 6:20 am CST today show nickel trading around $.03/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose on Tuesday and started today just over the 241,800 tonne level. Nickel does not appear to want to venture to far from the $16,000 tonne level .... or the Euro won't let it. Euro experienced a big leap against the US Dollar yesterday afternoon, and nickel played follow the leader. This morning the Euro is trading off yesterday's highs, but only slightly, and yet nickel has retreated back to where it ended November, ie Monday. So much like November, the $16,000 tonne level continues to play a dual role, as technical resistance much of last month, and as it currently is, technical support. Copper appears to be drawing investors attention at the moment. We have tried to be good the last few weeks, leaving the pandemic news mostly to others. But it is worth touching on a few points. First, the worst day that the US has experienced in deaths attributed to covid was back on April 21st, when the medical field was still trying desperately hard to figure out a treatment, and 2,744 Americans lost their lives. Yesterday, with the medical field in a much better position to do battle, 2,614 Americans lost their lives. It appears that there is little doubt we will see 300,000 lives lost by Christmas, the 275,000 level shattered yesterday. One can feel completely helpless in a situation like this, and become exasperated with the constant reminder of the situation. But there are things we can do to get this under control. And if you think only totalitarian or communist governments can get this pandemic under control by taking brutal measures against the very people they are trying to save, we suggest you take a look at Australia. They have had two major outbreaks, took them very seriously, and today, while much of the world is hit with a second and in many cases, far worst wave than the first, Australians watch their statistical line stay flat and hug the bottom. So stay safe out there today, and have a great hump day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $7.30/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper down as firm dollar prompts profit taking - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index - $.2978/lb
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures -  13,230
  • Global Manufacturing PMIs - pdf here
  • US Construction Spending Oct 2020 - more
  • ISM Report November Manufacturing PMI - more
  • Producer Price Index Steel Wire, Stainless Steel - more
  • The PUC Monthly Report - pdf here
  • Beige Book - posted sometime today - 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 - Strong factory data pushes copper to new 7-year high - Copper prices hit their highest since 2013 on Tuesday as data showed manufacturing expanding rapidly in Europe, the United States and Asia in November, and coronavirus vaccines turned investors increasingly bullish about the economic outlook. - more

      Russia's Nornickel says it will spend $600 million collecting Soviet-era Arctic waste - Russian mining giant Norilsk Nickel, hit by a fuel spill at an Arctic power station in May, will spend $600 million by 2030 collecting Soviet-era waste around its Arctic sites, it said on Tuesday. - more
  • Norilsk Nickel's program to reduce air pollution costs $ 3.6 billion - more
    Global Plug-In Electric Car Sales October 2020: Near Record Level - Already more than 2.1 million plug-in electric cars were sold globally during the first ten months of 2020. - more

      Optimizing Warehouse Storage to Boost Productivity - Storage is considered one of the most pivotal components of warehouse operations. But the handling and assignment of stock-keeping units (SKUs) and the movement of inventory between areas can present challenges for warehouse managers. - more

  • American Factories Growing More Slowly - more
  • Steel prices defy predictions of a peak - more
  • Stainless steel provides resilience to the world renowned Getty Centre - pdf here
  • Potential impact of COVID-19 on steel industry trends - more
  • The Costs of Corporate Debt Overhang Following the COVID-19 Outbreak - more
  • Why the U.S. dollar is trading at a 2 1/2-year low - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Europe Stocks Slip; Pound Slides on Brexit Angst: Markets Wrap - more
  • U.S. Steel restarts blast furnace #4 at Gary Works as conditions recover - 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, December 1

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Monday's trading session at $7.27/lb ($16,020). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.02/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouse fell on Monday and ended the month of November just shy of the 241,500 tonne level. For the month, LME nickel stockpiles grew by 2,466 tonnes and for the year to date numbers - plus 88,164 tonnes. Nickel is up slightly from its close yesterday, but for all practical purposes, it is quiet and doing little more than shadowing the Euro in currency trading. Nickel ended the month nearly $900 tonne higher than it started, with most of that bounce coming in the first week. SMM is reporting China's exports of stainless steel rose in October by 7.96% MOM, but decreased 9.61% YOY to 284,400 mt. Imports into China were reported at 207,000 mt of stainless steel in October, up 16.9% from September and up 136.3% the same month last year. MEPS is reporting rumors of a potential supply shortage of stainless steel in an article below. This is not something we have heard of and question the accuracy of the report as stainless steel scrap prices are doing a whole lot of nothing. If any of our readers are aware of shortages across any sectors of the stainless steel market, we would appreciate hearing from you. We realize there may be certain items that are periodically hard to find, but are interested if there are shortages 'across the board' and any reasons you can offer for the same. We want to take a moment and thank our November sponsor Texas Pipe, who sponsored three months in 2021. And for December, we welcome back and thank Taunton Metals, who sponsored four months of this year. Both are long time readers and their support for the site helps keep it free for all visitors and regulars. We encourage you to visit the sites of all of our sponsors and see if they offer services that you might find useful. It's Tuesday, and the first day of the last month of 2020. Some of you may have found those goals you set for yourself last December, went to h--l in a hand basket after February. Unless you were selling PPE that is. While 2021 starts with many questions, it does appear markets are betting it will be a boom year as the world recovers from the pandemic. How will you benefit during this anticipated recovery? How will your approach to business be forever changed because of the pandemic. It's time to start looking thru the windshield toward the new year, and putting 2020 in the rear view mirror. Stay safe out there today, and have a great day. And welcome to December 2020.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $7.17/lb average November
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Vaccine hopes, China data push Shanghai copper to highest in more than 8 yrs - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index - $.2972/lb
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures -  13,175
  • Global Manufacturing PMI's - 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 sweeps to highest since March 2013, investors eye pause - Copper prices spiked to the highest in more than seven years on Monday as many wary investors bet that a sizzling rally needed a pause in coming days as the year-end approached. - more

      The World Trade Organization backed Japan in several claims in a ruling on Monday against South Korea's 16-year-old anti-dumping duties on Japanese stainless steel bars. - more

      Fears of supply shortage grow in US stainless market - The short-term outlook for the US stainless steel sector is cautiously optimistic. Many market participants reported a flurry of activity ahead of the Thanksgiving holidays. - more

      Export taxes becoming more prevalent globally - South Africa has joined the bandwagon in imposing export taxes to either collect more revenue or alter the flow of goods across borders. - more

      Taiwan’s Tang Eng raises 304 stainless steel export prices for Dec - Tang Eng Iron Works Co., Ltd., one of the main stainless steel manufacturers in Taiwan, announced to raise its new stainless steel export prices for December on November 30th, following the announcement from Yieh United Steel Corp. (Yusco), another Taiwan’s major stainless steel producer. - more

      Courtesy AISI - In the week ending on November 28, 2020, domestic raw steel production was 1,561,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 70.6 percent. Production was 1,823,000 net tons in the week ending November 28, 2019 while the capability utilization then was 78.8 percent. The current week production represents a 14.4 percent decrease from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending November 28, 2020 is down 1.3 percent from the previous week ending November 21, 2020 when production was 1,582,000 net tons and the rate of capability utilization was 71.5 percent. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Stocks Bounce Back With U.S. Futures; Dollar Slips: 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


November Archives


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(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.



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