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LME nickel prices and news

Stainless Steel News and Nickel Prices

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Daily Nickel Market News & Stainless Steel Prices

Nickel Prices and Stainless Steel Market

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Monday, February 18

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing (7:00 AM CST is 12 PM in London)
  • Three month nickel closed Friday's trading session at $5.62/lb . Indicators at 6:20 am CST today show 3 month nickel trading around $.01/lb lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose on Thursday and fell on Friday and started the week just over the 200,300 tonne level. Nickel prices jumped late Friday, playing catchup to the rest of the markets, on positive news coming from China on the trade talks. It recovered losses from the prior two days and ended the week about $10/tonne lower than it closed on Tuesday. This helps flatten out the downtrend nickel had been for the month of February. Xinhua reported that US and Chinese representatives made "important progress for the current stage". They resume talks in Washington this week. World markets reacted positively to the news. The week is starting quietly but that rarely lasts. Have a good week!
  • Average price of cash nickel so far this month - $5.70/lb
  • Average price of LME traded nickel in in 2018 - $5.95/lb / 2017 - $4.73/lb / 2016 - $4.36/lb / 2015 - $5.37/lb /

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper rises on China loan data, lack of Freeport export permit - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Nickel Institute - new website here

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • China Stainless Steel Scrap Market News / Price - more
  • Yieh Daily Asian Stainless Steel News - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - (chart)
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • New Caledonia's north braces for Cyclone Oma - more
  • Progress in U.S.-China trade talks sparks world stock rally - more
  • Stocks Mixed as Trade Hopes Lift Asia, Commodities: Markets Wrap - more

     Friday's market review - China lending data helps copper to a positive end to a poor week - Copper prices rose on Friday after better than expected lending data in China, the world's biggest consumer, bolstered the demand outlook. - more

      Sherritt International reports higher annual nickel production at Cuban JV - Sherritt International (TSX: S) released its financial results for Q4 2018, today, reporting the company’s share of finished nickel production at the Moa joint venture (JV) in Cuba and Saskatchewan, Canada was 4,294 tonnes, up 4% from last year, while finished cobalt was 428 tonnes, down 8% from Q4 2017. - more

     Global nickel boom gives mothballed mine in WA's remote Kimberley a second lease on life - The expected demand for electric vehicles is driving optimism in the global nickel industry and breathing new life into a mothballed mine in Western Australia's remote East Kimberley after a three-year hiatus. - more

     Mining leases delay poses threat to economy: Aopi - Post Courier - The PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum says the continued success of existing projects and the development of new ones is critical to the future of the country. - more

     Rome city hall victim of €55 million nickel scam - Rome city hall is the victim of a €55 million scam involving a roll of nickel wire, in a bizarre tale reported by daily Rome newspaper Il Messaggero. - more

     Elon Musk Says SpaceX Is Developing a Complex 'Bleeding' Heavy-Metal Rocket Ship - SpaceX, the aerospace company founded by Elon Musk, is working diligently on a wildly ambitious project: to permanently settle people on Mars. - more

  Morning Nickel Price Statistics & Figures

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

Thursday, February 14

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing (7:00 AM CST is 12 PM in London)
  • Three month nickel closed Wednesday's trading session at $5.60/lb . Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show 3 month nickel trading around $.04/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses continues to have a problem staying below the 200,000 level and after rising, ended yesterday just under the 200,100 tonne level. Cancelled warrants jumped to 32%, making us think someone decided yesterday that the bear was running out of gas, and based on today's trading so far, they may have played it right. Or.. a big player is trying to convince the market of that fact and we will have to wait and see if it pays off for them in the longer term. Trading has been volatile this morning, so it could easily go either way. All the China trade war talk has turned positive in the last few days, so the nervousness on the March 1st deadline is starting to calm. It was interesting to see China's January trade numbers jumped 8.7% (story below) which makes us wonder what exactly the impact of the tariff's on China are having. On a personal note, we have noticed an off brand peanut butter that is typically only on sale a couple of times a year, has been on sale nearly every week since the US got hit with a retaliatory tariff, which our peanut butter loving dogs really appreciate. It's been a week where we saw nickel hit February lows, then the start of a possible recovery today on positive macro news. Where will it go next? Stay tuned. This is our final update for the week, so we wish each of our readers a safe and enjoyable weekend and invite you back next week. And if you forgot it was Valentine's Day today, it could be a very long weekend!
  • Average price of cash nickel so far this month - $5.73/lb
  • Average price of LME traded nickel in in 2018 - $5.95/lb / 2017 - $4.73/lb / 2016 - $4.36/lb / 2015 - $5.37/lb /

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper prices extend gains on strong China data - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here
  • SMM Evening Comments - more

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • China Stainless Steel Scrap Market News / Price - more
  • Yieh Daily Asian Stainless Steel News - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - (chart)
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • China's foreign trade up 8.7% in January - more
  • US Section 232 impacts debated at Tampa Steel Conference - more
  • Commodity Trading Giants Hunting for Investors Find Few Takers - more
  • Trump Considers 60-Day Extension for China Tariff Deadline - more
  • U.S. Futures Climb With Europe Stocks; Bonds Drift: Markets Wrap - more

     Wednesday's market review - Copper inches higher as trade tensions ease - Copper rose from a two-week low on Wednesday due to signs of an easing in tensions in the U.S.-China trade conflict but a lack of firm resolution kept a lid on the tepid gains. - more

      Settlement of Strikes at SLN's Nickel Mines Not Yet in Sight = Opinions of company and union remain as far apart as ever = According to the local news report in New Caledonia, the settlements of the strikes which are going on at 3 nickel mines (Tiebaghi, Thio and Nepoui) are not yet in sight because the opinions of the company and unions are remaining as far apart as ever. - more

      Savannah restarts nickel production - Panoramic Resources’ resurrected Savannah mine in Western Australia’s Kimberley region has completed a major milestone, waving goodbye to its first shipment of nickel/copper/cobalt concentrate, which is on the MV Heemskerkgracht bound for China. - more

      Report: Construction kicks off on Shandong's biggest cold-rolled stainless steel project - Construction of the largest cold-rolled stainless steel processing project in China's northern province of Shandong commenced in Laiwu economic development zone on February 12, reported by the provincial newspaper Jinan Daily. - more

  Morning Nickel Price Statistics & Figures

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

Wednesday, February 13

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing (7:00 AM CST is 12 PM in London)
  • Three month nickel closed Tuesday's trading session at $5.63/lb . Indicators at 6:05am CST today show 3 month nickel trading around $.02/lb lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Tuesday and started today just under the 100,500 tonne level. While lower, nickel doesn't seem to be as volatile as it has been much of the last week. President Trump told his cabinet yesterday he was willing to push back a March 1st deadline on more tariff's if the talks continued to proceed. Markets around the world loved this news and renewed optimism greeted traders today. The U.S. Dow Jones jumped nearly 400 points yesterday on the news, and is within a whisker of an all time high. So what does it mean? Who knows. It could be that U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin encouraged the President to loosen the noose a little to help his negotiations. And then again, based on historical precedent, it could be this news was received by Mnuchin's staff as a total shock and took away one of their negotiating hammer's. Time will tell, but for now, whether based on facts or feelings, equity markets are encouraged. Nickel, with traders licking their wounds from a brutal past six days, remain a little more skeptical.
  • Average price of cash nickel so far this month - $5.75/lb
  • Average price of LME traded nickel in in 2018 - $5.95/lb / 2017 - $4.73/lb / 2016 - $4.36/lb / 2015 - $5.37/lb /

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper heads for first gain in five days on trade optimism - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Nickel Magazine Vol 33 No 2 - pdf here
  • Global Energy Perspective 2019 - more

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • China Stainless Steel Scrap Market News / Price - more
  • Yieh Daily Asian Stainless Steel News - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - (chart)
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • Trump and Macron’s ‘Special Relationship’ is Over - more
  • Stocks Advance as Trade Hopes Grow; Dollar Steady: Markets Wrap - more
  • Markets greet sign of trade truce extension with glee - more

     Tuesday's market review - Zinc hits two-week low on strong dollar, global growth woes - Zinc fell for a third session on Tuesday, hitting its lowest in more than two weeks as the dollar held near a two-month high and investors remained concerned about global economic growth. - more

      Nickel rally fades, electric vehicle buzz doesn't: Andy Home - Was it another false dawn for the nickel market? Last week’s rally to a five-month high of $13,350 per tonne on the London Metal Exchange has gone into sharp reverse. Nickel was trading back at $12,385 on Tuesday. - more

      Axiom set to make first nickel export - Axiom is set to make its first shipment of nickel ore from Isabel Province next month. This has been long time in the making as the nickel deposits were discovered way back in the 1950s and 60s. - more

  Morning Nickel Price Statistics & Figures

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

Tuesday, February 12

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing (7:00 AM CST is 12 PM in London)
  • Three month nickel closed Monday's trading session at $5.67/lb . Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show 3 month nickel trading around $.05/lb lower. Stockpiles fell below the 200,000 tonne level for the second time this year, and started today's session just over the 199,600 tonne level. LMe nickel is lower this morning, and Shangjai traders also traded nickel lower overnight. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is in Bejing, set to begin several days of trade negotiations on Thursday. And while Wall Street seems to be excited by the news, commodity traders are showing increased skepticism. The US Dollar has been strengethening against the Euro since the 4th, the day nickel sneaked above the $13,000 tonne level. Support is not something we have talked about much this year, but $5.23/lb is where we show technical support. All eyes on China.  
  • Average price of cash nickel so far this month - $5.77/lb
  • Average price of LME traded nickel in in 2018 - $5.95/lb / 2017 - $4.73/lb / 2016 - $4.36/lb / 2015 - $5.37/lb /

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Zinc drops for 3rd session on U.S.-China trade woes, copper falls - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here
  • SMM Evening Comments - more

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • China Stainless Steel Scrap Market News / Price - more
  • Yieh Daily Asian Stainless Steel News - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - (chart)
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • Vale’s dam accident to have significant impact on the iron ore market - more
  • Mnuchin, in China, looks forward to trade talks - more
  • Trump Wants to Meet With Xi ‘Very Soon’ Over Trade War, Adviser Says - more
  • Stocks Rise, Bonds Slip on Shutdown, Trade Hopes: Markets Wrap - more

     Monday's market review - Zinc hits two-week low on worries about China-U.S. trade - Zinc slumped to a two-week low on Monday falling along with other industrial metals as speculators sold in response to concerns about U.S.-China trade talks and global growth. - more

      China’s commodity consumption is influencing metal prices - As the largest consumer of metals, China dominates the global supply and demand of metals, and Asia is at the centre of the debate on the future of the international mining industry. - more

      Strikes at SLN's 3 Nickel Mines Go on - According to the local news report in New Caledonia, the strikes at 3 nickel mines such as Tiebaghi, Thio and Nepoui mines owned by Societe Le Nickel (SLN), a subsidiary of Eramet are still going on even since entering February. - more

      The death of Zimbabwean economic giants - The market landscape of any country is shaped by a few companies that underpin socio-economic activities of that particular nation. - more

      Courtesy AISI - In the week ending on February 9, 2019, domestic raw steel production was 1,897,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 81.5 percent. Production was 1,817,000 net tons in the week ending February 9, 2018 while the capability utilization then was 77.9 percent. The current week production represents a 4.4 percent increase from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending February 9, 2019 is up 0.4 percent from the previous week ending February 2, 2019 when production was 1,889,000 net tons and the rate of capability utilization was 81.2 percent. - more

  Morning Nickel Price Statistics & Figures

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

Monday, February 11

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing (7:00 AM CST is 12 PM in London)
  • Three month nickel closed Friday's trading session at $5.70/lb . Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show 3 month nickel trading around $.01/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell slightly on both Thursday and Friday and start the week just over the 200,400 tonne level. Falling below the 200,000 tonne level and staying there, continues to evade the market. And speaking of evasion, the $13,000/tonne level continues to resist attempts to beat it. That could only be a temporary set back however, as China returned to the trading desk last night and was very bullish on nickel. And it appears it was a lot more than just playing catch-up to the LME. Nickel took a thrashing on Friday, with trade talk news turning sour, but Shanghai traders didn't seem to care, taking nickel to prices not seen since October. Back to the Friday rout, nickel fell over $400/tonne on news that President Trump was not planning to visit the Chinese Premier during his trip to Vietnam and meeting with the North Korean leader. And someone apparently in the know was quoted as saying there was still a lot of work to be done before the two could agree on a new deal. President Trump is not known for being the most honest person on the block, and as the self proclaimed greatest salesman of all times, one can not expect him to reveal his hand while he is in the middle of negotiations. It is possible he is, by speaking to the press, sending a message to China. On the other hand, he could have been speaking off the cuff, not something he has proven effective at, and the market is sending him a warning that it will look unkindly on a failure to make nice with China. Trump has much to gain by making an agreement. How would it look to the American people if Trump can reach an agreement with China, but not the Democrats? How would that look in 2020 election commercials. Republicans like to play Representative Pelosi as the enemy of the people  every two years - an agreement with the Chinese, while at the same time being unable to agree on a fence ..... I suspect the preachers of propaganda would be fighting to create that commercial. So ... don't fire up the barbecue just yet. Three weeks is plenty of time to come to an agreement, which could set the bull loose. Or not. Who knows.  One thing is for certain. We do live in 'interesting' times. Have a great week!
  • Average price of cash nickel so far this month - $5.78/lb
  • Average price of LME traded nickel in in 2018 - $5.95/lb / 2017 - $4.73/lb / 2016 - $4.36/lb / 2015 - $5.37/lb /

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Most base metal prices fall as growth, trade worries weigh - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • U.S. Exports of Stainless Steel Mill Products - more

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • China Stainless Steel Scrap Market News / Price - more
  • Yieh Daily Asian Stainless Steel News - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - (chart)
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • ROX Resources announced the appointment of its New CEO Mr Alex Passmore - more
  • Column: Looking for answers from Dr Copper? He's confused as well - more
  • Trade Talks to Eclipse All as Emerging-Market Bulls Take a Hit - more
  • Stocks Advance as Key Week for Trade Kicks Off: Markets Wrap - more

     Friday's market review - Copper rally stalls as Trump revives trade war fears - Copper was set for a fifth week of gains on Friday but the rally faltered after U.S. President Donald Trump said he did not plan to meet China’s Xi Jinping before a March 1 deadline for the two countries to achieve a trade deal. - more

      Jindal Stainless reports 61% fall in Q3 profit - Jindal Stainless reported a fall of 61% in net profit at Rs 52 crore (including a one time gain of Rs 75 crore) for the quarter ending December 31, 2018 owing to rising input costs and soft demand during the quarter , the company announced on Wednesday. - more

      Import of stainless steel from Indonesia grows nearly nine times - Import of stainless steel from Indonesia into India has grown nearly nine times from nearly 8,000 tonne in 2017-18 to 67,000 tonne in 2018-19 (annualized basis), with Chinese producers ramping up capacity in Indonesia according to Indian Stainless-Steel Development Association (ISSDA) which has highlighted mis-declarations by exporters from ASEAN countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam to avail preferential tariff under the FTA, to the Government of India. - more

      Ten-year win keeps Nickel West humming - BHP’s bid to revitalise its Goldfields nickel business has hit a fresh milestone, with Nickel West set to start work this month to develop two new open pits to feed its Mt Keith operations. - more

  Morning Nickel Price Statistics & Figures

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

Thursday, February 7

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing (7:00 AM CST is 12 PM in London)
  • Three month nickel closed Wednesday's trading session at $5.86/lb . Indicators at 6:25 am CST today show 3 month nickel trading around $.02/lb lower. Stockpiles of nickel did something we can't remember ever happening since we started this blog - it went unchanged for a second consecutive day. Cancelled warrants remain over the 30% level and the lack of physical movement makes us wonder how much the large trading houses are manipulating the system again with what we call 'fake sales'. This is buying nickel, moving it to another warehouse, on the hopes the price will go up. The casual trader sees a sale and a large cancelled warrant number and thinks physical demand is much higher than it really is. Its not illegal - a sale is a sale. And it really only becomes a problem when someone figures out how to do it and fool the big trading houses. Then - it's a problem. Nickel continues to recoil from the $13,000/tonne level - but we continue to think this is more of a psychological line of resistance, more than a technical line of resistance. Nickel closed about 16% higher than it did the first trading day of the year, but we really can't tell our readers what has changed from the last half of 2018. Those who were producing nickel last year - are still producing nickel this year. The demand for nickel is always a big guess, but eyes are constantly trained on China, and for good reason. And the EV industry continues to grow, but no faster than it did in the latter half of last year, when nickel prices peaked in May, and then dropped by 32% by the end of the year. Today, traders are 'bullish' according to the media, because Vale might be forced to shut down its nickel mines because of the tailings disaster that has shut down their iron ore mines. Our point? Stop trying to figure out why the bull is running now, and let the media make up its reasons. No one knows where the market is heading, nor why one day it will decide to change course. Buying nickel is a day by day headache. Buying stainless steel is a day by day headache. All you can do is research what it's doing, have a reason to tell your boss and/or customers on why its doing what it's doing - and make your buy based on your best instinct.  It's Thursday - and our last update for the week. China is back next week so things might perk up a tad in inventory changes. Have a safe and restful weekend and we invite you to stop by next week.  
  • Average price of cash nickel so far this month - $5.78/lb
  • Average price of LME traded nickel in in 2018 - $5.95/lb / 2017 - $4.73/lb / 2016 - $4.36/lb / 2015 - $5.37/lb /

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper loses ground on disquiet about global growth - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here
  • SMM Evening Comments - closed for holiday
  • U.S. Trade in Goods by Principal Commodities - pdf here

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • China Stainless Steel Scrap Market News / Price - more
  • Yieh Daily Asian Stainless Steel News - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - (chart)
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • Write-down risks loom for Sumitomo's nickel, tire ops - more
  • Steel Imports Down 11 Percent Year-Over-Year Through November 2018 - more
  • World's Top Steelmaker Says China Slowdown Weighs on Demand - more
  • Stocks Decline as Dollar Rallies; Italy Bonds Drop: Markets Wrap - more

     Wednesday's market review - Nickel soars to four-month high as miner Vale announces force majeure - Nickel hit its highest in more than four months overnight on concerns that a force majeure by Brazil's Vale on some iron ore contracts could lead to restrictions in its nickel supply. - more

      Vale Indonesia sees 2019 nickel output at 74,000-75,000 mt, steady from last year - Vale Indonesia, one of Asia's leading nickel producers, expects to produce 74,000-75,000 mt of nickel matte this year, stable from an output of 74,806 mt in 2018, a company official said Thursday. - more

     As price hits seven-month highs, it may be time to rethink zinc: Andy Home - Zinc has been on the climb this year, defying broader macroeconomic gloom and a previous consensus that its bull run was well and truly over. - more

      Ravensthorpe re-opening on miner’s agenda - Albany Advertiser has been told First Quantum said it would cost about $20 million to re-start production at the mine, with the fourth quarter this year identified as a possible date if nickel prices improve. - more

      Nickel – the often forgotten battery metal - The mass adoption of the electric vehicle and the roll out of energy storage systems is underway. Look no further than acceleration of recent electric vehicle (EV) sales and headlines around energy storage systems being sold globally. - more

      Inside Nornickel: the drive to target the battery metals boom - Nornickel is the world’s largest producer of high-grade nickel, and is currently sitting in a perfect position to take advantage of the coming battery metals boom. - more

      Vale disaster makes miners' image problem worse: Russell - The response to the horrendous dam collapse at a mine owned by Brazil’s Vale has focused on iron ore prices and how a disaster that will likely claim more than 300 lives occurred, and what must be done to make sure this doesn’t happen again. - more

  Morning Nickel Price Statistics & Figures

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

Wednesday, February 6

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing (7:00 AM CST is 12 PM in London)
  • Three month nickel closed Tuesday's trading session at $5.92/lb . Indicators at 6:20 am CST today show 3 month nickel trading around $.03/lb lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses went unchanged on Tuesday and remain just under the 200,800 tonne level. While nickel is lower this morning, Reuters report yesterday afternoon that "Nickel falls" is terrible misleading. Nickel fell off its session high, but it closed the day above $13,000/tonne for the first time since October. If you read the Reuters prior days 'market review', which we post daily, you might have noticed the last two days nickel has ended higher, while they reported it fell. Technical's are starting to send warning signs that the market is overbought. $13,000/tonne appears to be more of a psychological line of resistance, more so than a technical one. Those keep falling faster than we can post them. With China closed this week, news on nickel and stainless steel is getting harder and harder to find. Another bullish article on nickel demand for batteries below. This was 'the' topic that drove nickel prices higher early last year, until the talk fizzled and nickel prices took a nose dive. So we caution you not to let the 'big boys' sucker you into betting the farm on the bull. If you are a stainless steel user, and have been for any period of time beyond a week, you have learned that stainless steel prices can be very volatile, based on the whims of those who trade nickel. Its kind of like your local price for gasoline, being set in part, by traders thousands of miles away, who are placing bets oil will go up or down. So sit back and enjoy or hate the show, depending how far downstream of nickel - and stainless steel - you sit.
  • Average price of cash nickel so far this month - $5.75/lb
  • Average price of LME traded nickel in in 2018 - $5.95/lb / 2017 - $4.73/lb / 2016 - $4.36/lb / 2015 - $5.37/lb /

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper rises for 3rd session as U.S.-China trade tensions ease - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here
  • SMM Evening Comments - more

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • China Stainless Steel Scrap Market News / Price - more
  • Yieh Daily Asian Stainless Steel News - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - (chart)
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • Industrial economic outlook survey: Clients enter 2019 with caution - more
  • Stocks Struggle as Dollar Advances; Iron Ore Rises: Markets Wrap - more

     Tuesday's market review - Nickel falls, concerns over Vale supply linger - Nickel prices fell on Tuesday as traders took profits after betting the metal up to four-month highs in the previous session on concerns that Brazilian miner Vale could be forced to curtail supply. - more

      Megafactories buildout could up nickel demand in batteries 19 fold - Benchmark - It was encouraging for miners when Simon Moores, managing director, Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on Tuesday. - more

     Australia miner Independence says in talks with potential buyers of battery chemicals - Independence Group, an Australian miner looking to move into making chemicals used in electric vehicle batteries, on Wednesday said it was in talks with a range of potential buyers of those products. - more

      Courtesy AISI - In the week ending on February 2, 2019, domestic raw steel production was 1,889,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 81.2 percent. Production was 1,744,000 net tons in the week ending February 2, 2018 while the capability utilization then was 74.8 percent. The current week production represents an 8.3 percent increase from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending February 2, 2019 is down 1.7 percent from the previous week ending January 26, 2019 when production was 1,922,000 net tons and the rate of capability utilization was 81.1 percent. - more

  Morning Nickel Price Statistics & Figures

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

Tuesday, February 5

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing (7:00 AM CST is 12 PM in London)
  • Three month nickel closed Monday's trading session at $5.78/lb . Indicators at 6:20 am CST today show 3 month nickel trading around $.10/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on monday and started today's session just under the 200,800 tonne level. Nickel rose sharply in overnight trading but has backed off a little this morning. If you follow the technicals, nickel closed above resistance for a second session yesterday, and someone, or some bot, may have decided to take advantage of that overnight. Cooler heads have prevailed this morning, although nickel is still trading higher. The U.S. President will be making a State of the Union speech this evening and it will be analyzed intensely for clues on the China trade talks. The clock is ticking for both sides to find common ground, as the suspension period for further tariff's ends at the end of the month. Tailings dams are getting a lot of media attention since the disaster in Brazil. This happens a lot more often than anyone wants to admit. There are still parts of Hungary unfit for human occupation thanks to an aluminum tailings dam break in 2010. And this isn't Brazil's first collapse this century. The Philippines, Indonesia, and New Caledonia have experienced problems with tailings dams in the last decade. Townsville, Australia, which is underwater thanks to heavy flooding, is concerned about a tailings dam left behind by their closed nickel plant. As we said, they happen a lot more often than we hear. And regretfully, they tend to only get media attention beyond local press, when multiple people loose their lives. The mining industry has a dam problem - and needs to figure out a solution so local residents can live without fear of sudden death. Otherwise, they can expect further protests against future mining projects - and justifiably so.
  • Average price of cash nickel so far this month - $5.70/lb
  • Average price of LME traded nickel in in 2018 - $5.95/lb / 2017 - $4.73/lb / 2016 - $4.36/lb / 2015 - $5.37/lb /

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Zinc climbs to 7-month high, copper up for 2nd session  - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here
  • SMM Evening Comments - closed this week

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • China Stainless Steel Scrap Market News / Price - more
  • Yieh Daily Asian Stainless Steel News - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - (chart)
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • Tesla to buy battery company Maxwell in huge deal  - more
  • China steel industry sees profits up 39 pct - more
  • Germany Moves From ‘Bystander to Shaper’ With Industrial Shift - more
  • U.S. Futures Turn Higher After Europe Stocks Rally: Markets Wrap - more
  • El Niño WATCH for autumn - more

     Monday's market review - Zinc hits 7-month high on nervousness about shortages - Zinc prices climbed to seven-month highs on Monday, lifted by concerns over shortages due to falling stocks and environmental constraints, and delays to new capacity in top producer China. - more

      'Overflowing' fears at Townsville nickel plant dams drops as rain slows - Declining rain in Townsville is reducing the risk that tailings dams containing heavy metals at Townsville's Yabulu nickel plant could overflow. - more

      SLN strike in New Caledonia enters second month - The stoppage, which began after the New Year's holiday, affects three of the company's four mines which supply ore to the smelter in Noumea. - more

     Glencore expects higher copper production in 2019 - Commodities giant Glencore has reported production figures for 2018 and confirmed 2019 guidance that implies a 14%-year-over-year increase in copper equivalent production. - more

      Norilsk Nickel ends agreements with Botswana’s BCL - Nornickel will still seek damages from BCL for the ‘significant loss it has suffered as a result of BCL’s failure to honour its obligations’ - more

     Court orders Vale to halt tailings disposal at eight Minas Gerais dams, Brucutu mine activity to stop  - A Minas Gerais state civil court ordered Brazil's Vale to refrain from disposing of tailings at eight dams that are part of its Southeastern system following the fatal collapse of a dam at its Corrego do Feijao iron ore mine. - more

  Morning Nickel Price Statistics & Figures

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

Monday, February 4

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing (7:00 AM CST is 12 PM in London)
  • Three month nickel closed Friday's trading session at $5.74/lb . Indicators at 6:20 am CST today show 3 month nickel trading around $.01/lb lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Thursday and Friday and started the week just under the 201,100 tonne level. Noticed one of the metals analysts this morning announcing nickel stockpiles were at their lowest in years today. That is "generally" true, although they were lower on three separate occasions - just last month. Last month, we saw stockpiles fall below the 200,000 level on two consecutive days. It will be interesting to see if the market tries to hold onto that level again this month. China is shut down for business this week as the country celebrates their week long New Year holiday. The purchasing manager indexes were announced last week. You can see the four we follow here. While China's recovered a tad, it remains in negative territory. Not much in the way of business news today, and with China shut down, it could be a light week. For the month of January, LME stockpiles fell by an average of 213.54 tonnes per day. At that rate, stockpiles that looked early last year like they would disappear by the end of this year, will easily last another 3+ years. And for those who feel that is not air because of seasonal demands - last January we saw a decrease rate of 511 tonnes per day. EV sales estimates are coming in. January EV sales are estimated to be around 16,900 compared to 12,000+ last year. World sales estimates take a few weeks to be published. We show nickel closed above resistance on Friday, so unless it drops a few more pennies today, it could show a second close above $5.72/lb. Have a great week! 
  • Average price of cash nickel so far this month - $5.65/lb  ($5.20/lb average for January)
  • Average price of LME traded nickel in in 2018 - $5.95/lb / 2017 - $4.73/lb / 2016 - $4.36/lb / 2015 - $5.37/lb /

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper eases for 2nd session on China growth concerns - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here
  • SMM Evening Comments - closed this week
  • U.S. Imports of Stainless Steel Mill Products - more

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • China Stainless Steel Scrap Market News / Price - more
  • Yieh Daily Asian Stainless Steel News - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - (chart)
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • European Stocks, U.S. Futures Steady; Dollar Rises: Markets Wrap - more

     Friday's market review - Aluminium drops on Hongqiao restarts; weak Chinese data weighs - Aluminium prices dropped on Friday, pressured by concern over excess supply after the top producer said it would resume some output, while some base metals were weighed down by weak Chinese factory data. - more

      After Freeport, Indonesia eyes 20% of nickel firm’s shares - After gaining control of 51.23 percent shares of gold and copper miner PT Freeport Indonesia, the government is eyeing to gain a 20 percent stake in publicly listed nickel miner PT Vale Indonesia (INCO). - more

  • PT Antam's Production and Sales Volumes of Ferro-nickel in 2018 - more

      Vale weighs impact of Brazilian dam breach - Analysts have begun to weigh the consequences of a deadly tailings dam breach at a Brazilian mine operated by Vale SA, the world’s largest producer of iron ore and nickel. - more

      Indonesia to announce new EV policy, plans tax incentives to lure automakers and battery producers - In a bid to become the region’s focal point for electric vehicle (EV) production, Indonesia is reportedly set to announce a broad-ranging EV policy that will offer tax cuts to EV battery producers and foreign automakers, Reuters reports.  - more

      The Great Dying: Earth's Biggest Extinction Event Wiped Out Plants First, Says New Study - Roughly 252 million years ago, nickel byproduct from a volcanic eruption in Siberia drifted to Australia, kicking off the Earth-spanning cataclysm known as the "Great Dying". - more

  Morning Nickel Price Statistics & Figures

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

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