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



Stainless Steel News and Nickel Prices


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Friday, February 28

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Thursday's trading session at $5.61/lb ($12,375/tonne). Indicators at 6:40 am CST today show nickel trading around $.07/lb lower, but at the moment, off earlier lows. Stockpiles of nickel, after taking a break for two days, gained over 5500 tonnes yesterday and started the final trading session of February, just over the 235,400 tonne level. In China, the Shanghai Futures Exchange reports nickel stockpiles fell 1045 tonnes to 34,900 tonnes during the past week.The markets are very ugly, as traders join the rest of society, nervously seeking information on what the coronavirus might do next. This week, as the virus spread rapidly outside the borders of China, we witnessed the 'politification' of the virus here in this country. Both sides are blaming the other for something that hasn't even happened yet. Our President is accusing the media and Democrats for spreading fear, and yet his reassuring press conference Wednesday evening, was followed by the worst single point drop in Wall Street history. People are frightened and politicians act more concerned with making the other guy look bad, or putting the muzzle on government experts. Information, good, bad, or indifferent is what people and traders want - not a politician deciding what he wants Americans to hear. Even the appearance that someone 'in the know' might be hiding something from the public, will stoke even greater fear and uncertainty. As we say goodbye to a brutal February and enter a new month with deep concerns on what it might have in store for us, we want to once again thank our February sponsor - Taunton Metals. Because of Taunton - and our other monthly sponsors - this news page continues to be updated daily during 2020 and remains free to daily visitors. We hope each of you has a safe and relaxing weekend, and that March is kinder to all.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.79/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - London aluminium falls to 40-month low as coronavirus hits demand - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Federal Reserve GDPNow Forecast - pdf here
  • U.S. Imports of Stainless Steel Mill Products - more
  • The Commodities Feed: Covid-19 worries grow - more

Total Deaths as of Yesterday
Total Infections as of Yesterday
2,804
82,294
Virus News
Coronavirus - By The Numbers - here
CDC Confirms Possible Instance of Community Spread of COVID-19 in U.S. - more
Coronavirus: Dog of Hong Kong Covid-19 patient tests ‘weak positive’ for virus - more
Pence Will Control All Coronavirus Messaging From Health Officials - more

Washington Post reports "A prominent Chinese health expert said Thursday he believed China could “basically control” the coronavirus by the end of April."

Since the U.S. President apparently sees the stock market as his personal daily approval rating, and now blames the recent setbacks on political rivals, we wanted to take a moment and apologize if the worldwide spread of the coronavirus is causing any undue stress.

"It's all sunshine and butterflies out there folks ... sunshine and butterflies".


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 - Spread of coronavirus pushes copper to three-week low - Copper prices hit three-week lows on Thursday as the market worried about the spread of the coronavirus from China to other countries and the threat it poses to global economic growth and demand for industrial metals. - more

      Chinese metals association suggests stockpiling as virus hits demand - China should stockpile some non-ferrous metals to take the pressure off producers whose sales have been drying up because of the country’s coronavirus outbreak, the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association (CNIA) said on Thursday. - more

      Steel Supply Chain Disrupted by Chinese COVID-19 Outbreak - Market participants, worldwide, are growing increasingly concerned about the coronavirus and the impact it will have on the global steel market. - more

  • China ferrous metals' sell-off intensifies amid pandemic, recession fears - more

      Coronavirus to hit Nornickel’s nickel and copper markets - Russian mining company Norilsk Nickel (Nornickel) has announced that the recent outbreak of coronavirus in China is expected to hit two of its key markets, nickel and copper.  - more

      Steel Imports Down 10 Percent in January 2020 Compared to January 2019 - Based on preliminary Census Bureau data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported today that the U.S. imported a total of 3,135,000 net tons (NT) of steel in January 2020, including 1,633,000 net tons (NT) of finished steel (down 9.9% and 33.4%, respectively, vs. January 2019). - more

      Fjordland, CanAlaska team up on Manitoba nickel project - Fjordland Exploration has executed a non-binding letter of intent with CanAlaska Uranium to be granted the option to acquire up to an 80% interest in CanAlaska’s wholly-owned Hunter and Strong properties, part of CanAlaska’s North Thompson nickel project in Manitoba, Canada. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • World Stock Rout Deepens and Treasuries Jump Again: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

Thursday, February 27

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Wednesday's trading session at $5.69/lb ($12,550/tonne). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.07/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell for a second consecutive day and started today just under the 229,900 tonne level. Nickel was able to pull off a bullish day yesterday, but the $100/tonne gain did not last very long. Nickel appeared to be following positive returns on Wall Street but after London trading closed, Wall Street turned negative. Wall Street futures are down again this morning, reflecting the pessimistic mood of the market with the corona virus nearing a pandemic designation.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.81/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Spread of coronavirus keeps copper near three-week lows - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • US Economic Update – February 2020 - more
  • U.S. Imports for Consumption of Steel Products January 2020 - more
  • Steel Times International Digital February 2020 - online here

Total Deaths as of Yesterday
Total Infections as of Yesterday
2,761
81,109
Virus News
Why are we panicked about coronavirus — and calm about the flu? - more
Zara Phillips will not self-isolate after Italy trip (posted for charts in the article) - more
Stock market slammed by fears coronavirus will deliver a ‘supply shock’ that central bankers can’t fix - more
Characteristics of and Important Lessons From the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Outbreak in China - more
Coronavirus: the hunt for ‘patient zero’ – and why the world’s health may depend on it - more

Iran is reporting 19 deaths, but only 139 cases. With a 1 - 2% fatality rate seen in China and elsewhere, this means there are over 1000 Iranian's out there who are sick and not yet diagnosed. Italy has reported 12 dead and only 320 infected. Either the death rate is getting worse, or more likely, yet equally alarming, there are a whole lot of undiagnosed carriers out there walking around.
South Korea's new daily infections now ahead of China
Saudi Arabia suspends holy pilgrimages to Mecca and Medina to out of country visitors out of coronavirus concerns



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 slides to 3-week low, inventories reinforce demand fears - Copper prices slid to three-week lows on Wednesday as large deliveries of the metal to London Metal Exchange-registered warehouses reinforced demand worries fuelled by the spread of the coronavirus beyond China. - more

      Nornickel neutral on nickel with assumptions clouded by coronavirus - Russian nickel, copper and PGM producer Nornickel posted Wednesday neutral outlook for nickel saying it expects overall balanced market this year although the recent coronavirus outbreak poses a downside risk to its assumptions. - more

      Russia: stainless steel consumption almost unchanged in 2019 - In 2019, stainless steel consumption in Russia increased by 27 tons YoY, to 497807 tons. Compared with 2017 the result grew by 5.5%. - more

      Documentary series digs up mining’s ‘dirty business’ - The documentary series Green Blood exposes the web of powerful interests in the mining sector, and the pitfalls facing journalists who try to expose them. - more

       New Caledonia rethinks key power project - New Caledonia's government says the energy company NCE will seek fresh tenders to build a new power station in Noumea - needed to also supply energy to the SLN nickel company. - more

      Cruise ship ban continues in New Caledonia's outer islands - New Caledonia's Isle of Pines has extended its ban on cruise ships until the end of March as a measure to fend off the coronavirus. - more  (article mentions nickel carriers)

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Stocks Extend Losses, Bond Yields Hit Record Lows: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

Wednesday, February 26

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Tuesday's trading session at $5.65/lb  ($12,450/tonne). Indicators at 6:10 am CST today show nickel trading around $.03/lb lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose slightly on Tuesday and started today;s session just under the 230,200 tonne level.Nickel squeaked out a gain yesterday, but $20/tonne is not exactly what one would call a 'rebound'. Things were looking better until U.S equity markets opened up and turned sour again. Today, base metals traders don't appear to be waiting for any negative signal from Wall Street, which at the moment appears to be perplexed at where it wants to head for the day.  We had quite a bit to report on the coronavirus, so we moved our comments to the applicable section.  Nickel is again trading at levels not seen since July of last year. It's long term trend since September of last year remains on the negative side.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.82/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper falls as spreading virus sparks pandemic fears - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • US Economic Indicators: ATA Truck Tonnage Index - pdf here
  • FRED Truck Tonnage - more
  • Producer Price Index - Corrugated and Solid Fiber Box - more
  • Producer Price Index - Corrugated Paperboard in Sheets and Rolls - more

Total Deaths as of Yesterday
Total Infections as of Yesterday
2,700
80,239
Virus News
CDC official warns Americans it's not a question of if coronavirus will spread, but when - more
What does it mean if coronavirus is declared a pandemic? - more

No matter what you think about Iran, it is disconcerting to watch one of the leading medical officials of any country, for better wording, unwittingly spread a disease he is downplaying at the same time. It is also just a tad concerning to see the leading medical official of any country falling ill to a virus who, of all people, should know how to protect themselves from said virus. One can not help wonder if #1 if this guy can get it, no one is safe and #2 the government's 'truth' and reality are not always the same. Ok the latter really isn't a surprise, but its still a punch in the gut when reality takes on a human face.

Yesterday, in China, for every new diagnosed infection, five former infected were cleared and released from their hospitals as cured. Last Tuesday, the Chinese reported 1,886 new confirmed cases - yesterday they reported 508. Statistically, it appears China is getting a handle on this virus. But now it has entered the global arena and taken the world by surprise. and when news came it had hit Italy, Europe suddenly had an unpleasant bullseye on it. Even US officials admitted openly yesterday, it was no longer if it will reach the U.S., but when.

From yesterday's CDC news briefing - (excerpt) It would be impossible.  We’re not seeing spread here in the United States yet, but it is possible, even likely, that it may eventually happen.  Our goal continues to be slowing the introduction of the virus into the U.S.  This buys us more time to prepare our communities for more cases and possibly sustained spread.  This new virus represents a tremendous public health threat.  We don’t yet have a vaccine for this novel virus, nor do we have a medicine to treat it specifically.  - you can read the entire news briefing here

And if you are a business owner, pay special attention to this part "These materials will serve as a blueprint for the community interventions we will use here in the U.S.  if you’re watching the news, you may be hearing about schools shutting down and businesses closing in countries in Asia to reduce the potential spread of this virus.  The day may come where we need to implement such measures in the U.S. communities."

Brazil confirms the first case in Latin America. South Korea over 1000 cases. Italy over 300 cases.


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 drifts as investors worry about virus hitting demand - Copper prices edged into the red on Tuesday as investors struggled to calculate whether any coronavirus-related loss of metals demand would outweigh weaker output. - more

       January 2020 crude steel production - World crude steel production for the 64 countries reporting to the World Steel Association (worldsteel) was 154.4 million tonnes (Mt) in January 2020, a 2.1% increase compared to January 2019. - more

      Deal with locals at New Caledonia's Vale in doubt - New Caledonia's Vale nickel company has met representatives of the indigenous Rheebu Nuu group and local customary leaders as the company is in the process of selling its 59 percent stake. - more

      Gov’t now spending millions to promote responsible mining - Three years ago, under the leadership of former Environment Secretary Regina Paz Lopez, Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) was leading the crackdown in the mining sector. Today, it is spending millions to promote it. - more

      Report: Coronavirus outbreak may delay US$11B of nickel projects in Indonesia - The coronavirus outbreak in China may delay the development of about US$11 billion worth of nickel projects in Indonesia, Reuters reported Feb. 25, citing Luhut Pandjaitan, Indonesia's coordinating minister for maritime affairs and investment. - more

      (Graph)  Ferrochrome producers in the world - more

      Microscopic Refinement Yields Ultra-Strong Metal - You can’t see them, but most of the metals around you—coins, silverware, even the steel beams holding up buildings and overpasses—are made up of tiny metal grains. - more

     Former manager of Norilsk Nickel declared bankrupt - The Moscow Commercial Court has declared businessman and ex-manager of Norilsk Nickel, one of the largest producers of nickel platinum and copper, Maxim Finsky bankrupt, according to court records. - more

      Termites Show Miners The Way To A Low Carbon Future - The quest to replace fossil fuels is hampered by shortages of some of the minerals used for batteries and dynamos. Scientists at Australia's CSIRO are seeking ways to make it easier to find minerals like cobalt and nickel, and are getting help from termites. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Stocks Slide, U.S. Futures Fluctuate; Gold Climbs: Markets Wrap - more
  • U.S. trade panel rejects import duties on fabricated structural steel - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

Tuesday, February 25

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Monday's trading session at $5.64/lb ($12,430/tonne). Indicators at 6:20 am CST today show nickel trading around $.09/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose yesterday and started the day just under the 230,300 tonne level. For the first 17 work days this month, we have seen inventory gains of over 1000 tonnes on 11 of them. And on 9 of those, the gains were in the multiple thousands, with 3 days showing gains of over 4000 tonnes. Markets around the world are rebounding off yesterday's lows, with base metals gaining back some of their losses. Nickel traders are trying to take nickel back in the black, and not let the metal experience a second losing month. It appears as the coronavirus spreads, media outlets are having a more difficult time keeping tabs on current outbreak numbers so we may drop the deaths/infections today graph below and just publish what the WHO announces for the prior day. We suspect the rate of spread is now pretty obvious to everyone so it is no longer necessary to show the nay sayers were wrong. The Mediterranean and Middle East region appear to be the newest threat to a global pandemic, and quite possibly, since it involves multiple governments, many of who don't like one another, carries the potential for a greater threat than China. Let's keep our fingers crossed this bug gets bit soon.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.83/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Base metals rise on bargain hunting despite spreading virus - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Conic Metals Corp Investor Presentation - pdf here
  • Ferrochrome and viral outbreak in China — what’s ahead? - more

Total Deaths as of Today
Total Deaths as of Yesterday
Total Infections as of Today
Total Infections as of Yesterday
2,700+
2,618
80,000+
79,331
Virus News
White House Will Ask Congress for Emergency Coronavirus Funds - more
Coronavirus: World must prepare for pandemic, says WHO - more
You’re Likely to Get the Coronavirus - more
A Coronavirus Quarantine in America Could Be a Giant Legal Mess - more
CNN - "A survey of small enterprises in China found that only 30% have resumed business"

Kuwait (3 cases), Bahrain (1 case), Afghanistan (1 case), Iraq (1 case) and Oman (2 cases) reported their first confirmed infections from the coronavirus on Monday.
On Monday, China confirmed 409 new cases of coronavirus. On the same date, they released 1,846 patients who had been cured of the infection. So far, they have released nearly 25,000 coronavirus patients after recovery.

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 - Zinc hit its lowest level since June 2016 on Monday and other industrial metals prices also slumped on fears the spread of the coronavirus outside China will further hit global growth and metals demand. - more

      China logistics crunch hits Europe scrap metal exports - Severe logistical disruption and port congestion in China since the end of January has slashed the global availability of shipping containers, and many European exporters of non-ferrous scrap have warned of more delivery delays and further price increases in Asia-Pacific in the coming months. - more

      Jilin, Shaanxi agree on 2.8 billion yuan molybdenum project - A major molybdenum industry cooperation project worth 2.8 billion yuan ($398.05 million) was signed between Northeast China's Jilin province and Northwest China's Shaanxi province on Feb 21, according to local reports. - more

      EU's last nickel smelter heads for the gallows, or an afterlife -  The final countdown has begun for Larco, the European Union's only remaining nickel smelter, its 1,260 workers and their families. - more

      Indonesia expects delay to $11 billion nickel projects due to coronavirus outbreak - minister - Indonesia's coordinating minister overseeing maritime resources and investment affairs said on Tuesday that the coronavirus outbreak in China will likely delay development of nickel projects in the Southeast Asian country worth about $11 billion. - more

      POLL: Minnesota opposed to mining near Boundary Waters Canoe Area, but it, too, is somewhat political - Apparently, even mining near Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is political. - more

      Courtesy AISI - In the week ending on February 15, 2020, domestic raw steel production was 1,907,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 81.8 percent. Production was 1,917,000 net tons in the week ending February 15, 2019 while the capability utilization then was 82.4 percent. The current week production represents a 0.5 percent decrease from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending February 15, 2020 is up 0.4 percent from the previous week ending February 8, 2020 when production was 1,899,000 net tons and the rate of capability utilization was 81.4 percent. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • The Dow tumbled more than 1,000 points and marked its third-worst point drop in history — here’s how the stock market tends to perform after big drops - more
  • U.S. Futures Fluctuate as Treasuries Turn Higher: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

Monday, February 24

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Friday's trading session at $5.68/lb ($12,530/tonne). Indicators at 6:10 am CST today show nickel trading around $.01/lb lower. If you got excited on Friday with that 66 tonne drop in LME nickel stockpiles, you probably won't be impressed with the 4200+ tonne gain reported today. Stockpiles began the week just over the 228,900 tonne level, a level last seen in September 2018. There is good and bad news on the corona virus front this morning. The good news is the rate of infections is slowing in China, while the bad news is it is spreading quickly in other areas of the world. Italy, Iran, and South Korea are the current hot spots. Besides the obvious supply/demand concerns being caused by the disruptions caused by the corona virus outbreak on China, the indirect effect on LME metals trading is the rush by investors into the safe haven U.S. Dollar. As the Euro weakens against the Dollar, LME metals become more expensive. Thus, part of the weakness we see in nickel's traded price is due to the strengthening U.S. Dollar. For that reason, we have added a second chart in this top section on the Euro/US Dollar ratio. Another chart worth keeping an eye on is the Baltic Dry Index, the last link in this update. There is an article we posted below that reports car sales in China are down 92% this month - posted for those who are skeptical this event will have much of an economic effect. Equity markets are apparently concerned about the spread into Europe, with markets around the world trading lower. Dow futures are down over 700 points at the moment, and European markets are just ugly. Industry news is light, with all eyes on the virus. We did do some China news digging this weekend, not easy when you don't speak the language, and found some about the Chinese stainless steel industry - posted below. Lot of mines reported quarterly or year end results late last week - posted under reports. AK Steel published March surcharges Friday and they are down to levels last seen in July of last year. We will update our surcharge page when Allegheny publishes. It's the last week of February and a full five days to work with. We hope you have a profitable week!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.84/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here    /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Zinc falls to over 3-1/2-year low on high inventories - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Scotiabank Metals Update - Coronavirus - pdf here
  • Lundin Mining Year End Results - pdf here
  • Vale 4Q 2019 Results - pdf here
  • US GDPNow model 1st quarter estimate - pdf here
  • AK Steel 4th quarter report - more

Total Deaths as of Today
Total Deaths as of Friday
Total Infections as of Today
Total Infections as of Friday
2,619
2,249
78,000+
76,769
Virus News
World is approaching coronavirus tipping point, experts say - more
Global shipping has been hit by the coronavirus. Now goods are getting stranded - more
Chinese medical expert warns recovered coronavirus patients may still be contagious - more
Coronavirus outbreak: Ukrainian protesters hurl rocks at buses after falling for hoax - more
Vancouver’s Chinese restaurants are empty amid coronavirus fears. - more
Italy imposes draconian rules to stop spread of coronavirus - more
Coronavirus: asymptomatic Wuhan woman shows why outbreak 'will be hard to stop' - more
Coronavirus did not originate in Wuhan seafood market, Chinese scientists say - more

In non coronavirus news .....
Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report - "CDC estimates that so far this season there have been at least 29 million flu illnesses, 280,000 hospitalizations and 16,000 deaths from flu." - source

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 bounces despite rise in virus cases, dollar slips - Copper rebounded on Friday as speculators surprised the market with a bout of buying late in the session despite a rise in new coronavirus cases in China. - more

       News bites found in China media (subject to correct translation and the reliability of the source) - Baosteel Desheng began reducing production on Friday - anticipate cut of up to 50% due to #1 Poor logistics #2 Raw material shortages and #3 Downstream demand affected by delay in restarts. Pohang in Zhangjiagang suspended operations on Thursday due to same reasons.  More plants are expected to follow suit.

      Turkey's stainless steel imports fall while exports rise - Turkish imports of stainless steel coils with widths of 600 mm and above fell in 2019, amid the slowdown seen in stainless consumption sectors in Turkey last year. - more

      China car sales tumble by 92% as coronavirus weighs on industry - Car sales in China have collapsed by 92% as the coronavirus shutdown wreaks havoc on the automotive industry. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • U.S. Stocks Look Set for Biggest Drop Since August: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

Friday, February 21

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Thursday's trading session at $5.75/lb ($12,670/tonne). Indicators at 7:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.06/lb lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell slightly on Thursday, breaking a strong of multi thousand daily gains. Totals began Friday around the 224,700 tonne level. Shanghai Futures, which reports its inventory numbers weekly, reported nickel stock fell 849 tonnes to 35,945 tonnes this week. The number of new coronavirus infections reported fell yesterday and the equity markets responded. Overnight they spiked again, with the infection spreading outside of China at an alarming rate, and equity markets are joining base metals today in a retreat. News ends the week on a quiet note. We hope you have a safe and enjoyable weekend and invite you to join us next week.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.86/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here 

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper set for weekly decline as coronavirus infections climb - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more

Total Deaths as of Today
Total Deaths as of Yesterday
Total Infections as of Today
Total Infections as of Yesterday
2,200+
2,129
+76,600
75,748
Virus News
Coronavirus: South Korea Says COVID-19 Cases Doubled In 24 Hours - more    
Coronavirus-contaminated cruise ships mirror the global crisis - more
World Health Organization Daily Updates - more
National Health Commission / China Daily Updates - more


Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

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

     Thursday's market review - Copper falls on fears of coronavirus spread and strong dollar - Copper prices slipped on Thursday, weakened by fears that the coronavirus outbreak in China could spread globally and further dampen economic growth and metals demand. - more

      Brazil's Vale reports surprise loss amid base metal issues - Brazilian iron ore miner Vale SA severely missed quarterly profit and margin estimates on Thursday, largely due to impairments related to its base metal and coal operations and the lingering effects of a deadly dam burst in January 2019. - more

      Vale Indonesia increases revenue despite falling production - Publicly listed nickel producer PT Vale Indonesia has recorded higher revenue and earnings before interest and tax last year as nickel prices went up in the second half of 2019. - more

      That study of copper-nickel mining's effects on U.S.-Canada waters? It's eight paragraphs long, McCollum says  = The U.S. State Department's report on copper-nickel mining's environmental effects on international waters shared by the United States and Canada is only eight paragraphs long, U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum, DFL-Minn., said in a news release Thursday, Feb. 20. - more

      Bitterroot, Below join forces at nickel-copper-PGM project in Michigan - Bitterroot Resources and Below Exploration have entered into an option/JV agreement whereby the latter can earn a 49% joint venture interest in Bitterroot’s 100%-leased LM nickel-copper-platinum-palladium property in Baraga County, Michigan. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • U.S. Futures Slip, Treasuries Gain on Virus Fears: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

Thursday, February 20

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed yesterday's trading session at $5.82/lb ($12,825/tonne). Indicators at 6:20 am CST today show nickel trading  unchanged. Stockpiles of nickel continue to blossom, and started today just under the 224,800 tonne level. We are back to October 2018 levels in LME stockpiles. Nickel is actually trading, it's traded within a $250/tonne band during the last 24 hours. It just happened to close overnight where it did the night before and is trading at the moment, the same as it was yesterday at this time. Like watching paint dry.  While the spread of the virus is slowing in China, where quarantine measures appear to be working, there is still a great deal of concern amongst those who have the responsibility to see it not spread. China is criticized by some and praised by others for the measures it has taken, and those who criticize seem to think they needed to take more draconian measures. Can you imagine the US government trying to lock down Boston for two weeks? They did it for a day after the Boston marathon bombing, and that was unprecedented. Two weeks? Or longer? I am one of those who look at China taking the measures they feel is necessary to protect their people and economy and once the dust settles, they will do enough self analysis to learn for the future. Instead of pointing fingers, we should be thankful that it is not us, and watch and learn. Enjoy your Thursday.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.87/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here 

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper steady but virus clouds China demand prospects - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • U.S. Economy in a Snapshot Feb 2020 - more

Total Deaths as of Today
Total Deaths as of Yesterday
Total Infections as of Today
Total Infections as of Yesterday
2,126
2,009
75,674
75,204
Virus News
Japanese expert who sneaked onto Diamond Princess cruise ship describes 'zero infection control' for coronavirus - more
13 hours after Iran reported two people in that country had tested positive with the coronavirus, they reported two of their elderly citizens had died from the virus.


Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

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

     Yesterday's market review - Copper steady but virus clouds China demand prospects - Copper prices steadied on Wednesday near three-week highs as top consumer China announced further measures to help shore up growth hit by the coronavirus outbreak, but concern about the eventual damage to the economy capped gains. - more

      Indonesia stops nickel cooperation with China, turns to choose US - According to the market news, the Indonesian government rejected to continue to cooperate with China on the nickel mine, and the US was the main reason. - more (no idea what this is about, will investigate and advise if I find anything- until then I am suspicious of its authenticity)
  • Omnibus bill to centralize permit processing, offer incentives for miners - more
      WBMS Press Release February 2020 - The nickel market was in deficit during January to December 2019 with apparent demand exceeding production by 2.2 kt. In the whole of 2018, the calculated deficit was 98.7 kt.  - more

     Vale Indonesia's 2019 nickel in matte output down 5.1% year on year - Nickel miner PT Vale Indonesia produced 71,025 tonnes of nickel in matte last year, down 5.1% from 2018, the Indonesian mining company said in a statement on Thursday. - more

      Process Against Cerro Matoso for Nickel Royalties Stopped - The Comptroller opened a process of fiscal responsibility for a detriment estimated at $ 619,680,857,421 against four former vice presidents of the National Mining Agency (ANM) and the mining concession company. - more

      Canada's ‘Ring of Fire’ Is Loaded with Mineral Deposits But... - The struggle over the mineral deposits in Ontario’s Ring of Fire has taken a surprising turn. - more

      Mayor accused of fanning the flames -  Twitter comments have embroiled another politician in controversy. This time, it was Ely Mayor Chuck Novak in the hot seat at Tuesday’s city council meeting as several residents and local business owners chastised the mayor over comments he recently posted in support of a boycott against Fortune Bay Resort Casino. - more

      Alarming Recent Developments Concerning Clive Palmer and Australian Politics - Something is off in Australian state politics. Over the course of a week, Clive Palmer-related news hit one after the other, showing signs that the mining tycoon and billionaire may be looking to interfere in both state and federal politics, for motives yet unknown.  - more

   Other News

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

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

Wednesday, February 19

   A special welcome to Taunton customers today. As an advertiser, Taunton is among those companies who want to stay on top of the market to better serve you. We thank them for their support.

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Tuesday's trading session at $5.82/lb  ($12,820/tonne). Indicators at 6:120 am CST today show nickel trading  unchanged. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses continued their multi-thousand gains on Tuesday and started today just over the 220,900 tonne level. Just after we said the market appeared to be using the $13,000/tonne level as a line of support, rather than resistance, nickel fell below, and closed below, that level for the first time since the 7th. Another close below could send a negative signal to the market, although five consecutive closes above that level did not do much for the bulls. It's all about the virus at the moment, and Apple's announcement yesterday of it adversely affecting its quarterly earnings, confirmed the fears of the bears. We also wonder if the news out of Tesla yesterday (see below) also sent a shiver down the backs of nickel traders. It's hump day so we are half way to the weekend. Have a great day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.87/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here 

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper rises on China stimulus hopes, drop in virus cases - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Modern Metals Magazine Feb 2020 - online here

Total Deaths as of Today
Total Deaths as of Yesterday
Total Infections as of Today
Total Infections as of Yesterday
2,009
1,873
75,083
73,332
Virus News
Cambodia’s Coronavirus Complacency May Exact a Global Toll - more
‘Black swan’ coronavirus casts its shadow over the global economy - more


Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

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

     Tuesday's market review - Copper dips as inventory build raises fears of excess supply - Copper prices fell on Tuesday as deliveries into exchange warehouses raised fears that demand curbed by the coronavirus outbreak in China could cause a supply glut. - more

      Some of China’s Top Suppliers Are Readying for a Virus Rebound - Raw materials producers who rely on China for the bulk of their sales are showing confidence the risks posed by the coronavirus outbreak may soon ease -- and are poised to benefit from a forecast demand rebound. - more

      COVID-19: Standoffs emerge in dry bulk freight fixture talks over infectious disease clause - The global dry bulk freight market, already paralyzed by the coronavirus or COVID-19, is now finding the conclusion of fixtures being hampered by the inclusion of a controversial infectious disease clause in charter party agreements, industry sources said Tuesday. - more

      Steel Shipments Increase in January - Steel shipments increased in the United States in January, reversing the mostly downward trend that characterized 2019, the Metals Service Center Institute reported. - more

      Cliffs, AK Expect March 13 Close - Cleveland Cliffs Inc. and AK Steel Holding Corp. have extended the expiration date in connection with the previously announced exchange offers by Cliffs and consent solicitations by AK Steel to March 13. - more

   Tesla in Talks to Switch to Different Battery for China Model 3 Sedans - China’s desire to have more electric vehicles roaming its streets is getting automakers to examine how to meet those demands while cutting costs, and two of the biggest – Tesla and Volkswagen – may switch to a different battery to make that happen. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • U.S. Futures Climb With Europe Stocks; Oil Gains: Markets Wrap - more
  • Trump expands tariffs on steel and aluminum products - more
  • Top 10 Fasteners (Incl. Nails) Export Destinations of Taiwan in 2019 - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

Tuesday, February 18

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Monday's trading session at $5.95/lb ($13,110/tonne). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.05/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose by multiple thousand tonnes for a 6th time this month and third consecutive day, and started today's session just over the 218,200 tonne level. Apple's statement that the virus wold effect its quarterly earnings has sent a reminder across world markets that there will be a financial price to pay for this outbreak. It is safe to say, if you have yet to feel the direct effect of this outbreak in your business, there is a very good chance you will eventually. There is a domino effect going on, probably most obviously found in shipping. Thus if your overseas factory has not seen production adversely affected, they may have a problem getting you your shipment. Base metals are all trading in the red this morning, while safe haven precious metals are all trading higher. Nickel is still a few dollars north of the $13,000/tonne level as we publish this morning, but the level has shifted from being a psychological line of resistance, to a line of support over the past few weeks. Nickel continues to trade in a narrowing band, with the coronavirus raining on its parade.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.88/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here 

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - London copper dips as Apple's warning signals virus impact - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more

Total Deaths as of Today
Total Deaths as of Yesterday
Total Infections as of Today
Total Infections as of Yesterday
1,873
1,775
73,325
71,429
Virus News
Here's how long coronaviruses may linger on contaminated surfaces, according to science - more
Coronavirus: 99 more cases confirmed on cruise ship - as it happened - more
A Chinese Director And 3 Of His Family Members Passed Away After Getting Infected With COVID-19 - more
National Health Commission of the People's Republic of China - more


Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

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

     Monday's market review - China stimulus helps copper to three-week high - Copper prices climbed to three-week peaks on Monday after top consumer China cut interest rates to offset the economic damage from the coronavirus, though worries over demand for industrial metals capped gains. - more

      Chinese steel mills mull output cuts due to coronavirus: Platts survey - More than a third of Chinese steel mills are considering cutting steel production due to rising inventories, a shortage of raw materials and weak downstream demand caused by the coronavirus, according to a recent S&P Global Platts outlook survey. - more

      Market turns stainless steel orders from China to Taiwan - According to the Wuhan pneumonia in China, most of the Chinese stainless steel mills were still not resume operations, and the production still remained very low. - more

      China's metal exporters face order cancellations, damage claims amid virus - trade group - Some overseas buyers of Chinese metal products have stopped accepting shipments amid the coronavirus outbreak, while other clients - including from India - are seeking damages due to a failure to deliver on time, a China trade body said on Tuesday.  - more

      BHP CEO says company needs more copper, nickel - BHP Group will be looking to expand in copper and nickel to position itself well in a world that is decarbonising, new chief executive Mike Henry said on Tuesday.  - more

      Canada finally taking a stand on Ring of Fire deposits - The struggle over the mineral deposits in Ontario's Ring of Fire has taken a surprising turn. - more

      Merafe warns of lower share earnings as ferrochrome, chrome ore prices decline - Merafe Resources will report a headline loss per share for its 2019 annual results for the year ended December 31 owing to an impairment brought about by its share price weakness. - more

      Courtesy AISI - In the week ending on February 15, 2020, domestic raw steel production was 1,907,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 81.8 percent. Production was 1,917,000 net tons in the week ending February 15, 2019 while the capability utilization then was 82.4 percent. The current week production represents a 0.5 percent decrease from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending February 15, 2020 is up 0.4 percent from the previous week ending February 8, 2020 when production was 1,899,000 net tons and the rate of capability utilization was 81.4 percent. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Stocks Fall After Apple Warning; Treasuries Rise: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

Monday, February 17

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed yesterday's trading session at $5.90/lb ($13,015/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 Friday and started this week just over the 215,800 tonne level. The last time LME had this  much nickel inventory was back in November 2018. China reportedly pumped in more stimulus money last night to counterbalance the negative effect the coronavirus outbreak is causing and Chinese and world markets are responding positively. US markets are closed for President's Day. Coronavirus continues to be the headline of concern, with the Westerdam situation becoming of special concern. It's a new week and the start of the second half of February. We hope you have a great week.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.87/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here 

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - London copper hits 3-week high as Beijing steps up economic support - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Jindal Stainless (Hisar) Limited reports Q3 PAT - pdf here
  • First Quantam Minerals presentation - pdf here

Total Deaths as of Today
Total Deaths as of Friday
Total Reported Infections as of Today
Total Lab Confirmed Infections as of Friday
1,775
1,383
71,000
49.053
Virus News
CDC director: Novel coronavirus 'is probably with us beyond this season, beyond this year' - more
Take Five: In sickness and in health - more
Coronavirus spreads in 3 main ways: This one worries the CDC most - more
Seatrade Maritime News Coronavirus Coverage - more
Ship Owners Burned By The China Slowdown - more
Coronavirus Infection Found After Cruise Ship Passengers Disperse - more

Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

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

     Yesterday's market review - Copper up for second week as virus sell-off wanes - Copper edged lower on Friday but remained on track for a second week of gains as investors decided a plunge in prices triggered by the coronavirus outbreak in China may have been overdone. - more

      Coronavirus outbreak in China: What has been the impact on industrial commodities - For countries having large trade relations with China, the coronavirus outbreak could have an adverse impact on their economy. - more

      Metalworking World Magazine - Economic and steel market outlook 2019-2020 - Apparent steel consumption fell by 3.1% year-on-year in the third quarter of 2019, a slight moderation compared to the drop recorded in the second quarter (-6.7%). - more

      Indonesia loosens restrictions in mining law - (excerpt) The largest Southeast Asian economy initially targeted putting 51 nickel and bauxite processing plants into operation by 2022, but now decreasing it to 38. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Europe Stocks Gain on China Lift; Yen, Gold Slip: Markets Wrap - more
  • Ship Owners Burned By The China Slowdown - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

Friday, February 14

   Happy Valentines Day!

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Thursday's trading session at $6.03/lb ($13,290/tonne). Indicators at 6:35 am CST today show nickel trading around $.07/lb lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose on Thursday  and started today just shy of the 212,100 tonne levels. Shanghai Futures Exchange reported nickel warehouse inventory fell 411 tons to 36,645 tonnes this past week. Another Friday with too much going on to be an abridged version. Today's initial fatality numbers for the corona virus outbreak rose, but then fell back as Chinese officials announced they had double counted at least 108 names. Lot of news to end your week, so we leave you with it. We hope you have a safe and safe weekend. On Tuesday we shared a 10 minute sales motivational video, and for the weekend, we leave you with a 3-1/2 minute music video that you have likely never seen(unless your under 30), but the music might ring a bell. Instead of trying to sell you a Ford or a cruise however, we share with you the message of "Live your best life."
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.87/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here 

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - London copper dips on demand concern as virus toll climbs - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • December 2019 Freight Transportation Services Index - more

Total Deaths as of Today
Total Deaths as of Yesterday
Total Infections as of Today
Total Infections as of Yesterday
1,383+
1,369
64,435
46,997*
Virus News
*On Feb 13, China started reporting clinically diagnosed cases, as well as the lab confirmed cases. W.H.O. is sticking with lab confirmed only - which should spike in the coming days. The media is reporting what China gives them so our 'today' numbers will be much higher than W.H.O.'s 'yesterday' numbers.
+121 added but 108 removed as duplicate entries from past
For those with a need to get into the nut and bolts of a problem, here is the WHO database of publications on novel coronavirus - list here
Coronavirus can be spread by people who don’t show symptoms, CDC warns - more


Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

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

     Thursday's market review - Copper rises as traders look past rising coronavirus deaths - Copper and other industrial metals prices rose on Thursday as traders shrugged off figures showing thousands more coronovirus cases and attention moved to the potential for China’s efforts to stop the spread of the virus to disrupt supply. - more

      Consensus Price Forecasts — Positive Prices In 2020 For Most Metals - (excerpt) Contributors are also bullish on nickel this year, with London Metal Exchange cash prices expected to rise 11.2% to average US$7.18/lb or US$15,835/t. - more

      Bids in for Vale nickel company in New Caledonia - The Vale nickel company in New Caledonia says three bids are in to buy the 95 percent stake put up for sale by Vale of Brazil. - more

      Coronavirus cancels London Metal Exchange's Asian event - The London Metal Exchange has cancelled its annual LME Asia Week dinner in Hong Kong, a major event for the metal industry, and postponed the seminar that would have taken place on the same day, the exchange said in a notice on Friday. - more

      The Minnesota DNR Court of Appeals ruled against the PolyMet copper-nickel mine – The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources on Wednesday asked the state Supreme Court to overturn a decision of a lower court that rejected some of the most important permits for the proposed PolyMet copper and nickel mine. - more

  • In northern Minnesota, neighbors navigate the bitter fight over copper-nickel mining - more

      Indonesia’s government wants to get on with China in private - When China's president, Xi Jinping, launched the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in 2013, Indonesia was seen as essential to its success. - more

      State firms burdening Greece with three billion euros - The government is seeking to dig Greece out of a debt hole to the tune of three billion euros created by five of Greece’s state-run corporations (DEKO). - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • U.S. Equity Futures Edge Up Amid Virus Scrutiny: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

Thursday, February 13

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Wednesday's trading session at $5.95/lb ($13,100/tonne). Indicators at 6:10 am CST today show nickel trading around $.005/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose on Wednesday and started today just under the 210,100 tonne level. For a second day, nickel is trading nearly unchanged from last evening. Yesterday it remained skeptical, while equity markets jumped on news the virus' end was in sight. Today, nickel remains undisturbed as the infection and death rate spike, and equity markets shudder in renewed fear. For a second time this month, the market has closed above $13,000/tonne for two consecutive sessions, and what would typically be a positive technical signal, appears to be more of a 'line in the sand' the bulls and bears are fighting to hold. We are watching Chinese media closely for signals on what might be happening in the nickel/stainless steel industry. This isn't easy for three reasons. #1 we don't speak Chinese and have to depend on a very cantankerous computer translator. And #2 China isn't exactly the most forthcoming country when it comes to industry statistics. And finally, like much of the world, this type of information seems to come with a price tag attached. We don't charge for industry news and refuse to pay for it. That said, we did find some rather troublesome industry numbers that we posted below. Tomorrow is Valentine's Day (final warning gents) and we hope you have a great day.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.86/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here 

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - London copper declines after sharp jump in virus death toll - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Barchart 304 SS Scrap Index - $.253/lb
  • Minerals & Energy Outlook: February 2020 - pdf here
  • U.S. Imports of Stainless Steel Mill Products - more

Total Deaths as of Today
Total Deaths as of Yesterday
Total Infections as of Today
Total Infections as of Yesterday
1,367
1,115
60,200
45,171
Virus News

Guardian graphic - more
Coronavirus Time line - more
New study an eye-opener on how coronavirus is spreading and how little we know - more
China Cases Jump by 15,000; Top Officials Ousted: Virus Update - more

Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

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

     Wednesday's market review - Copper makes modest gains as coronavirus infections drop - Copper climbed on Wednesday as China recorded its lowest number of new coronavirus cases in two weeks but concerns remained over the outbreak’s impact on the world’s second- largest economy and biggest metals consumer.  - more

      China media reporting the following - January production statistics - 300 series stainless - near 60% of total production, 200 series stainless - over 21%, 400 series stainless - near 19%. Top three producing regions in January were Jiangsu, Fujian, and Guangdong provinces. Cold rolled stainless steel at the largest producers decreased by just over 13-1/2% m-o-m, and are forecast to fall another 16% in February due to unplanned closures because of the coronavirus.

      Greek lawmakers clear rescue plan for nickel producer Larco - Greek lawmakers approved a restructuring plan for Larco late on Wednesday which Greece called a last attempt to save Europe’s biggest nickel producer.  - more

      Vale's 2019 Iron Output Drops 22% Due to Brumadinho Disaster - (excerpt) Finished nickel production totaled 208 kt in 2019, down 15% from 2018 mainly due to reduced feed from third parties, lower source ore from Thompson and VNC. - more

      New $1 billion mine looks to solar, wind, batteries for 80% of power needs - Australian mining company Oz Minerals plans to power its proposed $1 billion West Musgrave copper nickel mine in central Australia with up to 80 per cent renewables. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Stocks Slide as Virus Cases Jump; Bonds Advance: Markets Wrap - more
  • Reading the Tea Leaves of the U.S. Business Cycle—Part Two - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

Wednesday, February 12

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Tuesday's trading session at $5.95/lb ($13,110/tonne). Indicators at 6:10 am CST today show nickel trading around  unchanged. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose on Tuesday and started today just over the 209,700 tonne level. Nickel closed over the $13,000 tonne level yesterday, and is making an effort today to hold on to this technically important level. Slow news day. Equity markets are pleased the spread of the coronavirus appeared to slow yesterday, and the death rate slowed a tad. Base metals are yet to be convinced.  
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.85/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here 

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper trades in narrow range amid coronavirus uncertainty - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more

Total Deaths as of Today
Total Deaths as of Yesterday
Total Infections as of Today
Total Infections as of Yesterday
661
564
45,000+
43,103
Virus News
How can the coronavirus spread through bathroom pipes? Experts are investigating in Hong Kong - more
Coronavirus death toll surpasses 1,100 - 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 - Base metal prices bounce, but China demand doubts dominate - Prices of industrial metals bounced on Tuesday as funds cut bets on lower prices, though the mood was dominated by worries over demand in top consumer China, where the coronavirus outbreak is expected to sap demand. - more

      Virus another wild card in nickel's year of uncertainty: Andy Home - Nickel is the weakest performer in the London Metal Exchange (LME) base metals pack so far this year. It’s a dramatic change of fortune after last year’s bull rally. - more

      Chinese stainless steelmakers decide to further postpone working day - Due to the Wuhan pneumonia situation, most of the steel mills decided to delay their working day, especially in Wuxi city and Foshan city. - more

  • Chinese fastener factories begin returning to work - more
      Editorial: Uncertainty lingers as Vale switches Thompson bosses again - The removal of Gary Eyres as head of Vale’s Manitoba Operations and his replacement with Franco Cazzola, who formerly worked in Thompson for a few years from 2005 to 2008, indicates that things are still in flux at the Thompson mining and milling operation. - more

      PolyMet petitions state Supreme Court on blocked permits; groups on both sides rally at Capitol - The deep divisions over PolyMet Mining Corp.’s proposed $1 billion copper-nickel mine project were on full display at the State Capitol on Tuesday, as both supporters and opponents rallied there following the company’s petition to the Minnesota Supreme Court. - more

      Purdue’s biggest donation ever? Grad's nickel mine gift has that potential - Purdue President Mitch Daniels said he’ll be watching nickel prices on the commodities market after 1954 grad gives a mining share that could produce for decades - more

   Other News

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

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Monday's trading session at $5.84/lb ($12,885/tonne). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.12/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses jumped on Monday and started today just over the 208,700 tonne level. Nickel jumped early today and met resistance around the $6.00/lb level twice, and is now fighting to hold onto some of the early morning gains. These early morning pushes by the bulls have so far accomplished pushing the closing price a little higher each day, but its a hard way to drive the price higher and runs a real risk of turning bearish again in a moment of weakness. All eyes remain on China. The government is encouraging its citizens to go back to work, but God help them if they walk outside with a fever. In fact, based on videos being snuck out of the country, one is not required to leave ones home to be hauled away. It's rather frightening to watch, but the alternative is even more worrying. The virus will have an economic impact on China, that part is clear. How much the impact in China, will trickle down to the other countries, remains to be seen. And before we let you go, we posted to an interview with the GM director of battery cell engineering where he states "And people are talking about the great nickel [price] spike of 2024. That’s predicted.". Would any of our readers have any clue what he might be referring too? We have also added what we are calling a Tuesday tune-up - a 10 minute sales motivational clip. Like, dislike? Have a wonderful day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.84/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here 

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Base metals advance on firmer equities, fall in new virus cases - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Metals Monitor - pdf here

Total Deaths as of Today
Total Deaths as of Yesterday
Total Infections as of Today
Total Infections as of Yesterday
1013
910
43,090
40,554



Source Report #21

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 Tune up - Shark Mindset - 10 Minutes with Walter Bond - video here

     Monday's market review - Zinc sinks to multi-year low on inventory jump and China fears - Zinc prices lurched on Monday to their lowest since July 2016 after a surge in inventories and worries over demand in China as cases of the coronavirus grow in number.  - more

      Strong demand for base metals in 2020, copper market to remain tight - Copper fundamentals continue to look supportive, while the nickel market remains tight, said Ian Roper, general manager of SMM Singapore on the outlook of base metals in 2020. - more

      Base metals inventories rise as Chinese demand sinks, depressing prices: analysts -  Inventories of base metals have increased substantially in China in recent weeks amid falling demand from Chinese industry, leading to depressed prices, with little sign of any rapid change in the scenario, analysts reported Monday. - more

      Toomey presses Trump administration to roll back tariffs for Beaver County mill - The battle over a Beaver County mill beleaguered by steel import tariffs escalated on Monday, with Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., demanding the Trump administration grant an exclusion for the plant’s operator. - more

      Government presents plan for restructuring, selling LARCO - The Greek government on Monday presented a plan for the restructuring of LARCO, one of Europe’s biggest nickel producers, by placing the mineral and metallurgical industry into a clearance management status which envisages cost and wage reductions, and an immediate launch of a tender for the selling of the factory and mines within 12 months. - more

       Courtesy AISI - In the week ending on February 8, 2020, domestic raw steel production was 1,899,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 81.4 percent. Production was 1,917,000 net tons in the week ending February 8, 2019 while the capability utilization then was 82.4 percent. The current week production represents a 0.9 percent decrease from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending February 8, 2020 is down 0.8 percent from the previous week ending February 1, 2020 when production was 1,914,000 net tons and the rate of capability utilization was 82.1 percent. - more

    GM’s director of battery cell engineering: We’re nowhere near the bottom of the price curves - (excerpt) There’s talk of getting rid of cobalt. How do you get the same energy density with no cobalt? And people are talking about the great nickel spike of 2024. That’s predicted. - more   (??)

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • U.S. Futures Advance Before Fed’s Powell Speaks: Markets Wrap - more
  • Virus’ Total Impact Unknown – But Economic Impacts Are Serious - more
  • Coronavirus could have incubation period of 24 days — 10 days longer than previously thought - more
  • China Urges Farmers to Wear Masks While Planting Amid Virus Fear - more
  • Coronavirus 'could infect 60% of global population if unchecked' - more
  • Reading the Tea Leaves of the U.S. Business Cycle—Part One - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

Monday, February 10

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Friday's trading session at $5.79/lb ($12,775/tonne). Indicators at 6:10 am CST today show nickel trading around $.09/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose slightly on Friday and started this weeks trading just under the 204,100 tonne level. Nickel fell under the $13,000/tonne level late on Friday, but climbed back over that level in after hours trading. It just recently surrendered that level again, but it is obvious the bulls and bears are using this level to fight for control over. We imagine you are tiring of us constantly covering the coronavirus crisis, so we have added some numbers after the reports section, which we hope to update daily, and leave the comments to others. We will try to leave the topic alone, but it is having a huge effect on the nickel market, and therefore, we can't entirely. China is the single biggest consumer of just about everything, so when they catch the flu ...  Another day with lots of reports. Beside the monthly reports, the USGS has issued their annual report on the metals that make up the most popular 'grades' of stainless steel. It's the second week of the second month of 2020. May it bring you the success you are chasing.  Have a good week!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.84/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here 

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Zinc sinks to 3-1/2 year low on inventory jump, Chinese fears - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • USGS Mineral Commodity Summaries 2020 - pdf here
  • US Exports of Stainless Steel Mill Products - more
  • Recycling Today February 2020 - online
  • Scotiabank Metals Update: Cruel Corona - pdf here
  • Molybdenum Mineral Commodity Summary - pdf here
  • Chromium Mineral Commodity Summary - pdf here
  • Nickel Mineral Commodity Summary - pdf here
  • Mineral Commodity Summaries 2020 - pdf here
  • Baltic Exchange Dry Index - more

Total Deaths as of Today
Total Deaths last Friday
Total Infections as of Today
Total Infections last Friday
910
638
40,000+
31,481



Source  Report #18

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 falls as spread of coronavirus stokes demand worries - Copper prices fell on Friday on concerns that a rising death toll from the coronavirus in China could lead to a bigger hit to economic activity and metals' demand. - more

      Deafening silence at London Metal Exchange over nickel market manipulation allegations - Chinese steel powerhouse Tsingshan bought up huge volumes of nickel before the Indonesian government announced a ban which saw prices surge - more
  • London Metal Exchange under pressure to investigate nickel market - more

      China metals output seen falling over 10% in Feb, rebound from virus impact after Q2 - China’s nonferrous metal output will fall at least 10% year-on-year in February as the world’s top metals consumer battles a coronavirus but operations are expected to normalise after the second quarter, the country’s metal association said. - more

  • Steel Demand Plunges Amid Coronavirus Epidemic, Depressing Prices - more
      Eyres out, Cazzola in as head of Vale Manitoba Operations -  Vale’s Manitoba Operations have undergone a change at the top. Gary Eyres, who took over leadership of mining and milling operations in Thompson in March 2019, is no longer with the company after less than year on the job. - more

      Conic Discloses Litigation in Relation to Ramu Project - Conic Metals Corp.confirms that the Company has become aware of a writ of summons and statement of claim commenced in Papua New Guinea on February 5, 2020 against Ramu Nico Management (MCC) Limited. - more

      Inside Palmer’s campaign to thwart Labor - Clive Palmer spent almost $84 million on his party’s failed tilt at the 2019 election, but former UAP candidates now say the real goal was to prevent an ALP victory. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • U.S. Futures Fluctuate, Stocks Slip on Virus Worry: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

Friday, February 7

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Thursday's trading session at $5.92/lb ($13,060/tonne). Indicators at 6:50 am CST today show nickel trading around $.06/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose substantially on Thursday and started today's session just over the 203,900 tonne level. Nickel closed above $13,000 for a second consecutive day yesterday, but appears to be in trouble holding onto it again today. Base metals trading board is solid red today as virus concerns creep back. The cruise ship in Japan announcing another 41 cases last night could have a serious effect on those planning to take vacations in the next few months, and cruises specifically. Another busy day with news to end the week. May your weekend be safe and restful and illness free.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.85/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here 

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - London copper range-bound amid virus concerns - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Mine Magazine Feb 2020 - online here
  • U.S. Imports of Stainless Steel Mill Products - more
  • Exports: Nickel ores and concentrates - more
  • Imports: Nickel ores and concentrates - more
  • Exports: Stainless steel wire - more
  • Imports: Stainless steel wire - more
  • Scotiabank 2020 Base Outlook - pdf here

Total Deaths as of Today
Total Deaths as of Yesterday
Total Infections as of Today
Total Infections as of Yesterday
636
563
31,161
28,000+

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 - Rebound in copper fizzles out as virus cases climb - Copper prices retreated from highs on Thursday as cases of the coronavirus in top metals consumer China continued to climb and health officials dashed hopes of a breakthrough treatment. - more

      Base metals: Buying copper is worth it – TDS - The discount in some base metals is encouraging strategists at TD Securities to recommend buying copper, among other metals, at these prices. - more

      Factbox: Commodity traders weigh impact of coronavirus as force majeure placed on LNG - Commodity traders on Thursday continued to weigh the impact of the coronavirus on demand growth and prices. - more

      Indonesia's 1st HPAL nickel plant could start commissioning in H2 2020 - CRU -  The first battery-grade nickel and cobalt project in Indonesia using high-pressure acid leaching (HPAL) technology could start commissioning in the second half of 2020, consultancy firm CRU Group said on Thursday. - more

      The Surprising Versatility of Stainless Steel - You’ll be inspired by all the ways the material is transforming architectural design. - more

      AISI Releases January 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 January totaled 3,352,000 net tons (NT)*. - more

      NIMS releases findings based on 50 years of measuring metal wear and tear - For the past 50 years researchers at the National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) have been conducting detailed short- and long-term testing of a variety of structural materials manufactured in Japan to ensure they can withstand long-term stresses.  - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • U.S. Futures Slip, Bonds Rise Before Key Jobs Data: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • Shanghai Futures Exchange Stainless - here
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
Thursday, February 6

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Wednesday's trading session at $5.97/lb  ($13,160/tonne). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.02/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell slightly yesterday, and now total just over the 200,400 tonne level. Nickel closed above the $13.000/tonne level for the first time since the 23rd of January. This rally appears to be being led by Chinese traders. While we have watched the shanghai Metals Market usually play follow the leader tot he London Metal Exchange, there are times when the opposite is true. And with the Chinese market not reacting as negatively to the coronavirus outbreak as the rest of the world feared they would, nickel and other base metals are reaping the benefits. Short term we believe, as the virus has not gone away and is steadily getting worse. Over 70 more people died just yesterday. To put that in perspective, last Thursday there had only been 170 deaths. Today, we started with a total of 563 deaths. Over 28,000 are infected and more people have died from this virus than were killed in the SARS outbreak. This virus is far from being done killing people and those who fell the economic effects will be minimal are kidding themselves. Supply chains are already looking for new sources with Chinese manufacturers shut down, and Lord help us, if some cargo ship brings the virus into a port somewhere and infects a foreign worker. The reaction could be even more detrimental to the supply chain. If your source is mainland China, and you have yet to feel the effect, you might want to pro actively consider other sources as a backup. Lots of market news today, so we leave you with it.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.83/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here 

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper rises as China's transport curbs raise supply concerns - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - more        
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Steel Times International January February 2020 - online here
  • U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services December 2019 - pdf here  (full reports)
  • NAB China Economic Update: February 2020 - pdf here
  • Barchart 304 SS Scrap Index - $.252/lb
  • U.S. Imports of Stainless Steel Mill Products - more
  • US Economic Indicators:ATA Truck Tonnage Index - pdf here
  • US Economic Indicators:Durable Goods Orders& Shipments - pdf here
  • Smoothed U.S. Recession Probabilities - more
  • Fastener Distributor Index - more

Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

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

     Wednesday's market review - Copper jumps to one-week high after China stimulus - Copper prices rebounded to their highest level in more than a week on Wednesday as investors unwound bearish positions after the central bank in China, the world’s biggest metals consumer, pumped stimulus into its economy. - more

      China's metals import hunger shifts towards raw materials: Andy Home - China last year imported less refined copper, nickel, zinc and lead than in 2018. It was a net exporter of refined tin and primary aluminium.  - more

      China Jan nickel output falls by third from previous month - research house Antaike - China’s refined nickel production in January fell by 33.4% from the previous month to 10,650 tonnes as the coronavirus outbreak hits consumption of the metal, research house Antaike said on Thursday - more

      Philippines keeps ports open to all ships despite virus fears - The Philippines said on Wednesday its ports remain open to all ships, even those from China, in order not to disrupt the cargo supply chain - more

      The State of the Stainless Nation #2020 Vision - Predicting anything positive for the stainless steel industry in terms of market growth in 2020 would be risky and remains in the ‘Daily Lotto’ realm when looking at current economic forecasts. - more

      Outokumpu launches review of stainless steel long products business - Outokumpu has initiated a strategic review of its long products business area "as part of its process to determine optimal long-term business mix for the company," the Finnish stainless steel producer said Wednesday. - more

      Historic Clydach social club The Mond is closing after more than 100 years - The historic Mond Social Club in the Swansea Valley is to close after more than 100 years. - more

      ZRA seizes base metals from Chinese man at Ndola airport - The Zambia Revenue Authority has seized suspected base metals with traces of Gold, palladium, nickel, manganese and precious stones weighing about 1.5 kilograms in Ndola. - more

      LME to keep open-outcry closing prices after electronic trial - The London Metal Exchange (LME) will retain traditional open-outcry trading for closing prices after largely negative feedback from members about a trial that used electronic final prices, the exchange said on Wednesday. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Marijuana and Workplace Drug Testing - more
  • U.S. Futures Climb With Stocks on China Tariff Cut: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • Shanghai Futures Exchange Stainless - here
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
Wednesday, February 5

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Tuesday's trading session at $5.82/lb ($12,830/tonne). Indicators at 6:45 am CST today show nickel trading around $.14/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses retreated on Tuesday and started today's session just under the 200,500 tonne level. Our apologies for the late update - internet or computer issues - not exactly sure which one was the problem for the connection problem. Nickel is on the climb - and while it was unable to hold onto the $13,000/tonne level yesterday, it's trading above it again today. Not a lot of industry related news today. Death toll for the coronavirus is close to 500 now, with the number of infected nearing 25,000. 60 million Chinese remain under lockdown in China. The rest of the world, it appears, is in denial.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.79/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here 

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper jumps to one-week high after China stimulus - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Glencore Full Year 2019 Production Report - more
  • The Australian Mining Review - online here
  • Barchart 304 SS Scrap Index - $.258/lb

Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

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

     Tuesday's market review - Copper rises after China moves to protect economy - Copper bounced on Tuesday as traders and funds reversed bets on lower prices after China’s central bank moved to offset the damage to economic growth and demand from the coronavirus in the top consumer. - more

      Strong demand for base metals in 2020, copper market to remain tight - (excerpt) On the outlook of nickel, Roper sees a tighter nickel market in 2020, as nickel prices have surged as Indonesia has bought forward the ban on nickel ore exports from 2022 to 2020. - more

      Zimplats minerals output declines - Resources group, Zimplats Holdings Limited’s six elements (6E) production for the quarter to December 31, 2019 totalled 115 908 ounces, which was 18 percent below same period in the prior year. - more

      Glencore's 2019 cobalt up, copper down; share price rises - Glencore said its 2019 copper output fell 6% and battery mineral cobalt rose 10% as it boosted production at its Katanga mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo, offsetting the impact of the early closure of another operation. - more

  • Respite for the Glencore 'billionaire boys' club' as miner's share price jumps 5.2% - more
      Can we protect nature by giving it legal rights? - Around the world, communities are using “Rights of Nature” laws to defend waterways, species and more from human threats - more

Thought for the day - when you tweet your analysis as an 'expert' in your field - it may come back to haunt you.  And for those who pay them for their analysis - even a clock is right twice a day. (and Mr Smith was not alone in his analysis.)


   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Equities Gain on Virus Treatment Hope; Bonds Fall: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • Shanghai Futures Exchange Stainless - here
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
Tuesday, February 4

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Monday's trading session at $5.77/lb ($12,725/tonne). Indicators at 6:20 am CST today show nickel trading around $.15/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses answered our question of yesterday, and climbed over the 200,000 tonne level after a large shipment. Totals now read just over the 200,900 tonne level. While stockpile numbers broke thru a psychological level, nickel is trading back over the $13,000/tonne level for the first time January 24th. Traders have been watching returning China traders to gauge the reaction of those in the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, and after a large drop yesterday, Chinese markets rebounded today. The rest of the world, including commodities, are following. The trading price is already off by about $250/tonne an earlier high, so the buzz may be wearing off. PMI numbers for the US came out above 50 yesterday, giving a signal that the US economy still has life to it (here). Vale announced it may have a buyer for its mothballed Goro operation in New Caledonia. We should know something by the end of March.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.78/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here 

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - LME base metals rebound on China c.bank support measures - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Scotiabank Commodity Note - pdf here
  • Pancor Resources Monthly 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

     Monday's market review - Shanghai copper plunges to 3-year low as Chinese markets reopen - Shanghai copper prices dived to a three-year low on Monday as Chinese markets reopened, giving investors the first opportunity since Jan. 23 to react to a coronavirus outbreak that threatens to damage the economy of the world’s biggest metals consumer. - more

       SMM Hot News: Impact of the coronavirus outbreak on China metals market - SMM has undertaken further surveys covering the impact of the current issues in China on physical metals markets.  - more

      Nickel price under pressure in 2020 – report - A report by Wood Mackenzie argues that despite the global continued investment in new battery plants, weaker demand for nickel sulphate or NiSO4 tied to last year’s cut in Chinese electric vehicle subsidies will translate to more discounts in the metal’s price in 2020. - more

      Nickel plant in New Caledonia nears sale - report - The head of the Vale nickel plant in New Caledonia says the board of directors has approved $US120 million for restructuring the business, which is for sale. - more

      Indonesia slams the door on all things China - The focal point of a tense maritime stand-off with China only weeks ago, the largest island in Indonesia’s northernmost Natuna archipelago is now a temporary home for 242 quarantined citizens evacuated from Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus crisis. - more

      Factbox: Commodities weaken as coronavirus spreads, dampening demand expectations - Commodity markets continued to slide Monday as the spread of a coronavirus outbreak caused lingering concerns about the disease's erosion of demand growth. - more

      Welcome to the worldsteel image and video library - Select images and videos from the safe, clean and high-tech steel production facilities of worldsteel member companies, all free to use for editorial purposes. - more

      The DFL Party's slide on the Iron Range - Mining is a proximate cause and a state Senate power shuffle is an effect, but the shift has long been coming. - more

      Courtesy AISI - In the week ending on February 1, 2020, domestic raw steel production was 1,914,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 82.1 percent. Production was 1,878,000 net tons in the week ending February 1, 2019 while the capability utilization then was 80.7 percent. The current week production represents a 1.9 percent increase from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending February 1, 2020 is down 0.3 percent from the previous week ending January 25, 2020 when production was 1,919,000 net tons and the rate of capability utilization was 82.3 percent. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Global EV Sales For 2019 Now In: Tesla Model 3 Totally Dominated - more
  • Stocks Rally Globally After Halt in China Sell-Off: Markets Wrap - more
  • Building More Powerful Batteries Possible with New Electrode Design - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • Shanghai Futures Exchange Stainless - here
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
Monday, February 3

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Friday's trading session at $5.83/lb ($12,850/tonne). Indicators at 6:10 am CST today show nickel trading around $.01/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose again on Friday and started this week and month just under the 196,900 tonne level. So, will or when will stockpiles climb back over the 200,000 tonne level and if so, will they surrender that level again this year? With China now back in business, or at least parts of it, many were expecting things to start turning around. Now with coronavirus throwing a huge monkey wrench into the works, even the most optimistic analysts are doing some tie pulling and throat clearing. This new virus has now killed more people than SARS in mainland China, and continues to spread at a much faster rate. Confirmed deaths now total 362, with confirmed infections over 17,300. Last Monday we reported 80 deaths and 2700 confirmed cases. One can understand why governments around the world are very concerned, some putting globalization efforts on temporary hold, while closing borders in an effort to protect their population. If you are going to any trade shows in the near future, you will notice the lack of Chinese participation as the U.S. has imposed travel restrictions on those from that country.  U.S. manufacturers are in the position where shipping restraints from China could potentially open up new markets, while at the same time, a potential slowdown in economic activity could hurt the markets they have. It's a Catch-22 and while everyone is looking back to the SARS outbreak for guidance, this virus is much different. On a brighter side, it's a new month and it's a Leap February. The shortest month of the year comes with an extra day this year, and yet it remains the shortest month of 2020. It also means you only have 11 days until Valentine's Day. Ok men, you've been warned. We want to thank our February sponsor, Taunton Metals, a U.S. distributor of flat rolled stainless steel products, for helping keep this site free for visitors. We hope January was a good one for you, and if not, you get another opportunity with a new month today. Have a great week and one more thing..... "how 'bout those Chiefs"!!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $6.15/lb (January average)
  • LME nickel chart - here 

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Shanghai copper drops to lowest since late 2016 on virus concerns - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Barchart 304 SS Scrap Index - $.257/lb

Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

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

     Friday's market review -  Copper slides to 5-month low on China demand worry amid coronavirus - Copper hit a five-month low on Friday as funds and traders sold on the expectation of slowing demand in top consumer China, where the coronavirus outbreak threatens to hit economic activity. - more

      How the coronavirus affects global commodity markets - The novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is spreading quickly. There are now over 10,000 confirmed infections and the death toll exceeded 200 people on Friday 31 January. - more

      Column: China's commodities got smashed as expected. Now what? - It’s no surprise that commodity prices in China were hammered on Monday when the virus-hit country reopened its exchanges after a week-long Lunar New Year holiday. - more

      Nickel production at Indonesia's Morowali park unaffected by virus -  Indonesia’s largest nickel industrial park said on Monday that its Chinese workers are clear of the coronavirus epidemic and that production is as “per normal”. - more

      Iron ore hit by coronavirus fears, demand impact 'muted': Wood Mac - Iron ore prices have taken a hit from coronavirus, with Singapore Exchange prices dropping sharply over the week, but they could still be bolstered by any supply side disruptions, analysts from Wood Mackenzie said Friday. - more

      Miners Head For Cape Town, Perhaps Followed By The New Coronavirus - One of the mining world’s biggest events, Mining Indaba, kicks off in South Africa’s holiday city, Cape Town, tomorrow but how many delegates from China are able (or allowed) to attend is a tricky question. - more

      Thyssenkrupp has not given up on a possible steel merger: CEO - Thyssenkrupp is still seeking partners for steel consolidation, the German company's CEO Martina Merz said at the annual general meeting Friday, while facing criticism from shareholders on restructuring and strategy. - more

      Dirty Politics: Palmer spent $89m on election, fossil fuel lobbies back LNP and Labor - Australia’s major political parties pocketed millions in donations from the oil, gas and coal industry in the lead up to the 2019 federal election, in public disclosures released publicly today by the Australian Electoral Commission show. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • US government declares the novel coronavirus a public health emergency and suspends entry for foreign nationals who visited China - more
  • Fears of global economic slowdown as virus follows trade war - more
  • Commodities Hammered in China by Virus-Driven Demand Fears - more
  • Virus fears wipe $393 bln off China's stock market despite govt support moves - 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

January 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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