This page is archived news covering the period of February 2021
If you are looking for current daily market news, please visit here.


Stainless Steel News and Nickel Prices

Duraloy



Elg Metals Worldwide







Friday, February 26

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Thursday's trading session at $8.71/lb ($19,195/tonne). Indicators at 6:40 am CST today show nickel trading around $.26/lb lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose on Thursday and ended that session just over the 251,100 tonne level. It's amazing sometimes the power one man's words can carry, and Elon Musk proved to the nickel industry, his words carry a lot of weight. In a Tweet yesterday, Elon expressed, shall we say, disappointment with the nickel industry, and vowed to move some of his battery business away from nickel. Nickel has, for a better term, been in a near free fall ever since. The EV industry, long touted as the new mass consumer of nickel, that would eventually drive demand to levels current world production could not possibly keep up with, has so far, managed to move rather quietly into the industry.  So when, arguably, the most important man in the EV industry says he has had it with nickel, two things come immediately to mind. First, he is saying what many producers and users of stainless steel have been saying for years. And second, unlike most of those mentioned under number one, Mr Musk has the financial capabilities and uncanny ability to do something about it. This is the guy making history on a regular basis, so it is wise not to take his Tweet as a mere rant. Apparently many traders agree. In the mean time, what stainless steel producers feared only second to higher nickel prices could be starting. Nickel is falling much faster than it rose, and this could reek havoc on stainless steel prices. In an apparently bad news for nickel day, we noticed in January stainless steel production numbers, something that could be a concern to both the nickel and stainless steel industries. According to Chinese media, 43% of stainless steel produced in China in January was 300 series stainless steel. 35% of that production was 200 series stainless. While this may be one of those cyclical changes that happens when nickel makes 300 series prices climb rapidly, we don't remember 200 series ever making up this large a percentile of overall Chinese production. Thanks to higher ferrochrome costs, 200 series stainless prices are higher than they were 30 days ago. But without the nickel, the price is increase is no where near what 300 series has witnessed. So, was February 25th the peak of the latest nickel bull run? Or are we merely taking a break with the bull run firmly in control? Looks to be an interesting March. We hope you come back as we find out together. That's it for the week - and the month of February. Stay safe out there and have a great weekend!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $8.42/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper set for best month since late 2016 on tight supply, demand hopes - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.3631
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) -  14,920
  • US Economic Indicators: Industrial Production - pdf here
  • Manufacturers’ Shipments, Inventories, & Orders - pdf here
  • US Economic Indicators:Durable Goods Orders& Shipments - pdf here
  • US Gross Domestic Product, Fourth Quarter and Year 2020 - more
  • Commodity Price Gains Continue on US Stimulus, Recovery Narrative - more
  • Desjardins Strong Demand for Commodities - pdf here
  • Anglo American 2020 results Presentation - pdf here
  • Mine Magazine - 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 jumps to 9-1/2 year high on inflation fears - Copper prices surged to their highest in almost a decade on Thursday as investors scrambled to buy metals as a hedge against potential inflation from ongoing central bank stimulus. - more

      LME data to support end to open outcry is misleading, brokers say - Two commodities brokers say data the London Metal Exchange is using to support its proposal to shut its trading floor for good exaggerates the increase in the use of electronic platforms during coronavirus lockdowns. - more

    Musk says nickel is ‘biggest concern’ for electric-car batteries - Elon Musk has had it with nickel. It’s scarce and expensive, so the chief executive officer of electric-carmaker Tesla tweeted on Thursday that the company’s shifting some cars to a type of battery that uses iron instead.  - more

       January 2021 crude steel production - World crude steel production for the 64 countries reporting to the World Steel Association (worldsteel) was 162.9 million tonnes (Mt) in January 2021, a 4.8% increase compared to January 2020. - more

      US market facing high prices of stainless steel sheets - Due to a sharp rise in processing fees, a rise in base prices for the second consecutive month, continued supply shortages, stainless steel sheets in the US reached a peak in the past 9 years this month. - more

      Indonesia says 'ready to fight' EU at WTO over nickel export curbs - Indonesia is “ready to fight” the European Union’s challenge of the Southeast Asian country’s ban on nickel ore exports at the World Trade Organisation, arguing the bloc’s actions may hinder Indonesia’s development plans, the trade minister said. - more

      Brazil's Vale books hefty dam disaster charges, but bullish about core earnings - Brazil’s Vale SA logged $4.9 billion in provisions related to the Brumadinho dam disaster in quarterly earnings, but its ferrous metal division turned in a strong performance and the miner was upbeat about the outlook for key products. - more

      Steel Imports Down 23% in January 2021 Compared to January 2020 - Based on preliminary Census Bureau data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported today that the U.S. imported a total of 2,422,000 net tons (NT) of steel in January 2021, including 1,239,000 net tons (NT) of finished steel (down 23.1% and 24.8%, respectively, vs. January 2020).  - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Electronic Waste – Our greatest threat - more
  • Biden signs executive order aimed at securing critical US supply chains - more
  • Global Bond Rout Eases; Dollar Extends Advance: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - online here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - online here
  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Biden marks 50 million vaccine doses administered, but cautions there's a 'long way to go' - more

Thursday, February 25

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Wednesday's trading session at $8.94/lb ($19,700/tonne). Indicators at 6:10 am CST today show nickel trading around $.02/lb lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Wednesday and started today just under the 251,100 tonne level. Nickel spiked yesterday on news out of Russia that Norilsk had shut down two mines due to water inflow. This news, with a higher Euro, helped nickel close higher yesterday, but any similar positive enthusiasm has yet to kick into gear this morning. Trading has gotten a little more volatile this week, with the range between daily lows and daily highs appearing to grow wider on a more consistent level. Not sure this means anything long term, but it could mean the bears are giving the bulls a harder time, and trying to keep them from breeching the $20,000 level again. The average LME cash nickel price this month reached $8.40/lb yesterday, It's been a long time since the world saw the price of nickel average this high. It's Thursday and we have two business days left in the month. This time last year we had 14 confirmed cases of covid-19 in the U.S., with no deaths. For those who remember the first 'outbreak' in the retirement home in Washington - the first case there would not be diagnosed until February 28th last year, and for many months, that was the date recognized as the first official covid death in the U.S.(since changed to Feb 6). Over 500,000 deaths, nearly 29 million confirmed cases, and millions of denials later, we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Stay safe out there and have a great Thursday!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $8.40/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper eyes 10-year high as Fed reaffirms policy support - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.3650
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) -  15,400
  • U.S. Imports for Consumption of Steel Products January 2021 Preliminary - pdf here

Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

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

     Wednesday's market review - Copper extends gains on a weak dollar, low inventories - Copper rose to a fresh 9-1/2 year high on Wednesday on a weaker dollar, low inventories and hopes that the metal will benefit from higher demand as major economies recover from the impact of the coronavirus. - more

      Norilsk Nickel Partially Suspends Two Big Mines on Water Inflow - MMC Norilsk Nickel PJSC, the world’s biggest producer of palladium and refined nickel, has partially suspended two of its main Arctic mines due to water inflows at one of the interconnected operations. - more
  • Russia backs 'radical' plan to block profits of companies that destroy environment, after fining mining giant $2bn over fuel spill - more
      Nickel Likely To Continue Its Bull Run - Nickel prices are current holding near heights level since 2014 at $19,482 on the backdrop of increasing economic optimism in US and China. - more

      Russia's stainless steel production grows in Jan y-o-y - According to statistics from the Russian Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat), Russia's stainless steel production totaled around 17,000 tons in January, which decreased by 2.2% compared to the previous month while increased by 0.4% from the same month a year ago. - more

      Amid Weather Impacts, Distributor Pandemic Index Plunges to 1st Loss in 3 Months - Indian River Consulting said the result was likely driven by impacts of nationwide weather issues, especially in the Texas region. - more

      PolyMet wins Minnesota top court ruling on $1 billion mine - Minnesota’s highest court on Wednesday handed a victory to PolyMet Mining Corp, saying state regulators need not investigate allegations of “sham permitting” when considering an air emissions permit for the company’s proposed $1 billion copper-nickel-platinum mine. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Anglo American 2020 Profit Hurt by Coronavirus-Related Disruptions - more
  • Bonds Drop With Tech Futures on Inflation Worries: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - online here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - online here
  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Wednesday, February 24

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Tuesday's trading session at $8.78/lb ($19,350/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.01/lb lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouse rose again on Tuesday and ended that session just over the 251,200 tonne level. At one time on Monday, nickel traded over the $20,000/tonne level, and for a moment yesterday, nickel traded below the $19,000/tonne level. After closing lower yesterday, nickel is trading only slightly lower this morning. The Euro continues to trade higher against the U.S. Dollar, which is adding support to base metals trading. Shanghai nickel traders continue to play follow the LME leader and nickel remains higher than it did during the holiday, but well off earlier highs. The Wuxi 304 stainless steel price we have been telling you about did not change overnight. Universal Stainless advised customers of a base price increase for their stainless yesterday. If they haven't already, competitors are likely to do the same. For the history buffs, an interesting article below titled "The battery invented 120 years ...." tells the story of Thomas Edison and his electric car. It's Wednesday and February is quickly winding down. After a brutal cold snap here in the lower 48, life has returned to normal for most - albeit a redefined normalcy from a year ago in the wake of the pandemic. Stay safe out there and have a great day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $8.37/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper retreats from 9-1/2-year high as rally loses steam - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.3648
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) -  15,150
  • FED U.S. Economic Activity charts - pdf here

Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

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

     Tuesday's market review - Copper's rally slows at 9-1/2 year highs as equities struggle - Copper touched a new 9-1/2 year high on Tuesday before slipping back as equities markets fell and investors wondered whether strong demand and tight supplies were enough to extend a breathtaking rally. - more

      Universal Stainless Announces Base Price Increase - Universal Stainless & Alloy Products, Inc. today announced a base price increase of 3% to 10% on all products. The increase will be effective March 1, 2021 for all new orders. - more

      China's nickel prices to increase sharply - After the Chinese New Year holidays, China's domestic nickel price increased sharply. LME nickel also reached US$20,000/ton on February 22 which is a record high in six years. The main reason for the high nickel was the tight supply of nickel ore. - more

      PHL 2020 metals output up 1.3% by value - The value of the metallic mining industry’s output in 2020 rose 1.3% to P132.21 billion, driven by improved nickel volumes, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) said. - more

      Mining industry key to Canada's economic rebound, Timmins meeting told - Mining is an industry that's the heart of northern Ontario's economy, and one the Mining Association of Canada says will be key to helping the national economy rebound. - more

      Nickel mine pits feisty priest, Environment chief - The outspoken priest, Rogelio Cruz, on Mon. labeled as nonsense and lack of knowledge the Environment Minister’s recent statements about the possible exploitation for ferronickel of Loma Miranda (central). - more

      Green light for Brazilian Nickel's small-scale Piauí project - The Brazilian Piauí State Environmental Agency has issued privately held Brazilian Nickel an installation license for its PNP1000 project, enabling construction work to begin. - more

      BHP and Aboriginal group probe fallen rock shelter in Western Australia - BHP Group has launched a joint investigation with an Indigenous group into what caused a rock fall at a culturally significant rock shelter at its iron ore operations in Western Australia, both groups said. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • The battery invented 120 years before its time - more
  • Futures Rise With Treasury Yields; Hang Seng Drops: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - online here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - online here
  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Tuesday, February 23

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Monday's trading session at $8.83/lb ($19,465/tonne). Indicators at 6:10 am CST today show nickel trading around $.07/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose by nearly 2000 tonnes on Monday and started today's session at a 2021 high and just under the 251,100 tonne level. This is the fourth time this year that stockpiles have changed by over 1000 tonnes in a single day - and only one of those times was it to the negative. Nickel rose to trade at a high of $20,110/tonne yesterday, before falling back and closing lower on the day. The Euro is trading higher this morning, but base and precious metal traders in general, and nickel specifically, seem to be in a sour mood. The 50 day moving average is around $18,000/tonne, so traders may have decided they have stuck their necks out too far. That Chinese site that reports daily stainless steel prices in the Wuxi market reported that the 304 SS price we reported yesterday as jumping from 15,300 to 16,050 over the weekend - added another 300 yuan today, That's a $1,050 yuan/mt jump since Friday. Can you spell volatility? Stay safe out there and have a great day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $8.33/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper hits 9-1/2-yr high on tight supply, solid demand - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.3713
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) -  15,240
  • The Corporate Bond Market Distress 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

     Monday's market review - Copper leaps above $9,000 a tonne for first time since 2011 - Copper prices shot above $9,000 a tonne for the first time since 2011 on Monday as premiums for quickly deliverable metal on the London Metal Exchange (LME) hit two-year highs, suggesting supplies are tight. - more

      China’s stainless steel companies’ work resumption rate reaches 92.76% - According to reports, as of February 20, there were 141 enterprises of China's 152 stainless steel production, trade, and processing enterprises that have resumed their work, with a work resumption rate of 92.76%. - more

      Singapore freezes two firms' bank accounts after alleged nickel fraud -  Singaporean authorities have frozen the local bank accounts of commodity trader Envy Global Trading Pte and Envy Asset Management Pte following an investigation into their nickel trading, Envy Global Trading said on Monday. - more

       World Bureau of Metal Statistics Indicated Surplus Nickel Market - On the contrary, the Chinese apparent demand was up marginally by 5kt than in the previous year. - more

      Philippines says 2020 nickel output up 3%, warns outlook uncertain - Philippine nickel output rose 3% last year even as the COVID-19 pandemic hampered some projects, government data showed,but the Mines and Geosciences Bureau warned that the outlook for its minerals industry this year remained uncertain. - more

      Courtesy AISI - In the week ending on February 20, 2021, domestic raw steel production was 1,745,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 77.0 percent. Production was 1,880,000 net tons in the week ending February 20, 2020 while the capability utilization then was 81.3 percent. The current week production represents a 7.2 percent decrease from the same period in the previous year. - more

      QPM plans to double Qld plant - ASX-listed Queensland Pacific Metals will at least double the size of its TECH critical chemicals project, in Queensland. - more

       Outokumpu joins TOCANEM to support carbon neutrality - Outokumpu joins a three-year research program Towards Carbon Neutral Metals (TOCANEM) as a part of a consortium of multiple metal industry companies and universities in Finland. - more

  • Finnwatch chides Outokumpu over Brazilian supplier - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Europe Stocks, U.S. Futures Dragged Down by Tech: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - online here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - online here
  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Monday, February 22

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Friday's trading session at $8.91/lb  ($19,650/tonne). Indicators at 6:10 am CST today show nickel trading around $.03/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Friday and ended the week around the 249,150 tonne level. Nickel traded as high as $19,810 a tonne on Friday, and as low as $19,085/tonne. Today, nickel is trading above its Friday close, but has yet to show the same enthusiasm that Chinese traders showed overnight. Then again, we have watched Chinese play catch up every day they have been back from their holiday, so maybe LME traders have figured that out, and that in fact, are leading the pack. We have been monitoring a Chinese source for daily stainless steel prices in the Wuxi market and typically, there is little to no movement on a day to day basis. The month had started at 15,000 RMB/mt for 304 2B coil, and had moved to 15,250 by the end of that week. The prices remained there until and thru the holiday, and moved to 15,300 on Friday. Today, the average price for this same product had jumped to 16,050. That is s huge jump for a single day, so for those of you who buy from China - be prepared for more sticker shock. Tropical storm Dujan left a mess in the Philippines over the weekend, including the nickel rich areas around Surigao del Sur. It is expected damage to the infrastructure around the mines, could delay some shipments, but no official confirmation of that has been given yet. We are not aware of any mine declaring force de majeure, so we will keep an eye on this situation as it develops. It's the final week of February and we start the week with the grim news that the official U.S. death toll from covid-19 reached 500,000 American's yesterday. But the prognosis for the future is getting batter every day, with daily new cases at levels not seen since October last year and a daily death rate about to average below 2000 a day - down from nearly 3500 last month. So we say again, stay safe out there, and have a great day! 
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $8.31/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - London copper at 9-1/2-yr high on dollar weakness, demand pick up hopes - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.3848
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) -  15220

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 soars to loftiest since 2011 on tight supply and weak dollar - Copper jumped to its highest in more than nine years on Friday and logged its third straight weekly gain as tight supplies and bullish sentiment towards base metals continued after the Chinese New Year. - more

      Taiwan’s Yusco & Tang Eng expected to hike stainless steel prices next [this] week - As nickel prices have continued rising to a record high compared to the past six years, Yieh United Steel Corp. (Yusco) and Tang Eng Iron Works Co., Ltd., two leading stainless steel upstream suppliers in Taiwan, were expected to hike their prices for March next week. - more

      Steel price increases losing steam? - Steel prices have risen relentlessly since bottoming out last summer and hit new record highs in February. - more

      Three people die in partial collapse of Nornickel's Arctic processing plant - Three workers died after a processing plant owned by Russian mining giant Norilsk Nickel in Arctic Siberia partially collapsed during maintenance, the company and officials said on Saturday, as the miner’s shares fell by 3.6%. - more

      Over 5,000 flee homes as storm hits southern Philippines - (excerpt) Two regions were hit, including the country's nickel mining hub of Caraga, with floods damaging some houses and bridges in the province of Surigao del Sur, according to the agency's initial report. - more

    U.S. All-Electric Car Market Share Hit All-Time High In 2020 - In 2020 we saw booming European EV market, returning to growth and new record Chinese EV market, and not so much action in the U.S. However, things are improving in the U.S. as well. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • The U.S. economy is showing some sparkle again, but the dark days are far from over - more
  • Inflation Angst Is About to Rewrite the Stock Market Playbook - more

  Morning Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - online here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - online here
  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

US COVID-19 death toll approaches milestone of 500,000 - more
TSA checkpoint travel numbers - daily totals posted here

Friday, February 19

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Thursday's trading session at $8.68/tonne ($19,125/tonne). Indicators at 6:10 am CST today show nickel trading around $.18/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouse fell by 5 lots on Thursday and started today just under the 249,500 tonne level. So as we stated earlier this week, nickel prices on the LME rose a touch over 2% while Shanghai markets were closed for the national holiday. Shanghai was back in business yesterday, and nickel rose 2.58% in its first session. How did LME react yesterday? And Shanghai last night? And LME today? That reminds us of an urban legend many Americans hold. Thanks to an old Disney documentary, it is believed that Lemmings occasionally commit mass suicide, by running off a cliff into the ocean. This was actually a staged scene and was more a case of mass murder by the film producers. Back to nickel traders, we can not explain why what is happening, is happening. Everyone wants a piece of the action and no one wants to be left out. When bulls stampede, the best thing to do is climb a tree and root for the poor suckers that haven't found a tree yet. For the stainless steel industry, this means higher prices are here to stay, with even higher prices coming, which can be seen in the Shanghai stainless steel futures that spiked overnight. Rough days ahead for the stainless industry. It's the weekend, so time to take a break. Stay safe out there and have a great weekend!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $8.28/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper rallies to $8,700 level on supply worries, weak dollar - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.3842
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) -  15,230
  • Moody's Too Much of a Good Thing - pdf here

Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

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

     Thursday's market review - Copper leaps to 9-year high as China accelerates metals rally - Copper rose to its highest since April 2012 on Thursday as Chinese investors returning from a week-long holiday added impetus to a rally that has almost doubled prices from lows at the height of coronavirus worries last March. - more

      China's stainless steel industry increases production - In the second half of 2020 and 2021, China's stainless steel-making projects will be put into production intensively, and the output growth rate was expected to expand compared with 2020. - more

      EC to initiate CVD duty investigation on stainless steel cold-rolled flat products from India & Indonesia - The European Commission (EC) announced that it will initiate a countervailing duty (CVD) investigation on imports of stainless steel cold-rolled flat products originating in India and Indonesia, based on a complaint filed by the European Steel Association (EUROFER) on January 4, 2021. - more

      Brazil nickel/cobalt project advances to BFS stage - A bankable feasibility study (BFS) at the Piauí nickel project (PNP), in Brazil, is under way, privately held Brazilian Nickel has announced. - more

    Passenger Plug-In Electric Car Sales In Europe: Q1-Q4 2020 By Country - The passenger car registrations in Europe in the challenging year 2020 amounted to just 11,961,182 (down 24.3%), but xEVs (BEVs, PHEVs, HEVs) expanded significantly. - more

  • Here's How The Global EV Market Steadily Increased During A Pandemic - more

      Why the Power Grid Failed in Texas and Beyond - The power outages tormenting Texas in uncharacteristically Arctic temperatures are exposing weaknesses in an electricity system designed when the weather's seasonal shifts were more consistent and predictable — conditions that most experts believe no longer exist. - more

  • 5 With ID: NetPlus' Dan Judge on Impact of Pandemic Vs Recession - more
  • Distributor Pandemic Revenue Index Reverts to Modest Growth - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • We were ‘dangerously close’ to collapse of ‘entire system,’ says Interactive Brokers founder ahead of GameStop hearing - more
  • Stocks Gain as Earnings Take Focus Off Bonds: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - online here
  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Thursday, February 18

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Wednesday's trading session at $8.51/lb ($18,755/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.10/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses went unchanged yesterday and started today just over the 249,500 tonne level. Chinese traders came back to find nickel had traded higher while they were on holiday break and in an attempt to catch up, they sent a message around the globe, where London traders decided to play ball as well. Nickel is trading near the $19,000/tonne level and trading at seven year highs. It is possible we are back to pre-holiday trading, where a sudden change on one side of the world, forces the other side to respond, and that response, is seen by the original side as 'they must know something we don't'. Regardless, with analysts using terms like super cycle, it is very likely this will not end anytime soon. From our perspective, we would like to see LME nickel stockpiles actually start falling. This would imply the world is using more nickel than it is producing and would add some evidence to they whole super cycle theory. Sorry. Maybe that was too harsh and our curmudgeon is showing. For those who have been in the industry awhile, we have all seen this before, and regardless of what some would have you believe, it will all come to a crashing end some day. In the mean time, it doesn't hurt to get out your surf board and learn to ride the wave. Stay safe out there and have a wonderful Thursday!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $8.25/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Shanghai copper nears decade high on demand optimism, supply concerns - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.3864/lb
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) -  14,775
  • Manufacturing Production &Capacity by Major Industries - pdf here
  • Industrial Production - pdf here
  • Business Leaders Survey - more
  • Manufacturers Sales - more
  • Producer Price Index - Metals and Metal Products: Steel Wire, Stainless Steel - more
  • Producer Price Index - Pulp, Paper, and Allied Products: Corrugated Paperboard - more
  • Producer Price Index - Corrugated Shipping Containers - 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 slips on profit-taking, but holds near 9-year peak - Copper prices eased on Wednesday as the higher dollar prompted profit-taking, but low inventories and optimism about demand prospects due to stimulus and growth supported sentiment. - more

      Press Release February 2021 - (excerpt) The nickel market was in surplus during January to December 2020 with production exceeding apparent demand by 53.2 kt. In the whole of 2019, the calculated deficit was 27.6 kt. - more

      Mining boom could herald commodity 'supercycle' - It is known as a “supercycle” – and there have only been four in the past century. - more

      Miners Are Sending Mixed Super-Cycle Messages - BHP, Glencore and Rio Tinto see gains ahead as the world’s economy recovers from Covid-19. Yet not all their actions mirror market excitement. - more

       Nickel was king in EV battery capacity deployment in 2020 - A report by Adamas Intelligence states that over 60% of all passenger EV battery capacity deployed globally in 2020 was in the form of high-nickel cells, such as lithium-nickel-cobalt-aluminum oxide batteries (NCA) or lithium-nickel-manganese-cobalt oxide or NCM 6- to 8-series cells. - more

       Records Tumble As Commodity Cash Floods The Miners - Record profits, dividends and share prices reported over the past two days by the world’s top two mining companies, BHP and Rio Tinto, have confirmed the strength of the bull market in commodities. - more

      Chinese steel mills make mining companies rich - A strong demand for iron ore and copper has caused prices to soar, leading to record profits for BHP Group and Rio Tinto. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • January Wholesale Prices Jump 1.3% - more
  • Sorry, America: China is now Europe's biggest trading partner for goods - more

  Morning Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - online here
  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Wednesday, February 17

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Tuesday's trading session at $8.52/lb ($18,780/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.01/lb lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Tuesday and ended that session just over the 249,500 tonne level. Nickel traded as high as $18,860/tonne yesterday, $10/tonne more than the high it hit in the fall of 2019. We must look back to September 2014 for a higher trading price. This morning nickel is lower, with the Euro stumbling harder than it shined early yesterday. SpetsStal Association reported imports of stainless steel into Russia rose 3.8% in 2020 to 383,200 mt. China, at nearly a 40% market share, was the single biggest source.  Pro-independence candidates won a government election in New Caledonia; possibly more bad news for Vale, who is trying to unload its Goro mine there. This could also make things more difficult for the French Eramet operation there. Norilsk reports last years fuel spill cut into its 2020 profits, but didn't appear to hurt its owner too bad. Speaking of Norilsk ownership, a previous owner and now owner of the Brooklyn Nets, announced he had sold a 49% minority share of the team to a co-founder of the Alibaba. So the Nets are now owned by rich guys from the two largest Communist countries in the world? And we are worried about Tik-Tok?! We wonder if this puts basketball great James Harden on any security lists besides the "he's killing us on the courts' list. Some of the world's biggest nickel operations announced 2020 results below. And except for those taking an extended holiday, much of China should return to work tomorrow. As of this morning, nickel is trading about 2% higher than it was when the Shanghai exchange closed, so it will be interesting to see if Chinese traders return in a buying mood, and how LME traders will respond. That's it for another hump day. Stay safe out there, (and warm), and have a great day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $8.23/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper hovers near 2012 high on demand optimism, defies firm dollar - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comments - closed for holiday
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.3869
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) -  closed for holiday
  • BHP Results for the half year ended 31 December 2020 - more
  • Eramet 2020 Results - pdf here
  • Nickel 28 Releases Ramu Q4 and Full Year 2020 Performance - 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 touches fresh peak near 2012 highs in thin trade on recovery hopes - Copper prices briefly touched their highest level since 2012 on Tuesday, extending a bull run driven by optimism over Chinese demand and global economic recovery, before pulling back in thin trade. - more

      Optimism in stainless steel snapshot - The stainless steel sector in the EU has recorded a solid start to the year, supported by some price increases, according to industry players who say demand for stainless scrap is healthy. - more

      Funds grow wary as red-hot copper hits nine-year highs: Andy Home - Copper’s red-hot rally rolls on with London Metal Exchange (LME) three-month metal hitting $8,437 per tonne on Tuesday, its highest level since May 2012. - more

       Russia's Nornickel 2020 profit sinks 39% as sets aside cash for fuel-spill fine - Russia’s Norilsk Nickel said on Tuesday its net profit sank by 39% in 2020 after it set aside $2 billion to cover an environmental damage claim after a major fuel spill in the Arctic. - more
  • Russian Magnate Breaks Wealth Record Despite Pollution Fine - more
  • Russian former Norilsk owner sells 49% interest in Brooklyn Nets to the Chinese co-founder of Alibaba - more

       Miner Eramet sees higher core earnings this year after pandemic hit - French mining group Eramet said on Tuesday it expected a rebound in core earnings this year after starting to recover in recent months from severe disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. - more

       Court dismisses Fond du Lac's federal challenge of PolyMet water permit - Judge allows band's claim that the EPA failed to inform it that PolyMet "may affect" its reservation was to continue. - more

      The Future of Wholesale Distribution: B2B Marketplaces - Accelerated by the pandemic, wholesalers are now being pushed to compete in a new playing field. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • New Caledonia: Pro-independence parties win majority in snap elections - more
  • U.S. Yields Slip From One-Year High; Stocks Drop: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - online here
  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Tuesday, February 16

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Monday's trading session at $8.45/lb  ($18,620/tonne). Indicators at 6:10 am CST today show nickel trading unchanged . Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouse fell on Monday and started today's session just under the 250,000 tonne level. Nickel is flat at the moment, but we don't expect that to last, as the Euro is spiking against the U.S. Dollar at the moment, and this makes base metals less expensive for U.S. buyers. News wise, its another quiet day with China still on vacation. Quite a few comments on yesterday's note. Distributors find it very irritating when competitors low ball them in normal 'weather', but that is part of business, and they typically, think the same about their competitors. But in this kind of environment, low balling to get an order, can be very detrimental. First, you got the order, but your replacement cost is now much higher. You pleased the customer, but next time you will have to raise their price. And instead of protecting your current customers inventory at the lower cost, you are now going to have to raise their price - if you can find the inventory they require. You will find your self victimized because predator buyers will shop you, and by that we mean buyers who bid everything 365 days a year. They have no sense of loyalty to their suppliers, and thus, shop the lowest price. Distributors who don't charge based on replacement cost will find themselves swarmed by these type of buyers. And the short term sales will reflect short term success. But for those accounts that look to you regularly for service, or an inventory commitment, this short term success comes at long term peril. After a year rocked by covid, some spent last February not realizing that March could put some of them in survival mode. No reason to believe it will get that dramatic again, but for those who feel the best defense is a strong offense, remember the winter-spring of 2007. And if you weren't in the industry yet, ask around. A lot of smart people made a lot of money, while many more, merely survived, spending much of their resource fighting to find - and then keep - inventory. Suppliers were forced to renegotiate orders they had placed months earlier, and after committing to inventory, it would mysteriously go 'unfound', while a higher bidder suddenly had your inventory. It was doggy dog and the fragility of the supply chain became apparent. A few years later, life was back to a sense of normalcy, and all was forgotten. If lessons were learned, it was on the distributor level, and not adopted industry wide. Growth is, for a better word, a necessary tool of survival. In this environment however, there is what one could call - smart growth - or not. Whether its the 70-30 or 80-20 rule in your business, protect those who "brung ya to the dance'. Stay safe out there, and have a great day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $8.22/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper slips in thin trade, but hovers near 2012 highs on demand optimism - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comments - closed for holiday
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.3876
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) - closed for holiday
  • SFSA Casteel Reporter - pdf here

Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

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

     Monday's market review - Copper hits highest since 2012 on inflation concerns and healthy demand - Copper prices jumped to their highest since 2012 on Monday as investors continued their buying spree on concerns over rising inflation and stronger than expected demand in top metals consumer China. - more

      Molybdenum alloying substantially improves delayed cracking resistance in 2000 MPa press hardened steels - Research, published in Metals Journal, has shown that molybdenum alloying can substantially improve delayed cracking resistance in 2000 MPa Press Hardened Steel (PHS), to a level that is acceptable for automotive applications. - more

     2020 U.S. Electric Car Sales: Tesla Captures 80% Of BEV Market - Electric car sales in the U.S. increased last year, according to the new registration data from Experian (via Automotive News), despite the overall market significantly decreasing. - more
  • EV Makers Look To Strengthen Nickel Supply Chain In Indonesia - more
      BHP boss gets extended Chinese honeymoon - Mike Henry can celebrate an unexpectedly happy anniversary. He became chief executive of Australian mining giant BHP just in time for Covid-19. - more

      Courtesy AISI - In the week ending on February 13, 2021, domestic raw steel production was 1,743,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 76.9 percent. Production was 1,844,000 net tons in the week ending February 13, 2020 while the capability utilization then was 81.5 percent.  - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Stocks Set for Longest Winning Streak in 17 Years: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - online here
  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Monday, February 15

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Friday's trading session at $8.41/lb ($18,530/tonne). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.07/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses went unchanged on Friday and ended the week just under the 250,100 tonne level. Nickel closed lower on Friday, but came back with a vengeance this morning. While off earlier highs, nickel is still near its earlier peak last week. This appears to be part of a bullish day for all metals, with only aluminum and gold trading lower at the moment. Copper is trading at an eight year high, according to Reuters. Nickel's 50 day moving average is running around $7.93/lb, and according to the charts we monitor, nickel hasn't traded below this average since one day back in November of 2020, when it fell below for less than a day.  As nickel prices continue to rise, so does the price of stainless steel. With covid-19 and container shortages having an adverse affect on supply, it is the slowdown in demand that is keeping stainless steel prices from soaring even higher. This is one of those catch-22 periods, where landing a new customer, can put unusual demand on certain inventory that one might be holding for a loyal and long time client. Does one try to impress a new relationship - or does one protect a long term relationship? Either way, flipping inventory at the moment, merely to grab the quick profit, can be detrimental to long term profit potential. Inside sales, paid to merely take as many orders as they can, will do exactly that. Enticing them to make more realistic profits in this type of market, could prove very beneficial to your organization. Possibly not the best time to have a status quo attitude. It's Monday, and we start the last half of the second month, of 2021. Much of America has been, and continues to be, in the deep freeze, and many are experiencing a very white February. Stay safe out there and have a great week!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $8.20/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper hits over 8-year high on strong demand, tight supply outlook - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comments - closed for holiday
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.3875/lb
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) -  closed for holiday
  • United States Consumer Sentiment - more
  • Melt and Pour Dashboard - live chart here
  • Fed U.S. Economy in a Snapshot - more

Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

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

     Friday's market review - Copper bounces to eight-year peak on speculative buying - Copper prices rebounded to a fresh eight-year peak on Friday as investors took advantage of a pullback to add to their bullish positions, betting demand will keep outpacing supply. - more

      Nickel prices: How did we get here and what comes next? - Nickel prices have risen substantially over the past 12 months and are edging closer to the US$9 per lb. or US$20,000 per tonne threshold that analysts believe could spur investment in new supply. - more

      Indonesia’s Antam targets 77% y/y jump in nickel ore output this year - Indonesian state-controlled miner PT Aneka Tambang ANTM.JK is planning to increase its nickel ore output to 8.44 million wet metric tonnes (WMT) in 2021, the company said in a statement issued late on Saturday. - more

      US Trade Deficit Rises to 12-Year High - The gap between what the U.S. sells and buys from abroad rose 17.7% last year to $679 billion. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Stocks Extend Gains; Oil Climbs on Cold Snap: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - online here
  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Friday, February 12

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Thursday's trading session at $8.45/lb ($18,635/tonne). Indicators at 6:30 am CST today show nickel trading around $.13/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose on Thursday and ended that day just under the 250,100 tonne level. 1/4 of a billion tonnes of nearly pure nickel now sitting in LME warehouses. Nickel is lower this morning but if you need a reason why the trading price is coming down as fast as it went up the last few days, just make up a reason. The Euro is trying to trade higher against the US Dollar today, but so far, after a strong start early, isn't having much success. With China closed for their week long New Year holiday, traders who may have been feeding off Shanghai traders, who were feeding off LME traders prior session, may be getting nervous they have stuck their necks out a little too far, and want to take some quick profits and settle back into more comfortable territory. Sounds good, but clearly, we are speculating. That is why, unlike the major news agencies, we add a lot of words like "possibly", "maybe", "potentially", "could be", etc. No one really knows, and if they did, they would be the richest person in the world. It's been a cold week here in mid America, and the weekend looks to be even colder. We leave you with a few live video shots from Youtube that we find beautful and maybe you will as well. The first is a live shot of the Teton Mountains in Wyoming (here). These are live, so if the shot you are seeing is socked in with clouds or snow or dark, check back. It's a gorgeous view when its sunny. On the other side of the world, is a shot in Norway (here). When I get up early in the morning and am working on this page, I leave this one playing on the TV screen muted. It's like a beautiful portrait  that changes. And finally, as a reminder of warmer days to come, a shot of the British Virgin Islands (here). If you like these, I have many more and can add a few each Friday. Just let us know and remember, we don't even look at email's that don't have "stainless steel" somewhere in the subject line. That's it for another week. With China closed much of next week, we don't expect a lot to happen, but we will be here in case it does. We welcome you back as well. Stay safe and have a wonderful weekend!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $8.17/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - London zinc eyes best week since November on post-holiday steel demand hopes - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comments - closed for holiday
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.3869
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) -  closed for holiday
  • Durable GoodsOrders & Shipments - pdf here
  • ATA Truck Tonnage Index - pdf here
  • Stainless steel bars and wires in electronics - pdf here
  • FED Truck Tonnage - 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 hovers near eight-year high as Chinese holiday starts - Copper took a breather on Thursday as Chinese markets closed for the week-long Lunar New Year holiday after four days of rapid gains that lifted prices to their highest in eight years, with analysts expecting tight supplies to push the rally further. - more

      Column: China's 2020 refined nickel imports slump to 6-year low - China has bailed out the copper and aluminium markets by importing record amounts of the rest of the world’s surplus metal. - more

      Foreign demand seen to boost nickel industry - The country’s nickel industry is projected to have a strong year in 2021 as demand from foreign markets is expected to improve despite the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. - more

      Canadian firm to invest US$26m to revive BCL - A memo apparently written by the BCL liquidator, Trevor Glaum, to the remaining workers conducting care and maintenance activities, indicates that the Canadian firm will now conduct a comprehensive due diligence process on the BCL assets. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Stock Rally Pauses Near Highs; Dollar Rebounds: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - online here
  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Thursday, February 11

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Wednesday's trading session at $8.44/lb ($18,600/tonne). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.01/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose nearly the same amount they fell yesterday, and ended that session just over the 249,800 tonne level. Nickel traded as high as just over the $18,700/tonne level yesterday, but closed off that. Today, base metals appear to be in a holding pattern, with Shanghai markets closed overnight. We stated yesterday nickel had not traded this high since 2014. That is not correct. On August 31st and September 1st, 2019, nickel trading did spike as high as $18,850/tonne . We missed this, and apologize for the misinformation. A large earthquake off the cost of New Caledonia has done no damage on the island, according to initial reports. A spokesperson from Vale there stated there mine, which has been shut down all this year, received no damage. Steel producers are praising President Biden for keeping the steel tariffs inititated by former Presient Trump active, while those who use the steel are asking him to repel them. President's Biden and Xi spoke for the first time yesterday since Biden became President, and according to a press release, both laid out their countries official lines. Beyond that, we will see if their pre-Presidential relationship, which was cordial, helps mend the relationsip between the two countries. As the two largest economies in the world, China and the U.S. will continue to compete to grow their economies. The U.S. has a little over 300 million population - men, women and children. China has a little over 300 million citizens in their middle class alone, and well over 1 billion citizens. Let's hope this economic competition stays exactly that, and the military talk of the last few years, is put to rest.  It's Thursday and the downhill slide has begun. Stay safe out there and have  agreat day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $8.14/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper hovers near 8-year high on weaker dollar - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comments - closed for holiday
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.3892
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) -  closed for holiday
  • Monthly Wholesale Trade - pdf here

Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

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

    Wednesday's market review - Copper hits eight-year peak as bullish factors dominate -  Copper prices scaled eight-year highs on Wednesday as rising inflation expectations caused by U.S. stimulus, a falling dollar, decreasing rates of coronavirus infections and historically low stocks spurred fresh buying. - more

      Stainless producer Aperam reports strongest Q4 profit in three years, positive Q1 outlook -  A strong product mix in Brazil and tight cost control brought stainless and specialty steelmaker Aperam the best Q4 EBITDA since its 2017 peak result, with Q1 higher shipments and prices in Europe now giving a positive outlook, CEO Timoteo Di Maulo said Feb. 10, reporting the company's 4Q 2020 results. - more

     A rival for Sudbury? Mining company hopes to turn Timmins into the new nickel capital - The CEO and Chairman of Canada Nickel Company told a Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce audience on Tuesday that it is coming for Sudbury’s Big Nickel. - more

   Tesla deployed more EV battery materials than its four closest competitors combined in 2020 - A report by market researcher Adamas Intelligence states that Tesla deployed more passenger EV battery capacity and battery materials, namely lithium, nickel and graphite, than its four closest competitors combined in 2020. - more

     Rebound in third quarter of 2020 fails to compensate for exceptionally poor first half performance - The European Steel Association (EUROFER)’s newly released Economic and Market Outlook report reflects on the effects the COVID-19 outbreak has had on steel output and use. - more

      December Steel Shipments Down More than 12% from December 2019 - The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported today that for the month of December 2020, U.S. steel mills shipped 7,049,785 net tons, a 4.4 percent increase from the 6,753,447 net tons shipped in the previous month, November 2020, and a 12.1 percent decrease from the 8,021,250 net tons shipped in December 2019.  - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Metal Cutting Machinery Orders Ended 2020 on Strong Note - more
  • Threat of damage from large South Pacific earthquake eases - more
  • American Metal Manufacturers and users call on President Biden to terminate Section 232 tariffs - more
  • Technology Leads Stocks Higher; Oil Retreats: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - online here
  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Wednesday, February 10

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Tuesday's trading session at $8.34/lb ($18,388/tonne). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.07/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Tuesday and started today just under the 248,700 tonne level. Yesterday's change was the first time stockpiles have changed by more than 1000 tonnes in any single day this year. On January 21st, nickel hit $18,515/tonne, its highest since 2014. At the moment, nickel is trading at $18,522 - a new seven year high. It's highest close in 2014 was on February 13th, at $21,250/tonne. Shanghai markets are shadowing the prior days LME's movement, which tells us Chinese traders are fairly confident nickel will not take any substantial step backwards while their markets are closed next week. In fact, they appear to be betting the price might rise while they are on break, and are buying now not to miss out on any bullish run. Based on historical precedence, it is safe to believe that nickel will not make any major directional shift in momentum, while China is on holiday break. With ferrochrome prices also rising in China, thanks to governmental regulations requiring smaller smelters to be shut down permanently, stainless steel prices are set to increase higher in the next few months. For those who import from the Far East, this means inventory prices are set to rise thru the middle of the summer, or beyond. So, for those of you who use stainless steel, whether as a distributor or end user, we don't bear a lot of good news today. Stay safe out there, and have a great hump day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $8.11/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper prices hit multi-year highs on stimulus hopes, tight supply - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.3898
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) -  14,405
  • ATA Truck Tonnage Index - pdf here
  • Fastener Distributor Index  - pdf here
  • Modern Casting Feb 2021 - online here

Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

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

     Tuesday's market review - Copper at one-month high on stimulus hopes, soft dollar - Copper hit a one-month high on Tuesday due to a weaker dollar, optimism over a $1.9 trillion stimulus package and tight supplies of the metal. - more

      Commodity prices are surging — just don't call it a supercycle - Economists warn the term is too exuberant for what is expected to be a two-year bull market that could still be derailed by COVID - more

      Indonesia’s Move Away from Ocean Mine Waste Dumping Sets Example for Norway, Papua New Guinea - Nickel demand is expected to increase six-fold by 2030, driven in large part by demand for electric vehicle batteries. - more

      Nickel pig iron producers eye up electric vehicle battery market - Producers of nickel pig iron (NPI) in Indonesia are looking at converting their material into an intermediate product that can be turned into nickel chemicals for the lucrative electric vehicle market. - more

      Vale releases 2020 production and sales report - (excerpt) Production of finished nickel ex-VNC was 183 700 t in 2020, in line with 2019. On the positive side, annual production was supported by: - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Global Stocks Extend Eight-Day Rally; Oil Climbs: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - online here
  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Tuesday, February 9

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Monday's trading session at $8.20/lb ($18,085/tonne). Indicators at 6:10 am CST today show nickel trading around $.14/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose on Monday and ended that session just over the 249,900 tonne level. The nickel bull is back, with a falling U.S. Dollar helping to swing the momentum. Nickel has closed back above the $18,000 tonne level for the last two sessions, after spending the prior seven sessions below that level. Shanghai traders on Monday followed London traders big jump last Friday, and now the two appear to be feeding off one another. LME inventory levels are now nearly 2,000 tonnes higher than we started the year at, and about 95,538 tonnes higher than we started 2020 at. One year ago tomorrow, there were 204,078 tonnes f nickel in LME warehouses and nickel was trading for $5.84/lb. A new virus was making news, forecasts of an economic slowdown had been around since the prior fall as well, and nickel had been in a bearish market since then.Lots of news below so we leave you to it. Stay safe out there and have a great Tuesday.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $8.07/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - London copper hits 1-month high on stimulus hopes, weaker dollar - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.391
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) -  14,365

Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

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

     Monday's market review - Copper prices lifted by inventory squeeze - Copper prices rose on Monday, underpinned by thinning inventories that pointed to higher demand for the industrial metal and by optimism over a massive U.S. COVID-19 aid package. - more

      U.S. imports of Stainless steel wire totaled $11.58 million in December, a change of 17.35 percent from the same month one year ago. - more

  • U.S. exports of Stainless steel wire totaled $8.9 million in December, a change of -2.44 percent from the same month one year ago. - more
  • U.S. imports of Stainless steel, not less than 600mm wide totaled $37.91 million in December, a change of -32.34 percent from the same month one year ago. - more
  • U.S. exports of Stainless steel, not less than 600mm wide totaled $47.99 million in December, a change of 12.52 percent from the same month one year ago. - more
  • U.S. imports of Misc. stainless steel bars, rods totaled $29.98 million in December, a change of -25.36 percent from the same month one year ago. - more
  • U.S. exports of Misc. stainless steel bars, rods totaled $19.92 million in December, a change of -23.99 percent from the same month one year ago. - more
  • U.S. imports of Nickel totaled $113.6 million in December, a change of -0.59 percent from the same month one year ago. - more
  • U.S. exports of Nickel totaled $15.04 million in December, a change of -46.84 percent from the same month one year ago. - more
      Nickel, The Battery Metal Running On Super-Charged Demand - It doesn’t garner as many headlines as copper, but nickel is the only base metal running almost neck-in-neck with the former in a near unbroken rally since April last year. - more

      Questions looming over metals and mining prospects in 2021 - As we enter 2021, many mined commodity prices are riding high after recovering from a dramatic pandemic-induced slump in the first half of 2020.  - more

      Japan's Sumitomo Metal lifts profit f'cast on higher metals prices -  Japan’s Sumitomo Metal Mining Co Ltd on Monday raised its annual net profit estimate by 70% for the year to March 31 thanks to higher copper and nickel prices as demand bounced back from the COVID-19 crisis. - more

      Indonesia’s mining companies discuss Tesla investment plans - State-owned gold and nickel miner Aneka Tambang (Antam), along with holding company Mind ID, or Inalum, reportedly will hold a meeting with US EV maker Tesla to discuss the construction of an energy storage system (ESS) and lithium battery plant in Indonesia. - more

      Courtesy AISI - In the week ending on February 6, 2021, domestic raw steel production was 1,705,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 75.2 percent. Production was 1,844,000 net tons in the week ending February 6, 2020 while the capability utilization then was 81.5 percent. The current week production represents a 7.5 percent decrease from the same period in the previous year. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Europe Stocks Slip With Futures; Dollar Declines: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - online here
  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Monday, February 8

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Friday's trading session at $8.22/lb ($18,115/tonne). Indicators at 6:10 am CST today show nickel trading around $.01/lb lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses went unchanged  last Friday and ended the week just over the 249,400 tonne level. Nickel rose sharply on Friday as part of an increase seen across the commodity board, as the US Dollar turned south against the Euro. China is closed for business starting Friday, although we are seeing some metals business' there closed already. Officially the week long holiday begins this coming Friday morning. Nickel is quiet this morning, and has so far, done absolutely nothing today. The weekend's news was on the light side, with the old guy teaching the young guy a little about football (American style) on Sunday. It's a new week and for our American readers, this coming Sunday is far more important than the Super Bowl. February 14th is Valentine's Day, and whether you did good last year or not, the pressure is on to do better this year.  You have a week left, so good luck. And one warning. If they say they don't care, they really 'do' care. Play it safe out there and have a great week!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $8.04/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper rises as U.S. stimulus optimism raises demand, recovery hopes - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.3909
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) -14,390
  • Manufacturing Production &Capacity by Major Industries - pdf here
  • Imports of Nickel in the United States increased to 177 USD Million in December from 140.10 USD Million in November of 2020. - pdf here

Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

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

     Friday's market review - Copper buoyed by sagging dollar and U.S. stimulus hopes - Copper prices rose on Friday, boosted by a weak dollar and hopes for better metals demand due to improved vaccine rollout and as the U.S. stimulus looked set to be approved. - more

      Canada Nickel held talks with U.S. government on supplying metal for EV batteries - - Junior miner Canada Nickel Co Ltd has held talks with U.S. government officials about potentially supplying nickel for electric car batteries, its chief executive said, amid mounting concern in Washington about China’s dominance of global supply chains. - more

      Consolidating European steel: Strategic responses to industry challenges - In light of the many structural and crisis-related challenges Europe’s steel manufacturers face, pursuing M&A strategies will open up new opportunities. - more

      Reduction in duty could reduce steel prices by up to 10% in near term: Icra - The reduction of duty on steel products, as proposed in the Budget 2021-22, may bring down prices of the metal by up to 10 per cent in the near term, according to ICRA. - more

    California: Cumulative Plug-In Electric Car Sales Reach 800,000 - The U.S. captured just roughly 10% of the global plug-in market in 2020. California, the largest U.S. market for plug-in electric cars, did not see any increase in the sales volume in 2020, unfortunately just like in 2019. - more

      2020 Trade Gap is $678.7 Billion - The U.S. international trade deficit increased in 2020 according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and the U.S. Census Bureau. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Global Stocks Rally to Record as Oil, Yields Rise: Markets Wrap - more
  • Why New Caledonia’s instability is not just a problem for France - more

  Morning Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - online here
  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Friday, February the Fifth (FFF)

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Thursday's trading session at $7.98/lb ($17,600/tonne). Indicators at 6:25 am CST today show nickel trading around $.17/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose on Thursday and ended that session just over the 249,400 tonne level. Nickel is higher today, and appears to be attempting to get back to closer to the $18,000 tonne level. This may be  more of a technical move by the bulls, as nickel was nearing a critical support level. In our worthless information column, today is the only time in 2021 where the month, day of week, and date all start with the same English letter. There is an old saying that he who has his photo taken on the day of three like letters, has foretold his own death. China is closed all of next week as the country celebrates its New Year holiday. Tesla has reportedly made a proposal to Indonesia in reference to an EV battery project. And Norilsk Nickel gets a huge fine for an oil spill last year. We have added a permanent link below for the U.S. Steel Monitor. This used to be issued multiple times a month in pdf form, which we would link to, but they have now replaced this with a form online, that updates automatically. It's Super Bowl Sunday here in the Colonies. The most successful veteran in the game, against the upstart phenom. Since your author is up there in years, there is a part of us that would like to see the old guy put a royal whooping on the kid.  But alas, we are Chiefs fans, and therefore, hope the opposite is true. Should be an interesting game either way, and hope all stay healthy. Stay safe out there, have a great weekend, and "How bout them Chiefs?"
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $8.02/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Industrial metals rise on risk appetite, but firm dollar weighs - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.3905
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) -  14,065
  • Durable Goods Orders & Shipments - pdf here
  • Manufacturers' Shipments, Inventories, and Orders - pdf here
  • Vale's Production and Sales in 4Q20 and 2020 - pdf here
  • Outokumpu financial statements release2020 - pdf here
  • AISI Releases January SIMA Imports Data - 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 - Tin pushes towards multi-year highs in tight LME market - Tin prices on Thursday edged back towards seven-year highs hit earlier in the week, driven by an acute shortage of material in the London Metal Exchange (LME) system. - more

      Indonesia receives investment proposal from Tesla: official - Indonesia has received an investment proposal from U.S. electric vehicle (EV) maker Tesla, the country’s deputy head for investment and mining coordination, Septian Hario Seto, told reporters on Friday. - more
  • Facing green pressure, Indonesia halts deep-sea mining disposal - more
      Sumitomo trims annual loss forecast despite one-off charges - (excerpt) Sumitomo, which has been struggling to ramp up the nickel project due to technical glitches and other trouble, plans to resume the Ambatovy operation in March, with an estimated annual output of less than 40,000 tonnes in the next financial year, from April. - more

      BNC targets increased production - Bindura Nickel Mine is eying to increase production to more than 60 000 tonnes of ore per month in the second quarter after the re-deepening project at Trojan Mine is completed. - more

      Nornickel ordered to pay $2 billion over Siberian Arctic fuel spill - A power business owned by mining giant Norilsk Nickel must pay 146.2 billion roubles ($1.95 billion) for environmental damages in Siberia caused by a fuel spill in the Arctic last May, a Russian court ruled on Friday. - more

      Talon Metals has positive production scenarios for nickel project - Talon Metals Corp. said Thursday February 4 that it has completed an updated preliminary economic assessment (PEA) for its Tamarack nickel-copper-cobalt project in Minnesota. - more

     Global Plug-In Electric Car Sales December 2020: Over 570,000 Sold - With all the numbers for December now in, we can finally take a look at the global sales of passenger plug-in electric cars in 2020. And there is a lot of great news. - more

      MSCI Launches “Build Now” Campaign - Goal is to demonstrate how crumbling infrastructure impacts lives, families, jobs, communities and the economy - more

      US Productivity Fell Sharply in Q4, Labor Costs Rose - The economic roller coaster created by the pandemic continues. - more

  • Fastenal's Safety Sales Still Elevated, but Slowing; Fasteners Flat - more
  • Grainger's Organic Sales Continue Solid Improvement; Full Year Sales Up 2.7% - more
  • Fortune World’s Most Admired Companies - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Why New Caledonia’s instability is not just a problem for France - more
  • U.S. court upholds Trump's national security tariffs on steel imports - more
  • Stocks Advance Before U.S. Jobs; Oil Nears $60: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - online here
  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Thursday, February 4

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Wednesday's trading session at $8.00/lb ($17,645/tonne). Indicators at 6:10 am CST today show nickel trading around $.04/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Tuesday and started today's session just over the 249,000 tonne level. Cancelled warrants rose to 26.02%, the first time they have rose over the 26+% range since March 2020 (it did hit 26% even for one day in November 2020). Nickel continues to remain quiet, slowly sliding backwards since January 20th, most likely due to the resurgence in the U.S. Dollar. Technical indicators have switched to strong sell, but we are skeptical that takes place soon. Traders are betting on what is going to happen when China returns after their week long holiday break next week, and as it stand right now, the signals are mixed. So we suspect until they return and traders see what happens, they may get skittish and back off a little, or start gambling a strong return and move higher, but we doubt there will be any major moves until potentially late this month. However, we have not traveled since the pandemic, and thus, have not stayed at a Holiday Inn Express in recent history, so take that prediction, or any other we dare to type, with a grain of salt. It's Thursday and the down hill slide has begun. Stay safe and have a great day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $8.04/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper prices rise on stimulus hopes; firm dollar limits gain - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.3928
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) -  14,280
  • ATA Truck Tonnage Index - pdf here
  • Global Manufacturing PMIs - pdf here
  • Recycling Today Feb 2021 - online here
  • Australia Resources and Energy Quarterly: Dec 2020 - pdf here

Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

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

     Wednesday's market review - Copper rebounds on short-covering and receding China concerns - Copper rebounded after three days of losses as some bearish investors cancelled their positions, partly because of receding concerns over tight liquidity in top metals consumer China. - more

      Union budget opens floodgates for Chinese stainless-steel companies: ISSDA - The finance minister's recent move to revoke anti-dumping & countervailing duty on steel and stainless steel imports during the union budget presentation may result in a jump in imports from China and Indonesia which is expected to have a negative impact on the stainless steel industry. - more

      South Korea continues to impose AD duty on stainless steel bars from Japan, India, Spain - According to the announcement from the South Korean government on January 22nd, South Korea would continue to impose anti-dumping tariffs for the next 3 years on imported stainless steel bars, which from Japan, India, and Spain. - more

      Explainer: How the New Caledonia government collapse may affect the nickel market -  The coalition government in New Caledonia, a French territory in the Pacific that is the world's fourth-largest nickel ore producer, collapsed on Tuesday after pro-independence politicians resigned. - more

      Production efficiency must remain for Ramu NiCo: President -  Production efficiency will remain as number one priority for the nickel cobalt mining project in Madang Province. - more

      Container shortages restrict EU stainless steel imports - The cost of container shipping from Asia to Europe has increased significantly in the past few months. - more

      Six suitors likely to bid for Larco assets - Six candidates have expressed their interest in a tender to buy Larco General Mining & Metallurgical Company assets, including the leasing of the mining complex in Larymna. - more

       St. Louis County Board joins pro-mining chorus with resolution supporting copper-nickel projects - The move Tuesday came after Iron Range lawmakers urged the establishment of a working relationship with members of President Joe Biden's cabinet. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Stock Rally Pauses as Yields Steady; Dollar Rises: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - online here
  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Wednesday, February 3

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Tuesday's trading session at $8.08/lb ($17,807/tonne). Indicators at 6:10 am CST today show nickel trading around $.05/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell by 4 lots on Monday, and ended the day just under the 249,100 tonne level. After falling sharply the first two days this month, the Euro tried to recover this morning against the U.S. Dollar, but has since given up those gains and is back to where it closed yesterday. Nickel is lower, and the bulls may have lost some of their 'after the China holiday' enthusiasm, with the lower China PMI for January. There is a separate PMI kept on the Chinese steel industry, and you can read more on it (here). Mine Mill members ratified the new contract with Glencore, and we note an interesting sentence from the article. Referring to the last contract being negotiated when the price of nickel was in the $4/lb range, "The company argued the higher price of nickel at the moment is “an anomaly, but we can do our own research and see through that kind of argument." It is going to be interesting to see what takes place in New Caledonia over the next few weeks and months. Vale's one time 'mega-mine' there has become a pawn in the chess battle between the pro-Independence and French loyalist factions. Twice, nationwide elections have been held in recent years, and the Independence movements have lost. Buyers have come and gone since the mine went up for sale years ago, and we suspect the political unrest is making a sale impossible. We are not hearing of any delays of nickel shipments from Myanmar since the military seized power there - again. Stay safe and have a great hump day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $8.07/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Shanghai copper hits 8-week low on demand woes ahead of China holiday - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.3934
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) -  13,980
  • The PUC Report Feb 2021 - pdf here

Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

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

     Tuesday's market review - Copper heads towards six-week low as China holiday looms - Copper prices fell towards six-week lows on Tuesday as funds cut bets on higher prices ahead of a seasonal demand lull during the Lunar New Year holiday in China, which accounts for 50% of global consumption. - more

      New Caledonia's Government collapses after resignation of pro-independence politicians - New Caledonia's coalition government has collapsed after its pro-independence politicians resigned. - more
  • New Caledonia's government collapses over independence, nickel unrest - more

      Glencore's 2020 output hit by Congo mine closure, sticks to targets - Glencore said on Wednesday its copper and cobalt production fell in 2020 after the Mutanda mine closure in Democratic Republic of Congo but said the ramp up of another mine in the African country was progressing well. - more

      Mine Mill made 'modest gains' in new contract - A new contract ratified Monday between Glencore and its workers offers stability going forward and avoids what could have been a difficult stint on the picket lines, according to the union. - more

      Weekly Technicals on Metals Part A: Copper, Aluminium and Nickel - I have repeated this for a while now, how ‘...once again...the market had seemingly baulked at entering the previously highlighted Congestion formed back in February 2013 between 8200—8350...though it is within the wider Congestion from September and October 2012 between 8100—8350.’ - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Global Stocks Extend Rally as Earnings Roll In: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - online here
  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Tuesday, February 2

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Monday's trading session at $8.10/lb ($17,860/tonne). Indicators at 6:05 am CST today show nickel trading around $.03/lb lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose on Monday and ended that session just over the 249,100 tonne level. Nickel is slightly lower today, but we suspect that has more to do with the Euro trading sharply lower against the US Dollar than anything else. Reports from New Caledonia that the government has collapsed there, partially due to the sale of the Vale nickel mine. The island residents are likely more concerned with Cyclone Lucas approaching at the moment, as is the French cruise ship La Laperouse. Apparently New Zealand refused the ship admittance, or even a refueling stop, as part of their very successful covid ban, and now the ship is waiting for fuel off of New Caledonia. Not nickel related, but if your knee deep in snow or cold today, its not all roses in this island paradise. Reuters has published their annual poll of metals analysts (see article below) and the average of nickel forecasts for 2021 comes in at $16,535/tonne ($7.50/lb). The average of the monthly LME cash price for 2020 was $6.25/lb, down from $6.42/lb in 2019. For 2020, the same metals analysts polled by Reuters forecast $6.95/lb. Those of our readers who participated in our poll last January (see Jan 16, 2020) forecasted an average of $6.53/lb. We (ESS) forecast $6.35/lb, but we had one anonymous reader from Webco Industries who actually forecast $6.23/lb and gets the bragging rights. While the pandemic obviously had an impact on the 2020 price, it is interesting to note that nickel was on a downward slide in January when the poll was taken, but at the end of March, turned bullish for the remainder of the year. It should also be noted that different organizations use different formula's to determine an annual average price - we use the average of the monthly cash price of LME nickel. It's Tuesday, and a day where we Americans stare at men in funny hats, who are staring at a gopher, in the hopes of learning what the weather will be like for the remainder of winter. Oh well. Lots of news and reports today, so we leave you with it. Stay safe and have a great day.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $8.08/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Industrial metals mostly fall as caution rises ahead of Chinese New Year - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.3888
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) -  14,000
  • ATA Truck Tonnage Index - pdf here
  • Global Manufacturing PMIs - pdf here
  • ISM January Manufacturing PMI - more
  • USGS Mineral Commodity Summaries 2021 - pdf here
  • USGS Nickel Summary 2021 - pdf here
  • USGS Chromium Summary 2021 - pdf here
  • USGS Molybdenum Summary 2021 - pdf here
  • NAB China Economic Update - February 2021 - 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 - Doubts over Chinese demand weigh on copper - Copper slipped on Monday as manufacturing data from top consumer China raised the prospect of slowing demand growth, while a higher dollar prompted funds to cut bets on higher prices, though losses were capped by historically low inventories. - more

      Base metals analysts turn cautious after stellar rally - After a super-charged rally over the second half of 2020 base metals may struggle to notch up further price gains in the short term. - more

      Taiwan's stainless steel prices keep going up - Last week, due to the increasing raw material costs, stainless steel upstream plants, including Yusco, Tang Eng, and Walsin Lihwa, raised their prices for February as expected. - more

      New Caledonia Government Collapses Over Nickel Plant Sale - New Caledonia's coalition government collapsed Tuesday after pro-independence politicians resigned over disagreements over the budget and the sale of a nickel factory on the French South Pacific territory - more

      Sudbury mining workers reach tentative agreement with Glencore - Mining workers at Glencore's Sudbury operations are voting Monday on a new collective agreement with the company. - more

      ATI to close stainless steel operation by end-2021 - Allegheny Technologies Incorporated (ATI) previously planned to close its stainless steel business in the middle of this year, but recently the plan will be postponed to the end of this year. - more

      Budget 2021: Revocation of anti-dumping duties on stainless steel imports an 'unintentional gift' for China, says industry - Coming down hard on the Union Budget proposal to waive anti-dumping and countervailing duties on imports from China and Indonesia, the industry body representing stainless steel makers has said the measure defeats the government's pet theme of ‘Make in India.’ - more

       Could the world’s deep seas become China’s mining frontier? - Chinese researchers have spent the last decade mapping the globe’s ocean floors looking for potential mineral deposits - more

      Courtesy AISI - In the week ending on January 30, 2021, domestic raw steel production was 1,725,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 76.1 percent. Production was 1,906,000 net tons in the week ending January 30, 2020 while the capability utilization then was 82.4 percent. The current week production represents a 9.5 percent decrease from the same period in the previous year. - more

      ID's January Industrial Supply M&A Recap - Activity was down slightly from December, but still solid amid a transition to a new US President. - more

  • February US steel market sentiment less bullish: Platts survey - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Stocks Rise on Tech, Stimulus Bets; Silver Falls: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - online here
  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Monday, February 1

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Friday's trading session at $8.04/lb ($17,730/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.07/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell slightly on Friday and started the month just under the 248,900 tonne level. Nickel is trading higher this morning, while the U.S. Dollar is trading higher as well. China's week long New Year holiday starts next Monday. Mine Mill 598 announced this morning its negotiators had reached a tentative agreement with Glencore in Sudbury overnight. We welcome back long time supporter Duraloy as sponsoring February with the top banner and ELG with a side banner. ELG sponsored a side banner all year, so they are permanent fixture for 2021. We thank both of our sponsors and invite you to visit their sites and see if they offer services you can use. We still have some months available for the end of the year of you are interested in sponsoring a month. It's a new day, week and month. And a short month as well. So with only seven weeks left in winter (north of the equator), it's time to start planting seeds for spring. Cold calls can be unenjoyable for most, but rejection is rarely personal. So however you choice to contact potential clients, February is a good month to make the first move. And good luck to you. Remember. There are those who seem to have been born with the 'gift', and who can step into mud and come out clean. The rest of us have to work at it. Put in the effort and you 'will' accomplish your goals. Stay safe out there and have a great day, week, and month!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $8.10/lb (average January)
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Doubts about China demand weigh on copper - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index - $.3887/lb
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures -  14,360
  • US State Coincident Indexes - pdf here
  • Industrial Distribution - online here
  • University of Michigan: Consumer Sentiment - more
  • NAB US Economic Update – January 2021 - more
  • Global Manufacturing PMIs - pdf here
  • U.S. Industrial Production - pdf here
  • U.S. Imports For Consumption Of Stainless Steel Products - more

Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

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

     Friday's market review - Copper under pressure from higher dollar, stocks support -  Copper prices came under pressure on Friday from profit-taking on long positions triggered by the higher dollar and concern about demand in top consumer China, but historically low stocks helped limit losses. - more

     After 10 Years of Underperformance, Commodities Are Set to Boom. Here’s How to Play the Rally.- Commodities are starting to revive after a 10-year bear market. Natural resources like energy, metals, and agriculture look set for an extended run, and investors should get on board. - more

      Chinese stainless steel price may further increase before Chinese New Year - The price of stainless steel 400 series in China has skyrocketed recently. Due to steel mills' price-up, stainless 410 and 420 in the Wuxi market rose by as much as RMB 1,000/ton in a week. - more
  • Chinese stainless steel price may further increase before Chinese New Year - more
      Indonesia's Antam targets 50,000-100,000 T nickel sulphate output a year by 2024 - Indonesia is aiming for its state miner PT Aneka Tambang (Antam) to produce 50,000 to 100,000 tonnes of nickel sulphate per year when its high-pressure acid leach (HPAL) plant comes online in 2024, an official told parliament on Monday. - more

      Steel mills have unique challenges, vulnerabilities to cyberattacks - Historically, critical infrastructure systems like steel mills have had distinct vulnerabilities due to being purpose-built systems, designed to run with very little variation, according to Mark Fabro, president and chief security scientist at Lofty Perch, a consulting firm focused specifically on operational technology and industrial controls systems for cybersecurity. - more

      Distributor Pandemic Index Holds in Low Growth - The two newest indexes indicate that the three straight weeks of high readings between late December and early January were largely holiday-driven. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • BHP and Vale’s Samarco hit with nearly $ 1 billion suit - more
  • Made in China 2025 Industrial Policies - 2020 Congressional briefing pdf here
  • Global Stocks Rally; Silver Jumps to 2013 High: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more


January Archives


Chart temporarily down

Nickel Graph Temporarily Down

Chart temporarily down


Translate this page to French | German | Spanish | Italian | Portuguese | Chinese | Japanese | Korean | Russian


(all ton listings are metric tons = 2204.622 pounds ) Updated Monday thru Thursday before 7 am CST, Friday version before 8 am CST - Disclaimer Original content and opinions copyright www.estainlesssteel.com. All prices shown on this page are indications only. Please note - for real time and official LME prices, LME requires a user subscribe to an authorized LME vendor.




Price of Nickel

Nickel Graph Temporarily Down

Daily Commodity Prices

Site Pages

Stainless Steel Surcharge
Worldwide PMI

Archives

2021
January February March
April May June July August
September October

2020
January February March
April May June July August
September October
November December

2019 and prior