This page is archived news covering the period of January 2010
If you are looking for current daily market news, please visit here.

LME nickel prices and news

Stainless Steel News and Nickel Prices

Free comprehensive information on worldwide nickel market pricing, stainless steel prices and metals analysis and forecasts


Daily Nickel Market News & Stainless Steel Prices

Kiva - loans that change lives

Nickel PricesStainless Steel News

Weekend edition, Xstrata negotiation watch

(Sunday)

  Sudbury Xstrata / First Nickel Negotiations

  Strike looms at Xstrata Nickel's Greater Sudbury operations - A strike at Xstrata Nickel's Greater Sudbury's operations seems to be a certainty as the midnight Sunday deadline approaches. - more

  Chromite prospects stirring excitement - With the formal acquisition this week of one of the key chromite deposits among the remote Ring of Fire properties northeast of Thunder Bay, U.S. iron-ore giant Cliffs Resources positioned itself as the most likely company to build the mine everyone‘s been talking about. - more

  Clive Palmer refines fortunes at Yabulu Nickel refinery - Queens'and's richest man Clive Palmer has been credited with a phenomenal multimillion-dollar turnaround at Townsville's near-mothballed Yabulu Nickel refinery. - more

   CAW Local 598 removes Friday's news update to members stating "miles apart" from website. Noteworthy or nothing?

(Saturday)

  (most recent) UPDATE from late Saturday - pdf here

  UPDATE from late Friday - CAW negotiating committee reports "miles apart" in Sudbury talks with Xstrata - news release here in pdf

 Xstrata Sudbury labor talks go down to the wire - Contract talks between Xstrata and workers at its main Canadian mining operation look set to go down to the wire ahead of Sunday's strike deadline. - more

 Year End 2009 China Import Statistics (Top 10 exporting countries to China)

  • Imports of chrome ore - Total 6.755 million tons - (#1) South Africa - 38.9% (#2) Turkey - 19% (#3) Oman - 7.1% (#4) India - 6.1% (#5) Pakistan (#6) Mozambique (#7) Iran (#8) Albania (#9) UAE (#10) Madagascar
  • Imports of ferrochrome  - Total 2.175 million tons - (#1) South Africa - 44.1% (#2) Kazakhstan - 28.9% (#3) India - 15.6% (#4) Mozambique (#5) Turkey (#6) Netherlands (#7) South Korea (#8) Hong Kong (#9) Belgium (#10) Russian Federation
  • Imports of nickel ore - Total 16.42 million tons - (#1) Philippines - 53% (#2) Indonesia - 43.5% (#3) Australia - 1.3% (#4) Russian Federation (#5) Spain (#6) South Africa (#7) Zambia (#8) Finland (#9) South Korea (#10) Taiwan
  • Imports of ferro-nickel - Total 228 thousand tons - (#1) Japan - 30.9% (#2) Colombia - 30.4% (#3) New Caledonia - 15.5% (#4) South Korea - 7.6% (#5) Ukraine (#6) Brazil (#7) Indonesia (#8) France (#9) Egypt (#10) Mexico

 Soaring Base Metals Stockpiles - Ever since its secular bull kicked off in 2003, the once-boring base-metals sector took on an aura of excitement. - more (note - good article but gives an incorrect statement about nickel. The article states "LME nickel stockpiles are currently more than double the previous high point since 1998, when the LME started logging daily data." In fact, nickel began trading on the LME in 1979, and until December of last year, the LME had recorded an all time record high of 151,254 tonnes.)

  Striking Voisey's Bay workers burn proposed contracts at union rally - Striking Voisey’s Bay workers met in Goose Bay this morning to talk about the latest offer from Vale Inco and to march in protest. - more

  Norilsk Eyes $2 Billion 2009 Profit After Loss: Reports - Russia's metals giant Norilsk Nickel expects to book a $2 billion net profit for last year after it ended 2008 with a loss of $449 million, Russian media reported on Saturday. - more

Friday, January 29

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - minus 115 to 2,848 (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) Toyota Shrinks the World's Biggest Carmaker to Regain Control Over Quality  // Subbarao Says India Economic Growth Gaining Momentum, Raises Reserve Ratio // Asia Stocks Slump, Euro Drops on Rising Greek Deficit, U.S. Unemployment // EU Has No `Plan B' to Support Greece, Country Won't Default, Almunia // Greek Bond Yields Show Waning Investor Faith EU Nation Will Avoid Bailout // European Inflation Accelerates to Fastest in Almost a Year on Cold Weather // Spain to Announce Budget Deficit Cut Plan, Seeking to Avoid Greece's Fate // Toyota May Recall 1.8 Million Vehicles in Europe as It Fixes Eight Models // European Stocks Climb on U.S. GDP Report; BMW, Infineon Rally on Forecasts  // Dollar to Benefit as Greece Faces Potential `Stone Age,' United-ICAP Says // Economy in U.S. Expanded at a 5.7% Annual Pace, Biggest Gain in Six Years // Stocks in U.S. Fluctuate as Declines in Technology Shares Offset GDP Data
  • The US Dollar strengthened on the heels of the US GDP report this morning and is now trading over 6/10 of 1% higher. NYMEX crude is ignoring the GDP report and consumer confidence increase and is down nearly 6/10 of 1% and under $73.50/barrel. Gold is down nearly 1/2 of 1% and silver is lower by the same. Base metals got whacked again on China credit concerns, and an ever higher Dollar. Only nickel bucked the trend on strike concerns. Indicator charts show three month nickel spent much of the morning on the rise, until mid afternoon, when it cooled own some. Dow Jones reports three month nickel ended the day, the week and the first month of 2010, at $8.39/lb . December ended at $8.41/lb so for the ending days we did not see much overall gain. But by our unofficial figures, the average price of cash nickel increased from $7.72/lb in Dec 2009 to around $8.36/lb this month, a substantial increase. Working nickel miners can thank the Sudbury strike for much of this, and the threat of another potential strike in the same town. Inventories of nickel stored in LME approved warehouses rose substantially overnight, to another all time record high, and now sit shy of the 165,000 tonne level. Sucden's day old chart shows traders resistance to follow the overall base metals downward trend (chart here). As stated this morning, traders appear to be betting there will be another nickel strike starting this weekend in Sudbury at the Xstrata operations. In our opinion, that is a risky bet. If both sides had come to an agreement earlier in the week, they are both smart enough to know an immediate announcement could have an adverse effect on the market price, while no news builds up market tension among traders, typically driving the price higher, as we have seen the last few days. We may be wrong, and have been numerous times before, but we expect the two sides to resolve any differences and come to an agreement by the Sunday deadline. If either side needs a reason to agree, all they have to do is look across town. The Baltic Dry Index slipped another 115 points. Even though US 4th quarter GDP numbers came in better than expected, and the Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index rose to a two year high, Wall Street has been in a choppy mood this morning, with the bulls trying to pull the weeks momentum away from the bears.
  • Have a safe and pleasant weekend, and if we have internet access, we will attempt to update the site as soon as we an update from the Xstrata/CAW talks.  

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • After the Tape: Don’t Ignore the Inventory Effect in GDP - more
  • Best Economic Gauge You’ve Never Heard Of - more
  • Who Voted for Brown in Massachusetts — and Why? - more
  • Job creation--tax cuts are not the right tool - more
  • The Danger behind the Fed's Exceptional Profits - more
  • March of the Peacocks - more

  Norilsk raises 2010 nickel output forecast - Norilsk Nickel, the world's biggest nickel and palladium producer, said on Friday it had raised its nickel output forecast for this year to 299,000-309,000 tonnes from a previous outlook of 300,000 tonnes. - more

  Vale Inco should present details of its business plan -- Point of View (Vale Inco's strategy document now online) - Vale Inco has an opportunity to improve the level of discourse in the community about the labour dispute with the United Steelworkers Local 6500. - more

  "The pricing on the nickel market is irrational" - January 2010 nickel is in the futures markets since December of last year, has become dearer by up to 125 percent. A ton of the industrial metal cost at the London Metals Exchange on Wednesday, slightly more than $ 19,000. - translated from German here (thanks to a reader)

  Alliance has advantages for both Anglo and African Nickel - The nickel alliance agreement between min- ing junior African Nickel and one of the world’s largest diversified miners, Anglo American, is proving to be mutually beneficial to both companies, reports African Nickel. - more

  Mining industry guilty of ignoring climate risks - New report finds that only a handful of mining firms have plans in place to address climate change, despite the industry being at high risk of disruption from changing climatic conditions - more

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:25 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.20/lb higher, with other base metals mostly trading lower this morning. The US Dollar is trading slightly higher against the Euro, up less than 1/10 of 1%. NYMEX crude is up 1/10 of 1% and under $74/barrel. Gold has opened slightly lower while silver is slighter higher at the moment. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended lower with China only slightly off. European markets are higher this morning, and futures show Wall Street is betting on a strong 4th quarter GDP report today. LME inventories took another large bounce into new record territory overnight, and the BDI lost another 115 points.  LME nickel traders appear to be betting Local 598 will strike against Xstrata's Sudbury nickel operation this weekend. US govt just reported 4th quarter GDP came in at +5.7% annual pace against an expected 5.4% gain. 2009 overall GDP fell 2.4%, the most in 63 years.  
  • Reuters morning base metal news - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments -  "Metal prices were walloped on Thursday, with copper losing 5% of the day, and plunging to a five-week low, while aluminum dropped to a seven-week low. Zinc and lead fared even worse, hitting multi-month lows. In addition to the usual fundamental factors that have been weighing on metals over the last few days, the selling was exacerbated by the fact that long-term upchannels in several complexes were broken, presumably leading to a series of sell stops being hit. We highlighted some of these trend breakdowns in yesterday’s note. The dollar was also a key bearish factor yesterday, as it busted through the 1.40 level against the Euro and got to as high of 1.3915 at one point. Dampening sentiment further, US equities were mostly negative after Obama's State of the Union speech, with the Dow down almost 200 points before closing off by 115 points. Ben Bernanke’s renomination did not have much of an impact either, as his passage was seen as safe, and therefore discounted by the jittery markets.  .... Nickel is at $18,500, up $150, and having not risen much in the first place, is one of two metals (along with tin) that have come out of this latest selloff with relatively little damage. (read Ed Meir's complete morning base metals report here)
  • (MB) China Steel Australia takes 45,000T nickel pig iron order
  • Some Distributors Not So Quick to Declare 'Recovery' - more
  • Gov't Debt Issuers In Trouble - more

  General Review Of Stainless Steel In 2009 And Its Outlook For New Year = China Jumped Up To World First Place In Production Of Stainless Steel With Threat To Expand Further Facilities - The world production of stainless steel in 2009 passed over the year as China was the sole winner and an expansion in Chinese production of stainless steel for 2010 will be unable to achieve such high rate as that in 2009 (increased by 25% from that in 2008) but is anticipated to have a moderate increase of 10 - 11% from that in 2009. - more

  Wanted: Owner of 2.5 tons of steel - Immigration officials are looking for the owner of 2.5 tons of stainless steel that was seized in Cincinnati because it was being shipped to Iran without U.S. government approval. - more

  Sudbury Xstrata / First Nickel Negotiations

  Sudbury/Voisey's Bay Nickel Strike Coverage

  Iron Ore News // Talks / Spy Scandal Coverage

  • China Daily Special Coverage
  • SINA
  • Chain of Events
  • BHP pushes iron ore growth to ride China boom - BHP Billiton Ltd, the world's biggest miner, has approved $1.93 billion in capital expenses to expedite an expansion of its Australian iron ore business to keep pace with growing demand for the commodity from Chinese steelmakers. - more
  • China's iron ore import dependency hits 69% - Zhu Hongren, spokesperson for the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) disclosed during a press conference held January 27 that China imported a total of 630 million tons of iron ore in 2009, up 41.6 percent year-on-year, and the iron ore import dependency ratio has increased from 44 percent in 2002 to 69 percent. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Thursday, January 28

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - minus 155 to 2,963. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) Li & Fung Signs Deal With Walmart That May Cover $2 Billion Worth of Goods  // Toyota Plunges as Expanded 5.3 Million Recall of Vehicles Tarnishes Image // Tata Steel Third-Quarter Net Income More Than Doubles, Beating Estimates // Hyundai Motor Profit Quadruples as Tax Cuts Spur Global, Korea Auto Sales // Asian Stocks, High-Yield Currencies Rally on Fed Outlook; Bonds Fall, Oil Climbs // U.K. Government's `Huge' Bank Sales Will Surpass Thatcher's Privatizations // European Confidence in Economy Rose for 10th Month in January on Recovery // Papandreou Says Greece Is Victim of `Rumors,' Denies Seeking Financial Aid // European Stocks Decline as BHP, AstraZeneca Drop; Nokia, H&M Shares Climb // Ford Posts $2.7 Billion Annual Profit After Record Loss, Beats Estimates // Fed Declares Recovery for First Time, Prepares Ground for End to Stimulus // Durables Orders Rise as U.S. Jobless Claims Point to Labor Market Weakness // Stocks in U.S. Fall as Qualcomm, Apple Lead Declines in Technology Shares
  • The US Dollar continues to trade higher against the Euro, now up by 4/10 of 1% and under 1.40. NYMEX crude is trading nearly 3/4 of 1% lower and hanging onto $73/barrel.  Gold is down over 3/4 of 1%, while silver is off 3%. Base metals got whacked again today, with nickel being the only gainer. Indicator charts show three month nickel spent most of the session digging out of the cellar, went positive and remained there until the session ended, then collapsed.  Dow Jones reports three month nickel ended the day at $8.32/lb , but did fall into negative territory afterwards. Inventories of nickel stored in LME approved warehouses slipped off their record high overnight and now stand just over the 163,500 tonne level. Sucden has updated its day old nickel trading chart and you can see the price has closed under support (the red line), for two consecutive days (chart here). For those who trade strictly off charts, this would normally be a sell signal, and while other base metals fell today, nickel should hold its own as long as Xstrata and its Sudbury union continue their talks to avert a strike. Their current contract expires Sunday, so after that, all bets are off. Media personnel may not like it, but both sides in these negotiations deserve a lot of credit for keeping their talks behind closed doors and out of the public opinion polls. The strike between Vale and the USW is showing signs of starting to wear on both sides. After the abrupt ending to last weeks attempt at a sit down between Vale and their Voisey's Bay union, it would appear there is no end in sight for these two sides. Both sides appear to have their heels dug in pretty deep. The Baltic Dry Index fell 155 points and slipped under 3000 to 2,963. The BDI used to be a much more important indicator than it is these days, with an over abundance of ships skewing the index, but it is still worth watching. US government reported that first time filings for state unemployment benefits fell 8,000 to 470,000, but remained well above analysts expectations. Continuing claims for state benefits fell 57,000 to 4.60 million, but according to MarketWatch "Economists do not believe the lower level of continuing claims is a signal of improvement in the labor market since much of it has been due to the exhaustion of eligibility for regular benefits." MarketWatch also reported "Orders for durable goods increased 0.3% in December to $167.9 billion after a revised 0.4% decline in November that was initially reported as a 0.2% gain." Say that three times real fast!! Wall Street has not been in a good mood most of the morning, but the media just reported recently that the Senate has the votes to get Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke re-appointed, and the Dow is now well off its earlier 1-1/2% dip.  

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • Caterpillar Hopes China Doesn’t Send the World Through the Windshield - more
  • Parsing the Fed: How the Statement Changed - more
  • Fed Watch: Dissent - more
  • "Historical Look at the Labor Market During Recessions " - more
  • Why Nouriel Roubini is Wrong - more
  • The Oregon Tax Vote - more

  The MEPS global steel price jumps 3 percent in January - A flurry of mill price hike announcements in December has translated into substantially higher transaction values for business recently settled in the US. - more

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:25 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.05/lb lower, with all base metals trading lower for a second morning. The US Dollar is trading higher against the Euro, up over 1/10 of 1% at the moment. NYMEX crude futures are up by 8/10 of 1% this morning and at $74.25/barrel. Gold has opened at 2/10 of 1% higher and silver is trading higher by the same. In overnight trading, Asian markets finally ended higher, with China up 1/4 of 1%. European markets are trading higher this morning as European confidence in the economic outlook improved in January. And US futures are showing Wall Street should open in a good mood, after the Fed described the US economy in "recovery" for the first time yesterday in their meeting statement. Nickel inventories slipped overnight, as did the BDI, down 155 points.  
  • Bloomberg morning base metal news - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments -  "Metals continued their plunge on Wednesday, as the dollar extended its gains against the Euro after the Federal Reserve policy statement came in with a slightly more upbeat tone than expected, perhaps a harbinger of tighter credit conditions down the road. In this regard, the Fed said that there was an improvement in US business spending, adding that the recovery would be "moderate for a time." Ever since April, the Fed had been saying economic activity would be "weak for a time” indicating that officials believe a recovery is now sustainable. On the rate front, the Fed repeated its earlier statement that conditions are "likely to warrant exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for an extended period". Significantly, one of its members voted against the Fed's decision, claiming that economic conditions had changed enough so that the continued expectation of low rates was "no longer warranted." It was the first dissenting vote among policy makers since January 2009. The Fed also said -- as previously announced --that it would be closing several loan facilities having to do with asset-backed commercial paper, a primary dealer credit facility, and a term securities lending facility. The temporary liquidity swap arrangements between the Fed and other central banks will also expire on February 1. .... As the stars line up for a stronger dollar in the short-term, we could find the metals complex under further pressure. Also of concern to the metal bulls, is that key long-term trend-line support levels in copper and ali - the last two holdouts - have now been taken out, and should there not be a snap-back above the line over the next 24 hours, we could push somewhat lower from here. .... Nickel is at $18,150, down $45, and on track to test the bottom end of the trading range at $17,320 if $18,000 support is taken out decisively for two days running." (read Ed Meir's complete morning base metals report here)
  • (Yieh) Taiwan’s Yieh United Steel Corp. (Yusco) has announced a price rise of US$50~150/ton for stainless steel exports for the first half of February. The company’s domestic prices for 304 grade stainless steel will remain unchanged, while prices for 430 will increase by NT$1,500/ton. The price rise is triggered by higher nickel prices and improved demand, according to the company.
  • Desjardins Securities analyst John Redstone told Metals Pages he forecasts molybdenum to reach $30/lb in 2011.
  • (SBB) Roskill said strong demand for molybdenum will allow producers to increase prices and they forecast prices to reach $17/lb in 2010, rise over $20/lb in 2011 and reach $40/lb by 2014 if a deficit appears in the market.
  • (ISI) Rusal does not rule out merger with Norilsk Nickel, shareholder says
  • (SO) The US Department of Commerce (DOC) has decided to extend the time limit for the preliminary results of the antidumping (AD) duty administrative review on stainless steel bar from Brazil.
  • (Dow Jones) South Korea's Public Procurement Service, a state agency that stockpiles strategic commodities, has tendered for 300 metric tons of LME brand nickel, 99.8% purity or higher. The tender closes Feb. 2 at 0500 GMT and the metal is for delivery to Incheon by Feb. 28 on a cost and freight basis.
  • (Reuters) China's power consumption in January is on track to post a record rise of more than 30 percent from a year ago, and faster-than-expected growth of 9 percent for the whole of 2010, media and a power industry body said.
  • Rusal's rising fortune at Mr. Putin's pleasure - more
  • Adults Only, Please - more

  POSCO raises stainless steel prices from Feb - South Korea's POSCO, the world's No.4 steelmaker, said on Thursday it would raise prices of its stainless steel products by up to 3.3 percent due to rising raw material prices. - more

  General Review Of Nickel In 2009 And Its Outlook For New Year -(Part 2) Nevertheless, reflecting the extremely risen nickel price as seen in 2007 and 2008, consumers left from nickel and this case caused to change the composition in consumption of raw materials for production of stainless steel, having resulted in a fall of nickel price. - more

  Analysis of Large Price Corrections in China Base Metals Market - The previous bullish sentiment for the global economy has been overshadowed by a string of unfavorable news. The Chinese Central Bank's moves to raise the yield of three-month bills and deposit requirement reserve ratio triggered market concerns of waning demand in China. - more

  Nickel’s fate depends on China -  Nickel prices largely depend on global steel demand, which is low in the west and up in China and India now.- more

  Mincor downgrades production target - Nickel miner Mincor Resources NL has modestly downgraded its full year production target. - more

  ZIMASCO to double ferro-chrome output - Midlands-based ferro-chrome producer, Zimasco plans to upgrade and refurbish key plant in order to ramp-up production and take advantage of firming prices in the global stainless steel market. - more

  China's Jinchuan takes piece of Tanzania project - Tanzanian Royalty Exploration , a Toronto-listed metals explorer, said on Wednesday that China's Jinchuan Mining has agreed to become a partner in the junior's Kabanga nickel properties in northwestern Tanzania. - more

  MMG chief sounds warning on new mining tax - The chief of Minerals and Metals Group has warned that changes to the tax regime affecting the mining industry, reportedly proposed by the Henry review, could "kill the goose that lays the golden eggs". - more

  Sudbury Xstrata / First Nickel Negotiations

  Sudbury/Voisey's Bay Nickel Strike Coverage

  • About 3,050 hourly rated production and maintenance workers, members of United Steelworkers Local 6500, have been on strike since July 13. Another 130 USW Local 6200 members in Port Colborne are also on strike. About 450 members of USW Local 9508 in Voisey's Bay have been on strike since Aug. 1.
  • Sudbury Star
  • Vale/Inco offer // Vale/Inco Company Site
  • Union Strike Site //  USW  Local 6500
  • Sudbury TV // Sudbury Northern Life Videos
  • USW Local 6166
  • Vale has bankers praying for Inco spinoff - This is probably wishful thinking, but a strategic shift into fertilizer at Vale SA has Canadian investment bankers hoping, even praying, that the Brazilian conglomerate may spin off its nickel mining assets. - more

  Iron Ore News // Talks / Spy Scandal Coverage

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Wednesday, January 27

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - minus 87 to 3,118. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) Japan's Exports Rise First Time in 15 Months, Topping Economist Estimates // Rusal Shares Drop in Hong Kong's First IPO in 2010 as Market Declines 12% // Australian Consumer Prices Rise, Spurring Currency Gain on Rate Pressure // Toyota Halts U.S. Sale, Output of Eight Models as Reputation `Tarnished // Asian Stocks, Metals Decline as China Takes Steps to Curb Economic Growth // ECB May Reduce Economic Stimulus Measures Before Second Half, Weber Says  // Swiss Government Says It'll Stick to UBS Agreement With U.S. After Ruling // Bank of England Plan Has `Decent Chance' of Economic Impact, Besley Says // Greek Government New Five-Year Bonds Tumble in Their First Day of Trading // European Shares Drop; National Bank of Greece, BBVA, HeidelbergCement Fall // Caterpillar Net Tumbles 65%; Forecast for 2010 Trails Analysts' Estimates // MBA Mortgage Applications Index Fell 11% Last Week, First Drop in a Month // Geithner Defends Government AIG Rescue Steps as TARP Watchdog Investigates // New Home Sales in U.S. Unexpectedly Decline, Capping Worst Year on Record // Underwater Homeowners May Get Help as U.S. Considers Mortgage-Plan Fixes // World Stock Index Falls for Sixth Day as Greek Bonds Plunge; Dollar Gains
  • The US Dollar is trading nearly 1/4 of 1% higher against the Euro. NYMEX crude futures are down 1/3 of 1% and under $74.50/barrel. Gold is down nearly 1.1% while silver is off over 1.8%. Base metals all ended the day lower. Indicator charts show nickel slumped early, climbed back to even, then spiked shortly before closing before falling back. Dow Jones reports three month nickel ended the day about where it started, at $8.25/lb , down a penny for the day. LME approved warehouse stores of nickel rose over 1000 tonnes overnight, and now sit well over the 163,500 tonne level, a new all time record high. Sucden finally updated their day old nickel chart, showing recent LME trading (chart here). The Baltic Dry Index dropped another 87 points. According to MF Global, Reuters has released its finding from a survey of 57 metals analysts, who forecast a median price of $8.25/lb for 2010 nickel pricing, and $8.65/lb for a 2011 median price. For the last few days, since China started cracking down on credit, there has been a negative sentiment brewing towards base metals, but as long as the outcome of the Xstrata union negotiations remain in doubt, we see nickel making no major negative move. Not totally convinced there wouldn't be more than a temporary dip if they settle by this weekend. On the other hand, if they do strike Sunday night, we could see a volatile week ahead.

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • Two at Fed Had Doubts Over Payout by A.I.G. - more
  • MBA: Mortgage Applications Decline - more
  • An Anatomy of Economic Inequality in the UK - more
  • Thinking about Freezes, from 1938 - more
  • America’s Growth in the Decade Ahead - more
  • Emerging economies to lead way, Davos panel says - more
  • Wind Power Grows 39% for the Year - more
  • Stiglitz pinpoints 'moral' core of crisis - more

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:30 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.11/lb lower, with all base metals lower at the moment. The US Dollar and Euro, at least for the moment, aren't doing much with the US Dollar slightly ahead. NYMEX crude futures are up 4/10 of 1% and at $75/barrel. Gold has opened 3/10 of 1% lower while silver is off nearly 3/4 of 1%. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended lower, with China off 1-1/3%. European markets are lower this morning and US futures show Wall Street might open lower. Nickel inventories soared to a new record high overnight, while the BDI numbers have yet to be published.
  • Bloomberg morning base metal news - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments - "Metals ended lower on Tuesday, as the usual set of bearish influences continued to weigh on the markets. These include questions about the credit situation in China, mixed macro data out of the US, and a dollar that seems to be inching towards key resistance of $1.40 against the Euro. Gauging investor appetite for commodities has been also been called into question in the wake of President Obama's broadsides against the banks and his desire to ring fence-- if not entirely eliminate -- their trading activities. All these factors are eroding market sentiment in a number of markets, and it remains to be seen whether Wednesday’s Fed policy statement or President Obama's State of the Union address later tonight will change sentiment in the days ahead. We have our doubts in this regard, and the sharply weaker tone we are seeing in metals as of this writing is perhaps suggesting the same. The dollar is also weighing on metals today as well, as it is once again approaching the $1.40 mark against the Euro, currently trading at $1.4080. .... Nickel is at $17,775, down $425, and looking very weak. Another close below $18,000 today would put us on track to test the bottom end of the trading range at $17,320; things look wide opened below there. (read Ed Meir's complete morning base metals report here)
  • Na Liu of Scotia Capital - Although strong import data are naturally bullish for related commodities, our only concern is that these imports are made by Chinese importers based on a very high expectation for the spring revival of economic activities after the seasonally slow winter. Latest data show that property construction slowed down sharply in December (up only 8.3% YOY versus up 40%-66% YOY during August –November 2009), likely due to the adverse weather in the country. This shows that the strong commodities import in December is counter-seasonal. A large portion of these imported materials are being built into inventory. The risk for the bulls, us included, is that when spring comes and construction activities take off, inventories for key commodities, after months of building in 2009 and early 2010, could be found to be on the high side. In the meantime, higher commodities prices will also encourage local production growth for commodities such as low-grade iron ore, nickel pig iron, or coal from small mines. With a comfortable inventory level and higher local output, commodities imports might not be as strong as the bulls would like to see in the spring, even if economic activities pick up strongly in March and April as we expect.
  • Na Liu of Scotia Capital  - Prices for ferromolybdenum dropped about RMB5,000/tonne last week in China to about RMB146,000-RMB148,000/tonne. Molybdenum concentrate was traded at RMB2,100-RMB2,200/tonne at the end of last week, down from RMB2,250-RMB2,300/tonne a week ago. As the end-users’ purchases had visibly dropped in the past two weeks amid high molybdenum prices, the recent price correction, though small, might signal that the molybdenum price will stop rallying in the near term and begin to consolidate at current levels.
  • (Yieh) It is reported that Posco is going to cut down its stainless steel supply in February. The decision is due to 8 days maintenance. In addition, the coming Chinese New Year will slow down the business.
  • (Interfax) There are now nine steel mills in China with an annual crude steel production capacity of over 10 million tons, a senior Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) official announced at a press conference on Jan. 27.
  • (Yieh) It’s reported that South Korean and Taiwanese stainless steel producers hiked their export price to China. The price increased officially by about US$150~300/ton compared with that in earlier 2010. However,the actual price is said to fall by only US$50~100/ton due to weak local demand and nickel price slide. On the other hand, stainless steel price remained unchanged in South Korea.
  • (Dow Jones) South Korea's Public Procurement Service, a state agency that stockpiles strategic commodities, has tendered for 300 metric tons of LME brand nickel, 99.8% purity or higher.
  • Universal Stainless Reports Continued Improvement in Fourth Quarter of 2009 - more
  • Allegheny Technologies Announces Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2009 Results - more
  • (CD) China's consumer confidence index (CCI) rose to 103.9 in the fourth quarter last year, up 3.1 percentage points from the previous quarter, said a report released on Jan 26 by the China Economic Monitoring & Analysis Center under the National Bureau of Statistics.
  • Why Not Just Walk Away from a Home? - more

  General Review Of Nickel In 2009 And Its Outlook For New Year = Strike At Sudbury / Canada, Having Continued For Long Period, China Extraordinarily Imported Nickel (Part 1) -The world market of nickel in 2009 had developed on the spindle, which the strike gone on at Sudbury Division of Vale-Inco in Canada has continued for a long period and China imported extraordinary quantities of nickel in the first half of 2009. - more

  China to Continue Driving Molybdenum Demand - Cutbacks by major producers, combined with stockpiling in China, resulted in a tightening of supply, causing prices to spike in mid 2009. - more

  Apex court to hear Tangarpada mines case on Monday - The Supreme Court will on Monday decide whether the Orissa government’s decision to develop Tangarpada chromite mines on its own and cancellation of allotment of a tender to three bidders–Tata Steel, Jindal Stainless Ltd and Visa Steel––are in the best interests of the state. - more

  Raw material costs push the developing markets' average steel price higher - Trading activity in the Turkish market has remained downbeat. Local long product steelmakers have struggled to sell material at their cost of production either at home or in their export markets. - more

  Steelmakers predict gradual recovery in markets - Steelmakers are seeing the first blush of a recovery with more orders from manufacturers of autos, appliances and similar products. Yet, the battered industry's full recovery has been stalled largely by a sluggish construction market. - more

  Sudbury Xstrata / First Nickel Negotiations

  Sudbury/Voisey's Bay Nickel Strike Coverage

  Iron Ore News // Talks / Spy Scandal Coverage

  • China Daily Special Coverage
  • SINA
  • Chain of Events
  • China’s Communist Party May Decide Rio Trial, Australian Says - China’s Communist Party instead of prosecutors may decide whether the four Rio Tinto Group executives detained in China, will face trial, the Australian newspaper said without saying where it got the information.  - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Tuesday, January 26

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - minus 18 to 3,205. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) Chinese Banks Have Started Restricting Credit After Regulator Cracks Down // Japan's Debt-Rating Outlook Cut by S&P on Absence of Hatoyama Fiscal Plan // Korea's Slowing GDP Growth May Escalate Political Pressure on Central Bank // Hang Seng Falling 10% Shows China Risks Increase After Bank Stocks Double // Malaysian Central Bank Says Interest Rates Can't Be Kept Too Low, Too Long // Germany's Business Confidence Rises to 18-Month as Global Economy Recovers // Greece Sells $11.3 Billion of Notes After Adding Premium to Ensure Success // Britain Exits Recession as Economy Expands Just 0.1%, Trailing Forecasts // Bond Risk Soars as China, Japan Rekindle Liquidity Concern: Credit Markets // Portugal to Show It's Not the Next Greece With 2010 Deficit-Cutting Plan // European Stocks Rise on German, U.S. Data; Siemens, Novo Nordisk Advance // Fed Officials Consider Adopting Interest on Reserves as New Benchmark Rate // Wall Street Reviving Synthetic Bets as Volcker Blasts Credit-Default Swaps // Treasury's Barofsky Investigates New York Fed Over AIG Bailout Disclosures // Home Prices, Consumer Confidence Climb in Sign U.S. Recovering Into 2010 // GM Will Sell Saab to Spyker in Deal Saving 72-Year-Old Swedish Auto Brand // Verizon Will Cut 13,000 Jobs in Fixed-Line Unit After Sales Miss Estimates // Stocks in U.S. Climb on Earnings as Emerging Markets, Commodities Retreat
  • The US Dollar continues to trade higher against the Euro, just slightly lower than this morning's 4/10 of 1%. NYMEX crude oil is off 1/3 of 1% and at $75/barrel. Gold is up slightly and silver is down 1-3/4%. Base metals ended the day mixed and quiet. Indicator charts show nickel dipped early but spent the session stair stepping slowly higher. Dow Jones reports three month nickel ended the day at $8.26/lb . Inventories of nickel stored in LME approved warehouses fell off their record high overnight, and now sit just shy of the 162,600 tonne level. Sucden hasn't updated its day old chart on a week now and this explains why we haven't to it recently. The Baltic Dry Index slipped 18 points to 3,205. Wall Street experienced a classic tug of war this morning between the bears and the bulls, with the dip in home pricing giving the bears some early momentum. But consumer confidence numbers came out better than expected, and at a 16 month high, and the bulls have taken over the reigns.
  • A few minutes after the CBO projected the U.S. government would spend about $1.3 trillion dollars more this year than it will take in (pdf here), after spending $1.4 trillion more than it took in last year, we checked the national debt clock. Our national debt 'this morning' stood at $12,316,991,767,633. With our estimated US population at 307,724,319, that means every man, woman and child in the US is now responsible for over $40,000 of that debt - you have heard the phrase "we the people". You can see what "we the people" owe at this minute (here) and you can find out "who" we owe here (here). You can also check out our current foreign bond holders (here) (all numbers shown in billions). How much debt were you born with (here)? Founding father Thomas Jefferson stated "I place economy among the first and most important of republican virtues, and public debt as the greatest of dangers to be feared." We have sure come a long way since then.

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • Peter Temin: The Great Recession and the Great Depression - pdf here
  • Underwater, but Will They Leave the Pool? - more
  • Observations On Bernanke - more
  • Economists: ‘Desperately Disappointing’ U.K. GDP Figures - more
  • Is Obama Repeating the Mistake of 1937? - more
  • Beware the 4 new asset bubbles - more
  • Too Dumb to Thrive - more
  • Is China a Bubble? - more

  China's 2009 imports -- behind the headlines - For industrial metal markets 2009 will go down in the history books as the Year of the Dragon. - more

  AK Steel to contest Chinese steel duty if imposed - U.S. steelmaker AK Steel Holding Corp said on Monday it would challenge a proposed 22 percent import duty on electrical steel products under consideration by China and has already stopped shipping to Chinese customers. - more

  Courtesy AISI - In the week ending January 23, 2010, domestic raw steel production was 1,587,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 65.6 percent. Production was 1,016,000 tons in the week ending January 23, 2009, while the capability utilization then was 42.4 percent. The current week production represents a 56.2 percent increase from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending January 23, 2010 is up 1.5 percent from the previous week ending January 16, 2010 when production was 1,564,000 tons and the rate of capability utilization was 64.7 percent.

  Vale and it’s CEO are taking the offensive! - Vale Sa, the largest iron- ore miner in the world, is poised to take back some market share from its primary rivals Rio Tinto Group and BHP Billiton Ltd. At this time it has the ability to boost exports faster as steel making picks up and causing an increased demand for raw material such as iron. - more

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:30 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around  $.02/lb higher, and rising out of earlier losses, with other base metals mostly lower. The US Dollar is trading 4/10 of 1% stronger against the Euro this morning. NYMEX crude futures are down over 9/10 of 1% and at $74.57/barrel. Gold is down nearly 9/10 of 1% while silver is off nearly 3%. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended lower, with China off more than 2-1/2% on news Chinese banks have started to restrict credit. European markets are trading lower this morning, while US futures imply Wall Street has yet to decide where to open. The bears appear to have the momentum, but the bulls have not given up the fight. Nickel inventories slipped overnight, while the BDI lost 18 points. Vale announced it would resume production at Voisey's Bay without a contract resolution with the USW. It has already resumed production at its Sudbury operation, while the USW remains on strike.  MBMI Resources announced it is resuming shipments of laterite ore from the Philippines to China for the production of "pig nickel" and Bindura announced it is resuming production in Zimbabwe.   

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments - Metals ended mixed on Monday, with copper, aluminum, and tin all finishing with modest gains, while the rest of the group closed lower. It was a relatively quiet in other markets as well, as a measure of stability returned to the fore. In this regard, after several days of dizzying declines, investors were pleased to see that the US stock market held its ground on increased hopes that Chairman Bernanke would be renominated for a second term. However, the vote could still swing either way, as many senators are still sitting on the fence, while some of the more prominent names are coming out against him. In this regard, Senator John McCain of Arizona announced late yesterday that he would be voting against the renomination. We are off to a weaker note this morning in metals trading, with copper down by about $90/MT, while other metals (except for zinc) are also lower. US equity futures are trading lower following weakness seen in Asian equity markets, with the Chinese market falling to a three-month low on continued credit worries. And after being a non-factor for the last few days, the dollar is weighing on sentiment as well, as it is strengthens to $1.4087 against the Euro. We suspect that we could see the selling in metals continue through today and perhaps into tomorrow, as the unease in the US equity markets should keep the pressure on commodities for a little while longer. ...  Out of China, Bloomberg reports that several Chinese banks have begun restricting new loans, responding to a push by regulators to restrict credit after a surge in lending earlier in the month. In this regard, the Bank of China has stopped extending new corporate loans in the Shanghai area except to clients who have repaid earlier borrowings, China Construction Bank Corp.’s Shanghai branch has also been told to screen applications for personal loans and mortgages more carefully and to stop new lending once a monthly quota is met. The China Banking Regulatory Commission said that the country would cap new credit at 7.5 trillion yuan this year, down from a record 9.59 trillion yuan last year.  .... Nickel is at $18,075, down $80, and recovering somewhat from an earlier intraday low of $17,750. Still, charts look uninspiring. (read Ed Meir's complete morning base metals report here)
  • Standard & Poor's forecast nickel to average $6.50/lb in 2010, $6/lb in 2011, and $5.50/lb in 2012.
  • (MBiz) According to the data issued by the National Bureau of Statistics of China, in December 2009, China produced 21,271 tons of nickel, a 1.5% reduction from November's 21,606 tons, an increase of 5.4% than December 2008. During the January-December period of 2009, China yielded 216,363 tons of nickel, rising by 15.8% over 2008. Besides, in December, China produced 22,660 tons of molybdenum, up by 1.7% versus November's 22,280 tons, soaring by 65% than December 2008. For the full 2009 year, China produced 215,579 tons of molybdenum, upswing by 17.5% than 2008.
  • Management replacements in MMC Norilsk Nickel - more
  • (ATA) The American Trucking Associations' advance seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index climbed 2.1 percent in December, following a 2.6 percent increase in November. The latest gain boosted the SA index from 106.2 (2000=100) in November to 108.4 in December, its highest level since November 2008. The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 103 in December, up 2.3 percent from the previous month.

  Vale Inco to Restart Voisey’s Bay Nickel Operation  - Vale SA’s Canadian unit said that it will resume production at its nickel mining and milling operations at Voisey’s Bay using non-striking labor amid a six- month strike. - more

  Cooled Fever In China Causes To Fall Ratios Of FeNi Exports From Japan= Fallen By 73% From That At Peak, Exports At Present Fell By 40% - The quantity of nickel in ferro-nickel exported from Japan to China in the first half of 2009 had a considerable increase but, reflecting a feeling of the oversupply in China, the exports of ferro-nickel from Japan to China in the second half were in the direction to decrease in both quarters of July - September and October - December. - more

  Bindura Nickel to resume operations - Regional resources group Mwana Africa says it is looking at ways of restarting operations at Bindura Nickel Corporation (BNC) on the back of recovering world market prices and a complementary domestic operating environment. - more

  MBMI Recommences Nickel Material Shipments From Alpha Project - MBMI Resources Inc  is pleased to announce that its Philippine operations are preparing to recommence nickel material shipping activities. Several sales agreements have been executed with Asian industrial consumers for the delivery of nickel bearing material having grades of approximately 1.4% nickel. - more

  Press release - ETI KROM declares Force Majeure due to landsliding damage to railway - The main railway line connecting ETI KROM's FeCr plant and chrome ore mines in Elazig to its loading ports of Iskenderun and Mersin is totally destroyed and closed due to heavy landsliding on Saturday, January 23rd 2010, at Malatya (the next city to Elazig). 'ETI KROM delivers 80% of its chrome ore and 100% of its ferrochrome transportation from Elazig to loadports by railways. Unfortunately, this unexpected situation is called as a 'Force Majeure' case by ETI KROM and will heavily influence all our shipments during the weeks ahead'', says the company official, Yasar OZDIREK. ''According to the State Railway Department, the repairing of the damaged railway will take around 90 days. Unfortunately, due to the winter period, heavy snow and lack of enough road truck, ETI KROM will suffer to fulfill its delivery deadline obligations to its all customers under current contracts '', he continued. The company is currently studying the alternative solutions and informs that all its existing obligations from now on might be delayed around 90 days. Until the force majeure case is cleared, ETI KROM will hold all its new sales of HC FeCr and chrome ore. As it is known that ETI KROM was contracted 140,000 tons of chrome ore and 10,000 mt of HC FeCr until March 2010 and logistically was fully booked.

  Indonesian nickel firm INCO's CEO to retire in March - The president director of Indonesian nickel firm PT International Nickel Indonesia Tbk said on Tuesday he will tender his resignation in March. - more

  Average price of nickel over last 6 decades

  • (Our numbers - not official)
  • 1950-2959 - $0.52/lb
  • 1960-1969 - $0.70/lb
  • 1970-1779 - $1.52/lb
  • 1980-1989 - $2.56/lb
  • 1990-1999 - $2.61/lb
  • 2000-2009 - $5.94/lb

  Sudbury Xstrata / First Nickel Negotiations

  Sudbury/Voisey's Bay Nickel Strike Coverage

  • About 3,050 hourly rated production and maintenance workers, members of United Steelworkers Local 6500, have been on strike since July 13. Another 130 USW Local 6200 members in Port Colborne are also on strike. About 450 members of USW Local 9508 in Voisey's Bay have been on strike since Aug. 1.
  • Sudbury Star
  • Vale/Inco offer // Vale/Inco Company Site
  • Union Strike Site //  USW  Local 6500
  • Sudbury TV // Sudbury Northern Life Videos
  • USW Local 6166
  • Vale prepares to restart Voisey's Bay operations - Vale Inco, the Canadian arm of Brazilian mining giant Vale , said on Monday it plans to resume nickel mining and milling operations at Voisey's Bay, Labrador, which have been idle since workers went on strike on August 1, 2009. - more
  • UPDATE: Vale Inco document proposes mine efficiencies - Local media, including Northern Life, have been privy to a 94 page confidential strategy document from Vale Inco workshop last summer, June 15 and 16th, outlining some possibilities for its Sudbury operations. - more

  Iron Ore News // Talks / Spy Scandal Coverage

  • China Daily Special Coverage
  • SINA
  • Chain of Events
  • Iron ore port stocks hit 3-month high - Imported iron ore stockpiles at China's leading ports increased by 310,000 tons last week, hitting a three-month high of 67.42 million tons as of Jan 22, the China Securities Journal reported today, citing industry data. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Monday, January 25

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - plus 19 to 3,223. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) Bank of Japan Said to Be Open to Expanding Emergency Loans, Bond Purchases // Chinese Steelmakers Face Iron Ore Price Squeeze as ArcelorMittal Revives // Korea's Lee Seeks Singh Support for $12 Billion Stalled Posco India Plant // Asian Stocks Fall for Sixth Day on Bank Capital Raising, Profit Concerns // Pound Perceived as Diminished Currency No Matter Who Wins in U.K. Election // UBS Tax Fraud Decision by Swiss Court May Prompt U.S. to Revive Complaint // Greek Bond Sale in Euros May Yield as Much as 365 Basis Points Over Swaps // Russia Pays $1 Million to Settle Remaining Soviet Debt to Foreign Banks // Goldman Sachs Said to Limit London Partners' Pay, Bonuses to $1.6 Million //
  • Wall Street Firms Cut Compensation, `Buckling' to Pressure From Washington  // Dollar's Bear-Market Run `Pretty Close' to Ending, Pimco's McCulley Says // Corporate Bond Sales Cut in Half by Widening Yield Spreads: Credit Markets
  • The Euro continues to trade higher against the US Dollar, but by less than 1/10 of 1% at the moment. NYMEX crude oil is up 1/4 of 1% and now over $74.50/barrel. Gold is up over 4/10 of 1%, while silver is up 1%. Base metals ended the day mixed and mostly uneventful. Indicator charts show three month nickel made a few attempts into positive territory early, but spent most of the rest of the day in a slow slide. Dow Jones reports three month nickel ended the day at $8.23/lb . Inventories of nickel stored in LME approved warehouses, after slipping for 3 consecutive day over 700 tonnes, have spent the last 3 rising, gaining nearly 1500 tonnes. Inventories stand at another all time record high, and sit just under the 162,800 tonnes level. Some of our readers are watching the Rotterdam warehouse, for evidence of a possible slowdown in Russian nickel exports due to higher export tariffs. Rotterdam imports have slowed dramatically since the first week of the year, and the larger inbounds are now being received primarily into Asian warehouses. The Baltic Dry Index rose 19 points today to 3,223, its third consecutive increase. Wall Street is still trading in positive territory this morning, but got knocked back on its heels early on when the National Association of Realtors reported sales of U.S. existing homes fell 16.7% in December, its biggest one month drop ever since tracking began in 1968, and much worse than analysts had forecast. And Barry Ritholtz from Big Picture reported on Sunday that the Census Bureau had quietly changed the Durable Goods report from December to show orders fell 0.7% in November, instead of the 0.2% gain that was reported earlier. We get December numbers later this week. Back to nickel, talks between Vale and the Voisey's Bay union broke off last evening with no resolution. Vale and the Sudbury union will in court numerous times this week over different issues. And still no word leaking out on the Xstrata/Local 598 negotiations, with the current contract due to expire on the 31st.   

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • Oaktree Capital's Howard Marks - "Global considerations call for higher [interest] rates, but fighting domestic economic weakness relies on low rates. Resolving this dilemma won't be easy... or painless."
  • Steve Keen: The Economic Case Against Bernanke - more
  • China's $2.4 Trillion Global Grip - more
  • Joblessness Across the U.S.: December Unemployment Rates by State - more
  • The Rise of Consumer Debt - more
  • Total Consumer Credit Outstanding - more
  • Lord Myners calls time on 'greed is good' bank culture - more
  • The Bernanke Conundrum - more
  • More Fun With (Quietly Revised) Numbers - more

  Merafe sees FY HEPS loss - South African ferrochrome producer Merafe Resources Ltd said on Monday it expects to report a full-year headline loss per share of between 6-7 cents, pressured by low prices for the metal and a strong rand. - more

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:25 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around  $.05/lb higher, with other base metals trading mostly higher, but quiet. The Euro is trading 1/10 of 1% higher against the US Dollar this morning, giving  a slight nudge to commodities. NYMEX crude futures are down 1/10 of 1% at the moment, and under $74.50/barrel. Gold is up 3/10 of 1% while silver is higher by 4/10. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended lower, with China off 1.1%. European markets are trading lower this morning, but US futures show Wall Street may have decided they oversold at the end of last week, with futures pointing to a higher opening. Nickel inventories hit yet another all time record over the weekend, and the BDI gained 19 points. Dow Jones is reporting the talks between Vale and Voisey's Bay Local 598 went no where this weekend, and talks have broken off.
  • Bloomberg morning base metal news - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments -  Surprisingly, copper ended higher on Friday, the only bright spot in a number of markets ravaged by further selling. We suspect that the move higher was short-covering that set in after days of steep declines, and perhaps some fresh buying once the complex proved it could hold on to key trend-line support around $7170. However, the rest of the metals, (apart from tin), were not as fortunate, as they all closed lower. Ali sank to six-week lows at one point in the day, before paring its losses on the close, while both zinc and nickel finished sharply lower, down by around 5% each. High LME stocks levels are continuing to weigh on these two complexes, with nickel stocks now at record highs, while zinc stocks are at four-and-a-half year highs. Friday's selling was attributable to the continued weakness in the US stock market, which was slammed Friday in the wake of ongoing reverberations from President Obama's banking proposals, as well as growing doubts about Chairman Ben Bernanke renomination as the head of the Federal Reserve. ...  Lurking in the background, are other short-term negatives for metals, namely Chinese moves to restrain credit, which we have been discussing for much of last week. Although the steps the Chinese have taken thus far remain relatively measured and incremental, they nevertheless are a clear signal that the easy money policy the authorities have been pursuing for much of last year is likely coming to an end. The Indian central bank also announces its rate decision later this week (on the 29th), and if a rate hike is announced here, it could prove to be the next "shoe to drop" for markets already jittery about tightening credit conditions. For all these reasons, we would be wary about buying any of the dips in metals over the next two days, as we see continued weakness in the cards. We could see a rather sharp, equity-led relief rally by mid-week if markets sense that Chairman Bernanke's renomination is safe, but until then, things will be sloppy and rallies will prove vulnerable. Right now, metals are slightly higher across the board, as a weaker dollar is allowing a measure of buying to come in. US stocks are called to open higher as well, and this is not being lost on the commodity markets, but we are not sure things are going to snap back as early as today. ..... Nickel is at $18,400, up $90, and not looking that inspiring on the charts, with a series of lower highs in place (see chart). There is also something of a triple-top at $19,400 resistance, with $18,000 offering modest trend-line support. (read Ed Meir's complete morning base metals report here)
  • (Interfax) China's crude steel output in December stood at 47.66 million tons, accounting for 44.79 percent of the world's total, according to a World Steel Association (WSA) announcement on Jan. 22.
  • (SBB) Chinese stainless 304 prices rose RMB 600-800/tonne ($88-117/t) in the 18 January week after nickel prices strengthened and the country's largest stainless producer, Shanxi Taigang Stainless Steel, raised its list prices.
  • (MBiz) -POSCO Special Steel said it would lift 300 series of wire rod price starting from Feb. by 200,000 Won per ton, which is equal to 1190.4 yuan per ton, but the prices of 200 and 400 series would be unchanged and bar price will be also left unchanged. The company explained that the price of raw material such as nickel, ferrochrome hiked, so it decided to advance the price of 300 series wire rod
  • (Yieh) Tisco lately announced to lift stainless steel export price by about US$300/ton, but it would still offer discount for big orders.
  • (AP) Expressing concern over the continuation of anti-dumping duty on high grade stainless steel, the All India Stainless Steel Industries Association (AISSIA) on Sunday asked the government to take immediate steps to address the issue.
  • (NB) Dundee Corporation sold 4,780,450 Mirabela Nickel shares for $12,017,095 on January 19, decreasing from 49,467,208 shares (14.93%) to 44,686,758 shares (12.39%).
  • (SSY) In its latest forecast, the World Bank envisages that global economic recovery will proceed at a speedier rate than it had anticipated six months ago, Dow Jones reports. Then global growth for 2010 was predicted at 2.0%, whereas now expectations are for 2.7%. Slow down in 2009 is now thought to have been at 2.2% year-on-year, a less severe diminishment than the 2.9% contraction forecast last June.
  • NABE Industry Survey - more

  7 cargo trucks carrying nickel ore stopped by Zambales execs - At least seven cargo trucks carrying nickel ore have been held by a team of the Provincial Mining Regulatory Board (PMRB) due to non-declaration and non-payment of fees to the Zambales government. - more

  Brazil developing microbe to clean mining effluent - A Brazilian scientist is developing a method of purifying contaminated waste water that accumulates at mining sites by using a genetically modified bacteria that can absorb heavy metals. - more

  China Steel Prices Drop Most in Four Months on Stocks - Steel prices in China, the world’s biggest producer of the metal, dropped the most in four months last week as inventories piled up and concerns grew that the government may curb lending. - more

  Sudbury Xstrata / First Nickel Negotiations

  Sudbury Nickel Strike Coverage

  • About 3,050 hourly rated production and maintenance workers, members of United Steelworkers Local 6500, have been on strike since July 13. Another 130 USW Local 6200 members in Port Colborne are also on strike. About 450 members of USW Local 9508 in Voisey's Bay have been on strike since Aug. 1.
  • Sudbury Star
  • Vale/Inco offer // Vale/Inco Company Site
  • Union Strike Site //  USW  Local 6500
  • Sudbury TV // Sudbury Northern Life Videos
  • Talks to end Labrador mine strike break off - Talks to end a labour dispute between striking Labrador nickel mine workers and Vale Inco have broken off. - more
  • USW, Vale Inco to meet in court  - Striking Steelworkers and Vale Inco Ltd. may not be talking at the bargaining table, but they will face off at least three times this week in legal and labour proceedings.  - more

  Iron Ore News // Talks / Spy Scandal Coverage

  • China Daily Special Coverage
  • SINA
  • Chain of Events
  • EU opens probe into BHP, Rio iron joint venture - European Union regulators opened an antitrust investigation on Monday into a planned iron ore production joint venture between BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto worth $116 billion. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Friday, January 22

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - plus 34 to 3,204. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) China Statement's Missing Words May Signal Shift in Stimulus Policy Stance // Asian Currencies Set for Weekly Drop Led by Won on China Curbs, Obama Plan // Vietnam Delays $1 Billion Debt Sale Pricing Until Next Week, Investors Say // Asian Stocks, Oil Fall on China Rates Concern, Obama Bank Plan; Yen Rises // Greece to Sell $4.2 Billion of Bonds in `Near Future,' Papanicolaou Says // BOE's Tucker Calls for Post-Crisis Rethink of `Shadow Banking' Regulation // Obama's `Unilateral' Bank Plan Shows Lack of Global Coordination on Rules // U.K. Retail Sales Increase Less Than Forecast, Casting Doubt on Recovery // UBS Client Wins Appeal Over Transfer of Account Data to U.S. in Tax Case // European Stocks Post Largest Weekly Drop Since October on Obama Bank Plan // General Electric Profit Exceeds Analysts' Estimates as Order Backlog Rises // Bank Supervisors in U.S. Impose Tougher Rules Without Waiting for Overhaul // Morgan Stanley Sells Bonds as Banks Issue Debt at Fastest Pace Since 1998 // Schlumberger Profit Slumps 31% as Oil Producers Cut Spending; Sales Drop // Stocks, Commodities Decline on Concern Obama Bank Rules to Crimp Earnings
  • The Euro continues to trade higher against the US Dollar, 6/10 of 1% higher at the moment. NYMEX crude is down nearly 1-1/4% and at $75.16/barrel. Gold is off 2/10 and silver is down nearly 2-1/3%. Base metals ended the day mixed and for the most part, quiet. Indicator charts show nickel spent much of the session in a slide, until a small recovery was attempted at teh end of the day. Dow Jones reports three month nickel ended the day at $8.30/lb , dropping $.14/lb for the week. Inventories of nickel stocked in LME warehouses rose to yet another record high overnight, and now show over the 162,200 tonne level. Sucden has not updated their day old nickel trading chart in a few days. The Baltic Dry Index rose 34 points to 3,204. Markets are lower across the board today and its anyone's guess exactly why. On his blog this morning, Barry Ritholtz chastised the Wall Street Journal for editorializing their news headlines and added "Without getting too philosophical, we know that day-to-day [market] action is mostly nonsense. Selecting a causal factor from the cacophony of news releases, earnings, price data is all but impossible. There is a whole lot of noise, and very little signal. Assigning a definitive causative factor is at best a guessing game, at worst an exercise in futility.". Nicely put. We finish off the first month of 2010 next week, so have a great weekend!!

  America's Great Depression by Murray N. Rothbard - free and online here

  • Other free online reading posted by the Austrian School of Economics and Libertarian Political and Social Theory - authors list

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • (Dow Jones) World crude steel production fell 8% in 2009 as production declined in nearly all the main steel producing countries and regions due to the economic downturn, which took a bite out of steel demand, according to World Steel Association figures released Friday. Crude steel production dropped to 1.22 billion metric tons in 2009 compared with 1.33 billion tons in the previous year.
  • AK Steel Supports Emergency Relief Efforts In Haiti - more
  • (Barry Ritholtz on guessing "why" the market moves on a daily basis)
  • (MW) Germany's economic ministry revised higher on Friday its estimate for November manufacturing orders. New industrial orders, adjusted for seasonal effects, rose 2.8% in November from the previous month, the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology in Berlin reported on its Web site.
  • Eurozone Industrial Orders Shows Improvement - more
  • Small Business Group Rebukes Obama Administration Over TARP - more
  • Economists React: Is Obama Bank Plan ‘Wrong Solution’ or ‘Good Idea’? - more
  • Obama Seen as Anti-Business by 77% of U.S. Investors - more
  • Chinese Dragon Rattles Commodities, Gold, Brazil - more
  • Britain - Christmas sales figures worse than expected - more
  • SPX Market Cap as a % of GDP - more
  • A few thoughts on the Great Depression - more

  Time for Agnelli, Martins to talk; union must give workers hope - Two things are becoming apparent in the strike by United Steelworkers Local 6500 at Vale Inco: It is time for the decision makers at the company speak to the community, and the union needs to better articulate its strategy. - more

  LME listing of molybdenum heralds big changes - In the past years, the quantity of molybdenum consumed by steel companies had shared nearly 60% of the whole demand and was a main factor to influence on molybdenum prices. - more

  China's 2009 commodity binge ended in a blowout Dec - China's year of stockpiling, stimulus and steelmaking ended in a strong roster of commodity imports and output in December, but Beijing's recent moves to rein in growth suggest 2010 could be a more sedate year. - more

  Raw material costs to push up China steel prices in 2010-CISA - Rising raw material costs along with the recovering economies of the United States and Europe will provide "strong support" for steel prices in China in 2010, the country's steel industry body said on Friday. - more

  Moly expects final Chinese approval soon - The head of Moly Mines is confident of receiving the final two approvals required from the Chinese government to initiate financing and development of its Spinifex Ridge project before the end of February. - more

  Intl Ferro Metals Q2 output up 85%, upbeat on market - South African-based International Ferro Metals Ltd (IFL.L) gave an upbeat view of prices and Chinese demand after posting an 85 percent jump in second-quarter output due to the restart of a furnace. - more

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:30 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.22/lb lower, with all base meals trading lower this morning. The Euro is actually trading higher against the US Dollar this morning, up by 1/3 of 1%, typically good news for commodity traders. NYMEX crude futures are down nearly 1/2 of 1% and under $76/barrel. Gold is down slightly and silver is lower by nearly 1/4 of 1%. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended lower with China off 1-1/4%. European markets are trading lower this morning, and US futures show Wall Street may open lower. After two consecutive triple point drops, the bulls need to end the week on the positive. LME nickel inventories bounced into new record territory overnight, and the BDI gained 34 points.
  • Bloomberg morning base metal news - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments - "Metal prices ended sharply lower on Thursday, as markets are getting "re-synchronized" in that they are all moving together--this time to the downside. Besides metals, both energy and precious metals posted sharp losses, as did the US stock market, where the Dow lost 213 points on concern about policy initiatives coming out of the Obama administration, this time having to do with limiting the trading and investment activity of commercial banks. Of course, this is a "first draft" proposal, and as is usually the case with these things, the initial ideas get diluted (if not jettisoned entirely) as the compromises of the political process set in. More importantly, short of reintroducing Glass-Steagall, which legally separates commercial banking from investment banking, it is going to be extremely difficult to legislate the confines of proprietary trading at banking institutions as they are currently set up. Nevertheless, yesterday’s initiative did unnerve many in the commodity space, as the move may involve less trading by funds who are associated, promoted, or financed by banks (whose ranks now include several investment banks). Perhaps equally troubling to the markets are developments in China. We reported yesterday on China's stellar macro numbers across a raft of sectors for December, culminating in a 10.7% growth rate seen for the fourth quarter. There is now legitimate concern that the authorities may have to apply the brakes more forcefully in order to curtail speculative excesses and rein in potential inflation. All this is weighing on markets for another day today, with metals and oil down again, although the extent of the selling is not as intense as it was yesterday. Perhaps we could start to see a “cooling off” period set in over the course of the day, as the markets start to sense that changing the investment rules is not going to be as easy as it sounds. Technically, metals are also approaching support at key trend line levels, with copper getting close to $7170 earlier in the day, but holding on for a bounce. Much depends on the US stock market now, especially since the dollar does not seem to be the primary downside driver, as it has not appreciated measurably against the Euro over the last twenty-four hours. .... Nickel is at $18,450, down $495; there is modest trend line support at $18,000. Prices seem to want to move lower after forming something of a triple-top at $19,400 resistance.  (read Ed Meir's complete morning base metals report here)
  • (Yieh) Japan’s crude steel production plunged by 26 percent, to 87.53 million tons in 2009, the first time since 1971 that it was lower than 90 million tons.
  • (Yieh) Chinese stainless steel makers are likely to resume full production capacity gradually in January this year after the maintenance in last November and December, according to Macquarie's analysis. Some small-sized stainless steel makers are also planning to increase their production due to the strong demand of domestic construction and electrical appliance industry, and higher stainless steel prices.
  • Miners may fare better than metal firms - more
  • (Philippines) Irrigators’ associations in Cantilan, Surigao del Sur, backed by environmental lobby groups Baywatch, Lovers of Nature Foundation, and the Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center, are blocking the entry of Marcventures Mining and Development Corp. into its project site, citing environmental issues.
  • European manufacturing industry united against -30% climate change objective - more
  • (CRU) The recent upturn in nickel prices is testament to the potential for demand recovery. But the inability of LME nickel prices to move decisively above $19,000/t signals that further difficulties could lie ahead. In particular, the stock overhang in China (110,000t) and on the LME (162,000t) remains threatening.
  • (Doug Kass) The populist uproar is geared toward the incumbent, toward anyone in power. It does not run on party lines, nor is it focused on health care. It is the zeitgeist of dissatisfaction, a sign of the times. Maybe it's a function of high unemployment or the electorate ticked off at the wealthy and the largest institutions (especially of a banking kind). This dissatisfaction was expressed in the Democratic tsunami that brought Obama the Presidency, and it was seen yesterday in the Massachusetts Senatorial election that brought Brown the Senate seat. In other words, the mood of the country has been changing for a while, and it is being reflected in a very negative view toward those who have not suffered from high unemployment or from wayward derivative bets (and still got paid).
  • (CCR) China's power generation in December surged 25.9 percent from a year ago, the seventh rise in a row, as the world's third-largest economy rebounded quickly from the global economic downturn. The December growth, the second fastest in a non-holiday month since at least 1997, was slightly lower than the 26.9 percent in November.
  • Xstrata plc has donated $500,000 US to the International Red Cross Haiti Appeal. The Red Cross fund was established to provide emergency aid and relief to those affected by last week’s devastating earthquake in Haiti.
  • (TCB) The Conference Board Leading Economic Index™(LEI) for the U.S. increased 1.1 percent in December, following a 1.0 percent gain in November, and a 0.3 percent rise in October.
  • Commodities Have Further to Advance, Hermes Fund’s O’Shea Says - more
  • Last Man Standing - more  

  Prior To Listing Moly Oxide Price At LME, Test March Is Being Taken Place = To Inaugurate From 22nd February, Moly Oxide Price Has Risen To Level Of US$15 Per Lb. / Mo - Prior to the listing price of molybdenum oxide at LME (London Metal Exchange) to be inaugurated from the 22nd February of 2010, the speculations on price of molybdenum oxide from various sides are whirling in the market as anticipated, having caused to push up spot price of molybdenum oxide, and the oxide price actually transacted between traders on the end of last week has risen to a level of US$15 - 16 per lb. of Mo. - more

  County makes little progress on mining lease - County commissioners say they want to come to an agreement with Oregon Resources Corp. to allow the firm to mine chromite on county forest lands. But they aren't sure it's worth the toll on county resources. - more

  Northern European steel prices show modest upward trend - The Flat Products market got off to a slow start to 2010 in Northern Europe. Some suppliers report increasing numbers of enquiries and even sales, although this activity is perceived to be due to restocking rather than growing real demand. - more

  Ruling in $400M Inco class action to take months - Justice Joseph Henderson will now have to "walk through more than 12,000 court articles" and consider months of expert testimony to determine if property values fell after 2000 when elevated nickel levels were discovered in Port Colborne's soil as a result of historic nickel refining at the city's Inco plant. - more

  Courtesy AISI - The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported today that for the month of November 2009, U.S. steel mills shipped 5,424,000 net tons, a 11.0percent decrease from the 6,097,000 net tons shipped in the previous month, October 2009, and a 3.9 percent increase from the 5,223,000 net tons shipped in November 2008. A month-to-month comparison of shipments shows the following changes: hot rolled sheet, down 12 percent; hot dipped galvanized sheet and strip, down 13 percent; and cold rolled sheet, down 4 percent.

  Sudbury Xstrata / First Nickel Negotiations

  Sudbury Nickel Strike Coverage

  Iron Ore News // Talks / Spy Scandal Coverage

  • China Daily Special Coverage
  • SINA
  • Chain of Events
  • Steel mills feel the heat in ore talks as output peaks - Crude steel production in China, the world's largest steel maker, rose 14 percent to a record last year, further complicating this year's iron ore negotiations. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Thursday, January 21

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - plus 12 to 3,170. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) China Accelerates to 10.7% Growth Pace as Danger of Asset Bubble Increases // JAL Bankruptcy May Prompt Japan Inc. to Shore Up Underfunded Pension Plans // Roubini Says Global Stock Rally May End in Second Half on Muted Recovery // China's Economic Growth Surge May Push Wen's Inflation Goal Out of Reach // Asian Stocks Fall for Fourth Day on Tightening Concern; ICBC, Larsen Drop  // European Manufacturing, Services Expansion Unexpectedly Slowed in January // Papaconstantinou Says Greece Doesn't Need Rescue to Reduce Record Deficit // ECB Says Interest Rates `Appropriate' as Growth, Inflation Remain Muted // U.K. Budget Deficit Widens to Record $25.4 Billion as Spending Tops Taxes // European Stocks Fall for Second Day, Erasing Year's Gains; TomTom Declines // Goldman Sachs Profit Beats Estimates as Company Slashes Compensation Ratio // Banks' Size, Trading Would Be Limited in Obama Plan to Reduce Risk-Taking // China Losing to U.S. as Investment Choice on Bubble Concern in Global Poll // U.S. May Expand 4% This Year in `Spark' After Recession, MKM's Darda Says  // Jobless Claims in U.S. Unexpectedly Rise Amid Holiday Applications Backlog // Philadelphia Area Manufacturing Grows a Fifth Month as Recovery Takes Hold // Leading Indicators Increase 1.1% in Sign U.S. Economy to Continue Growing
  • The US Dollar continues to trade higher against the Euro, but by less than 1/10 of 1% at the moment. NYMEX crude is down1.7% on less than stellar economic reports today, and under $76.50/barrel. Gold is off nearly 1/2% and silver is lower by 2.4%. Base metals ended their session mixed, but mostly lower. Nickel bucked the trend again, and indicator charts show a choppy day of down, then up, then down again, and back up. By the end of the session, Dow Jones reports three month nickel ended the day at $8.59/lb . Inventories of nickel stored in LME approved warehouses rose overnight, and now rest over the 161,700 tonne level.  The Baltic Dry Index gained 12 points, to rise to 3,170. For metals, China released 2009 metal import/export numbers today. Nickel fared well, with total imports for 2009 of refined nickel up 111.86% higher than 2008 totals. US markets looked early on to be in a recovery mood today according to futures, but then employment figures were released and everything went to hell in a handbag fairly quickly. First time jobless claims rose at their fastest rate since last May for the week ending January 16th, and even the 4 week average, which had been falling for the last 5 months, rose. This is not what economists, or traders for that matter, had been expecting, and Wall Street market futures turned south before the opening bell rang. Generally the news from around the world today was less than positive, and the news that was, was concerning. European PMI numbers showed the pace of any recovery there has slowed. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia manufacturing index slowed  but stayed positive. China released 4th quarter GDP numbers, but they were so high, many said China has now entered bubble territory, and traders feared China would have to raise interest rates to slow things down and keep the threat of inflation at bay. And the Conference Board reported its index of leading economic indicators for December rose by 1.1%.  Dow is down around 200 points at teh moment.

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • (Dow Jones) Production capacity at the Henderson primary molybdenum mine has been hiked to 80% from 60% through most of the year following an improvement to market conditions, U.S. producer Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (FCX) said Thursday. Production was reduced when global economic conditions crimped sales of the metal, used in aircraft parts and alloys used in stainless steel.
  • Buffett: I am not buying more Posco shares - more
  • Copper shifts have yellow light blinking for U.S. stock market - more
  • Which metals will outshine gold? - more
  • SAS: A new no. 1 best employer - more
  • The World of What Matters Now - more
  • The frequency of economic statistics matters at turning points - more
  • NBER Intrigue - more
  • Crash of 2008 winner says bear market is back - more

  Areva’s Sale of Eramet, STMicro Stakes Not Urgent, Echos Says - Areva SA’s plan to sell its stakes in nickel producer Eramet SA and chipmaker STMicroelectronics NV isn’t urgent because the nuclear-plant maker needs cash only from 2011, Les Echos reported, citing people it didn’t identify. - more

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:25 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.03/lb with most base metals higher but quiet. The US Dollar is trading higher against the Euro, up nearly 1/4 of 1%, making commodities more expensive. NYMEX crude futures are up 1/4 of 1% and nearing $78/barrel. Gold continues to falter, down nearly 7/10 of 1% with silver off 1.4%. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended lower with China up 4/10 of 1%.  European markets are trading higher this morning, even after a composite purchasing managers index showed manufacturing and service growth slowing in January. US futures show a tepid but positive opening for Wall Street at present, after  a positive earnings report from Goldman Sachs.  Nickel inventories rose overnight, while the BDI gained 12 points.  
  • Bloomberg morning base metal news - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments - There was nowhere to hide for the bulls yesterday, as practically all the markets sold off. In metals, aluminum and zinc fell to one-week lows, as did copper, while lead tumbled to a six-week low. Oil prices were off sharply as well. The markets were pummeled by a spate of headlines, with the most prominent being the Chinese credit tightening news we referred to in yesterday’s note. Although the banking directive that sparked the selloff was not meant to be industry-wide directive, the markets nevertheless interpreted the move as one more step towards tightening. Because of this move, the selling that started in Asia yesterday got worse when European and US markets opened, with a sloppy session on Wall Street just adding to the declines. At one point, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down by about 200 points, before closing 120 points lower. Mixed earnings reports, particularly from some of the banks and a lukewarm 2010 outlook puts out by IBM, hurt sentiment, as did fresh uncertainties about the Obama agenda in wake of the Senate race in Massachusetts. ..... With yesterday’s decline pushing metal prices lower into the trading range, we suspect that we have somewhat more to go on the downside, as a test of key trend line supports looks to be in the offing. In this regard, we could see copper test (and likely hold) support at $7170, while aluminum could fade to $2150 before stabilizing. Although growth globally now seems to be well entrenched, there are legitimate fears that we are moving quickly to the next level of the economic cycle, namely, one in which the authorities have to raise rates in order to ensure inflation remains under control. However, doing so too quickly or too much could snuff out the fledgling economic recovery. We suspect this dilemma will likely weigh on the commodity (and stock) markets for a little while longer, keeping rallies somewhat in check for now. ... Nickel is at $18,667, up $67, and taking the resumption of talks at Vale, (see below), somewhat in stride.   (read Ed Meir's complete morning base metals report here)
  • (Interfax) China's daily crude steel output reached an average of 1.54 million tons in December 2009, down 2.53 percent from that recorded in November, according to figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Jan. 21.
  • (JMB) Japanese raw steel output decreased by 26.3% or 31.2 million tonnes to 87.53 million tonnes in 2009 from 2008, which decreased for 2 years in a row, hit less than 90 million tonnes for the first time since 1971 and hit the lowest level since 1969, announced by Japan Iron and Steel Federation on Wednesday.
  • (AMM) Sources report that spot premiums for truckloads of plating-grade nickel remain in a range of $0.90 to $1.00 per lb over LME prices
  • China’s Copper Output in 2009 Gains 9.6% to a Record - more
  • China's GDP grows 8.7% in 2009 - more
  • Without Jobs, There Is No Recovery - more

  Industrial Metals Prices to Climb 15 Percent, South Korea Says - South Korea, Asia’s third-biggest buyer of base metals, forecast that average prices may gain by more than 15 percent in 2010 as the global economy recovers, and said it plans a further boost to the nation’s reserves. - more

  Landowners Shut Dow PNG Nickel Mine - The Kurumbukari landowners of the Ramu nickel and cobalt mine in Madang province have stopped all operations at the mine. - more

  Int'l Ferro Q2 output jumps 85% - South African-based International Ferro Metals Ltd posted an 85 percent jump in second-quarter output after it restarted a furnace and said the market had improved. - more

  Market Tendency On Imports Of Ferro-Alloys At 15th January 2010 = In Preparation For Lunar New Year In China, Steel Mills Are Moving To Purchase Positively Ferro-Alloys - The market tendency by item on imports of ferro-alloys into Japan at the 15th January of 2010 is as follows ; - more

  Palmer's nickel plant stages turnaround - A major nickel plant bought by Australia's richest man Clive Palmer last year has staged a remarkable turnaround, its operators say. - more

  Time to get back into the nickel business - Now is the time to get back into the nickel business, says the president and chief executive officer of a junior nickel miner with operations in Timmins and Gogama. - more

  Nickel on recovery path in January - Nickel prices are heading north continuously this week following various news that demand for nickel will soar in the coming days whereas the production of the commodity may suffer in the coming days. - more

  Jien completes takeover of Nunavik nickel mine - A Chinese-Canadian mining partnership has finalized its takeover of the Canadian Royalties’ Nunavik Nickel Mine project, at least on paper. - more

  ThyssenKrupp says most of businesses made profit in Q1 - ThyssenKrupp said on Thursday the majority of its businesses posted a profit in its fiscal first quarter, allowing Germany's biggest steelmaker to look forward with cautious optimism. - more

  More positive outlook for EU mill steel prices - The EU market remained quiet two weeks into the New Year. Many companies took extended holidays because of the poor economic climate and the severe weather hitting several countries has also served to dampen activity. - more

  Sudbury Xstrata / First Nickel Negotiations

  Sudbury Nickel Strike Coverage

  Iron Ore News // Talks / Spy Scandal Coverage

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Wednesday, January 20

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - minus 50 to 3,158. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) IMF's Strauss-Kahn Says China's Yuan Is Undervalued, Should Trade Freely  // Asian Drug Companies Jump as Republican Senate Win Imperils Health Reform // Liu Orders Some Chinese Banks to Limit Loans Due to Insufficient Capital  // Chinese Shares Fall on Concern Stimulus Being Wound Back; Dollar Advances // Greek 10-Year Bonds Tumble; Premium to Bunds Widens to Most Since March 17 // Strauss-Kahn Says Greece's Deficit a `Problem,' Sees No Euro-Zone Break-Up // U.K. Jobless Claims Decline at Fastest Pace Since 2007 as Economy Recovers // European Stocks Slump by Most in Six Weeks; Rio Tinto, Renault Shares Drop // Bank of America Posts $194 Million Loss After Lender Repays Bailout Funds // Buffett Opposes Obama Levy on U.S. Banks, Likens Plan to Taxing Congress // Housing Starts in U.S. Fall More Than Forecast; Building Permits Increase // Producer Prices in U.S. Climb 0.2% in Sign Inflation Threat Is Contained
  • The Euro is getting hammered by the US Dollar today, and is now trading 1-1/4% lower. NYMEX crude oil is down 2% and under $77.50/barrel. Gold is off 2-1/3% while silver is lower by over 4.6%. No matter how optimistic traders were on base metals, today's thrashing of the Euro couldn't be overcome and base metals ended lower. Indicator charts show nickel opened lower, and was unable to climb out of the basement during the session. Dow Jones reports three month nickel ended the day at $8.53/lb . Inventories of nickel stored in LME approved warehouses slipped for a third time overnight, and now rest just over the 161,000 tonne level. LME warehouses have dropped over 700 tonnes in the last three days. The last time inventories fell "significantly" was in the second half of September 2009, where over an 8 day consecutive stretch, inventories fell by 2022 tonnes. Sucden's day old chart shows nickel trading thru yesterday (chart here). Traders are watching Sudbury very closely for news about any possible strike threat at Xstrata's operation there, and until this situation is resolved, don't expect to see nickel doing any significant price drops. So far, Xstrata and CAW Local 598 have effectively kept their negotiations behind closed doors and out of the press, so its anyone's guess how it is going. Our hunch is there won't be a strike, but only time will tell, and our strike hunches last year didn't go so well. Signing bonus' anyone? The union representing Voisey's Bay workers has agreed to meet with Vale this week over their strike, and it is hoped, at least by yours truly, that since the two represent the same groups currently striking in Sudbury, we might see some behind the scene negotiations going on. The Baltic Dry Index slipped 50 points to 3,158. The Commerce Department reported new housing starts fell 4% in December, making 2009 about the worse year for homebuilders since World War Two. Building permits rose to their highest in 15 months. The US producer price-index rose 0.2% in December, with core prices flat, showing inflation threats are still a theory and not yet a reality. Gold traders weren't happy about that, so with the Dollar pressuring, we are seeing a sizable drop in gold prices today, and even harsher for silver, the poor man's gold. The Sudbury Star reports Vale Inco has fired up its nickel smelter and started feeding nickel concentrate thru yesterday.

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • (SS) Scotiabank is forecasting an average nickel price of US$7.95 per pound in 2010 and $8 per pound in 2011.
  • Don’t Buy Anything That Can Be Made With a Printing Press - more
  • Who Bears the Costs of Post-Crisis Recovery ? - more
  • Suburbs See Poverty Grow With Recession - more
  • Asian stocks hit by fears of China bank lending curbs - more

  Vale Inco restarts smelter - Vale Inco Ltd. has resumed partial production at the Copper Cliff Smelter Complex, in the seventh month of a strike by its production and maintenance workers. - more

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:30 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around  $.09/lb lower with most base metals trading lower this morning. The US Dollar is trading much stronger against the Euro this morning, up nearly 1.1%.  NYMEX crude futures are down nearly 1.5% and under $78/barrel. Gold is lower by nearly 1.2% and silver is off by over 1.5%. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended lower with China off on new Chinese loan limitations. European markets are trading lower this morning, and futures show Wall Street may open lower after gaining over 1% on the Dow yesterday. Nickel inventories fell for a third consecutive time overnight, and the BDI fell 50 points. The Democrats lost their 60th vote majority in the US Senate last evening.
  • Bloomberg morning base metal news - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments - Metal prices finished higher yesterday, with copper hitting one-week highs and shrugging off the impact of the stronger dollar. Instead, the group seemed to be taking take its cue from a surge in the US equity markets, which started to discount a likely victory by the Republican nominee in the crucial Massachusetts Senate race. The thinking here is that if the Republicans clinch the hotly-contested seat, (which finally went their way last night), President's Obama's left-of-center agenda may be imperiled, as Democrats will now lack a filibuster-proof majority. This, in turn, may be good for some of the US corporate's that are currently in the administration's crosshairs, such as hospitals and drug companies, both of which had strong gains on the stock exchanges yesterday. Yesterday's strong dollar/weak commodity aberration seems to be reversing itself today, and we are seeing the more traditional relationship reassert itself. The dollar is now trading at 1.4162, as fallout from the Massachusetts Senate rate continues to reverberate through the currency markets. Given this strength, oil has already given up yesterday’s entire advance, and metals have given up a good chunk of yesterday’s gains as well. Also troubling the markets somewhat today was overnight news out of China that authorities have told some banks to limit lending. The chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission said in an interview that some capital-deficient banks were asked to rein in credit, but pointed out that he has not asked all Chinese banks to limit lending. Nevertheless, the markets interpreted the move as more evidence of further modest tightening, leading to the selling we saw in Asia.  ... Nickel is at $19,100, down $115, and fairly quiet, but prices seem to be creeping higher towards key resistance at $21,500. (read Ed Meir's complete morning base metals report here)
  • (Dow Jones) Jones)  The world nickel market was in a deficit of 19,000 metric tons between January and November 2009, the World Bureau of Metal Statistics said Wednesday.
  • (Yieh) According to the China Iron and Steel Association (CISA), China’s daily crude production rose by 1.6 percent in the first 10 days of the year, though there are concerns about increasing stockpiles.
  • (Interfax) China's largest nickel producer Jinchuan Group Ltd. hiked its ex-works refined nickel price by RMB 4,000 ($585.88) to RMB 145,000 ($21,238.26) per ton on Jan. 20, following rebounding international nickel prices.
  • (MBiz) Previously, JISCO's ferrochrome suppliers learned that JISCO's ferrochrome purchase price is fixed at the price of below 8,000 yuan per ton, part suppliers believed that JISCO's ferrochrome price for February is likely to stand at 7,900 yuan per ton. After the heated negotiation between steelmills and suppliers, JISCO's ferrochrome purchase price for February is set at the price of 7,800 yuan per ton, the quantity being around 15,000 tons.
  • (Interfax) The China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) has called for banks to pay more attention to loans made to domestic steel mills, state media reported on Jan. 19.
  • (Bloomberg) The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo index of builder confidence decreased to 15 from 16 the prior month, the Washington-based group said today. Readings below 50 mean most respondents view conditions as poor.
  • Chinese loan moves hit miners despite good news from BHP - more
  • A regular commentary on the El Niño-Southern Oscillation - more

  Nickel price rises on Xstrata strike fears - A potential strike by Xstrata Nickel workers in Greater Sudbury is making nickel markets nervous. - more

  Molybdenum Market Outlook – First Quarter 2010 - more

  • Nickel Market Outlook – First Quarter 2010 - more

  Price Of Stainless Scrap In Japan Is Rising In January, Being Stimulated By Higher Prices In China, Etc. = Stainless Steel Production In China Is Recovering, Price Of Stainless Scrap In USA Has Also Risen - The actual price of nickel-based stainless steel scrap (new clippings) to be collected from domestic sources of Japan by dealers in January of 2010 has started on a level of Yen 155,000 - 160,000 per metric ton ex. yard, having risen by Yen 10,000 - 15,000 per ton compared with that prevailed in December of 2009. - more

  Steel, Aluminum Inventories Rise in U.S., Canada - Inventories of steel and aluminum products at metals service centers in the United States and Canada rose slightly in December as shipments of those products declined seasonally, the Metals Activity Report from the Metals Service Center Institute shows. - more

  BHP Says Iron Ore Output Rises to Record, Forecasts Volatility - BHP Billiton Ltd., the largest mining company, said fiscal second-quarter iron ore output rose 11 percent to a record on Chinese demand, and forecast a volatile outlook as governments withdraw economic stimulus. - more

  Inco Liable for Years of Pollution, Lawyer Says  - Vale SA’s Inco Ltd. hasn’t cleaned up all properties near an Ontario nickel refinery 10 years after it was shown land was polluted by nickel emissions from the plant, leaving a stigma that has cut property values, a lawyer for a group of residents said. - more

  Chiefs rally behind exploration protest - District media organizations are to get a first-hand look today at a series of protests being staged by remote native groups near a potentially huge chromite deposit about 500 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay. - more

  Sudbury Xstrata / First Nickel Negotiations

  • Mine Mill Local 598
  • Sudbury Star
  • Potential strike at Xstrata's Sudbury operations sends nickel price higher - Nickel prices gained more than three per cent Tuesday on news that Xstrata's workers in Sudbury, Ont., could be on strike by the end of the month, potentially joining striking Vale Inco workers to take 11 per cent of the world's nickel supply offline. - more
  • Talks to end Labrador mine strike to restart -Vale Inco workers in Labrador said Tuesday they'll begin negotiations with the company this week in hopes of ending a six-month-old strike at the Voisey's Bay nickel mine. - more
  • Vale Inco mulls deep cuts at Sudbury mine - Brazilian mining giant Vale Inco wants to cut staff at its strike bound operations in Sudbury by as much as 50 per cent and overhaul workplace practices significantly over the next five years, according to internal company documents. - more

  Sudbury Nickel Strike Coverage

  • About 3,050 hourly rated production and maintenance workers, members of United Steelworkers Local 6500, have been on strike since July 13. Another 130 USW Local 6200 members in Port Colborne are also on strike. About 450 members of USW Local 9508 in Voisey's Bay have been on strike since Aug. 1.
  • Sudbury Star
  • Vale/Inco offer // Vale/Inco Company Site
  • Union Strike Site //  USW  Local 6500
  • Sudbury TV // Sudbury Northern Life Videos
  • Voisey's miners ready to resume talks with Vale - The union representing striking workers at Vale's Voisey's Bay nickel mine in Eastern Canada said on Tuesday it had received a new proposal from the company and would try to return to the bargaining table. - more

  Iron Ore News // Talks / Spy Scandal Coverage

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Tuesday, January 19

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - minus 87 to 3,208. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) Japan Airlines Files for Bankruptcy as Government Offers $10 Billion Loans // Warren Buffett Wants to Buy More Posco Stock, Steelmaker Says; Shares Rise // China Has `No Compelling Reason' to Raise Interest Rates, ADB's Park Says // Asia Stocks Drop for Second Day on Earnings as Metals Rise, Dollar Weakens // Cadbury Accepts Kraft's Raised Takeover Bid, Creating Biggest Candy Maker // U.K. Inflation Rate Jumps Most on Record to 2.9% on Oil, Tax, Discounts // German Investor Confidence Declines More Than Predicted, ZEW Center Says // European Stocks Climb for Second Day, Touch 15-Month High; Cadbury Gains // Citigroup Loses $7.6 Billion in Fourth Quarter on Costs to Repay Bailout // Buffett's Berkshire Stake Shrinks Below 25% on Burlington Deal, Donations // Record Cash Flow Means S&P 500 Trades at Half '07 Valuation After 68% Gain // International Demand for U.S. Assets Rises, Led by Record Bond Purchases // Stocks Rise in U.S. as Treasuries Retreat, Stronger Dollar Sends Oil Lower
  • The US Dollar continues to trade higher against the Euro, in the 7/10 of 1% region. NYMEX crude is now positive , but by less than 1/10 of 1% and back over $78/barrel. Gold is up nearly 1/2 of 1%, while silver is up over 6/10 of 1%. Base metals ended mixed to mostly higher, and for the most part, spent the day quietly. That is, except for nickel. Indicator charts show nickel was slipping this morning and bottomed out shortly after our morning posting. For the rest of the day, nickel climbed. Dow Jones reports three month nickel ended the day at $8.71/lb , its highest close for 2010. Inventories of nickel stored in LME warehouses fell slightly overnight, yet remain above the 161,600 tonne level. Sucden's day old chart shows nickel trading thru yesterday (chart here). Dow Jones is reporting the cause for today's climb in nickel was due ni part to an International Nickel Study Group report that estimated the nickel market was in a 3,000 ton deficit in November. Barclays estimated today that nickel would average $9.52/lb in the first quarter of 2010, which also got traders attention. The Baltic Dry Index slipped 87 points to 3,208. Conditions in Haiti are near apocalyptic in some areas of that earthquake ravaged country, as rescuers struggle with the monumental logistical task of getting aid where its needed. We are posting another video below that CNN posted earlier this morning - one that we found very moving.    

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • (MW) The Fastenal Co.said Tuesday that fourth-quarter earnings fell to $44.5 million, or 30 cents a share, compared to $62.5 million, or 42 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Sales fell 12.5% to $477 million from $555 million last year.
  • Doug Casey Says Stock Market Set to Crash - more
  • Eurodollar Weakness Foretelling Equity Decline? - more
  • Deflation, Inflation or Stagflation - You Be the Judge! - more
  • Are the Effects of Unemployment About To Shoot Through the Roof? - more
  • Government payroll across U.S. Presidencies - more
  • How the big banks rigged the market - more
  • Why AIG Counter-Parties Received 100% on Derivatives - more

  NW Ont. First Nation plans blockade of exploration activity in Ring of Fire area - A northwestern Ontario First Nation plans to set up barriers Tuesday to block ongoing exploration activity at what could be the world’s biggest source of stainless steel. - more

  Nickel - a case study in Great Expectations - The LME nickel market is a near-perfect distillation of the funds-versus-fundamentals debate that continues to split the metals community down the middle. - more

  Outlook for industrial metals in 2010 - BIR - Following are comments from members of the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) issued late last week about the 2010 outlook for industrial metals markets in different regions. - more

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:25 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.09/lb lower, with all London traded base metals trading lower. The Euro is trading lower against the US Dollar , down about 7/10 of 1%, which is putting pressure on commodity trading. NYMEX crude futures are down nearly 3/10 of 1% and under $78/barrel. Gold is trading flat, while silver is off over 4/10 of 1%. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended quietly, while China edged up a hair. European markets are trading lower this morning, while US futures have turned south and show Wall Street may open lower on Citigroup's fourth quarter loss. Nickel inventories slipped slightly overnight, while the BDI fell for a second day, down 87 points.    
  • Bloomberg morning base metal news - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments - We had a very quiet day on Monday, as prices ended the session where they started it. The only exception was ali, which seems to have faded over the course of the day to close pretty much unchanged.  We are seeing very lackluster and mixed trading conditions again as of this writing, with modest gains noted only in zinc. The dollar has recouped all of yesterday’s losses, and is helping reverse the earlier gains metals made in Asian trading. What also may be weighing on metals is a Reuters story that the central banks of both China and Taiwan tightened money supply overnight. Taiwan nudged up its overnight bank lending rate by one basis point to an eight-month high, while in China, the People's Bank of China lifted the auction yield on one-year bills in its regular open market operation for a second week in a row. Indian bond yields also rose after the country's chief statistician said inflation might hit double digits by March, raising the prospect of policy tightening when the central bank announces its rate decision by month’s end. Given the lack of macro news out of the US today, we expect the impact of the stronger dollar and the modest tightening news out of the Far East to weigh on the markets, and perhaps reverse some of the gains generated in yesterday’s session. However, China's trade data and industrial production numbers come out on Thursday, and may be the next pivot point for the markets. ... Nickel is at $18,825, down $65, and very quiet. (read Ed Meir's complete morning base metals report here)
  • (Yieh) Global stainless steel output is expected to increase by 8 percent to 27 million tons in 2010 and 30 million tons in 2011, according to expectations in a report published by Roskill Consulting Group Ltd, a British market analyst.
  • (Interfax) Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) expects China's crude steel output to reach 590 million tons in 2010, up 4.42 percent from that of 2009, a senior UBS employee said at a press conference on Jan. 18.
  • (SBB) Chinese nickel pig iron producers running at high rates
  • (TFE) “We feel that in the short term, there might some correction in base metal prices because of monetary policy tightening, wariness over the US job market, supply issues at mines, and the weak dollar. But that pullback should provide buyers with fresh impetus,” said Anand James, senior analyst at Geojit Comtrade Ltd, a commodities brokerage firm.
  • China's top steel maker Baoshan Iron & Steel Co. (Baosteel Group) targets to produce 40.05 million metric tons (tonne) of pig iron, 44.75 million tonnes of crude steel and 43.49 million tonnes of steel billets in 2010. - more
  • (JMB) Tokyo Steel announced on Monday the firm increases the selling price of all steel items by 3,000 yen per tonne for distributors for February order.
  • (SC) The domestic steel prices were stepping down from January 8 to 18 in China although both Baoshan Iron & Steel Co., Ltd. and Wuhan Iron and Steel Co., Ltd. recently raised the ex-works prices of some products.
  • (China) Time to cage inflation tiger, say experts - more
  • Rogers trains guns on Chanos for China remarks - more

  Time to get back into the nickel business - Now is the time to get back into the nickel business, says the president and chief executive officer of a junior nickel miner with operations in Timmins and Gogama.  - more

  Clan Leaders Worried About PNG Nickel Mine - In Papua New Guinea, clan leaders at Basamuk in Madang Province are worried about the underwater blasting operation that the developers of the Ramu nickel mine are proposing. - more

  General Review Of Molybdenum In 2009 And Its Outlook For New Year = Key Points Are Listing Molybdenum On LME And Chinese Power To Import Molybdenum - On the occasion of 2010, the composition of molybdenum is anticipated to change largely. In the past years, the quantity of molybdenum consumed by steel companies had shared nearly 60% of the whole demand and was a main factor to influence on molybdenum prices. - more

  After seven years of delay, work may begin on U.P. nickel mine - Kennecott Eagle Minerals Co. finally has won state approval for a nickel and copper mine in the Upper Peninsula. - more

  Minara output hits record as nickel price rises  - Australia's second-largest nickel producer, Minara Resources Ltd, on Tuesday reported record 2009 nickel output at its Murrin Murrin mine as demand for the steel-making ingredient showed signs of recovery. - more

  Courtesy AISI - In the week ending January 16, 2010, domestic raw steel production was 1,564,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 64.7 percent. Production was 1,016,000 tons in the week ending January 16, 2010, while the capability utilization then was 42.4 percent. The current week production represents a 53.9 percent increase from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending January 16, 2010 is up 2.6 percent from the previous week ending January 2, 2010 when production was 1,525,000 tons and the rate of capability utilization was 63.9 percent.

  Sudbury Xstrata / First Nickel Negotiations

  Sudbury Nickel Strike Coverage

  Iron Ore News // Talks / Spy Scandal Coverage

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Monday, January 18

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - minus 4 to 3,295. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) Google Says It's Holding Talks With China Amid Dispute Over Cyber Attacks  // Yen Carry Trade Shows Japan Losing Mojo With Collapsing Market Volatility // Asian Stocks, Korean Won Decline as U.S. Consumer Confidence Disappoints // Investors Should Bet Euro Will Fall Versus Pound on Greece Risk, UBS Says // U.K. Home Sellers Raised Prices in January as Supply Squeeze Intensified // EU Considers Imposing Price Disclosure Rules on Dark Pool Trading Systems // European Finance Chiefs Says Greece Must Deal With Deficit Crisis Itself  // European Stocks Climb; Kazakhmys, Cadbury Gain as Titan Cement Paces Greek Decline / Corporate-Government Spread Rises as Banks Rush Debt Sales: Credit Markets // Euro Falls Against Dollar, Greek Bonds Drop on Budget Concern; Stocks // Japan Airlines Said to Near Pact With Delta, Severing Ties With American //
  • The US Dollar is currently trading lower against the Euro, down less than 1/10 of 1%. NYMEX crude is up 4/10 of 1% and has slipped back below $78.50/barrel. Gold is up 1/4 of 1% and silver is 1-1/3%. Base metals ended the day  mostly higher, with many slipping in after market trading. Indicator charts show nickel had a V shaped day, slipping early and then spending much of the afternoon in a climb. Dow Jones reports three month nickel ended the day at $8.57/lb  Inventories of nickel stored in LME approved warehouses fell over the weekend, and remain above the 161,500 tonne level. Sucden's day old chart shows trading last week (chart here).  Both the RSI and SStoch show the market was leaning into overbought territory when the market opened this morning, but traders didn't seem to mind. The Baltic Dry Index slipped 4 points to 3,295. Reuters posted a story for subscribers today that contained a couple of charts worth seeing. Chart 1 (here) shows China net nickel imports over the last 3 years on a monthly basis. Chart 2 (here) shows global stainless steel production on a quarterly basis over the same period. US markets are closed today, but futures show sentiment is still positive for tomorrow. 60 Minutes showed a segment on the Haiti disaster that contained some very disturbing and shocking images, but worth seeing. video here

  Reports

  • Commodities Daily - pdf here
  • Weekly Commodity Price Report - pdf here
  • The Commodity Tracker - pdf here
  • Periodic Table of Commodity Returns - more

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • (DJC) Goldman Sachs commodity analyst Jeffrey Currie - "...nickel will be hamstrung by the development of nickel pig iron technologies in China. All of the metals, though, will be constrained by large inventories for most of 2010..."
  • Bank Economists Expect Slow Growth, High Unemployment - more
  • Good News, Bad News on China’s High Savings - more
  • NAHB Housing Market Index and Housing Starts - more
  • Rail Traffic in 2009: Lowest since at least 1988 - more
  • Britain's recession the steepest for 88 years - more
  • US Foreclosure In 2009 Set All Time Record High - more
  • Too much wealth? - more
  • The complex network of global cargo ship movements - pdf here

  Miner may build processing plant following finds at nickel mines in Surigao del Norte - Exploration by Canadian miner Mindoro Resources, Ltd. indicates an estimated nickel resource of 50 million-70 million dry metric tons (MT) at a nickel property in Surigao del Norte. - more

  Base metal outlook improves, OECD demand slow-BIR - Demand for industrial metals looks set to improve in 2010 as Asian buying forges on, but the industry remains on tenterhooks to see if OECD demand will also pick up, according to the Bureau of International Recycling. - more

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:30 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.07/lb higher, with most base metals trading quietly higher this morning.  The US Dollar is trading 1/10 of 1% higher against the Euro. NYMEX crude futures are up 3/4 of 1% and over $78.50/barrel. Gold is up 1/3 of 1% while silver is 1-1/4% higher. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended lower while China ended 1/2 of 1% higher. European markets are trading higher this morning, and US futures show Wall Street may open in a better mood than it finished last week. Inventories of nickel fell over the weekend, and the BDI  has yet to published. 
  • Bloomberg morning base metal news - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments -  Metal prices pushed lower on Friday, buckling under the pressure of a weaker dollar and growing apprehension about mounting stockpiles. Of the two, the dollar was the more noticeable factor, having one of its sharpest advances against the Euro in several weeks after it strengthened to 1.4337 from about 1.4510 earlier in the day. Greek-related default jitters were behind the surge in the greenback since the macro data out of the US did not provide much of a reason to rally. ... Metal prices are generally higher today, as a slightly easier dollar is allowing a measure of buying to set in. In fact, we have recouped most, if not all, of Friday’s losses, although it remains to be seen whether these gains can be sustained in the days ahead. Certainly, the technicals look solid, with prices in most of complexes still trading within their long-term upchannels despite the shorter-term picture looking somewhat messier. ... Nickel is at $18,750, up $150, but the charts show continued congestion, with prices not yet able to carve out the upward trading range that is prevalent in the other metals. In fact, nickel has yet to take out its 2009 highs so far this year, ($21,325), while all the other metals have already done so.  (read Ed Meir's complete morning base metals report here)
  • (Interfax) Shanxi Province-based Taiyuan Iron and Steel (Group) Co. Ltd. (TISCO), China's largest stainless steel mill, saw its stainless crude steel output increase by 38.2 percent year-on-year to 2.48 million tons in 2009, a company employee told Interfax.
  • (Yieh) Cerro Matoso, BHP Billiton's ferro-nickel subsidiary in Colombia plans maintenance at the No.1 blast furnace from September 2010 for six months. This movement is for the purpose of expanding capacity. The annual production of its existing two blast furnaces is 55,000 tons.
  • (MBiz) According to the statistics, Japan imported 11,171 tons of stainless steel in November of 2009, fell 21.7% from 14,264 tons in October. There into, Japan imported stainless steel of 9,111 tons from S.Korea, 552 tons from Taiwan and 393 tons from China.
  • (MB) Jinchuan lifts nickel prices by $293 on LME rebound
  • (NB) Avanco Resources Ltd expects drill testing of recently identified targets, at its Brazilian Touro nickel project, the company said on January 18, 2010. Induced polarisation and geochemical surveys have identified a 4km long nickel anomaly, with values of less than 1000 parts per million nickel, and up to 2000ppm.
  • Expect Higher Commodity Prices in 2010: Frost & Sullivan - more
  • (NAW) The business outlook for manufacturers improved modestly in the fourth quarter of 2009, marking the third consecutive quarterly improvement in the NAM/IndustryWeek Manufacturing Index. The Index is a quarterly survey of members of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) that began in the fourth quarter of 1997.
  • IMF chief: global recovery stronger than expected - more

  Molybdenum Prices Have Rebounded, After Having Broken Silence For 3 Months = Domestic Prices In China Have Turned To Rise, USA Is Moving To Purchase Molybdenum - Market price of molybdenum oxide has turned to rise, after having broken a silence continued for about 3 months. - more

  Domestic stainless steel processing viable - The country's only stainless steel processor could be up and running within five years at Western Australia's newest port. - more

  Thainox says main shareholder in talks with POSCO - Thainox Stainless Pcl , Southeast Asia's largest stainless steel producer, said on Monday its main shareholder was discussing the sale of a stake to South Korea's POSCO but made no comment on the price. - more

  Mwana Africa Set to Clinch Financial Deal - AIM-listed Mwana Africa Holdings is close to clinching a financial deal that will enable the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed Bindura Nickel Corporation (BNC), the only integrated nickel mine, smelter and refinery operation in Africa, to re-open. - more

  China Liquidity Curbs May Slow Steel Demand, UBS Says  - China’s lending curbs may slow demand growth for steel from ongoing infrastructure and property projects in the world’s largest consumer of the metal, an analyst at UBS AG said. - more

  • Baosteel says 2009 net profit falls 11% - Baoshan Iron & Steel Co, China's largest steelmaker, said its 2009 net profit fell about 11 percent from a year earlier as turnover declined by more than a quarter. - more

  IBC Rental and Service Leader Metano Holds Firm Against Stainless Steel Price Increases - Despite rising raw material costs and increasing IBC demand, Metano IBC Services Inc. announced that it will hold the line on rental prices for its intermediate bulk container lines. - more

  Sudbury Xstrata / First Nickel Negotiations

  Sudbury Nickel Strike Coverage

  • About 3,050 hourly rated production and maintenance workers, members of United Steelworkers Local 6500, have been on strike since July 13. Another 130 USW Local 6200 members in Port Colborne are also on strike. About 450 members of USW Local 9508 in Voisey's Bay have been on strike since Aug. 1.
  • Sudbury Star
  • Vale/Inco offer // Vale/Inco Company Site
  • Union Strike Site //  USW  Local 6500
  • Sudbury TV // Sudbury Northern Life Videos
  •   Vale Inco e-mails offer to striking N.L. miners - The company that owns the Voisey's Bay nickel mine in northern Labrador has made a new offer to unionized workers in an effort to end the 5½-month strike at the mine. - more

  Iron Ore News // Talks / Spy Scandal Coverage

  • China Daily Special Coverage
  • SINA
  • Chain of Events
  • Vale to Grab Ore Share From BHP, Rio as Demand Surges  - Vale SA, the world’s biggest iron- ore miner, may win back market share from rivals BHP Billiton Ltd. and Rio Tinto Group because it can boost exports faster as demand for the steelmaking raw material surges to a record. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Friday, January 15

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - plus 64 to 3,299. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) Yen, Dollar Gain as China Slowdown Concern Damps Demand for Higher Yields // China Reserves Hit Record, Lending Growth Accelerates in Challenge to Wen // Japan Air Turnaround to Be Confirmed on Jan. 19, Paving Way to Bankruptcy // Peugeot Said to Discuss Controlling Stake in Mitsubishi to Deepen Alliance // Spain, Ireland Lead European Nations in $34 Billion Bond Sales Using Banks // Greece Won't Default on Its Debt or Abandon Single Currency, Juncker Says // European Stocks Drop, Led by Deutsche Bank, Societe Generale, Solar Shares // JPMorgan Earnings More Than Quadruple; Shares Fall on Higher Loss Reserves // Wall Street May Reduce Compensation as Public Furor Mounts on Bonus Pay // Strengthening U.S. Recovery Lends Urgency to Fed's Debate on Exit Strategy // U.S. Production, Confidence Gain as Prices Slow in First Stage of Recovery // Lacker Says Threats to Fed's Autonomy Pose Risks to Stability of Economy // Banks Permanently Modify 66,465 of 4 Million Troubled Mortgages Under Plan // Recovery in U.S. Extends Into 2010 Without Stoking Inflation, Reports Show // Manufacturing in New York Fed Region Grows More Than Forecast, Fed Says // Strengthening U.S. Recovery Lends Urgency to Fed's Debate on Exit Strategy
  • The US Dollar is trading much higher against the Euro than this morning, up well over 8/10 of 1% and at 1.4374. NYMEX crude is off nearly 1-1/4% and under $78/50/barrel. Gold is getting hammered today as US inflation stays in check and the Dollar increases, down over 1%. Silver is off nearly 1.4%. For the most part, base metals traded in London ended lower today. Except for nickel. Nickel waited just long enough for us to report it wasn't doing much this morning, and almost immediately went green. For the rest of the trading day, it slowly gained, only taking a break toward the end of the session. For the day and week, Dow Jones reports three month nickel closed at $8.44/lb , up 1.1% for the week. Nickel inventories stored in LME authorized warehouses rose to yet another record high overnight and now sit just shy of the 162,000 tonne level. Sucden's day old chart shows nickel bottoming out and rising over the past few days (chart here). The Baltic Dry Index rose 64 points to 3,299. Reports coming from China of power supply problems in some areas due to the cold weather and extensive snow pack. At the moment, Wall Street is off 1-1/3% as government and business reports come out "not as good as analysts expected".  Have a safe and enjoyable weekend!!

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • (AP) South Korea's leading steelmaker, said Thursday that its earnings increased 77 percent from a year earlier in the fourth quarter of last year due to decreased costs and rising demand.
  • Commodity Secular Bull Market Continues - more
  • Metals may be set for an encore to last year's stunning climb - more
  • Most Americans Say U.S. Headed in Wrong Direction - more
  • Economists React: ‘Disappointing’ Drop In Retail Sales - more
  • Oil imports hit alarming level in China: Study - more
  • Are the Effects of "TRUE" Unemployment About to Kick In? - more
  • Scenes from the financial crisis hearings - more
  • Design or Incompetence? - more
  • Affluent retirees split on whether focus should be lifestyle goals or savings goals in survey - more

  London Metal Exchange hits second highest trading volume in 2009 - The London Metal Exchange (LME) hit the second highest trading volume in its history in 2009, according to the annual trading figures released on Friday - more

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:30 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.01/lb  with other base metals mostly lower. The Euro is trading over 1/10 of 1% lower against the US Dollar, adding pressure to commodity trading. NYMEX crude futures are down 7/10 of 1% and under $79/barrel. Gold is off 7/10 of 1% while silver is down over 6/10 of 1%. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended slightly higher with China up nearly 4/10 of 1%. European markets are slightly lower, while US futures show Wall Street may open lower. Nickel inventories rose to another record overnight, while the BDI  rose 64 points.

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments - Metals ended mostly higher yesterday, although copper did see a slight dip late in US trading. However, trading conditions were very subdued, with the upside kept in check by the largely negative macro data out of the US. In this regard, US retail sales for December decreased 0.3%, weaker than the 0.5% increase expected, and well below the 1.8% spike seen in November. Stripping out automobiles, sales decreased 0.2%, also worse than the 0.3% increase forecast. Labor data showed US initial jobless claims for the latest week totaling 444,000, a bit more than the 437,000 expected, but continuing claims, (a measure of how many people are moving off the dole), retreated to 4.60 million from an upwardly revised 4.81 million. Still, it was the retail sales number that was the most important reading, as the size of the miss was quite substantial. The dollar is now trading below 1.44 mainly on account of Greek-related jitters, and in fact, its rise against the Euro over the past 24 hours has been the biggest move it has made against the European currency in about a month. This explains why we are seeing today's modest sell-off in metals, wiping out all of yesterday’s gains. Also not helpful, were reports of further copper stock increases both out of the LME and from Shanghai. Aluminum stocks rose by a hefty 10,000 tons on the week on the Chinese exchange. We do not have much to add to what we have been saying in recent commentary. Metals have tried but failed to take out their recent trading range highs on this most recent retest, and have spent their time since then back away. Up to now, the retracement has been modest, as the longer-term uptrends are still intact, but there is understandable nervousness about the gradual tightening of credit, recently illustrated by China's moves hiking reserve requirements and yield auctions. The Indian central bank announces its rate decision later in the month and could be the next shoe to drop in this regard. On the metal supply side, although there continues to be concern about various bottlenecks (strikes, power cutbacks, etc), there does not seem to be a corresponding dip in inventory levels, meaning that the commercial trade is still relatively complacent about its ability to source metal. ....  Nickel is at $18,280, down $20. LME stocks continue to push higher and are now at record highs. (read Ed Meir's complete morning base metals report here)
  • (Dow Jones) Nickel will average $20,000 a metric ton in 2010 due to a forecast recovery in demand and just over $22,000/ton between 2010 and 2011, estimates Roskill Information Services. The group forecasts demand for the metal, primarily used to make stainless steel, will rise by 7% this year after three consecutive years of declines.
  • (Yieh) Taiwan’s Yieh United Steel Corp. (Yusco) has announced a price rise of US$80~100/ton for stainless steel exports for the second half of January. The company’s domestic prices for 300 series will raise by NT$2,000/ton. The price rise is triggered by higher nickel prices and improved demand.
  • Chines pig nickel production rose 5.47% in December, resulting in the production of 13.7 thousand tons of nickel.
  • (SO) China's iron ore imports in December totaled 62.16 million mt, up 11.09 million mt month on month and up 80.02 percent year on year, according to newly-issued figures. In 2009, China's iron ore imports came to 628 million mt, up 41.6 percent year on year.
  • (AIF) China has expanded its mining rights in North Korea to cover as many as 20 sites, a South Korean report said Thursday. China is a leading investor in North Korea, which, according to a South Korean study, is believed to have enormous deposits of natural resources, including coal, nickel, molybdenum and bronze.
  • (JMB) Nickel Series Stainless Sheet Price Keeps Flat, Tokyo
  • (SBB) Chinese stainless 304 CR prices slip, 430 prices rise
  • MBiz) Recently, Aquarius Platinum resumed the construction of its chrome reprocessing plant of Everest mine in South Africa. The company's UG2 chrome production line with the annual production of 216,000 tons was estimated to be put into the production in September, 2010.
  • (DM) Recovery in the manufacturing sector may be clearly in sight, according to the quarterly Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI Survey on the Business Outlook – December 2009. The December 2009 composite index rose to 57% from 38% reported in the September 2009 report, representing the highest level since March 2008, and the first time in six quarters it has reached 50% or above.
  • Food Shortages Coming, Buy Commodities: Jim Rogers - more
  • Gresham sees more money in commodities in 2010 - more

  Molybdenum prices on a sustainable upswing: JP Morgan - Prices for molybdenum, a base metal used to make stainless steel, will likely rise 55% in the next two years, JP Morgan analysts said Thursday. - more

  Michigan officials give final OK for nation’s only mine where nickel will be primary mineral -  Michigan regulators have given final approval for construction and operation of a bitterly contested nickel and copper mine in the Upper Peninsula. - more

  Rusina, DMCI to resume nickel export as prices rise - Australian miner Rusina Mining NL and the Consunji-led DMCI Mining Corp. expect to resume nickel ore exports early this year given improved metal prices. - more

  Prices Of Chinese Ferro-Alloys For Exports Have Risen Further After New Year = Reflecting Risen Prices In Domestic Market Of China And Also Troubled Deliveries By Heavy Snowfall - The prices of bulk ferro-alloys (silicon ferro-alloys and manganese ferro-alloys) produced in China have risen further from the beginning of 2010. - more

  2010 expected to be tough for mining  - 2010 is expected to remain tough for the mining sector due to rand strength and the likelihood of high electricity tariff increases in July, according to Investec economist Kgotso Radira. - more

  Cyclone brews off Australian oil, mining region - Australia's giant Port Hedland iron ore terminal is monitoring a low pressure system threatening to intensify into a cyclone by Sunday but has no immediate plans to activate emergency procedures, a port spokeswoman said on Friday. - more

  Few more for the weekend

  Sudbury Xstrata / First Nickel Negotiations

  • Mine Mill Local 598
  • Sudbury Star
  • Overwhelming strike mandate - Members of Mine Mill Local 598/CAW, Xstrata Nickel unit, gave their bargaining committee an overwhelming strike mandate of 96% at votes held Wednesday at the Radisson Hotel. - more

  Sudbury Nickel Strike Coverage

  Iron Ore News // Talks / Spy Scandal Coverage

  • China Daily Special Coverage
  • SINA
  • Chain of Events
  • Baosteel Appoints Iron Ore Negotiator as Prices Surge  - Baosteel Group Corp., China’s biggest steelmaker, named Wang Liqun as its new chief negotiator for iron ore contract talks, an executive said, amid forecasts that prices may surge as much as 50 percent. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Thursday, January 14

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - plus 60 to 3,235. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) China's Overheating Economy Poses Global Risk, World Economic Forum Says // Shanghai Overtakes Tokyo as Asia's Biggest Stock Market by Trading Value // Stocks Advance as Low Interest Rates Bolster Economies; Yen, Corn Decline // Bankers `Let Down' as Income Tax Increase Makes London Most Expensive City // European Central Bank Keeps Rate at Record Low 1% to Boost Economic Growth // Papandreou Vows to Cut Costs, Add $14.5 Billion Revenue to Narrow Deficit // Volkswagen's Bentley Targets U.S. Sales Growth in 2010 With Mulsanne Sedan // Euro Weakens Against Dollar as Trichet Says Outlook for Region Uncertain // European Stocks Rise for Second Day on Economy; Rio Tinto, Celesio Advance // Obama Bank Levy Would Target Up to 50 of the Biggest U.S. Financial Firms // Fed's Dudley Says Short-Term Rates May Stay Low for as Long as Two Years // Foreclosures in U.S. to Rise to Record 3 Million in 2010, RealtyTrac Says // U.S. Retail Sales Unexpectedly Drop in Sign Economy May Be Slow to Recover  // U.S. Jobless Claims Rise; Four-Week Average Hits Lowest Since August 2008 // Bair, Schapiro Say Banks' Pay Practices Helped Spur U.S. Financial Crisis
  • The US Dollar continues to trade higher against the Euro, now up nearly 2/10 of 1%. NYMEX crude is off 2/10 of 1% and under $79.50/barrel. Gold is flat and silver is off 2/10 of 1%. Base metals ended the day higher, but off session highs. Indicator charts show nickel opened lower, then took off. It appeared the day would end the day with a huge increase, but around 3:30 pm London time, things went to hell in a hand basket, and the price went into a free fall. Dow Jones reports three month nickel ended the day at $8.30/lb , right where it ended yesterday. Inventories of nickel store in LME approved warehouses rose by a huge number overnight, and now sit over the 161,500 tonne level, a new record high. Sucden's day old chart shows nickel reversal yesterday (chart here). And yes, for those who are following, Rotterdam received the lion's share of the nickel overnight. The Baltic Dry Index gained for the 4th consecutive day, up 60 points to 3,235. This is a total gain of 95 points so far this week. In US economic news today, the Commerce Department reported US business inventories rose for a second month, up 0.4% and less than expected. They also reported retail sales fell 0.3% in December after economists had forecast an increase. First time jobless claims unexpectedly rose last week, by 11,000 to 440,000 per week. MarketWatch reports "Overall, a record 10.9 million Americans received federal and state unemployment benefits on an unadjusted basis in the week ended Dec. 26, the latest period for which the data is available. This is up from 10.6 million in the prior week." And Wall Street today? Up for reasons other than the news.

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • (FIN) Australian nickel pig iron producer China Steel Australia Ltd (ASX:CNH) says it has increased production at its nickel pig iron and merchant pig iron plant to 85% capacity after receiving a large order from a major customer. This is the second ramp up of production this week after earlier announcing an increase to 75%.
  • (rewrite) Global Stainless Production Down 15% in 2009 - more
  • Report Warns About Public Debt - more
  • (WSJ) The Fed's "beige book" survey, released Wednesday, said that conditions in 10 of its 12 districts have improved lately. The exceptions, the Philadelphia and Richmond, Va., districts, reported "mixed conditions".
  • SEC Helped AIG Hide Pass thru Bailouts to GS, others - more
  • In-Depth Look – Crash In US Home Prices May Resume - more
  • California's debt rating cut again on budget woes - more
  • The Really Remarkable Story: Goldman Could Buy Insurance on the CDOs It Sold - more
  • Percents And Sensibility - more
  • I'm No Chicken Little - more

  Ferrochrome pricing is disordered - Buyers report that ferrochrome prices are muddled this week in a range of 88¢ to 95¢ per pound, depending on which trader is making a supply offer for February delivery. - more

  China Metals: Perception versus reality in pricing - Traders and speculators see active metals purchasing by China as a good economic gauge that justifies raising world commodity prices. But, lately, the country has been overbuying and building stockpiles. Maybe prices should be falling. - more

  Canadian union files labor complaint against Vale - The United Steelworkers union filed a labor complaint against Brazilian miner Vale's Inco unit on Wednesday, claiming it has refused to engage in negotiations to end what is now a six-month strike at the company's nickel operations in Sudbury, Ontario. - more

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:30 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.09/lb higher, with all base metals trading higher this morning. The US Dollar is trading 1/10 of 1% higher against teh Euro, typically adding pressure to commodity trading. NYMEX crude futures are up 4/10 of 1% and just under $80/barrel. Gold is up a tad, while silver has opened 4/10 of 1% lower. In overnight trading, Asian markets rebounded from yesterday's loss, with China up 1.4%. European markets are higher after the European Central Bank kept its benchmark interest rate at 1%. And US futures should open higher. Nickel inventories leapt to a new record high overnight and the BDI gained 60 points.
  • Bloomberg morning base metal news - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments -  "Metals perked up yesterday in a very quiet session and stabilizing somewhat after Tuesday's sharp sell-off. As we noted in yesterday’s note, the technicals in the complex have not yet to deteriorate to the extent that would force many of the recent longs to pare length, and so a heavier wave of selling was perhaps averted. This morning, we are off to a mixed start after earlier losses were reversed. The group is modestly higher in quiet trading, with only lead and nickel showing slight losses. The dollar is not doing much today, and in fact, has not been able to break away from the 1.45 level against the Euro for some days now. And after three days of declines, energy prices are up slightly, although oil’s chart patterns and short-term fundamentals argue for further declines.  ... nickel is at $18,212, down $88. LME stocks were up by a hefty 1900 MT today, but another close above $18,000 today should keep the minor short-term upchannel intact.  (read Ed Meir's complete morning base metals report here)
  • Dow Jones poll of 36 metals analysts - nickel forecast - Average Spot Price For 2010: $17,773   Highest Average Forecast: $26,000 Lowest Average Forecast: $14,750
  • (Dow Jones) Goldman Sachs (GS) Thursday revised its 12-month copper, nickel and zinc forecasts, citing a combination of improving economic growth in developed markets and robust emerging markets growth. .... It also raised nickel to $17,195/ton from $17,140/ton ...
  • (Yieh) According to the report, Japan imported 11,171 tons of stainless steel products in November, 2009, down by 21.7 percent compared to it was 14,264 tons in October.
  • (JMB) Japan Ni Series Stainless Export Recovers to Asia
  • (ANB) China Steel Australia Ltd says a major customer has placed a large order for nickel pig iron which has further increased production at its nickel pig iron and merchant pig iron plant in Shandong, China, to 85% capacity. China Steel already announced earlier this week that it had increased its capacity to 75%.
  • (SO) The South Korean steelmaker POSCO announced on January 14 that the fourth blast furnace at its Gwangyang Steelworks has achieved 15,613 metric tons of production per day, the first time in the world that such a high output level has been attained.
  • (RITA) The Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) rose 1.8 percent in November from its October level, rising after two consecutive monthly declines, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported today
  • (NFIB) The National Federation of Independent Business Index of Small Business Optimism lost 0.3 points in December, falling to 88.0 (1986=100). The Index is seven points higher than the survey’s second lowest reading reached in March 2009 (the lowest reading was 80.1 in 1980) but has been below 90 for 15 months. Optimism has clearly stalled in spite of the improvements in the economy.
  • PTC Alliance Files for Chapter 11 Protection - more
  • Steel workers hope for last minute lifeline - more

  NICKEL-Major market developments in January - Global nickel prices will weaken further unless more output cuts are made to offset falling demand and prevent the market from recording a supply surplus for the third consecutive year, analysts say. - more

  Analysis: Swollen stocks to shackle nickel prices - An abundance of nickel could see already swollen stocks surge to new record highs over coming weeks and hit prices of the metal used to make stainless steel. - more

  CRU Indices Increase Frequency of Their European Steel Sheet Indices - Having tracked European steel sheet prices on a monthly basis for over 25 years, CRU will be introducing weekly assessments for Germany, France, Italy and Spain from February 2010. - more

  Baoshan Steel Unexpectedly Keeps Prices Unchanged  - Baoshan Iron & Steel Co., China’s largest steelmaker, kept prices for its main products unchanged for February delivery after the government restrained lending. - more

  • Baosteel increases February manufacturer prices - Baoshan Iron & Steel Co (Baosteel), the nation's largest steel mill, significantly raised its February manufacturer prices yesterday. - more
  • Guest column: Domestic scrap steel price may reach $468 per ton in Q1 - Globally speaking, prices of scrap steel, a raw material for steelmaking, usually share the same price trend as steel rebar, which is a major steel product. - more

  POSCO sees 2010 domestic steel demand up 13 pct - South Korea's POSCO forecast on Thursday that domestic steel demand would grow 13 percent this year, driven by automakers and builders, while the global demand was expected to rise around 10 percent. - more

  Rio, Posco Production Gains Signal Rebounding Steel Demand -  Rio Tinto Group, the world’s third- largest mining company, and Posco, Asia’s most profitable steelmaker, are raising production as demand from carmakers and builders rebounds with the global economic recovery.  - more

  Two videos today - inside two of the world's largest nickel operations

  Sudbury Xstrata / First Nickel Negotiations

  Sudbury Nickel Strike Coverage

  • About 3,050 hourly rated production and maintenance workers, members of United Steelworkers Local 6500, have been on strike since July 13. Another 130 USW Local 6200 members in Port Colborne are also on strike. About 450 members of USW Local 9508 in Voisey's Bay have been on strike since Aug. 1.
  • Sudbury Star
  • Vale/Inco offer // Vale/Inco Company Site
  • Union Strike Site //  USW  Local 6500
  • Sudbury TV // Sudbury Northern Life Videos
  • Some in Canada Say Strike Shows Risk of Foreign Control - Last July, the 3,300 unionized workers who normally work deep below this city in the vast nickel mines owned by Vale Inco did something unusual: they went on strike even though they had already been laid off temporarily. - more

  Iron Ore News // Talks / Spy Scandal Coverage

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Wednesday, January 13

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - plus 15 to 3,175. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) Global Economic Confidence Rises to Record as Factory Growth Accelerates // Google May Close China Site, Offices After `Highly Sophisticated' Attack // Investors Turn Bullish on Stocks From U.S. to Japan on Economy, Earnings // Copper, Aluminum Rally May Cool as China Restrains Lending, Analysts Say // China's Stocks Decline Most in Seven Weeks on Stimulus Exit; Banks Slump // U.K. Bankers Surrender on Darling Bonus Levy as Income Tax Increase Looms // Germany's Economy Probably Stagnated in Fourth Quarter, Shrank 5% in 2009 // Pound Advances After Sentance Tells Guardian BOE May Raise Interest Rates // Greek Government Debt Risk Surges to Record After Moody's Report, CDS Show // U.K. Recession Probably Ended Last Quarter With 0.3% Expansion, Niesr Says // European Stocks Gain as Infineon, ASML Advance; Societe Generale Declines // Bank of America Names Finance Chief Joe Price to Help Stem Consumer Losses // SEC Vote May Reveal Scope of Regulation on High-Frequency Stock Trading // Mortgage Applications Increased 14% Last Week, Led by Refinancing Activity // Stocks in U.S., Europe Advance as Bonds, Crude Oil Retreat; Pound Climbs
  • The Euro has given up most of its morning gains, and is now trading 2/10 of 1% higher against the US Dollar. NYMEX crude is trading 7/10 of 1% lower and holding on to the $80/barrel level. Gold is up nearly 1/2 of 1% while silver is 1.8% higher. Base metals finally decided to take advantage of the lower Dollar, and nearly all ended the session higher. Indicator charts show nickel stumbled early, but then began a slow, gradual climb that lasted the rest of the session. Dow Jones reports three month nickel ended the day at $8.30/lb . Nickel inventories stored in LME approved warehouses slipped for a second consecutive day overnight, bringing the total decrease off Monday's record high to less than 150 tonnes. Sucden's day old chart shows nickel trading thru yesterday (chart here). The Baltic Dry Index rose 15 points to 3,175.

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • (Dow Jones) Russia exported 221,100 metric tons of nickel in January-November, some 4.1% less than in January-November 2008, the federal customs service reported Wednesday.
  • Economists’ Views on Interest Rates, Housing Bubble - more
  • Competition for Positions Intensifies as Job Openings Decline - more
  • Why Obama must take on Wall Street - more
  • What causes mass unemployment? - more
  • Too Big Too Fail Tax - more
  • US Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - figures here
  • Is China's tightening move a milestone in monetary policy? - more

  Metals May Gain 32% in 2010, Morgan Stanley Forecasts  - Metal prices may average 32 percent higher this year because of strengthening industrial production, driven by growth in China, said Morgan Stanley. - more

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:25 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.01/lb higher, with other base metals mixed and quiet. The Euro is trading over 1/2 of 1% higher against the US Dollar, throwing a monkey wrench in yesterday's base metal sell off. NYMEX crude futures are down 9/10 of 1% and just over $80/barrel. Gold and silver see to be the only metal commodities taking advantage of the lower Dollar so far today, with gold up nearly 6/10 of 1% and silver higher by more than 9/10 of 1%. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended lower with China off more than 3%. European markets are trading slightly higher this morning, although Germany's Federal Statistics Office reported that Europe's biggest economy most likely stagnated in the 4th quarter of 2009. US futures are up this morning. Nickel inventories slipped by a small amount for a second day, and the BDI's daily figures have yet to be published.
  • Bloomberg morning base metal news - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments - "Metals fell sharply on Tuesday, as the markets never recovered from the surprising Chinese news about reserve requirements being raised. Copper sank to a two-week lows, as did lead, while zinc and nickel both plunged to three-week lows. However, despite yesterday’s sizable sell-off and today’s mixed tone, most of the metals are still comfortably within their long-term upchannels, as the charts in today’s attachment illustrate. We would therefore need to see further selling before the technicals start to deteriorate meaningfully. With the weaker dollar not providing much upside firepower these days, (it is off again today, but could not hold off a round of earlier selling in Shanghai), metals will have to coalesce around other bullish variables, but apart from the technicals, this may be hard to find. Granted, the Chinese import numbers looked impressive yesterday, but they did not bolster the markets, as investors are perhaps having serious questions about whether these trends are sustainable. Already some key metal consuming sectors in China are expected to cool off. Automobile sales, for example, are expected to be up by a modest 5-10% this year, down sharply from 2009's heady 50% growth rate. Much of last year's increase was fueled by attractive tax incentives and rebates, and these are unlikely to be offered again this year. Demand in the western countries, while improving, is still not that strong to justify continued price advances, and most disturbingly for the bulls, LME inventories continue to rise, particularly in copper’s case. Finally, on the supply side, we are seeing more producers expanding or starting up production after a sharp, but brief, retrenchment seen in late 2008 and early 2009. All this suggests that we could very well start to see the formation of a trading range in a number of metals over the next few months, as the argument for another push higher, at least for now, looks harder to justify.  ... Nickel is at $17,860, up $160. We are watching to see whether prices will recover back over $18,000 today in order to keep the minor short-term upchannel (in red) intact.  (read Ed Meir's complete morning base metals report here)
  • (Interfax) Jinchuan Group Ltd., China's largest nickel producer, lowered its ex-works refined nickel price by RMB 4,000 ($585.88) to RMB 139,000 ($20,359.44) per ton on Jan. 13, following six consecutive price increases since mid-December 2009.
  • (MBiz)  According to the data from the Stainless Steel Council of China Special Steel Enterprises Association (SSC), China's stainless steel production recorded high to 8.6mln tons in 2009, hiking by 25% than last year. Stainless steel consumption also went up around 30% to more than 8.1mln tons.
  • (JMD) POSCO to Raise Output Rate of 400 series Stainless to 40%
  • (PT) Customs: Russia’s nickel exports down 4.3% in Jan–Nov 2009
  • (JMD) Cold-rolled Ni stainless steel sheet/ Recovers price for Asia
  • (SO) On January 12, employees of El-Hajar-based ArcelorMittal Annaba, Algerian subsidiary of the world's largest steelmaker ArcelorMittal, began a strike for an indefinite period, halting production at the steel plant.
  • (WSJ) Commodity Prices Threaten Economic Recovery
  • Recovery and Globality: The Commodities Chase - more
  • (CD) Bank reserve ratio raised to curb lending - more
  • (SSY) Chinese passenger car sales rose by 53% year-on-year to an all-time high of 10.3 million units in 2009, according to China’s Association of Automobile Manufacturers.
  • (Peter Boockvar) 1/12 - On Dec 31st, the fed funds futures priced in a 78% chance of a 25 bps rate hike by June. Today, prior to the auction, the odds fell to 12%, thus making today’s (3 year note) auction more enticing even as the absolute yield is at a 3 week low
  • (FOX) The top officials of the state electric utilities in the capital of Caracas and two other western states on Tuesday announced plans for four-hour outages every other day. Electricity Minister Angel Rodriguez says the rationing plan is necessary to prevent water levels in Guri Dam from falling to critical levels and causing a widespread power collapse.

  Rusina: Deal To Resume Nickel Laterite Shipments - Minerals explorer Rusina Mining NL said Wednesday it's set to resume shipments of nickel laterite ore from its Acoje tenements on the island of Luzon in the Philippines in a sign of improved market conditions. - more

  Tati nickel mine poised for longer life - Tati Nickel Mine, which recovers copper, nickel and cobalt, is located a few kilometers west of Francistown in the northern part of Botswana whose operations date back to 1999 in the country. - more

  Posco Expanding Globally - Posco plans to add supply-chain management (SCM) units at its overseas production bases, including four in the U.S., India and China this year. - more

  India may limit some private sector mining-paper - The Indian government is considering a proposal to restrict mining in tribal areas by private sector companies, The Economic Times reported on Wednesday. - more

 Nickel - Making Your Life Better (this week we will be showing one video a day of interest to those in the nickel & stainless steel industry)

  Sudbury Xstrata / First Nickel Negotiations

  Sudbury Nickel Strike Coverage

  • About 3,050 hourly rated production and maintenance workers, members of United Steelworkers Local 6500, have been on strike since July 13. Another 130 USW Local 6200 members in Port Colborne are also on strike. About 450 members of USW Local 9508 in Voisey's Bay have been on strike since Aug. 1.
  • Sudbury Star
  • Vale/Inco offer // Vale/Inco Company Site
  • Union Strike Site //  USW  Local 6500
  • Sudbury TV // Sudbury Northern Life Videos
  • Steelworkers union to file 'bad-faith' bargaining complaint against Vale Inco - The United Steelworkers union says it will file a bad-faith bargaining complaint against Vale Inco. - more
  • Steelworkers up the ante - United Steelworkers is marking the sixth-month anniversary of its strike against Vale Inco Ltd. with a parade and a flurry of paper, but neither is the ticker-tape variety. - more

  Iron Ore News // Talks / Spy Scandal Coverage

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Tuesday, January 12

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - plus 12 to 3,160. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) China Raises Banks' Reserve Requirement Ratio 50 Basis Points From Jan. 18 // Japan Air Plummets by Daily Trading Limit on Bankruptcy Filing Speculation // India's Industrial Output Growth Accelerates at Fastest Pace in 25 Months // Ford, Geely Said to Be Close to Agreement on Shielding Volvo Trade Secrets // Hong Kong Luxury Home Prices to Increase 20% as Economy Expands, CBRE Says // Most Asian Stocks Rise on China Auto Sales, Infosys Earnings; SAIC Climbs // UBS Asks Workers to Sign Code on Tax Compliance, Secrecy to Stem Damage // Greek Markets Rattled as EU Says Budget Deficit Forecasts Are Unreliable // U.K. House Price Gauge Unexpectedly Weakens as New Buyer Enquiries Decline // European Stocks Drop on Earnings; BHP, National Bank of Greece Shares Fall  // Obama Plans to Raise as Much as $120 Billion From Bank Fees to Refund TARP // U.S. Stock Futures Drop After Alcoa Misses Estimates, China Curbs Lending // Small-Business Confidence in U.S. Drops to Five-Month Low on Sales Outlook // Federal Reserve Seeks to Protect U.S. Bailout Secrets Against Court Ruling // General Motors Studies How to Boost Output as Supply of `Hot' Models Drops // Trade Deficit in U.S. Widens More Than Economists Forecast on Oil Imports // Stocks, Oil Drop as Treasuries Rally on Concern Economic Recovery to Slow
  • The US Dollar continues to trade higher against the Euro, but by less than 1/10 of 1% at the moment. NYMEX crude is down 1-1/4%, gold is off nearly 1-1/4%, and silver is lower by 1-1/2%. Base metals finished their session lower across the board after China raised reserve requirements for banks, and traders feared Chinese growth might chill. Indicator charts show nickel fell early, gradually slid for much of the day until it found a bottom in late afternoon. Dow Jones reports three month nickel ended the day at $8.03/lb . Inventories of nickel stored in LME warehouses fell slightly overnight from their record high. The Baltic Dry Index gained 12 points to 3,160. Effective tomorrow, we are adding temporary links to our morning briefing in reference to the Xstrata and First Nickel negotiations going on in Canada, to supplement the coverage on the Vale strike.

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • (Dow Jones) U.S. nickel exports rose 149.3% in November from the previous month, and was up 376.1% from the previous year, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday.
  • (Dow Jones) -U.S. nickel imports fell 3.8% in  November from last month, but was up 15.8% from the previous year, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday.
  • Top 100 Mining Companies: What a difference a year makes - more
  • Barry Ritholtz - Alcoa reported a Q4 2009 loss of $277 million loss, on lower sales and higher costs. Losses narrowed from a year ago when they were $1.2 billion dollars. Pro forma operating profits were 1 cent, missing analysts estimates of a 6 cent profit, and begging the question of HTF can you report a per share profit on a quarter billion dollar loss? The analyst and accounting industries should hang their head in shame, and reach for a wakizashi to perform Seppuku, being the only honorable thing to do after the great shame brought upon their houses.
  • Melbourne Swelters Through Hottest Night in a Century - more
  • The Unofficial List of Pundits/Experts Who Were Wrong on the Housing Bubble - more
  • Optimism Dips At Small Businesses - more
  • The Sky Is Falling Before Schedule. Again. - more
  • Federal Reserve’s Record 2009 Earnings: $45B - more

  Industrial metals fall on China move, stronger dollar  - Industrial metals fell on Tuesday with copper dropping to a one-week low due to a stronger dollar, signs of monetary tightening in China, and lower than expected results from major aluminium producer Alcoa. - more

  First Nickel - Bargaining Update - Jan 8th, 2010 - pdf here

  Demand to Return to the Nickel Market in 2010 - The fallout from the financial crisis that afflicted the world economy has seen nickel prices fluctuate wildly. LME prices peaked at just over US$52,000/t in May 2007, on the back of strong demand and low stocks, but had fallen by over 80% by the end of 2008, as demand collapsed. - more

  ThyssenKrupp says steel output stabilises further  - Germany's biggest steelmaker ThyssenKrupp said on Tuesday capacity utilisation in its steel factories and production volumes have stabilised further as it managed to raise prices for some products. - more

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:30 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.06/lb , with all base metals lower in morning trading. The US Dollar is trading a little over 1/10 of 1% higher against the Euro this morning. NYMEX crude futures are down over 1-1/3% and under $81.50/barrel. Gold opened nearly 3/10 of 1% lower while silver is off nearly the same. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended a tad lower, with China up by 1-1/2%. European markets are lower this morning after earnings from Alcoa Inc. missed analysts’ estimates and China raised reserve requirements for the nation’s lenders. US futures are also lower. Nickel inventories slipped slightly over night and the BDI has yet to be reported. The ICSC-Goldman's same-store sales showed a 3% week on week drop for the January 9th week. And the Commerce Dept has just reported the trade deficit widened by 9.7% in November to $36.4 billion.
  • Bloomberg morning base metal news - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments - "Metal prices ended up on Monday, buoyed by a weaker U.S. dollar and strong Chinese import data, but a late-day fade in energy prices and a lackluster session in the US stock markets helped trim the gains. Moreover, the copper markets were wary about comments made by Chile's Mining Minister when he told Reuters in an exclusive interview Monday that global copper prices could see an "important" downward correction as inventories continue to climb. We have been saying the same thing for some time now, but when such a development will set in remains to be seen, as copper stocks have been rising for several months now with no meaningful impact on pricing. We have opened on a sharply lower note as of this writing, as a slightly firmer dollar and a round of profit-taking is finally setting in.  .... Despite very strong-looking technicals, (particularly on the weekly charts), many metals have done too much, too quickly, and are due for a modest correction from here. However, it remains to be seen whether this latest round of selling is going to be a drawn-out affair or reverse itself in short order. Much will likely depend on what the equity markets do; if they see a decent correction as well, the dollar could strengthen, pressuring commodities in the process. Another complex we are keeping an eye on is crude oil; after apparently breaking out of its trading range on Friday, prices are now retracing quickly, possibly rendering the previous break higher as being a false one. ... Nickel is at $17,748, down $142, and close to its lows for the day. We are watching to see whether $18,000 support will hold a two-day closing basis.  (read Ed Meir's complete morning base metals report here)
  • (Dow Jones) Most LME metals are trading above "fair value" but they could continue to do so for some time, says Citi analyst David Thurtell. Thurtell adds that fresh fund buying at the start of the year boosted metal prices but the poor employment data last Friday "took some of its heat."
  • (Yieh) According to Indian Jindal Stainless Ltd, its stainless steel production center with capacity of 1.6 million tons in Orissa will be completed in March 2014. The annual production of Jindal Stainless will be increased to 2.5 million tons in 2014 and it will cement their position as the largest stainless steel maker in India.
  • (Yieh) Market analyst said that t China’s steel shipment to the US in 2009 is predicted to fall due to anti-dumping duties.
  • (RM) Nickel consumption in Russia will double, according to the forecasts of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia. By 2011 it will increase by 21.4% and by 2010 it will increase by 2.1 times.
  • (SBB) Chinese stainless 304 prices slip $29-44/t
  • (MH) For the first 11 months of 2009, China increased imports of high-carbon ferrochrome to a record high. It is estimated that the supply of these products in January-November last year compared with the same period  of 2008, grew by 87.9% to $ 1.97 million tons.
  • (MBiz) MetalBiz reported that POSCO plans to produce 138,000 tonnes of stainless steel in January 2010, closing to December production.
  • (Interfax) Baoshan Iron and Steel Co. Ltd. (Baosteel), the Shanghai Stock Exchange-listed subsidiary of China's leading steelmaker Baosteel Group, announced on Jan. 12 it has signed long-term cooperation contracts with two major Chinese ferromolybdenum producers.
  • (BO) Norilsk-Nickel has opened a logistics office in Rotterdam to serve the company’s cargo transport between Europe and the Arctic port of Dudinka.
  • (SO) China's iron ore imports in December totaled 62.16 million mt, up 11.09 million mt month on month and up 80.02 percent year on year, according to newly-issued figures. In 2009, China's iron ore imports came to 628 million mt, up 41.6 percent year on year.
  • (MDM) November U.S. manufacturing technology consumption totaled $178.83 million, according to the American Machine Tool Distributors' Association and the Association for Manufacturing Technology. This total, as reported by companies participating in the USMTC program, was up 16% from October but down 16.2% from the total of $213.50 million reported for November 2008.

  Aggressive Purchases Of Chrome Ores By China Have Caused To Rise Its Prices = Eti Krom / Turkey Has Contracted With China On 140,000 Tons Of Chrome Ore - The domestic market of ferro-chrome in China has changed considerably in the course of December of 2009. The domestic price (on Cr 50% base) of high carbon ferro-chrome in China has risen to CNY7,700 - 7,800 per ton as of the end of December, which is CNY200 - 300 per ton higher than that prevailed at the beginning of December. - more

  Nickel industry slowly recovering - There are signs the nickel industry is recovering in Western Australian with one new miner producing its first ore. - more

  Mine disputes may prompt metal price spikes in 2010 - Global prices for some metals may spike at times later this year if workers, in some cases emboldened by high prices and lucrative pay deals elsewhere, demand better packages and strike at key operations. - more

  Mining company quits project after Church campaign - Anglo-Australian mining giant BHP Billiton has pulled out of a nickel mining project in the Philippines following a campaign by the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD), the English member of Caritas International. - more

  Mining bidding wars hint at M&A spree to come - A spate of hotly contested takeover deals in Canada's mining patch and steadily rising metal prices may drive busy dealmaking in 2010 after a lull in acquisitions last year, experts say. - more

  Courtesy AISI - In the week ending January 9, 2010, domestic raw steel production was 1,525,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 63.9 percent. Production was 1,016,000 tons in the week ending January 9, 2009, while the capability utilization then was 42.6 percent. The current week production represents a 50.1 percent increase from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending January 9, 2010 is up 3.9 percent from the previous week ending January 2, 2010 when production was 1,468,000 tons and the rate of capability utilization was 61.5 percent.

 Many Uses of Stainless Steel (this week we will be showing one video a day of interest to those in the nickel & stainless steel industry)

  Sudbury Nickel Strike Coverage

  Iron Ore News // Talks / Spy Scandal Coverage

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Monday, January 11

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index -  plus 8 to 3,148. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) China Ends U.S.'s 100-Year Reign as Biggest Auto Market on 46% Sales Surge // Bernanke Bond Premium Highest Since 2007 Shows U.S. Decoupling From Europe  // Japan Airlines Is Set for Bankruptcy as Hatoyama Abandons Bailout Policies // Stocks, Commodities Advance as China Imports Soar to Record; Dollar Falls // Heineken to Buy Femsa Beer Unit in All-Stock Deal Valued at $7.7 Billion // Trichet Says Global Banks Must Improve Risk Management After Credit Crisis // Dollar Declines to Three-Week Low Versus Euro on Signs of Global Recovery // Telefonica Falls Most in Two Months as Venezuela Devalues Bolivar By 50% // IMF Sends Team to Greece to Assist Government in Tackling Budget Deficit  // European Stocks Retreat From a 15-Month High; Telefonica, Thales Decline // Dollar No Match for Aussie, Loonie Approaching Parity as Commodities Rally // Federal Reserve Seeks Court Help to Block Release of U.S. Bailout Secrets // Bank Profits Tripling Leaves Stocks Cheapest With 15% Discount to S&P 500 // Geithner Retains Support of Obama, Democratic Leaders Amid AIG Controversy // U.S. Stocks Fluctuate as P&G Falls on Venezuela's Devaluation, Alcoa Rises
  • The Euro continues to trade higher against the US Dollar, by about 7/10 of 1% at the moment. NYMEX crude is trading 1/4 of 1% lower, and at $82.55/barrel. Gold is up nearly 1.2% and silver is higher by less than a full percent. Base metals all ended the day in the green, but some didn't end the day as well as they looked like they might. Indicator charts show nickel took off at the opening, only to start a long slide that lasted to the end of the trading session. Dow Jones reports three month nickel ended the day at $8.11/lb , two cents higher than Friday's close. Inventories of nickel stored in LME warehouse rose dramatically over the weekend, and now sit well over the 158,700 tonne level and at a new record high. Sucden's day old nickel chart shows nickel's correction last Thursday and Friday (chart here). The Baltic Dry Index rose 8 points to 3,148 with 2 of the 3 sub indexes in the green. Wall Street is in a back and forth mood as fourth quarter earnings begin after trading this evening. The VIX, however, continues to slide, reflecting no undo concern in the marketplace.

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • (MB) Shanxi Taigang Stainless Steel plans to produce 2.8 million tonnes of stainless steel this year, up 17% from 2009. China's biggest stainless steel mill also plans to "further enhance control" over raw material resources including iron ore, coal, chrome and nickel, although it did not elaborate on this.
  • The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions has seized a bank and a credit union, The Wall Street Journal reports. Bellingham-based Horizon Bank and Bakersfield-based Kern Central Credit Union were the first two bank failures in the year. There were 140 in 2009, and 25 in 2008.
  • America slides deeper into depression as Wall Street revels - more
  • The Most Stunning (and Uncommented on) Revelation in Too Big Too Fail - more
  • Compare countries' house-price data over time - more
  • Lowenstein: Walk Away From Your Mortgage! - more
  • Alliance Berstein Economist Sees Manufacturing Boom - more
  • Consumer Credit Is ‘Shockingly Weak’ - more
  • Obama and FDR - more
  • Learning From Europe - more

  Vale to restart Sudbury smelter despite strike - Vale will soon restart its Sudbury, Ontario, smelter for the first time since a strike at the operation began during the summer, the Brazilian mining company said on Monday. - more

  Allergy to mobile phones caused by nickel - Nickel in mobile phone casings is being blamed for new cases of otherwise unexplained unilateral dermatitis on the face. - more

  European Nickel partially divests Toledo Mining stake - Emerging mid-tier nickel laterite producer European Nickel has sold 2.5 million Toledo Mining (AIM: TMC) shares to a strategic investor. - more

  • Major Nickel Resource Potential for Mindoro in Philippines - Mindoro Resources Ltd. is pleased to announce an Exploration Target on its northern Surigao Projects of from 50 to 70 million dry metric tonnes (DMT) in a grade range of 0.9 percent to 1.2 percent nickel and 28 to 32 percent iron (combined limonite and saprolite). - more

  Orissa reviews progress of steel projects - In a bid to remove the irritants the steel projects have been facing, the Orissa government has decided to hold meeting of steel company top executive, all the line department officials of the state government and other stakeholders every fourth Saturday of the month. - more

  Iron Ore Contract Price May Rise as Much as 50%, Nomura Says - The iron ore contract price is set to increase 40 percent to 50 percent in 2010 after a surge in the cost of the steelmaking ingredient for immediate delivery on the so-called spot market, Nomura Holdings Inc. said. - more

  Insurers caution about NiMH batteries - The U.K. Protection and Indemnity Club and TT Club are drawing attention to potential hazards when transporting nickel metal hydride batteries on containerships. - more

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:25 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.20/lb higher, with all base metals trading higher this morning.  The Euro is trading 8/10 of 1% higher against the US Dollar, helping commodities trade higher. NYMEX crude futures are trading 1-1/4% higher and are approaching $84/barrel. Gold is up 1-2/3% and silver is higher by the same. Asian markets ended higher overnight with China up slightly. European markets are trading higher this morning after China  reported exports climbed 17.7% from a year earlier, the first increase in 14 months, with imports surging 55.9%. US futures show a higher opening on tap for Wall Street. Nickel inventories rose by a large number over the weekend, and the BDI rose 8 points.
  • Bloomberg morning base metal news - more
  • Reuters morning metals report - more

  Reports

  • Commodities Daily - pdf here
  • Commodities Report - pdf here
  • Metals Fundamental Report - pdf here
  • Morning Montra - pdf here
  • Metals & Energy - pdf here
  • Market Drivers - pdf here
  • Weekly Scoreboard - pdf here
  • Robry  Sunday Night Economic Assessment - more
  • SMM Weekly Review and Forecast - more
  • World Steel Statistics Monthly Commentary - more

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments - "Metals fell on Friday, but prices recovered off their worst levels of the day after a weaker-than-forecast US jobs report hit the dollar hard. In fact, the greenback suffered its biggest loss against a basket of six currencies in more than six weeks. The jobs reading showed employers cutting 85,000 jobs in December, much more than both the consensus forecast, as well as our own projection calling for an upside surprise. November payrolls did show a revised increase of 4,000 jobs-- the first gain, however puny, since 2007. However, there was not much else that was reassuring in the report; unemployment remained stuck at 10%, but would have been higher were it not for the fact that so many people simply stopped looking for work and were technically not counted as unemployed. Including this category, as well as the thousands of underemployed in part-time jobs, the truer unemployment figure is closer to a staggering 17%. With the dollar weaker as of this writing, (trading at 1.4540 against the Euro), and not much in the way of US macro news out over the next two days, the bulls have free rein today, with both metals and energy markets sharply higher. The commodity markets are teeing off news out of China showing a sharp jump in trade. China’s exports surged in December, up 17.7% from a year earlier for its first increase in 14 months, while imports jumped 55.9%. The year-on-year comparisons are being magnified somewhat by the tumble that began in late 2008 when the global credit crisis first got underway, but the bounce nevertheless is seen as making China help the world economy get back on its feet. With the December surge in exports, China has now overtaken Germany as the world's top exporter.  ... Nickel is at $18,400, up $500, and still struggling to break outside its trading range capped at $21,500 resistance. (read Ed Meir's complete morning base metals report here)
  • (Interfax) The total volume of China's steel product exports rose to 3.34 million tons in December 2009, up 17.19 percent month-on-month, according to preliminary statistics released by the General Administration of Customs (GAC) on Jan. 10.
  • (FA) Steel Market Intelligence in a research note citing unnamed press reported that China's top steelmaker Baosteel has raised benchmark flat rolled steel prices for February delivery by 5%.
  • (AB) China's daily crude steel output remained resilient in the last ten days of December, reaching 1.645 million tonnes, just 1.5 percent short of an August all-time high, according to industry consultancy Mysteel.
  • (Reuters) South Korea's POSCO forecast on Monday global steel demand would rise about 10% in in 2010, recovering to 2008 levels.
  • (ITA) Friday - Inventories at U.S. wholesalers in November unexpectedly jumped by the most in five years, signaling companies are picking up the pace of orders as sales improve. The 1.5 percent gain in stockpiles, the most since October 2004, followed a revised 0.6 percent rise in October that was larger than previously estimated, figures from the Commerce Department showed today in Washington.
  • (CD) There will be no question of China surpassing Germany as the world's largest exporter in 2009, based on the nation's higher-than-expected performance on exports in December, said analysts.
  • (CD) China's foreign trade in 2009 dropped 13.9 percent from a year earlier to $2.21 trillion and its trade surplus last year slid 34.2 percent year-on-year to $196.1 billion, according to figures released Sunday by the General Administration of Customs (GAC).

  Rio Tinto To Start Work In Indonesia's Lasamphala Nickel Project - PT Rio Tinto Indonesia said it will start this year work in its Rp18 trillion (US$1.93 billion) nickel mining project in Lasamphala in the border area of Central and Southeast Sulawesi provinces. - more

  Domestic Price Of Ni-Based Stainless Scrap Passes Over Year On Level Of Yen 140,000/Ton = Large Melting Furnace Installed At Yawata Works Of Nippon Steel Is Scheduled To Operate From March / 10 - The market price of nickel-based stainless steel scrap (new clippings) to be collected by dealers from domestic sources of Japan had bottomed out by Yen 135,000 per ton and, then, has risen up to a level of Yen 140,000 - 145,000 per ton in December, on which this year is passing over. - more

  Steel consumption may further expand - A senior official at the National Development and Reform Commission said the arrival of a new round of economic growth in China would require more steel than ever before. - more

  DJ Western Areas Says Ramp Up On Track, Drill Results Positive - Western Areas NL said Monday the delivery of new production at its Forrestania nickel project is on track and that recent drilling results have exceeded expectations. - more

 How It's Made - Stainless Steel (this week we will be showing one video a day of interest to those in the nickel & stainless steel industry)

  Sudbury Nickel Strike Coverage

  Iron Ore News // Talks / Spy Scandal Coverage

  • China Daily Special Coverage
  • SINA
  • Chain of Events
  • Iron Ore Imports Surging in China Strengthen BHP, Rio’s Hand - Iron ore imports by China, the largest buyer, surged 22 percent in December to the second- highest on record, strengthening the ability of BHP Billiton Ltd., Rio Tinto Group and Vale SA to ask for higher prices. - more
  • (AP) Detained Rio Tinto executive Stern Hu could find out on Monday if he will face a Chinese court on espionage charges.

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Weekend, January 9/10

  Research - China imports (thru November 2009)
  • All of this stats were obtained from Chinese government figures released in late December for 2009 thru November.
  • Thru November, China's output of nickel stod at 195,871.06 tons, 14.4% higher than thru Nov 2008.
  • Nickel ore imports - (total January thru November 2009) (#1) Philippines 54.9% (#2) Indonesia 41.9% (#3) Australia 1.26% (#4) Russia (#5) Spain (#6) South Africa = 14,839,215 tons - 28% more than same period last year
  • Refined nickel imports - (total January thru November 2009) (#1) Russian 33.4% (#2) Australia 19% (#3) Canada 17% (#4) Norway 15.6% (#5) South Africa 3.6% (#6) Finland (#7) Japan 236,608 tonnes - 120% more than last year
  • Chrome Ore imports - (total Janaury thru November 2009) (#1) South Africa 38.5% (#2) Turkey 18.7% (#3) Oman 6.8%) (#4) India (#5) Mozambique (#6) Pakistan (#7) Iran = 6,151,466 tons
  • Ferrochrome imports min 4% carbon - (total January thru November 2009) (#1) South Africa 43.4% (#2) Kazakhstan 28.6% (#3) India 15.8% (#4) Mozambique (#5) Turkey (#6) South Korea = 1,967,513 tons

  Nickel mine a 'nightmare' - Conservationists have labelled a proposed nickel mine in northern Tasmania a "nightmare" project. - more

  Smelter restart this month: Vale - It is a "safe bet" that Vale Inco Ltd. will restart its Copper Cliff Smelter Complex -- at least in part -- by the end of the month. - more

  • Unhappy anniversary: Valey Inco strike approaches six-months - For 30 years, the 8 1/2-month strike by United Steelworkers Local 6500 against Inco was the yardstick by which all labour disputes at the nickel company were measured. - more

  Ventura Sec bearish on copper, zinc, nickel - NS Ramaswamy, Head Commodities of Ventura Securities is bearish on nickel, zinc and copper. He advises investors to sell these commodities - more

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • (Yieh) It is reported that Indian Orissa government has approved 19 projects including two new stainless steel projects which initiated by JSL and Adhunik Mettalick. These two stainless steel plants could take advantage of the chromium iron resources in Orissa because most main chromium iron makers locate here. JSL will build a stainless steel plant with an annual production of 800,000 tons in Orissa and the stainless steel output will reach 2.5 to 2.6 million tons per year.
  • (MW) U.S. consumers sharply reduced their debt in November, the Federal Reserve reported Friday. Total seasonally adjusted consumer debt fell $17.49 billion, or at a 8.5% annual rate, in November to $2.46 trillion. This is the record tenth straight monthly drop in consumer credit.
  • BlackRock's Doll: Forget inflation, buy stocks - more
  • Shrinking U.S. Labor Force Keeps Unemployment Rate From Rising - more
  • Employment Charts - more
  • Contrarian Investor Sees Economic Crash in China - more
  • When will China's next boom bust? - more

If you don't appreciate crude humor, skip this one, but it was just too funny to let go. While we are true believers in stainless steel as the answer to many difficulties engineers and architects may confront, it is not the answer to all of life's little problems. You have heard us refer to "nickel being in a pickle" before but never have we had a story about a "pickle in nickel" The story headline says it all "Man gets genitals stuck in pipe" - story (Fireman to idiot - "is that a pipe in your pocket or you just glad to see us?")

Friday, January 8

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - minus 9 to 3,140. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) Japan Airlines Slumps for Third Day as Kan Declines to Rule Out Bankruptcy // China Begins Stimulus Exit, May Raise Main Interest Rate in Third Quarter // China Mobile Fires Vice Chairman Over `Serious Financial Irregularities'  // Stocks Rise Around World on Speculation U.S. Job Losses Ended; Metals Fall  // Jobless Rate in Europe Rises to 10%, Highest Level in More Than 11 Years // Eastern Europe Won't Find a Quick Fix to Currency Risk, Fitch Ratings Says // European IPOs May More Than Triple as Private Equity, States Plan Sales // European Stocks Increase for Fourth Week; Deutsche Bank, Barclays Advance // Bank of America Sees Record Bonus for Top Performers, No Increase in Total // Banks Are Told by U.S. to Take Precautions Against Risk of Rising Rates // U.S. Lost 85,000 Jobs in December; November Payrolls Revision Shows a Gain // Bear Stearns Disappears Two Years After Collapse With JPMorgan Name Change // AK Steel, U.S. Steel Advance After JPMorgan Boosts Share-Price Estimates
  • The SU Dollar has faltered since the US Labor report was issued, and is now trading 2/3 of 1% lower against the Euro. NYMEX crude is up 1/2 of 1% and over $83/barrel. Gold is up shy of 2/10 of 1% and silver is nearly 8/10 of 1% higher. Base metals all got a bounce from the suddenly falling Dollar, but it wasn't enough to pull any of them positive for long. Indicator charts show nickel fell early, got  a big bounce from the Dollar dive, but then began its own decline. Dow Jones reports three month nickel ended the day and week at $8.09/lb . Inventories of nickel stored in LME approved warehouses rose overnight, and now rest just a few tonnes shy of the 159,000 tonne level. The Baltic Dry Index fell 9 points to 3,140. Immediately following the disappointing payroll data was issued in Washington, the Dollar plunged and gold spiked. On the sudden strength in the Euro, commodities started moving higher from morning struggles. While some are dismissing the employment news out today as a fluke, it was difficult to find anyone yesterday, including some of the ultra bears, who did not expect to see the numbers fall this morning. The all important number, hours worked, stalled at 33.2 hours. This number is watched as a clue to future hiring plans. Nearly the only bright spot to the report was a revision in November numbers from a los to a job gain of 4000 jobs. This would make November the lone bright spot to 2009, and the first increase in two years.  Wall Street is down slightly but according to the decrease in teh volatility index today, markets are running unconcerned.
  • Have a safe and restful weekend!!

  Reports

  • Commodities Daily - pdf here
  • US Labor Department Employment Situation Summary - more

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • (MBiz) The international nickel price starts to rise, and the demand also is increasing, supporting the stainless steel price to go up. After YUSCO and Tang Eng on December 30, 2009 adjusted up stainless steel plate/coil price, to reflect the cost, Taiwan stainless steel wire rod manufacturers began to bring up the January price from January 4 by 3.2%-5.7%, up by 6 yuan per kilogram.
  • Fed Papers Fret Over What Comes Next For Inflation - more
  • Hoenig: Fed Must Tighten ‘Sooner Rather Than Later’ - more
  • The mess that Bernanke is making worse - more
  • 2009 US corporate bankruptcies hit third-largest total - more
  • Simon Johnson: “The Worst is Yet To Come” - more

  Crews contain Yabulu leak - An emergency was declared after a 6.5 million-litre chemical tank began leaking at Yabulu nickel refinery yesterday. - more

  Areva deal may affect New Caledonia’s SLN - The French state-controlled nuclear engineering group Areva is about to shed its 26 percent stake in the nickel mining company Eramet which is a key stakeholder in New Caledonia’s SLN. - more

  Sephaku Sells R80 Million Gold, Nickel Interests - Recently listed minerals and cement company Sephaku Holdings had sold some of its gold and nickel interests to investors including Hong Kong-headquartered Mandra Capital for R80m in cash, it said yesterday. - more

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:30 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around  $.14/lb lower, with other base metals slightly lower. The US Dollar is trading 1/4 of 1% higher against the Euro. NYMEX crude futures are off 1/3 of 1%, gold is down 8/10 of 1%, and silver is lower by 7/10 of 1%. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended higher with China off 1/4 of1%.  European markets are higher this morning, even after news broke that unemployment in Europe rose to 10%, its highest in over a decade. Futures show US markets are down after the Labor Department reported job losses resumed in December, and the jobless rate stays at 10%. Nickel inventories rose slightly overnight, and the BDI has yet to report.
  • Bloomberg morning base metal news - more
  • Reuters morning news - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments -  Metal prices eased on Thursday in their first significant correction in some time, as a round of profit-taking, a slightly stronger dollar, and an unexpected rise in three-month auction yields by the People's Bank of China, all contributed to the sell-off. Participants will now be looking for the US non-farm payroll number out later today to assess near-term direction. As we wrote earlier, we suspect the number could surprise to the upside (expectations are for a decline of 35,000 jobs), in which case the dollar could add to yesterday's gains and possibly pressure commodities somewhat lower. The greenback is now below $1.43, and already putting pressure on both metals and energy. Metals are also down on reports of more stock increases, with the big surprise coming from China where zinc stocks were up a massive 50,000 tons on the week. There is also much talk that index rebalancing will start this week. The buzz is that copper could see its share in the indices scaled back given the massive returns it has generated in 2009. This is quite likely, as typically the commodities with the biggest gains are the ones that are pared back. Indeed, the Reuters-Jeffries CRB chart in our attachment shows copper's prominent position in the 2009 rankings, and from the looks of things, we suspect that some of the laggards, like grains and natural gas, will ones whose share may be lifted going forward. ... Nickel is at $18,150, down $305. Nickel never pushed beyond its trading range and prices now seem to be retracing back into the middle part of the range.  (read Ed Meir's complete morning base metals report here)
  • (Dow Jones) An estimated 8,100 lots of zinc and 1,900 lots of nickel will be sold in index reweightings, a significant portion of weekly volumes. This is equivalent to 202,500 metric tons of zinc and 11,400 tons of nickel--about 41% of LME zinc stocks and 7% of nickel inventories.  The Dow Jones UBS Commodity Index, which the latest available data revealed has about $43 billion invested in financial products tracking 19 physical commodities, is by fat the most important index to be reweighted. The reweighting takes place between the fifth and ninth trading day of the year, which means it will begin Friday and end Jan. 14.
  • (CK) China's steel industry realized profits of RMB 143.3 billion in the first 11 months of last year, according to statistics released by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology yesterday.
  • (MDM) Worthington Industries, Inc., Columbus, OH, reported sales of $448 million for the second quarter ended Nov. 30, 2009, a decline of 40% over the same period a year ago. Profit was $23.2 million, compared to a year ago loss of $164.7 million.
  • (Yieh) According to the data from the Stainless Steel Council of China Special Steel Enterprises Association (SSC), stainless steel output in China recorded high to 8.6 million tons in 2009, a 25 percent increase from last year. Stainless steel consumption also rose about 30 percent to more than 8.1 million tons.
  • (Interfax) The Henan Provincial Nonferrous Metals Geological and Mineral Resources Bureau has discovered an iron ore deposit with an estimated 4 billion tons of reserves in Liberia, state media reported on Jan. 8.
  • Think the great paper vs plastic controversy at your grocery store was too much - look at this battle brewing between pallet manufacturers - Plastic vs Wood and the recall. Expect to hear a lot more about this in the future.
  • The economic 'experts' who stopped making sense - more
  • U.S. Now a Renters' Market - more
  • Bubble warning - more

  'Panic buying' by Chinese fuels surge in commodity prices - Australian resource exporters are struggling to keep up with surging Chinese demand, pushing prices to levels not seen since before the financial crisis. - more

  Palmer takes control of Pacific Nickel - Queensland mining magnate Clive Palmer has taken control of Gladstone Pacific Nickel Ltd (GPN), which is developing a multi-billion dollar nickel and cobalt refinery at the Port of Gladstone. - more

  Domestic Price Of Ni-Based Stainless Scrap Passes Over Year On Level Of Yen 140,000/Ton = Large Melting Furnace Installed At Yawata Works Of Nippon Steel Is Scheduled To Operate From March / 10 - The market price of nickel-based stainless steel scrap (new clippings) to be collected by dealers from domestic sources of Japan had bottomed out by Yen 135,000 per ton and, then, has risen up to a level of Yen 140,000 - 145,000 per ton in December, on which this year is passing over. - more

  County OKs mining road agreement - Ending more than a year of negotiations, the Coos County Board of Commissioners has signed a road improvement agreement with the Portland-based company that plans to mine chromite ore south of Bandon. - more

  US Steel adds to its complaint against Chinese steel imports - In another federal petition, U.S. Steel Corp. (NYSE:X) said Thursday that it wants duties placed retroactively on seamless standard, line and pressure pipe that is imported from China if a federal trade commission finds that the Asian nation is dumping the product into the American market. - more

  Sudbury Nickel Strike Coverage

  Iron Ore News // Talks / Spy Scandal Coverage

  • China Daily Special Coverage
  • SINA
  • Chain of Events
  • Iron Ore Price in China Rises to Highest Since 2008 on Demand - The cash price of iron ore delivered to China, the world’s biggest buyer, jumped to at least a 13- month high amid rising demand from steelmakers. - more
  • What next in China's Rio Tinto investigation?  - China's probe into four detained Rio Tinto employees, including Australian national Stern Hu, is set to move forward next week, when investigators could decide to extend the investigation, seek prosecution or drop charges. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Thursday, January 7

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - minus 110 to 3,149. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) Chinese Central Bank Guides Bill Yields Higher in `Signal of Tightening' // Vietnam, Nigeria, Kazakhstan Among `Cheap' Frontier Markets, Mobius Says // Stocks, Metals Decline Around World After China Curbs Lending; Yen Weakens  // European December Confidence Rises to Highest Level Since Lehman Collapse // Central Bankers Will Gather With Private Lenders at BIS Session in Basel // RBS Said to Receive Three Offers for Stake in Sempra Commodities Venture // European Stocks Are Little Changed; Metro Declines, Autonomy, SAP Advance // Geithner's New York Fed Told AIG to Withhold Details of Payments to Banks // Treasury 10-Year Yield Premium Over Two-Year Notes Nears Widest Since 1990 // GM Chief Whitacre Predicts Return to 2010 Profit After Five Annual Losses // Last-Minute Holiday `Surge' Pushes December Retail Sales Above Estimates // Initial Unemployment Claims in U.S. Climb Less Than Estimated to 434,000
  • The US Dollar continues to trade higher against the Euro, by nearly 6.10 of 1% at the moment. NYMEX crude is down a little over 4/10 of 1% and under $83/barrel. Gold is off nearly 7/10 of 1% while silver is higher by 2/10 of 1%. Base metals all ended the day lower. Indicator charts show nickel began falling at the opening, and staggered lower thur all of the day. Dow Jones reports three month nickel ended the day at $8.37/lb . Inventories of nickel stored in LME approved warehouses rose to a new record high overnight, and now sit well over the 158,500 tonne level. For those watching to see if Russian exports to Rotterdam are falling after the New Year, none of the overnight gain was attributed to this warehouse. Sucden's day old chart shows nickel trading thru yesterday (chart here). The news out of China that the Central Bank was tightening credit came as a blow to metals traders, and the rising Dollar hit today's trading with a double whammy. As one trader told Dow Jones, the market has become so full of froth caused by funds buying, it needed a reality check to calm down. The Baltic Dry Index fell 110 points to 3,149. Unemployment numbers for last week were issued and while they rose by 1000 over the prior week, the number of continuing claims fell 179,000 to 4,802,000, the lowest number since the end of January 2008. Retail sales for December climbed higher than expected.

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • (MBiz) Shanxi Taiyuan Stainless Steel (TISCO) will maintain 304 and 430 series of stainless steel price unchanged this week. Market observers said that as the nickel price surged a week ago, TISCO lifted products prices greatly, but raw material prices dropped last week.
  • Metal Bulletin is reporting moly oxide prices are selling within a range of $12.75 to $13/lb, up $1.50 in two weeks, while ferromolybdenum is selling $1.75/lb higher, at $14.75 and $15.25/lb.
  • (ABIX) Listed resources groups Western Areas and Kagara have an agreement for the Lounge Lizard nickel operation of the latter in Western Australia. Western Areas mines and processes the ore, of which the initial 744 tonnes has now been produced, for a fee. The joint venture has accelerated the time to market.
  • (RA) In December, Russia's GDP shrunk at the slowest pace in a year - at just 1.3% in comparison to 2.5% in November.
  • (CD) China's State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) announced Wednesday that by the end of September, the outstanding amount of China's foreign debt stood at $386.77 billion, increased $12.11 billion, or 3.23 percent from the end of 2008. China's foreign debt rebounded for the first time since the fourth quarter of 2008. The outstanding amount of foreign debt stood at $360.58 billion by the end of June.
  • Industrial Distribution's parent company is closing the magazine, effective today. The trade magazine has been a mainstay in the industrial distribution market since 1911. The magazine is led by Associate Publisher/Editor Jack Keogh and Managing Editor Victoria Fraza Kickham.
  • Married Couples Pay More Than Unmarried Under Health Bill - more
  • Spanish unemployment at new records: 19.3% and 40% for the young - more
  • Index Points to Improvements in Medium-Sized Company Profits - more
  • Tidbits From FOMC Minutes for Fed Wonks - more
  • Why Does It Feel Worse than Reported? - more
  • Bernanke and the bubble - more
  • Someone Is Paying a Lot for High Priced Doo Doo! - more
  • (China) Cities not ready for harsh winter - more
  • (China) Drought poses a risk to reservoir and people - more

  POSCO to raise 2010 output; Thainox talks going well - South Korea's POSCO, the world's No.4 steelmaker, said on Thursday it plans to produce 32 million tonnes of crude steel this year, compared with under 30 million tonnes estimated in 2009. - more

  Official says mining investments to hit peak - The mining industry expects investment in the sector to peak this year due to increased investor confidence and rising metal prices, an official of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau said Wednesday. - more

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:30 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.14/lb lower, with all base metals lower this morning on worries that China's Central Bank may be tightening credit. The US Dollar is trading 7/10 of 1% higher against the Euro this morning adding negative pressure to commodity trading. NYMEX crude futures are down 1% to $82.35/barrel. Gold is off more than 8/10 of 1% and silver is down 2/3 of 1%. In overnight trading, Asian markets were lower, with China off nearly 2%. European markets are lower this morning, while US futures show Wall Street may open in the red. Nickel inventories rose overnight, and the BDI fell 110 points.  
  • Bloomberg morning base metal news - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments -  Metals were on a tear yesterday, with copper racing to 16-month highs while the rest of the group notched up equally impressive gains. We must admit that we have been skeptical --and obviously quite wrong--about the current rally for some weeks now and still cannot make much sense of the recent run-up. Despite the price surge, there remains an odd disconnect between overall valuations and the complex's underlying fundamentals. Granted, the weather has been cold in China, but this is not a game-changer for a complex where metal supply/demand surpluses are still very much intact for the balance of the year. And although metals demand seems to be recovering, the rally seems to have more than discounted any such bounce some weeks ago. Most importantly, the fact that metal stocks continue to rise tells us that demand has yet to outpace supply, a critical requirement for a bull market. Instead, we suspect a more logical reason for the metals rally has to do with the fact that, egged on by a struggling dollar and a benign interest rate environment, fund money is flowing into commodities at a heady pace and arguably contributing to bubble-like conditions in the process. We are seeing a slight retrenchment in commodities as of this writing. .... Nickel is at $18,880, down $275, and continues to struggle to advance at the same rate as some of the other metals.      (read Ed Meir's complete morning base metals report here)
  • (Dow Jones) -French state-controlled nuclear power group Areva is expected to sell its stake in French nickel mining company Eramet SA to France's sovereign fund by the end of the first quarter, for an amount close to EUR1 billion, a source close to the French government told Dow Jones Newswires Thursday.
  • (Yieh) According to the International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF), the global stainless steel output in the third quarter of 2009 has increased by 12.5 percent to 7.06 million tons compared to the same period of last year, showing a recovery after the big decline since the financial crisis came. Global stainless steel output during the first 9 month of 2009 dropped from 21.7 million tons in 2008 to 17.9 million tons.
  • (Interfax) Metal commodity prices on the Shanghai Futures Exchange have reached their highest level in 16 months, due to market concerns over the recent cold snap in China, an analyst told Interfax on Jan. 7.
  • (Reuters) South Korea's POSCO said on Thursday the world's No.4 steelmaker, which is running at full capacity, plans to produce 32 million tonnes of crude steel this year, compared with below 30 million tonnes estimated in 2009.
  • (SS) The Executive Vice President - General Stainless and a member of Outokumpu Group's Executive Committee, Pekka Erkkilä, will join the Executive Committee of Outotec, the Finnish based company specialized in mining and metallurgical technology.
  • Some at Fed See a Need to Do More for Housing - more
  • Fed Missed This Bubble. Will It See a New One? - more
  • Commodities Bull Market Will Roar Like a Tiger in 2010  - more

  Market Tendency On Imports Of Ferro-Alloys At 25th December 2009 = Reflecting Purchases From Japan, All Prices Of Chinese Ferro-Alloys (Excluding Si-Mn) Are Rising - The market tendency by item on imports of ferro-alloys into Japan at the 25th December of 2009 is as follows  - more

  • Major Upswing Considered Certain In East Asia's Ni-Based Stainless Market - A major upswing is considered certain in East Asia's stainless steel market for nickel-based CR sheets that has undergone a complete change of the environment since late last week.  - more

  Based on the Commerce Department’s most recent Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis (SIMA) data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported today that steel import permit applications for the month of December totaled 1,326,000 net tons (NT). - pdf report

  POSCO plans new 6 mln tonne steel plant in India - South Korea's POSCO, the world's No. 4 steelmaker, plans to set up a 6 million tonnes steel plant in south India, in addition to its planned project in Orissa in eastern India, a company official said on Thursday. - more

  Sudbury Nickel Strike Coverage

  Iron Ore News // Talks / Spy Scandal Coverage

  • China Daily Special Coverage
  • SINA
  • Chain of Events
  • Iron Ore Prices Reach a High as Goldman Sees ‘Panic Buying’  - The cash price of iron ore delivered to China, the world’s biggest buyer, rose to the highest in more than a year amid what Goldman Sachs JBWere Pty said was “panic buying” by steel mills. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Wednesday, January 6

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - minus 11 to 3,259. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) China's Central Bank to Target Inflation, Lending, Property Risks in 2010 // Hatoyama Hopeful Japan Finance Minister Fujii Won't Quit on Health Grounds // Toyota, Hyundai Pace Asian Carmakers Beating GM, Ford in U.S. Sales Lead // Asian Stocks Advance as Toyota Motor, Nintendo Sales Fuel Growth Optimism // Papaconstantinou Says Greece Doesn't Need Bailout as EU Examines Finances // Iceland Government Says Icesave Veto Won't Trigger Default, Talking to IMF // UBS, Credit Suisse May Lose Loan Leverage Exemption, Swiss Regulator Says // U.K. Consumer Confidence Falls Most Since 2008 as Gloom on Economy Mounts // European Stocks Climb to 15-Month High; Rio Tinto, Peugeot Rise, M&S Falls // Ford to Sell Debt Through Fed as Program Nears Expiration at End of March // Office, Shopping Center Construction to Plunge 13% This Year on Economy // Service Industries in U.S. Expand Less Than Forecast; Job Reductions Ease // Metals, Natural Gas Rally as Treasuries Fall for First Time in Three Days //
  • The US Dollar has faltered today, and is now trading 1/4 of 1% lower against the Euro. NYMEX crude is now trading 1/3% higher and nearing $83/barrel. Gold is up nearly 1.6%, while silver is 2-1/4% higher. Base metals had a big day all trading and ending solidly higher. Indicator charts show nickel took off at the beginning, and was on a slow gradual incline until the Dollar went south. Traded price then made a $300 tonne jump, only to fall back sharply as the market closed for the day. Dow Jones reports three month nickel ended the day at $8.69/lb . Inventories of nickel stored in LME approved warehouses slipped overnight, and remain above 158,000 tonnes. Sucden's day old chart shows LME nickel trading thru yesterday (chart here). Trading during the first two weeks of a new year can typically be highly unpredictable, with commodity fund re-indexing a major driving force to market swings. This is usually over by the 15th of January, when markets return to unpredictable actions for other reasons. The Baltic Dry Index slipped 11 points overnight, with one of its 3 sub-indexes reading negative. Molybdenum prices are making some news, as prices have risen sharply over the last few weeks. A Dow Jones article credits buyers rushing to get orders in before the metal begins to trade on the London Metal Exchange next month.

  Reports

  • Commodities Daily - pdf here
  • Molybdenum Supply Forecasting - pdf here
  • China Commodities Weekly - more

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • (Thanks to an overseas reader) Deutsche Bank - It is challenging to get accurate production costs for Chinese pig-iron however we estimate that costs are around USD12,000-14,000/t (USD5.50-USD6.50/lb.) depending to some degree on the nickel price itself. We believe that nickel pig-iron production costs in addition to some of the higher-cost operations in more conventional nickel mining (particularly laterite  mines) represent marginal production. We believe  that this level resides at the USD14,000/t  (USD6.50/lb.) level with risks that this could rise as energy prices increase and the US dollar weakens.
  • (Dow Jones) Molybdenum prices are rising as buyers re-enter the market ahead of the launch of molybdenum futures on the London Metal Exchange in February, traders told Dow Jones Newswires Wednesday. Prices for both ferro-molybdenum 65% and molybdenum oxide have risen by more than 17.5% in the last four weeks.
  • (WSJ) The nonmanufacturing sector comprises 88% of the economy, and it follows that most of the nation’s jobs are in services ranging from construction to finance to pet care. While the worst of layoffs appear to be over, the services report is likely to show that hiring remains elusive.
  • (Customs) Container traffic moving through West Coast ports increased 3 percent in November compared to November 2008, marking the first monthly year-over-year increase in 2009. Total imports and exports in November were also up 1 percent over October traffic, although the volume was down 1 percent from the peak month in August, according to statistics published by the Pacific Maritime Association.
  • (MW) Private-sector firms in the U.S. eliminated 84,000 jobs in December, according to the ADP employment report released Wednesday.
  • (MW) The service sectors of the U.S. economy rebounded in December, according to a survey of companies released Wednesday by the Institute for Supply Management. The ISM non-manufacturing index rose to 50.1% from 48.7% in November.
  • Fed’s Hoenig Warns on Too-Big-to-Fail, Backs Glass-Steagall - more
  • Americans Grow Less and Less Satisfied at Work - more
  • Strip Mall Vacancy Rate Hits 10.6%, Highest on Record - more
  • Looking for Stability, Not Increases, in House Prices - more
  • Hundreds of Millions May Face Starvation in the Next 5-10 Years - more
  • Out Of The Gate With a Bang - more
  • That 1937 Feeling - more
  • CES 2010 PCWorld's News, reviews and video live from the floor of the consumer electronics show. - more (opens tomorrow)

  World steel output expected to hit record in 2010 - The outlook for the global steel industry in 2010 is now looking very positive, global steel consultancy MEPS said on Wednesday. - more

  Stainless steel ind to take on China - Faced with stiff competition from China, stainless steel manufacturers in India have come on a common platform to chalkout fresh strategies and to press the government to dole out incentives to compete in a world market. - more

  'In terms of the steel outlook; demand scenario is firm and the price is stable' - In an interview with ET Now, Koushik Chatterjee, Group CFO, Tata Steel discusses the domestic demand for steel and the outlook for FY11. - more

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:250 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.17/lb higher, with all base metals trading solidly in the green this morning, on strong investor sentiment. The US Dollar is trading slightly  higher against the Euro this morning. NYMEX crude futures are down 1/3 of 1% and at $81.50/barrel. Gold is up 2/3 of 1% while silver is higher by 1%. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended higher, with China falling 2/3 of 1%. European markets are lower this morning, as UK consumer confidence fell sharply in December. US futures show Wall Street may open in a sour mood. Nickel inventories slipped slightly overnight, while the BDI #'s have yet to be published.
  • Reuters morning base metal news - more  
  • Bloomberg report - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments - "Metal prices started the first week of the New Year on a very steady note, as a weaker dollar and continued investor infatuation with commodities continue to bolster the complex. ... Another factor strengthening metals is the struggling dollar, which has lost ground of late, slipping to one month-lows against the yen yesterday. It is holding its own against the Euro right now, and trading at 1.4350 as of this writing. Part of the recent sloppiness we are seeing in the greenback is attributable to the fact that investors seem to want to bid up the dollar on improving US macro data, but are being held back by both an accommodative Fed and by occasionally weak macro numbers that are offsetting the more robust data typically coming our way. Yesterday's data illustrated the point, where better than expected factory orders, (coupled with strong ISM numbers out the day before), were offset by unexpectedly weak pending home sales data.  .... Nickel is at $19,025, up $315, and has yet to break out in the strong fashion that some of the other metals have. However, we do see from our charts that prices have staged a breakout from the downchannel, and could now make a move to next resistance at $21,500."  (read Ed Meir's complete morning base metals report here)
  • (SO) According to the customs statistics, China's CR coil export volume in November reached 139,600 mt, down 10,400 mt or 6.94 percent year on year, totaling $124 million in value, down $39 million or 24.2 percent compared with the same month last year.
  • Global stainless steel output fell 15% to 17.92 million metric tons in the first nine months of last year, the International Stainless Steel Forum said in a report.
  • (MBiz) S.Korea stainless steel distributors intend to advance prices. Recently the nickel price increased and inventory was short, so they plan to adjust up price. Traders want to boost 304 HRC to 3.2mln-3.25mln Won and lift 304 CRC to 3.4mln-3.45mln Won.
  • (MB) NSSC mulls cut in stainless list prices
  • (ATA) The American Trucking Associations (ATA) advance seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 2.7% in November 2009, following a 0.2% contraction in October.
  • (Xinhua) China is now drafting new regulations for tax adjustments in the steel logistics industry, said He Liming, vice chairman of the China Federation of Logistics & Purchasing (CFLP).
  • Optimist? Or pessimist? Test your 2010 strategy! - more
  • A regular commentary on the El Niño-Southern Oscillation - more

  Drop in Stainless Production Tempered by Third Quarter Recovery - Preliminary figures released today by the International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF) show that world stainless steel production decreased by 15% in the first nine months of 2009 when compared to the same period of 2008. However, production figures for the third quarter show an increase of 12.5% when compared to the same quarter in 2008. - more

  Kagara nickel JV produces first ore - The first ore has been mined from Kagara Ltd's Lounge Lizard nickel sulphide joint venture project with Western Areas NL. - more

  Global nickel demand all set to recover in 2010 - Most of the base metal prices will be depended on Chinese demand in 2010 and Nickel is no exception. If indications from global markets are any hint, global primary nickel usage may recover around 1.35 million tonne. - more

  Cuba 09 unrefined nickel output at 70,100 tonnes - Cuba's unrefined nickel plus cobalt production weighed in at 70,100 tonnes last year, down slightly from the 70,400 tonnes reported in 2008, state-run media said on Tuesday. - more

  Composition On Supply / Demand Of Ferro-Alloys In Japan For Jul. - Sep. 2009 Quarter =Reflecting Decreased Imports, Some Of Ferro-Alloys Arose With Tightened Supplies - When the composition on supply and demand of ferro-alloys in Japan for July - September quarter of 2009 is reviewed, it is known that the realities of this composition had continued with a severity, following the same case for the preceding quarter of April - June. - more

  Glencore May Expand to Rival BHP, Rio, Investor Rothschild Says - Glencore International AG, the commodity trader that’s considering an initial public offering, may grow to rival the world’s largest mining companies, according to investor Nathaniel Rothschild. - more

  U.S. slaps more duties on steel product from China - The United States on Tuesday slapped additional duties of 43 to 289 percent on imports of more than $300 million worth of a steel product from China, the U.S. Commerce Department said. - more

  Mexico slaps import fees on steel from UK, China - Mexico slapped import tariffs on some steel products from China and the United Kingdom on Tuesday to protect local production, according to new rules published in the official gazette. - more

  2010 steel demand seen rising over 9% - Steel demand in India is expected to increase more than 9% in 2010, and prices are expected to rise between January and May due to higher raw material prices. - more

  Venezuela may shut steel, aluminum plants amid power shortage - The Venezuelan government cannot rule out suspending operations at state-owned steel mills and aluminum plants as part of official measures for energy conservation, the electricity minister said. - more

  Sudbury Nickel Strike Coverage

  • About 3,050 hourly rated production and maintenance workers, members of United Steelworkers Local 6500, have been on strike since July 13. Another 130 USW Local 6200 members in Port Colborne are also on strike. About 450 members of USW Local 9508 in Voisey's Bay have been on strike since Aug. 1.
  • Sudbury Star
  • Vale/Inco offer // Vale/Inco Company Site
  • Union Strike Site //  USW  Local 6500
  • Sudbury TV // Sudbury Northern Life Videos
  • Vale Says It Isn’t Ruling Out Voisey’s Bay Restart  - Vale SA, the world’s second-biggest nickel producer, said it isn’t ruling out a restart of its Voisey’s Bay nickel mine in Canada or a complete shutdown of the plant after labor talks to end a five-month strike failed. - more

  Iron Ore News // Talks / Spy Scandal Coverage

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Tuesday, January 5

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - plus 130 to 3,270. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) Emerging Markets May Lose 20% as Mobius Sees Record IPOs Swamping Appetite // Fujii's Health Remarks Fuel Concern He May Resign as Japan's Finance Chief // Korea Beats Brazil With Won Proving Favorite Among Most-Accurate Analysts // Japan Airlines Rises After Workers Agree to Cuts in Future Pension Payment // Sumitomo Mitsui Said to Plan $8.7 Billion Share Sale to Replenish Capital // Stocks, Oil Climb as Economic Growth Accelerates; Asian Bond Risk Decline // Kraft Boosts Cadbury Pursuit With More Cash as Nestle Drops Out of Bidding // Greece May Borrow Through Banks for Second Month After Ratings Downgrades // Iceland to Hold Referendum on Icesave Bill After Grimsson Vetos Agreement // Inflation in Europe Accelerates to Fastest in 10 Months on Energy Costs // Germany's Unemployment Falls for Sixth Month as Export Outlook Brightens // Spanish Unemployment Rises to Highest Level in a Decade as Slump Continues // Romanian National Bank Unexpectedly Reduces Base Interest Rate to 7.50% // Retail Sales in U.S. Rise Through Holiday Gift-Card Use, Trade Group Says // Ford, Nissan U.S. Sales Climb in Sign of Industry Recovery; Chrysler Falls // U.S. Budget Deficit May Exceed $1 Trillion for Years, Portales's Kos Says  // Pending Sales of Existing U.S. Homes Fall; Factory Orders Exceed Forecasts
  • The US Dollar is now trading higher against the Euro, up nearly 2/10 of 1%. NYMEX crude is up slightly more than 2/10 of 1%, and little changed from this morning. Gold is now down over 1/10 of 1% while silver is up 1.2% but slipping. Base metals ended the session quietly, with very little change. There was one loser though and that was nickel. Indicator charts show nickel fell early before making a failed comeback late in the session. Dow Jones reports three month nickel ended the day at $8.49/lb . LME approved warehouse stores of nickel were flat overnight, with a single inbound and outbound shipment counter balancing one another. Sucden's day old chart shows nickel trading thru yesterday (chart here). The Baltic Dry Index rose for a second day, up 130 points, with all three sub-indexes showing positive readings. Factory orders rose in November, while pending home sales fell. Unemployment fell in Germany, and rose in Spain. Global warming was back in the news today... or at least many in the Northern Hemisphere were wishing it was. Record cold is being felt from China, across parts of Europe and North America. Here in the States we are being told our friends to the north have even colder temperatures to send us later this week, while parts of China are bracing for much of the same.  

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • (SC) Tangshan Iron & Steel Co., Ltd., a listed arm of the newly-formed Chinese iron and steel conglomerate Hebei Iron and Steel Group, just gained the approval from the board meeting for its new name. It will be renamed Hebei Iron & Steel Co., Ltd. after the share swaps with its siblings, Handan Iron & Steel Co., Ltd and Chengde Xinxin Vanadium & Titanium Co., Ltd., are completed.
  • (JOC) The Cass shipments index ended 2009 slipping 3 percent in December from November, a contrast with broader economic measures showing that factories in the United States as well as Asia and Europe increased their output in December.
  • Have Metals the mettle to rally on? Is the price expected to rise in 2010 ? - more
  • Use of potentially harmful chemicals kept secret under law - more
  • Read It Here First: Retailers vs Visa - more
  • Byron Wien: Ten Surprises for 2010 - more
  • Fed Economist: Housing Is a Lousy Investment - more
  • 2010 Predictions From Shiller, Blinder, Rajan and More - more
  • 2009 Performance Snap Shot - more

  Global purchasing fall off forces production cutbacks - Production workers at the Paul Mueller Co. in Springfield, Mo., a stainless steel products manufacturer, were laid off and the plant was shuttered just before Christmas, an indication that the stainless and specialty steel market remains in tough shape. - more

  Vale Inco considering options for Voisey's Bay - Mediated talks between Brazilian miner Vale Inco and union leaders on Monday over a five-month strike at its Voisey's Bay nickel mine have failed to bring the two sides back to the bargaining table, meaning no end to the strike is in sight. - more

  China plans to boost steel output by almost 9% - China is expected to increase steel supply by 8.6% in 2010 to 621.5 million metric tons, according to a report from the Mysteel consultancy in Shanghai. - more

  Secondary steel makers raise prices - Secondary steel makers Uttam Galva Steels Ltd and Bhushan Steel raised prices of their products in view of firm global markets, top company officials told Reuters on Tuesday. - more

  Burj Khalifa Official Opening Fireworks - video here // On the top of Burj Khalifa's spire - video here

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:25 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.12/lb lower, with other base metals mixed and listless. The US Dollar is trading over 1/10 of 1% lower against the Euro so far this morning. NYMEX crude futures are up 1/4 of 1% and at $81.72/barrel. Gold is up 1/3 of 1% while silver is higher by the same margin. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended higher with China up 8/10 of 1%. European markets are trading higher and US futures imply a slightly higher opening on Wall Street. Nickel inventories were flat overnight, while the BDI rose 130 points.
  • Bloomberg morning base metal news - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments -  first report for 2010 will be posted on Wednesday
  • (Yieh) According to market analysts, stainless steel market in 2010 is predicted to flourish not only because of strong raw material prices but also because of steady recovery in the US and European market. The nickel price is forecasted to stay at US$18,000~22,000/ton in 2010. Accordingly, stainless steel market this year shall be better than last year.
  • (Dow Jones)  The annual rebalancing of commodity indexes that begin at the end of this week and continue thru next week. The weight of the indexes' best performers in 2009 will be reduced, while the worst performers will see their weight increased.
  • (Yieh) With the continuously increasing demand from auto, construction and other industries, all Japanese stainless steel mills' capacity for the first quarter of 2010 has been over-booked. According to the relevant officials, the stainless steel orders from Japan's Nippon Steel, JFE and other steelmakers are completed very well while the global economy is getting out of the financial crisis.
  • (Bloomberg) ArcelorMittal has ended partial lay- offs at its Florange plant in northeastern France after a rebound in the demand for steel, particularly from carmakers, French daily Le Figaro reported, citing the CGT union.
  • (CM) According to Mr Tan Naifeng deputy director of the information branch of the China Association of the National Shipbuilding Industry, steel demand from China's shipbuilding industry is expected to increase to 17 million tonne to 18 million tonne per year by 2011, a rise of more than 20 % compared with the estimated consumption for this year
  • (MBiz) India's stainless steel enterprise, Jindal, on December 30, stated that it is expected that its 1.6mln-ton stainless steel producing center in Orissa will be completed in March 2014, at that time, Jindal Stainless Steel's annual production probably exceeds 2.5mln tons, and its status as India's largest stainless steel enterprise will be further consolidated.
  • (CM) Statistics show that in the first 10 months of 2009, Japan's nickel production fell 18% to 23,953 tons, output is 29,378 tons a year earlier. Nickel-iron production in the country over the same period, fell 9% to 233.98 thousand tons, with output at 255,343 tons a year earlier.
  • SSINA Stainless Steel Fasteners - pdf here
  • Commodities: The Comeback Kid of 2010? - more
  • U.S. crisis far from over: economists - more

  German firm to build $300M pipe plant in NW Miss. - A German company will build a $300 million plant in northwestern Mississippi to manufacture stainless steel pipes for the oil and gas industry, Gov. Haley Barbour and a company executive announced Monday. - more

  JSW Steel production rises 88% in Q3 - JSW Steel, the country’s largest private sector steel maker by domestic capacity, on Tuesday said its production rose 88% to 14.69 lakh tonnes in the third quarter of the current fiscal. - more

  Courtesy AISI - In the week ending January 2, 2010, domestic raw steel production was 1,468,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 61.5 percent. Production was 987,000 tons in the week ending January 2, 2010, while the capability utilization then was 41.4 percent. The current week production represents a 48.7 percent increase from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending January 2, 2010 is up 1.6 percent from the previous week ending December 26, 2009 when production was 1,445,000 tons and the rate of capability utilization was 60.6 percent.

  Sudbury Nickel Strike Coverage

  • About 3,050 hourly rated production and maintenance workers, members of United Steelworkers Local 6500, have been on strike since July 13. Another 130 USW Local 6200 members in Port Colborne are also on strike. About 450 members of USW Local 9508 in Voisey's Bay have been on strike since Aug. 1.
  • Sudbury Star
  • Vale/Inco offer // Vale/Inco Company Site
  • Union Strike Site //  USW  Local 6500
  • Sudbury TV // Sudbury Northern Life Videos
  • Vale, union say won't restart Voisey's Bay talks - Mediated talks between Brazilian miner Vale (VALE5.SA) and union leaders on Monday over a five-month strike at its Voisey's Bay nickel mine in Eastern Canada have failed to bring the two sides back to the bargaining table, meaning no end to the strike is in sight. - more

  Iron Ore News // Talks / Spy Scandal Coverage

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Monday, January 4

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - plus 135 to 3,140. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) China Manufacturing Output Expands at Fastest Pace in More Than Five Years // Singapore's GDP Shrinks for First Time in Three Quarters on Manufacturing // Japan Air Jumps by Record as Credit Line Doubles, Reducing Bankruptcy Risk // Yudhoyono Sees Indonesia Growth Quickening to 6.6% Pace in Next Five Years // Stocks Rally Worldwide on China's Economy as Cold Snap Sends Oil Above $80 // Commodities Back to Economic Euphoria as Top Gurus Eschew Financial Assets // European Shares Climb to 15-Month High on Economy; BHP, Nestle Shares Gain // Bernanke Says Low Rates Didn't Cause House Bubble, Regulation Best Answer // Warren Buffett Delivers Worst Stock Performance Against S&P 500 in Decade // Fed's Tools for Reducing Record Stimulus Include Sale of Assets, Kohn Says // Feldstein Sees `Serious Cloud' Over Growth as Stiglitz Warns on Recovery // BofA's Moynihan Says Worst of Recession Over, Bank Industry Learned Lesson // U.S. Manufacturing Grows Most Since 2006 as Factories Lead Global Recovery
  • The US Dollar continues to trade lower against the Euro, down nearly 2/3 of 1%. NYMEX crude is up nearly 2-1/2% and over $81/barrel. Gold is higher by nearly 1.9%, while silver is up by over 3.2%. Base metals started the New Year all solidly trading in the green. Indicator charts show nickel started off strong in the morning, slumped, rose again, then slumped later in the trading day. Dow Jones reports three month nickel ended the day at $8.62/lb, higher than Thursday, but not quite as high as it closed early last week. Stores of nickel in LME approved warehouses rose by over 400 tonnes over the weekend and now sit just shy of 158,500 tonnes. Sucden finally updated their day old nickel chart, reflecting the bull run nickel is on (chart here). Nickel got a double boost early on this morning, with a falling Dollar, and a higher Chinese purchasing manufacturing index. We track four of the world' major PMI's here, and all reported positive economic news this month. The Baltic Dry Index rose 135 points, after a week long break. A new day, a new work week, a new business year, and a new economic decade begins today. If we were asked, and we weren't, it would be our opinion that the story of 2009 that meant the most to nickel and the metals industry, was the massive move in China to increase domestic consumption. What will be the story for 2010? Economic recovery? Double dip recession? Stainless steel consumption to resume growth? Inventories of nickel to fall? Nobody knows but stick with us and we will find out together. Happy New Year!! 

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • PIMCO Hunkers Down, Not Buying Much Of Anything Anymore In Anticipation Of "Disinflation" - more
  • U.S. Economy Likely to Perform Poorly Over Next Decade - more
  • Harvard’s Feldstein: Economy Might Run Out of Steam in ‘10 - more
  • Bernanke Still Does Not Understand Credit Crisis - more
  • Stunning Statistics About the War That Everyone Should Know - more
  • Dubai renames tower - more
  • A brief history of the World's Tallest Buildings (and financial crises...) - more

  Surcharges for January

  • ThyssenKrupp Nirosta - more
  • Outokumpu - more
  • ArcelorMittal Stainless - more
  • Deutsche Edelstahlwerke - more

  Crude steel production increases 12.1 pct in first 11 months of 2009, YoY - China’s crude steel production grew by 37.4 percent last November, according to a Dec. 29 report by China’s National Development and Reform Commission. - more

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:30 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.24/lb higher, with all base metals solidly higher this morning. The Euro is trading nearly 1/2 of 1% higher against the US Dollar, giving an additional boost to commodity trading. NYMEX crude is up nearly 1.9% and nearing $81/barrel. Gold is up 1.8% while silver is higher by the same. In overnight trading, Asian markets began the new year higher, while China ended lower. European markets are trading higher this morning, and US futures imply a solidly higher opening for Wall Street. Everything appears to be up this morning, including LME nickel inventory numbers and even the BDI starts out 2010 with a 135 point increase.  
  • Bloomberg morning base metal news - more
  • Reuters morning news - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments - (next report Wednesday)
  • (Yieh) Ferro-molybdenum price in Europe kept rising as demand is recovering steadily. Accordingly, ferromolybdenum price has rebound to US$29.5/kg, and predicted to go up to more than US$30/kg soon.
  • (Bloomberg) India’s steel demand is expected to increase more than 9 percent this year, JSW Steel Ltd.’s sales and marketing director Jayant Acharya said at a media briefing today in Mumbai. Prices are expected to rise in the January to May period because of higher costs and demand from the automobile and construction sectors, he said.
  • (SG) It is reported that Jiangsu based Chinese special steel producer Jinsong Special Steel Co Limited has successfully acquired the assets of the old plant of Jiangsu Tieben Iron and Steel Co Limited at a total reserve price of CNY 710.8 million on December 29th 2009.
  • (SG) The Ukrainian cabinet of ministers has determined the list of goods, including alloyed ferrous metals, nonferrous metals and their alloys, the exports of which will be subject to licensing in 2010. According to government Decree No 1406 dated December 23rd 2009 the goods subjected to licensing are ferronickel, ferrotitanium, ferroalloys, stainless steel in ingots or in other primary forms, as well as other nonferrous metals and their alloys. All these products were also subject to licensing in 2009.
  • (SBB) Chinese stainless prices surge on nickel's strength
  • GMR Ferro Alloys Is Now Cronimet Mercon - more
  • Commodities Back as Gurus Eschew Financial Assets - more
  • Commodities Outlook, 2010: IMF - more
  • China Manufacturing Growth Increases to 20-Month High - more
  • (China) Consumer confidence growing - more
  • When Did Your County's Jobs Disappear? - more
  • Dubai opens world's tallest building - more

  EU average stainless steel prices - MEPS forecasts are little changed from November. Austenitic selling figures are expected to fall in the New Year due to a reduction in the alloy surcharges. - more

  Nickel miner allowed to start operations on Dinagat Island - The Environment department’s Mines bureau has approved the mining plan of listed Century Peak Metals Holdings Corp., allowing the miner to start putting up a nickel mine in northeastern Mindanao. - more

  Metals prices tipped to come back to field in subdued 2010 - In 2009, China raised the notion that paper money was out and hard commodities were a better store of wealth. - more

  Outokumpu's Pekka Erkkilä to join Outotec - The Executive Vice President - General Stainless and a member of Outokumpu Group?s Executive Committee, Pekka Erkkilä, will join the Executive Committee of Outotec, the Finnish based company specialized in mining and metallurgical technology. - more

  Chichester Fund Favors Platinum, Iron Ore; Avoids Nickel, Gas - Platinum, iron ore and coal will probably extend gains this year on strengthening demand, according to commodities hedge-fund firm Chichester Capital Management LP. - more

  Sudbury Nickel Strike Coverage

  • About 3,050 hourly rated production and maintenance workers, members of United Steelworkers Local 6500, have been on strike since July 13. Another 130 USW Local 6200 members in Port Colborne are also on strike. About 450 members of USW Local 9508 in Voisey's Bay have been on strike since Aug. 1.
  • Sudbury Star
  • Vale/Inco offer // Vale/Inco Company Site
  • Union Strike Site //  USW  Local 6500
  • Sudbury TV // Sudbury Northern Life Videos
  • Vale Inco filed suit against union, workers during a busy month in the courts - November, one of the warmest on record, was one of the year's hottest news months, with the H1N1 pandemic peaking, key strike developments, stabbings and even movie making. - more
  • Xstrata, Mine Mill talks 'proceeding well' - CAW has called a meeting of its members for a strike mandate on Jan. 13 should the union and company be unable to reach a "fair and just" collective agreement before the contract deadline. - more

  Iron Ore News // Talks / Spy Scandal Coverage

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here   (charts)
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

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


All prices shown on this page are indications only. "A Guide To LME Trading"...pdf here "The ABCs of a Metals Exchange" ...pdf here (Molybdenum prices are for molybdenum oxide, an ingredient and major price factor in 316 stainless) (all ton listings are metric tons = 2204.622 pounds ) Updated daily before 8 am CST and before 1 pm CST weekdays - Disclaimer Candlestick Pattern Dictionary here / Intro to Candlesticks here Original content and opinions copyright www.estainlesssteel.com. Note - For real time and official LME prices, LME requires a user subscribe to be an authorized LME vendor.

Site Sponsors

Advertise your company on this site

Your banner here

Daily Reports

UBS Daily
MF Global
Macquarie Bank
Commonwealth Bank

12/21 Market Prices
not official prices

ferrochrome and chromium prices

Moly Oxide (>51%)
$11.25/lb
 
Source

Ferrochrome(60-65%)(HC)
$.90/lb
 

12/21 Scrap Price

Stainless Steel (LTL/ton)
$.74/lb
 ferrochrome prices and molybdenum prices

Stainless Steel MEPS Price Index

Global 304 SS Index

nickel prices

North America 304 Index

prie of stainless steel

Europe 304 SS Index

price of nickel

Asia 304 SS Index

MEPS Composite Steel Price Index

Global Composite

North America Composite

Media

Bloomberg TV
Bloomberg Asia
CNBC Metals
CNN News
Resource Radio
BNN Reports

Other Sites

Baltic Dry Bulk Index
Nickel Mining Stock
Stainless Steel Videos
USGS Mineral Reports
Industrial Metals Index
Nonferrous Metals Index
Global Steel Production
World Disaster Info
Investor Guide
Recession Recovery
Rasmussen Reports

Today's Market

USA Economic Calendar
World Economic Calendar
World Economic Calendar
Live Commodity Prices
World Stock Markets
North/South America
Europe Markets
Asia/Pacific #1 #2
TED Spread
LMEX Index
VIX Index
US Futures

Other Sites

Nickel Mine Closures
China Financial
EconMagic
US Debt Clock
Worldwide PMI
NOAA El Nino Updates


LME Margins
LME Calendar
LME Ring Times
Metals MSDS
Nickel Toxicology
Stainless Steel MSDS
USGS Molybdenum Info
USGS Nickel Information
USGS Chromium Information
Tariff Codes (many countries)
Metric Stainless Steel Fasteners


Price of Nickel

Nickel Graph Temporarily Down

1 and 5 year nickel chart

Sempra Delayed Price
Daily Commodity Prices

Sucden's Evening Base Metals Report

Site Pages

Nickel Price Charts/Forecasts
Stainless Steel Graph/Charts
Stainless Steel Surcharge
Nickel/Stainless Research
Stainless Steel Literature
Make your own charts
Nickel Price Archives
Ferrochrome Facts

Prices/Analysis

china stainless steel news
Shanghai
Shida Morning Post
Shanghai Metal Price Index

india stainless steel and nickel news
India MCX
India Infoline

Central Japan

Archives

2014
January February March
April
2013
January February March
April May June July August
September October
November December
2012
January February March
April May June July August
September October
November December
2011
January February March
April May June July August
September October
November December
2010 and prior






Stainless Steel MSDS
USGS Nickel Information
USGS Chromium Information
USGS Molybdenum Info
Tariff Codes (many countries)

Nickel Publications at Amazon

ASTM F593C, F593D, F593G, F593H,
304 and 316 Stainless Steel Hex Bolts
and ASTM F594 Stainless Hex Nuts
In stock - contact the author for current pricing and availability

Contact author  /   EStainlessSteel Home Page

Your free daily news source for nickel, molybdenum, ferrochrome, chromium, iron ore and stainless steel market prices and news.

Any reproduction in whole, or in part, without permission from the author is prohibited.
© 2003-2013