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Stainless Steel News and Nickel Prices



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Monday, January 31

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Friday's trading session at $10.10/lb ($22,265/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.35/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Friday and start this week at 90,600 tonnes. Shanghai markets are closed this week, with the Chinese nation celebrating its New Years holiday. 2022 is their Year of the Water Dragon. Last week's drop in the price of nickel could probably be blamed, at least in part, in the gains the US Dollar saw last week, their best in many months. We show the LME nickel 100 day average rolled over the $20,000/tonne level late last week, while the 200 day is over the $19,000/tonne level, and the 30 day is over the $21,000/tonne level. Considering the market closed above the $24,000/tonne level on the 21st, the market charts define a bullish trend - and volatility. In an article below, a Reuters poll of metals analysts come up with a forecast for 2022 nickel to average $19,921/tonne and the market to see a 17,000 tonne deficit. This is an apparent 'do-over' as just last month, Reuters reported their poll of metals analysts forecast, and we quote, "The copper, zinc and nickel markets are expected to be effectively balanced next year and prices are likely to be steady or lower by the end of 2022." (source article) Forecasts are merely a shot in the dark, but become ridiculous with constant 'do-overs'. We got a kick out of one agency taking a 'do over' on December 14th of last year, when they changed their forecast for 'that' year. (article here). Either they didn't think we could just wait two more weeks to get actual figures, or they wanted to be able to look back in future years and say "see, we were so close in our forecast'. Kind of like a weatherman 'forecasting' what happened yesterday. If you are moving to China to work in the metals industry, pay close attention to the article below about the hazards of fudging emission numbers. 47 steel executives there are going to jail for just that. And a big thank you to our 2022 news sponsor - PA Inc of Houston, Texas. Last day of the first month of 2022. Stay safe out there and have a great week!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $10.12/lb

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Base metals subdued in thin trade as China shut for holiday - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.4195
  • 304 SS Scrap Prices Local (updated bi-weekly) - more
  • SHFE China SS Index (yuan) - closed
  • China Steel Production - graph
  • China NBS Manufacturing PMI - graph
  • Shanghai Steel Futures - graph
  • University of Michigan: Consumer Sentiment - graph
  • United States Imports For Consumption Of Stainless Steel Products - graph

   Shanghai Metals Market

  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Nickel Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Inventory (updated each Friday) - more
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here

  London Metals Market

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here
  • LME nickel chart - here 

    Friday's market review - Copper heads for biggest weekly fall since October -  Copper prices headed towards their biggest weekly decline since October on Friday as the prospect of central bank tightening reduced investor appetite for risky assets and boosted the dollar. - more

    Copper to soften in 2022 on growing supply and rate hikes - (excerpt) Nickel prices soared to more than $24,000 a tonne this month, the highest for more than a decade, on booming demand for electric vehicles and sliding inventories. - more

     US ITC votes to maintain AD order on stainless steel wire rod from Japan, Korea and Taiwan - The US International Trade Commission (ITC) today determined that revoking the existing antidumping duty orders on imports of stainless steel wire rod from Japan, Korea, and Taiwan would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury within a reasonably foreseeable time. - more

     China’s stainless steel exports & imports grow in 2021 - According to statistics from China Customs, China’s stainless steel exports amounted to around 4.4 million tons in 2021, rising by nearly 29% compared to the previous year. - more

  • China Jails Almost 50 Steel Executives for Faking Emissions Data - more

     Poseidon Nickel's scoping study points to economical restart for Lake Johnston nickel facilities - "If we can get both Black Swan and Lake Johnston back into production, we could achieve one of our stated corporate objectives of producing at least 15,000 tonnes per annum of nickel in concentrate," says CEO & MD. - more

     Nikel and the void it left behind - Billions were invested into saving a dying village after Norilsk Nickel closed its smelting plant. A year later, the main projects are not working out and some of them have not even started yet - more

     Rail volumes decline as omicron causes staffing problems - A rise in omicron cases constrained railroad operations in Q4 and helped drive a decline in volume, executives said on earnings calls this month. - more

  • Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach each hit new volume records in 2021 - more
  • Covid Cases for U.S. West Coast Dockworkers Top All of 2021’s - more
  • Truckers Protesting Vaccine Rule Stay Put in Canada’s Capital - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • U.S. Economic Growth Quickens With Inventory Boost - more
  • 2021 Economic Rebound was Fastest Since Reagan Admin. - more
  • The Global Supply Side of Inflationary Pressures - more

  Economic Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - here
  • US Economy At a Glance - more
  • US Economic Indicators - more
  • US Economic Activity - (every Monday) - pdf here
  • US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
  • FX Street Economic Calendar - more
  • Iron Ore Price Graph - 1  2  3 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
  • COVID By The Numbers - here
  • How is your state faring? - more
  • What time is it in....? - more
  • Euro/US Dollar chart - here
Why Stainless Steel
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here

Friday, January 28

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Thursday's trading session at $10.16/lb ($22,405/tonne). Indicators at 6:10 am CST today show nickel trading around $.02/lb lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Thursday and ended that session just over the 91,700 tonne level. London nickel continues to slump, while Shanghai markets ended the last session before their week long holiday break higher. They were lower for the week, but higher for the month - much like the London market 'looks' to end. The US Dollar continues to rise against the Euro, adding negative pressure on base metal trading. Yesterday, we advised China is reporting crude stainless production rose 1.64% in 2021, and they are now reporting exports of stainless steel rose nearly 29% last year. If you are importing from China and your product originates in Xinjiang province, make sure you check into the 2022 Federal law restricting imports from that province. Stay safe out there and enjoy your weekend!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $10.10/lb

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Supply worries lift aluminium, copper weighed down by stronger dollar - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.4195
  • 304 SS Scrap Prices Local (updated bi-weekly) - more
  • SHFE China SS Index (yuan) - 17,335
  • Commodities Market Update: Nickel in Focus - video here
  • Gross Domestic Product, Fourth Quarter and Year 2021 - more
  • U.S. Imports for Consumption of Steel Products Dec 2021 - pdf here

   Shanghai Metals Market

  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Nickel Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Inventory (updated each Friday) - more
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here

  London Metals Market

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here
  • LME nickel chart - here 

    Thursday's market review - Dollar rise drags copper lower on hawkish U.S. Fed comments -  Copper prices eased on Thursday as the U.S. Federal Reserve indicated it could tighten monetary policy faster than previously expected, boosting the dollar. - more

     China’s stainless steel exports up 28.95 percent in 2021 - In 2021, China exported 4.4062 million mt of stainless steel, up 28.95 percent year on year, while it imported 2.8338 million mt, up 57.01 percent year on year, according to the latest Chinese customs data. - more

     Indonesia targets 33% jump in 2022 investment by tapping resource processing - Indonesia aims to boost total investment this year by a third, bolstered by an influx of investment into its resource-processing sector, a cabinet minister said on Thursday, after reporting foreign direct investment (FDI) rose 10% in 2021. - more
  • Indonesia's restrictions on commodities rattle markets, more moves likely - more
     Nickel Import Premiums to Remain High on Low Shipments Arrivals in China Boned Zone - Imports remained loss-making this week. Imports of pure nickel are still insufficient to meet the domestic demand, while the spot supply of domestic nickel plates and nickel briquette remains tight. - more

     Man tried to help Envy Global director linked to S$1b nickel trading fraud flee Singapore, gets jail - A man who conspired unsuccessfully to help a company director at the centre of a billion-dollar nickel investment fraud case flee Singapore was sentenced to jail on Friday (Jan 28). - more

     We can stop blaming the supply chain now - The supply chain has become the piņata for almost any industrial or retail problem. Here's how procurement professionals can help cut through the noise. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • WTO: China Can Place Duties on $645 Million in US Imports - more
  • US durable goods orders post first decline in three months - more
  • U.S. Wholesale Prices Surged Record 9.7% in 2021 - more
  • US hot rolled coil prices in freefall - more

  Economic Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - here
  • US Economy At a Glance - more
  • US Economic Indicators - more
  • US Economic Activity - (every Monday) - pdf here
  • US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
  • FX Street Economic Calendar - more
  • Iron Ore Price Graph - 1  2  3 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
  • COVID By The Numbers - here
  • How is your state faring? - more
  • What time is it in....? - more
  • Euro/US Dollar chart - here
Why Stainless Steel
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here

Thursday, January 27

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Wednesday's trading session at $10.34/lb   ($22,785/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.03/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Wednesday and ended that session just over the 92,000 tonne level. Nickel continues to grind higher and is doing well this morning, considering the Euro is down sharply at the moment. We took a shot at the Biden administration and its apparent "want them, don't want them" attitude toward nickel mining and processing yesterday morning, not realizing that they would drop the hammer on Twin Metals just a few hours later. The timing of this decision has an 'appearance' of being a return volley aimed at Elon Musk, who recently endorsed the mine with a contingent contract and who has recently taken a few shots at the Biden administration over other issues. We posted two stories below under supply chain, with the first being a test of the first unmanned container ship, followed by piracy against a tanker. If piracy is still a problem, is not manning a container ship a pretty good idea? Is it time for Robocop? Rumors floating around Australia about the possibility of Western Areas being bought by Andrew Forrest. Forrest has been on a spending spree lately, with his eyes on the EV industry, but the Western Areas situation remains a rumor only. Taiwan announces price increases in stainless steel for February, and China reports production of crude stainless steel was up 1.64% in 2021. Stay safe out there and enjoy your Thursday!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $10.09/lb

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper leads base metals lower as hawkish Fed signal lifts dollar - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.4209
  • 304 SS Scrap Prices Local (updated bi-weekly) - more
  • SHFE China SS Index (yuan) - 17,225

   Shanghai Metals Market

  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Nickel Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Inventory (updated each Friday) - more
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here

  London Metals Market

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here
  • LME nickel chart - here 

    Wednesday's market review - Copper claws higher on hopes for a moderate Fed - Copper prices clambered higher on Wednesday as investors bet the U.S. central bank would not raise rates too quickly, allowing economic growth and metals demand to keep increasing. - more

     Wooden Mackenzie: 2022 – A yr of rebalancing for metals and mining - If 2021 was the yr of the metals and mining (M&Ms) rebound, then 2022 is shaping as much as be the yr of rebalancing, says Wooden Mackenzie, a Verisk agency. - more

     China's stainless steel output, imports, export rise in 2021 - According to statistics from China’s Special Steel Enterprises Association, China's crude stainless steel production totaled roughly 30.6 million tons in 2021, hiking by 1.64% compared to the previous year. - more

     Taiwan’s Tang Eng raises stainless steel prices for Feb - To reflect the recent surging international nickel prices, Tang Eng Iron Works Co., Ltd., one of the main stainless steel manufacturers in Taiwan, raised its new prices of stainless steel products for February. - more
  • Taiwan’s Yusco announces higher stainless steel prices for Feb - more
   China Sets Massive Record: 500,000 Plug-In Cars Sold In December 2021 - December, as usual in China, has brought a new huge plug-in electric car sales record of about half a million units. - more

     ‘World First’ Autonomous Containership Tested in Japan - Japanese shipping company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) is claiming to have conducted the world’s first sea trial of an unmanned autonomous container ship. - more
  • Pirates Attack Bunker Tanker Off Ivory Coast -Report - more

     Biden administration cancels leases for controversial copper-nickel mine near Boundary Waters - The Biden administration on Wednesday canceled two minerals leases for the proposed Twin Metals copper-nickel mine in northern Minnesota, likely killing a project widely condemned for being too close to the pristine Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • 'It's gotten really bad': Union Pacific bumps up security after cargo thefts near LA rail yard - more
  • Jeremy Grantham Has an Even Scarier Prediction Than His Crash Call - more  (posted only because he mentions nickel)

  Economic Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - here
  • US Economy At a Glance - more
  • US Economic Indicators - more
  • US Economic Activity - (every Monday) - pdf here
  • US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
  • FX Street Economic Calendar - more
  • Iron Ore Price Graph - 1  2  3 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
  • COVID By The Numbers - here
  • How is your state faring? - more
  • What time is it in....? - more
  • Euro/US Dollar chart - here
Why Stainless Steel
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here

Wednesday, January 26

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Tuesday's trading session at $10.14/lb ($22,355/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.15/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell slightly on Tuesday and started today just under the 92,600 tonne level. Nickel continued its slump yesterday, but with Shanghai markets ending higher overnight, nickel is higher this morning. After markets around the world fell on concerns the U.S. Fed might raise interest rates faster than expected, traders are now facing the first Fed announcement of 2022 a little less worried. China is preparing for the New Year shutdown and Olympics next week, and many changes are happening that will affect business for much of February. Steel mills that haven't already, are shutting down to help keep the air cleaner. This means steel stockpiles are lower, which has helped support prices. The huge port at Ningbo has not been shut down yet, but trucking restrictions due to covid is causing major shipping delays (article below). Turkey is seeing steel production fall as Russia continues to restrict the flow of their natural gas to EU countries questioning their Ukraine intentions. This economic weapon is being used a lot this winter and is adversely affecting the EU economy. Polymet is facing a new federal lawsuit from the same administration who said months ago we need to be less dependent on foreign minerals, including nickel. It's hump day! Stay safe out there and have a great day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $10.06/lb

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper claws higher on hopes for a moderate Fed - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.4208
  • 304 SS Scrap Prices Local (updated bi-weekly) - more
  • SHFE China SS Index (yuan) - 17,275
  • State Employment and Unemployment - pdf here
  • The Consumer Confidence Survey - more
  • Manufacturing Outlook January 2022 - online here

   Shanghai Metals Market

  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Nickel Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Inventory (updated each Friday) - more
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here

  London Metals Market

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here
  • LME nickel chart - here 

    Tuesday's market review - Aluminium bucks weaker trend on worries about Russia supply - Aluminium prices climbed on Tuesday, shrugging away gloomy sentiment weighing on financial markets, on concern about supply from major producer Russia due to rising tensions over Ukraine. - more

     Ground Breakers: Nickel pulls back on Tsingshan news and markets struggle to fire - Nickel has been one of the hottest commodities in 2022, seeing its price rise 14.5% to over US$24,000/t for the first time in a decade last week. - more

      December 2021 crude steel production and 2021 global crude steel production totals - World crude steel production for the 64 countries reporting to the World Steel Association (worldsteel) was 158.7 million tonnes (Mt) in December 2021, a 3.0% decrease compared to December 2020. - more

     Indonesia considering imposing export tariffs on nickel matte - The Indonesian government will impose 2% tariffs on nickel pig iron and ferronickel from 2022, and the duty rates might increase with nickel prices hike. - more

      Stainless Steels and CO2 - Like any other major industry, the stainless steels industry endeavours to reduce its operational CO2 emissions on an ongoing basis. The ISSF has issued a report to clarify what emissions exist and where they originate from. - pdf here

     New federal lawsuit says PolyMet process violated Endangered Species Act - A new federal lawsuit contends that PolyMet Mining’s proposed open-pit copper and nickel mine in northern Minnesota threatens essential habitat for gray wolves and other wildlife. - more

      Robotics, automation go from fringe to mainstream - Pretty soon, the technologies are going to be table stakes for supply chain operations, one executive said. - more

  • 5 Minutes With ID: Proton's Benj Cohen on AI's Evolving Role for Distributors - more
  • Trucker Snarl in East China Hits Container Shipping From Ningbo - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • 2018 Tesla Model S With 104,000 Miles Sells For A Whopping $51K - more
  • Power outages suspend Turkish steel production - more

  Economic Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - here
  • US Economy At a Glance - more
  • US Economic Indicators - more
  • US Economic Activity - (every Monday) - pdf here
  • US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
  • FX Street Economic Calendar - more
  • Iron Ore Price Graph - 1  2  3 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
  • COVID By The Numbers - here
  • How is your state faring? - more
  • What time is it in....? - more
  • Euro/US Dollar chart - here
Why Stainless Steel
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here

Tuesday, January 25

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Monday's trading session at $10.36/lb  ($22,835/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.20/lb lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Monday and ended that session just under the 92,700 tonne level. Yesterday was brutal for nickel with cash nickel down 6.8% in one session. No other commodity, mineral, plant, or animal, fell anywhere near that hard yesterday. Overnight, Shanghai nickel trading was halted after it fell 8%. This morning, nickel continues to trade lower, and the reasoning for the sudden shift is given as profit taking before the Fed meets on Wednesday. The threat of war in Ukraine is also making traders nervous, although wars tend to be positive for base metals investment. After receiving an important endorsement, and contract, from Tesla's Elon Musk, Minnesota miner PolyMet saw its wastewater permit rejected by a State Court of Appeals on Monday. For now, the mine remains on paper only. If you missed it yesterday, Goldman Sachs believes we started a ten year super cycle for nickel in 2021. And its Tuesday. Stay safe out there and have a great day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $10.04/lb

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Shanghai nickel tumbles after record run as Fed jitters weigh - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.4208
  • 304 SS Scrap Prices Local (updated bi-weekly) - more
  • SHFE China SS Index (yuan) - 17,100
  • SSY Outlook 2022 - pdf here
  • SFSA CaSteel Reporter - more

   Shanghai Metals Market

  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Nickel Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Inventory (updated each Friday) - more
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here

  London Metals Market

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here
  • LME nickel chart - here 

    Monday's market review - Profit-taking ahead of Fed meeting hits industrial metals - Prices of industrial metals fell on Monday due to profit-taking, nervousness ahead of a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting this week and a firm dollar, but low stocks provided some support. - more

     SunSirs: Stainless Steel Was Up Slightly This Week (January 17-21) - According to the price monitoring of SunSirs, stainless steel rose slightly this week. As of January 21, the daily average price of spot 304/2B stainless steel plate 1.0*1219*2438 (tolerance 0.91) was 1698.33 RMB/ton, an increase of 2.54% compared with the price of 16,498.33 RMB/ton at the beginning of the week, and it was up 20.38% year-on-year. - more

     Nickel’s price drop suggests caution ahead - Profit-taking saw nickel slipping in London as the market turns more cautious. Precursors’ margins have turned negative in China. - pdf report here

    The Nickel Supply Squeeze Could Send Prices Even Higher - The nickel market is experiencing its most significant supply squeeze since 2007. - more

     Walsin Lihwa raises stainless steel wire rod prices for Feb - Walsin Lihwa, a leading stainless steel wire rod manufacturer in Taiwan, announced to adjust the prices of its stainless steel wire rod products for February after considering demand, supply, raw material trends, as well as the competitive conditions of downstream purchasers. - more

     Courtesy AISI - In the week ending on January 22, 2022, domestic raw steel production was 1,803,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 81.9 percent. Production was 1,736,000 net tons in the week ending January 22, 2021 while the capability utilization then was 76.6 percent. - more

     Russia’s Norilsk Nickel greener in 2021 - At the end of 2021, the Russian mining giant succeeded in stopping some harmful emissions completely, and sulfur dioxide emissions on the Kola Peninsula were reduced by 85% in 2021 compared to the base year of 2015, helping the company to become more environmentally friendly, Nornickel’s press office said. - more

     Britishvolt signs agreement to develop high-nickel EV batteries - Electric vehicle (EV) battery startup Britishvolt said on Monday it has signed an agreement with a UK government-backed research facility to develop batteries with high nickel content and more energy-dense materials as it gears up for mass production. - more

     Seller challenges Sibanye's move to scrap R15bn deal to buy mines after wall collapse - Sibanye-Stillwater’s move to cancel its $1 billion (R15.3 billion) acquisition of nickel and copper mines in Brazil was challenged by the seller, which said there was no legal basis to terminate the deal. - more

     No Nickel In Nikel? A Russian Mining Town Faces Steep Decline - For decades, nickel mining and smelting in the northern Russian town of Nikel provided a living for its residents and vast wealth for the company's owners. - more

     Minnesota Court of Appeals turns back another permit for state's first planned copper mine - The state Court of Appeals on Monday turned back PolyMet's wastewater permit, saying state regulators erred in not considering whether seepage from the proposed mine's tailings dam into the groundwater should be governed by the federal Clean Water Act. - more

   Other News

  Economic Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - here
  • US Economy At a Glance - more
  • US Economic Indicators - more
  • US Economic Activity - (every Monday) - pdf here
  • US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
  • FX Street Economic Calendar - more
  • Iron Ore Price Graph - 1  2  3 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
  • COVID By The Numbers - here
  • How is your state faring? - more
  • What time is it in....? - more
  • Euro/US Dollar chart - here
Why Stainless Steel
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here

Monday, January 24

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Friday's trading session at $10.90/lb ($24,028/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.42/lb lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Friday and started this week just over the 93,100 tonne level. Nickel is down sharply this morning as some fear the US Fed may hike interest rates earlier than expected. Nickel is down nearly $1000/tonne. We are seeing reports that a mine shutdown in Myanmar last week might explain the sudden jump on Thursday and Friday. This mine had been put on care & maintenance back in May 2021 due to becoming a target of anti-coup demonstrators and we had never heard that it re-started. Either way, traders don't seem to be too concerned about it today. Shanghai nickel ended higher overnight, which adds more evidence that China traded nickel tends to copy the LME's prior session. It's the final full week of the first month of 2022. Next week, China is closed for business and the Olympics begin. Stay safe out there and have a great week!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $10.00/lb

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Profit-taking ahead of Fed meeting hits industrial metals - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.4208
  • 304 SS Scrap Prices Local (updated bi-weekly) - more
  • SHFE China SS Index (yuan) - 17,720

   Shanghai Metals Market

  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Nickel Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Inventory (updated each Friday) - more
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here

  London Metals Market

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here
  • LME nickel chart - here 

    Friday's market review - Copper slips as investors pocket gains from rally - Copper prices wilted on Friday as risk-off sentiment swept financial markets and investors took the opportunity to lock in profits after two days of rallying prices. - more

  • Nickel’s price drop suggests caution ahead - more
     Budget: As Chinese stainless steel imports surge, Indian MSMEs feel the heat - With the Budget fast approaching, some 400,000 people employed in the medium, small and micro (MSME) factories in the stainless-steel industry, are desperately hoping for a change in their fortunes. - more
  • Indian stainless producers seek level playing field in national budget - more
    Nickel prices to peak by 2027: Fitch - Nickel prices are expected to reach new record highs by 2027, according to data released by Fitch Solutions. - more
  • Goldman Sachs Says We're Entering a Commodity "Supercycle." - more
     Myanmar Resistance Forces China-Backed Nickel Plant Shut Down - Three electricity pylons supplying the China-backed Tagaung Taung nickel-processing plant in Sagaing Region have been blown up this month, forcing production to halt. - more
  • Mine Runoff Adds to Controversy Over Chinese-Backed Nickel Mine in Myanmar - more
     Stelco CEO warns North American steel market a 'falling knife' - The North American steel market is in for some rough months ahead, with excess supplies, rising inventories and shrinking demand, according to the head of Stelco Holdings Inc. - more
  • EU mills push for price hikes amid slow start to 2022 - more
     Nickel price rise boosts New Caledonia economic outlook - Nickel producers in New Caledonia are buoyed by a sharp rise in the price of the metal amid rising demand and low inventories. - more

     U.S.-bound containerized imports hit new record in 2021, reports Panjiva - The state of elevated United States-bound imports and shipments remained intact in December, making 2021 a record-setting year, according to data recently issued by global trade intelligence firm Panjiva. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Misinformation and how you can avoid being the April Fool - more
  • Ground Breakers: Rio kicked out of Serbia in lithium turmoil - more
  • Rumor: GM To Announce Two Major EV Investments In Michigan - more
  • Iron ore price slides on fears of China’s economy slowing down - more
  • China iron ore posts third weekly gain on strong demand hopes - more

  Economic Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - here
  • US Economy At a Glance - more
  • US Economic Indicators - more
  • US Economic Activity - (every Monday) - pdf here
  • US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
  • FX Street Economic Calendar - more
  • Iron Ore Price Graph - 1  2  3 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
  • COVID By The Numbers - here
  • How is your state faring? - more
  • What time is it in....? - more
  • Euro/US Dollar chart - here
Why Stainless Steel
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here

Friday, January 21

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Thursday's trading session at $10.69/lb ($23,565/tonne) after trading earlier at $24,435/tonne. Indicators at 6:10 am CST today show nickel trading around $.14/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Wednesday and ended that session just under the 93,500 tonne level. The $24,000 tonne level is showing some signs of putting up a line of resistance, with numerous attempts to scale it this morning having failed. Considering the $21,000 tonne level was putting up a rather successful line of resistance just two weeks ago, its too early to tell if this is anything more than a psychological line or something more significant. The market is far too volatile for anyone to pretend to have the slightest clue what it will do next. The last time we saw LME stockpile numbers this low was in December 2019, when they were recovering from a drop to 64,176 tonnes reported on November 14th of that year. Then the price of nickel had risen to the mid $7/lb range as traders worried about a shortfall, only to see the price fall when stockpile numbers began to grow. By the end of that December, the stockpile numbers had more than doubled and the price had dropped by over $1/lb. This was 'before' the pandemic became the lead story of 2020 and everything went to hell in a hand basket. Just a little history. And a note for your records. China's manufacturing and business infrastructure will be closed the week of January 31st thru February 4th for their New Year holiday this year. On February 4th, the Winter Olympics begin in China and run thru the 20th. After that, we should start seeing evidence of what kind of demand, if any, has built up in China's stainless steel industry. Stay safe out there and have a great weekend!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $9.93/lb

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - LME copper slips on Fed hike jitters; Shanghai nickel leaps to record - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.4208
  • 304 SS Scrap Prices Local (updated bi-weekly) - more
  • SHFE China SS Index (yuan) - 18,500

   Shanghai Metals Market

  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Nickel Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Inventory (updated each Friday) - more
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here

  London Metals Market

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here
  • LME nickel chart - here 

    Thursday's market review - Nickel prices hit 2011 high on low inventories - Low inventories propelled prices for nickel to their highest since 2011 on Thursday, with future demand expected to rocket thanks to higher electric vehicle battery consumption. - more

     Nickel bulls gamble on tight LME supplies - Nickel traders fretting about supplies on the London Metal Exchange LME have driven up prices of the metal used in electric vehicle batteries and stainless steel to their highest in more than 10 years. - more

     Don't hope that the stainless steel shortage in the United States will improve - Until you know that the new supply is online, do not hope that the stainless steel shortage in the United States will improve. - more

     China's top steel producer Hebei sees output down 10% in 2021 amid government curbs - China's top steel producer, Hebei province, saw crude steel output plunge 10% in 2021, hurt by stringent environment controls aimed at curbing pollution and reducing carbon emissions. - more

     Taiwan’s stainless steel wire rod imports & exports fall in 2021 - According to statistics from Taiwan Customs, Taiwan imported 1,211 tons of stainless steel wire rods in December 2021, reducing by 34.5% compared to the previous month. - more

     Nickel Ore Inventories at Chinese Ports Fell 142,000 wmt - The nickel ore inventory at Chinese ports dipped 142,000 wmt from a week earlier to 8.45 million wmt as of January 21. Total Ni content stood at 66,400 mt. - more

     US long products imports rise 58% on December 2020 and 50% full-year 2020 to 2021 - Based on reported import licenses, US long products imports increased 58% year-on-year from 178,000 short tons in December, 2020 to 280,000 tons in December, 2021. - more

      The Great Supply Chain Disruption: Why it continues in 2022 - Supply chain disruptions will continue to roil the global economy in 2022, with new challenges for companies and adding to inflation—now a hot-button political issue. - pdf report here

     Cleveland-Cliffs was named to Forbes America's Best Employers for Veterans 2021 - Forbes identified the companies liked best by veterans in the workforce. All veterans evaluated their employers' working conditions and approach to diversity and inclusion, as well as whether their work environment is veteran friendly. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Analysis: German big business piles pressure on Lithuania in China row - more

  Economic Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - here
  • US Economy At a Glance - more
  • US Economic Indicators - more
  • US Economic Activity - (every Monday) - pdf here
  • US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
  • FX Street Economic Calendar - more
  • Iron Ore Price Graph - 1  2  3 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
  • COVID By The Numbers - here
  • How is your state faring? - more
  • What time is it in....? - more
  • Euro/US Dollar chart - here
Why Stainless Steel
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here

Thursday, January 20

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Wednesday's trading session at $10.51/lb ($23,170/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.24/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses went unchanged yesterday and started today just over the 94,800 tonne level. Nickel soared this morning, and peaked out just over the $24,100 tonne level, before falling back over $400/tonne. And yet, we are still over $500/tonne higher than yesterdays close. Yesterday we said traders apparently decided the only way to beat the $21,000 tonne level, was to jump to the $22,000 tonne level. And 24 hours later, we are talking about traders trying to beat the $24,000/tonne level and settling for the $23,000's. Everybody is scrambling to explain this sudden bullishness and there are more reasons given than days we are into the run. Analysts, that were less than enthusiastic about nickel in 2022 just a few months ago, are now as bullish and zealous as a recent religious convert. Our traffic is up as buyers try to understand why stainless steel prices are heading back up. EV makers are watching battery costs jump. Everyone is in a panic about stockpile numbers, which have barely moved the last few days. During those same two days, cancelled warrants have fallen from  the 52% range to the 48% range. Maybe the 100,000 tonne level was a far more important psychological level than we thought professional traders would put in it. Then again, we seriously doubt all the new money flowing into nickel is from professional 'nickel' traders and more likely, retirement fund money. Stay safe out there and enjoy your day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $9.86/lb

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Iron ore rises on China stimulus; stainless steel soars on record nickel prices - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.4226
  • 304 SS Scrap Prices Local (updated bi-weekly) - more
  • SHFE China SS Index (yuan) - 18,820

   Shanghai Metals Market

  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Nickel Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Inventory (updated each Friday) - more
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here

  London Metals Market

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here
  • LME nickel chart - here 

    Wednesday's market review - Supply squeeze pushes nickel up 5% to 11-year high - Nickel prices on Wednesday shot to their highest since 2011 as a supply shortage forced traders to pay huge premiums to get their hands on metal. - more

     Column: Nickel gripped by ferocious squeeze as stocks disappear: Andy Home - The nickel market is experiencing its most severe squeeze in over a decade. - more

     LME notes tight nickel market, monitoring prices - The London Metal Exchange said on Wednesday it was monitoring nickel prices, which have soared due to tight supplies, robust demand from electric vehicle battery makers and large draws on stocks. - more

     SunSirs: On the 18th, the Price of Stainless Steel Was Mainly Consolidated - According to the price monitoring of SunSirs, the price of stainless steel has been stable recently. - more

     January to November 2021 Metals Balances - (excerpt) The nickel market was in deficit during January to November 2021 with apparent demand exceeding production by 135.7 kt. In the whole of 2020, the calculated surplus was 84.0 kt. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Fastenal's 2021 Sales Topped $6B as it Closed 220 Branches, Ramped Up Onsites - more
  • U.S. Futures Rise as European Stocks, Bonds Steady: Markets Wrap - more

  Economic Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - here
  • US Economy At a Glance - more
  • US Economic Indicators - more
  • US Economic Activity - (every Monday) - pdf here
  • US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
  • FX Street Economic Calendar - more
  • Iron Ore Price Graph - 1  2  3 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
  • COVID By The Numbers - here
  • How is your state faring? - more
  • What time is it in....? - more
  • Euro/US Dollar chart - here
Why Stainless Steel
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here

Wednesday, January 19

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Tuesday's trading session at $10.11/lb  ($22,285/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.08/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell slightly (7 lots) yesterday and started today just over the 94,800 tonne level. Nickel closed higher yesterday, and is higher again this morning. It would appear we can call $22,000 the new level of support, at least psychologically. Traders were never able to hold the $21,000 tonne level in late 2021, so they just bounced over it to start 2022. Backwardation between the cash price and three month price ended at $550 yesterday. Nickel has been running in what we would define as a normal backwardation rate for some time now, but the numbers are starting to spread, which the people in the know say, implies nervousness about the markets ability to meet demand. We don't pretend to understand what suddenly changed with LME stockpiles falling below the 100,000 tonne level, so we leave that little bit of news as is. Cancelled warrants slipped below the 50% level yesterday, after spending the prior six days above.  Stay safe out there and have a great hump day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $9.81/lb

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper prices rise as China signals more policy support - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.4224
  • 304 SS Scrap Prices Local (updated bi-weekly) - more
  • SHFE China SS Index (yuan) - 17,765
  • ING Metals continue their 2021 rally - pdf here

   Shanghai Metals Market

  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Nickel Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Inventory (updated each Friday) - more
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here

  London Metals Market

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here
  • LME nickel chart - here 

    Tuesday's market review - Copper dragged down by strong dollar ahead of Fed meeting - Copper prices succumbed to pressure from the dollar on Tuesday as the market anticipated a more hawkish tone from the U.S. Federal Reserve in the run-up to monetary tightening in March. - more

     Nickel cash premium surges amid supply squeeze -  Nickel’s biggest supply squeeze in more than a decade is drawing attention from the London Metal Exchange, as plunging inventories mean buyers are forced to pay massive premiums for immediately available metal. - more

     Taiwan's stainless steel mills expected to increase prices for Feb - The London Metal Exchange (LME) nickel kept increasing and remained at a level of higher than US$22,000/ton last week, hitting a 10-year high. - more

     Retaining Talent Staying the Course - Holding on to employees proves challenging in the metals industry, but service centers can successfully retain talent by demonstrating loyalty and offering incentives. - more

     Courtesy AISI - In the week ending on January 15, 2022, domestic raw steel production was 1,833,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 83.2 percent. Production was 1,736,000 net tons in the week ending January 15, 2021 while the capability utilization then was 76.6 percent. - more

     LTL rates to stay high in Q1, fueled by price hikes and capacity constraints - Shippers will see skyrocketing LTL rates persist through March, fueled by labor and capacity constraints, sharp general rate increases and carrier consolidation, according to the January 2022 Cowen/AFS LTL Freight Index. - more

  • Trucker Vaccine Rule Is Making Freight and Fruit Pricier - more
  • What the supply chain needs right now is women - more
  • CEOs Fear Supply Chain Woes Will Cost Them Their Jobs - more
  • UP: Thieves Are Breaking Into 90 Containers a Day in Los Angeles - more
  • Pandemic Intensifies Lunar New Year Supply Chain Challenges - more
  • Business Size is Not Necessarily an Advantage in Industrial Distribution - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Steel prices come back down to earth - more

  Economic Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - here
  • US Economy At a Glance - more
  • US Economic Indicators - more
  • US Economic Activity - (every Monday) - pdf here
  • US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
  • FX Street Economic Calendar - more
  • Iron Ore Price Graph - 1  2  3 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
  • COVID By The Numbers - here
  • How is your state faring? - more
  • What time is it in....? - more
  • Euro/US Dollar chart - here
Why Stainless Steel
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here

Tuesday, January 18

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Monday's trading session at $10.02/lb  ($22,100/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.08/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME warehouses fell sharply on Monday and ended that session just under the 94,900 tonne level. LME stockpiles have not shown a net gain in daily numbers since a couple of days in October of last year. Yesterday's loss of 2000+ tonnes is the biggest recorded drop since mid November. There was a period last year when stockpiles were falling at this level on a near daily basis, but that ended late last year. Different sources linked below all confirm stainless steel prices are on the rise in Asia.  Nickel bounced off the $22,000 tonne level yesterday, and at least for now, the bulls continue to hold momentum and have kept nickel north of that level. Stay safe out there and enjoy your Tuesday!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $9.76/lb

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper prices weighed down by firmer dollar, inventory build-up - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.4224
  • 304 SS Scrap Prices Local (updated bi-weekly) - more
  • SHFE China SS Index (yuan) - 17,970

   Shanghai Metals Market

  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Nickel Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Inventory (updated each Friday) - more
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here

  London Metals Market

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here
  • LME nickel chart - here 

    Monday's market review - Copper pressured by China demand doubts and rising inventories - Copper prices came under pressure on Monday as economic data from top consumer China suggested slowing demand for industrial metals while inventories rose in warehouses registered with the London Metal Exchange (LME). - more

     SunSirs: Stainless Steel Prices Rose Slightly This Week (January 10-14) - According to the price monitoring of SunSirs, stainless steel rose slightly this week. As of January 14, the daily average price of spot 304/2B stainless steel plate 1.0*1219*2438 (tolerance 0.91) was 16,481.67 RMB/ton. - more
  • Asian stainless CRC rises on jump in nickel prices - more
  • China’s stainless steel inventory drops due to improved transaction - more
  • Spot stainless Steel Prices in Foshan Rose More than Expected - more
     Boliden to resume nickel output at Harjavalta smelter soon - Swedish mining and smelting group Boliden expects to resume nickel production at its Harjavalta smelter in the near future, it said on Monday. - more

     Top 5 supply chain risks for 2022 - The top 5 supply chain risks that global companies should prepare for in the next 12 months are detailed in the Everstream 2022 Risk Report from supply chain risk analytics provider Everstream Analytics. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Surging Global Demand Drives China’s Trade Surplus to New Record in 2021 - more
  • Surging Bond Yields Send Nasdaq Futures Tumbling: Markets Wrap - more

  Economic Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - here
  • US Economy At a Glance - more
  • US Economic Indicators - more
  • US Economic Activity - (every Monday) - pdf here
  • US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
  • FX Street Economic Calendar - more
  • Iron Ore Price Graph - 1  2  3 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
  • COVID By The Numbers - here
  • How is your state faring? - more
  • What time is it in....? - more
  • Euro/US Dollar chart - here
Why Stainless Steel
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here

Monday, January 17

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Friday's trading session at $10.07/lb ($22,205/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.06/lb lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Friday and started this week just over the 97,000 tonne level. Nickel has started the week quieter than it has been, and looking at the $22,000 tonne level to define which way it might turn this afternoon. Bulls look to hold the level, while the bears would like to see it surrendered. Lot of reports on Friday, linked below. News, on the other hand, was quiet. China reported its trade surplus in 2021 was $676+ billion, a new record high, and they hit 8.1% growth in 2021. Their reaction to new cases of positive coronavirus cases is probably the single biggest threat to growth, although the next few months are probably toast due to the New Year shut down coupled with the Olympics. They refuse to budge on their zero tolerance, even in the face of their first "surge" since the initial outbreak.  We use that term loosely as its the first time you can actually see a measurable increase in cases on a graph since early 2020, while the rest of the world virus charts look like roller coasters. LME cash nickel averaged $9.08/lb in December and it's $9.71/lb so far this month. That thud was the sound of your purchasing agent bumping their head off the desk. For those of you hoping stainless steel prices might calm down a little in 2022, keep the faith. But also patience. Cancelled warrants are over 55%, but again that number comes with a "yes but" explainer anymore. Stay safe out there and have a great week!!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $9.71/lb

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - London copper edges higher on low stocks, firm dollar caps gains - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.4224
  • 304 SS Scrap Prices Local (updated bi-weekly) - more
  • SHFE China SS Index (yuan) - 17,680
  • U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes - pdf here
  • Industrial Production: Manufacturing: Raw Steel - more
  • US Economic Indicators: Manufacturing Production & Capacity by Major Industries - pdf here
  • US Economic Indicators: Industrial Production - pdf here
  • U.S. Economy in a Snapshot - more
  • Manufacturers Sales - more
  • Casteel Reporter - pdf here

   Shanghai Metals Market

  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Nickel Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Inventory (updated each Friday) - more
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here

  London Metals Market

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here
  • LME nickel chart - here 

     Friday's market review - Nickel hits its highest since 2011 as stockpiles dwindle - Nickel prices surged to their highest since 2011 on Friday as a supply deficit ate into stockpiles and investors looked ahead to rising demand from electric vehicles. - more

     Nickel price rally to run out of steam as supplies ramp up - Momentum behind the rally that has taken nickel prices to historical highs is expected to recede as supplies of the metal used to make electric vehicle batteries and stainless steel start to ramp up. - more

     Low Pure Nickel Stocks and Continuously High Premiums Opened the Door to Carnivals for Bulls - The nickel prices continued its strong momentum last week as the pricing logic driven by pure nickel has not changed fundamentally. - more

     Taiwan’s upstream stainless steel mills expected to raise prices for Feb - Nickel, a key raw material for stainless steel, accounts for up to 50% of the total cost. The recent LME nickel price hit a ten-year high, reaching US$22,000/ton due to Indonesia’s new policy and the falling US dollar. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Omicron’s Surge Gives Bosses a Reason to Order Shots Biden Can’t - more
  • Copper supply deficit of 6 million tons by 2030 threatens renewables, EVs, as investment lags demand - more
  • China tops forecasts with 8.1% growth in 2021 but headwinds loom - more
  • Stocks, Futures Mixed as Bond Yields March Higher: Markets Wrap - more

  Economic Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - here
  • US Economy At a Glance - more
  • US Economic Indicators - more
  • US Economic Activity - (every Monday) - pdf here
  • US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
  • FX Street Economic Calendar - more
  • Iron Ore Price Graph - 1  2  3 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
  • COVID By The Numbers - here
  • How is your state faring? - more
  • What time is it in....? - more
  • Euro/US Dollar chart - here
Why Stainless Steel
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here

Friday, January 14

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Thursday's trading session at $10.04/lb ($22,130/tonne). Indicators at 6:30 am CST today show nickel trading around $.24/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Thursday and started today's session just over the 97,700 tonne level. Nickel has already made another charge for the $23,000 tonne level this morning, and came within $100/tonne of reaching it. It is now trading about $.12/lb off its earlier high, but still nearly a quarter a pound higher than yesterday's close. So far this year, nickel has stolen the show amongst the base metals. And no one seems to know why. Every single excuse we have seen published on why nickel is suddenly so high, are excuses that applied last year. Indonesia taxes, Philippine rain, China New Year, China Olympics, etc - none of this is new. Our readers watch LME inventory daily, so it was never a question of 'if', but 'when' would they fall below100,000 tonnes. And considering earlier last year, it looked like we would run out 'by' the end of last year, the mere fact we still had 100,000 tonnes was actually kind of a 'whew' moment. The worst case scenario 'from the professional metals analysts' that we have seen is a 30,000 tonne deficit this year. Most think we will have a surplus. If that is the case, why all the sudden the concern? Could it be analysts screwed the pooch so bad last year that no one is listening anymore? This is not being driven by panic, only greed. Everyone wants a piece of the profit pie and so fresh money is pouring in. How high will it go, how long will it last, and how low will it fall? All questions to be answered in the future. In the mean time, welcome to nickel volatility. As any stainless steel producer will tell you. It's just another walk in the park - on the way to the neighborhood store to pick up more Tums. Stay safe out there and enjoy your weekend!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $9.63/lb

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Nickel leaps to highest since 2011 as stockpiles dwindle - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.4224
  • 304 SS Scrap Prices Local (updated bi-weekly) - more
  • SHFE China SS Index (yuan) - 17,305
  • Producer Price Index - pdf here
  • Beige Book - pdf here
  • Producer Price Index by Commodity: Externally Threaded Fasteners - more
  • Producer Price Index by Industry: Truck Transportation - more
  • Producer Price Index by Commodity: Steel Wire, Stainless Steel - more
  • Producer Price Index by Industry: Corrugated Shipping Containers - more
  • Producer Price Index by Commodity: Corrugated Paperboard - more
  • Producer Price Index by Commodity: Metals and Metal Products - more
  • Truck Tonnage - more

   Shanghai Metals Market

  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Nickel Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Inventory (updated each Friday) -
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here

  London Metals Market

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here
  • LME nickel chart - here 

    Thursday's market review - Copper holds near $10,000 a tonne as traders eye new rally - Copper prices fell back on Thursday but remained near three-month highs, a day after rising sharply on a weakening dollar and concerns of a supply shortage. - more

     ING Report "An impressive start to the year for nickel as it hits 10-year high" - Nickel has gained almost 6% year-to-date, chiefly driven by a continuous inventory drawdown and the tightness in the class 1 market - pdf here

    Indonesia considering imposition of export duties on ferronickel & nickel pig iron - Septian Hario Seto, Indonesia's Deputy of Investment and Mining Coordination to the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investments, said the government is considering imposing export duties on ferronickel and nickel pig iron as soon as this year. - more

     EU, UK flat steel service center shipments up 9.3% in Jan-Nov: EUROMETAL - Shipments of flat steel products from service centers in the EU27 and the UK rose by 9.3% year on year in January-November 2021, as demand boomed in the recovery from 2020’s pandemic-related market depression, service stockholders’ and distributors’ association EUROMETAL said Jan 12. - more

     Freight Index predicts no end in sight for sky-high shipping costs - AFS Logistics, a 3PL provider, and Cowen Research released the January 2022 Cowen/AFS Freight Index, a quarterly performance snapshot with predictive pricing tools for multiple sectors within the freight industry. - more

  • Supply Chain Labor Shortage: Three Myths, and Three Must Do's - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • As the Russian Threat to Ukraine Grows, U.S. Warns of Cyber Disruption - more
  • U.S. Futures Stabilize as Tech Leads Europe Lower: Markets Wrap - more

  Economic Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - here
  • US Economy At a Glance - more
  • US Economic Indicators - more
  • US Economic Activity - (every Monday) - pdf here
  • US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
  • FX Street Economic Calendar - more
  • Iron Ore Price Graph - 1  2  3 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
  • COVID By The Numbers - here
  • How is your state faring? - more
  • What time is it in....? - more
  • Euro/US Dollar chart - here
Why Stainless Steel
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here

Thursday, January 13

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Wednesday's trading session at $10.02/lb ($22,085/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.07/lb lower. Stockpiles of nickel fell on Wednesday and ended the day just below the 98,400 tonne level. Not a typical day when nickel can fall over $500/tonne after we published our update yesterday, and it still ended over $600/tonne higher than the prior session. Yesterday was the poster child for volatility. Nickel is calmer today, with traders retreating below the $22,000/tonne level, having spent a single day above. Have we seen the bulls break their inability to close above the $21,000/tonne level for more than a single day, by now doing the same for the $22,000/tonne level? One way to beat a psychological barrier, is to create a new one just a little farther down the track. There is an article linked below about the cost of the East coast snow storm. While it's still too early to sound the alarm bells, there could potentially be a much bigger storm coming to the Northeast late this weekend. This one could also affect both Fedex and UPS' southern airport hubs this weekend, but at this point, it looks like snow and not ice at both locations. Is 2022 the year you plan to invest in an electric vehicle? We spend a lot of time on this site talking about the need for nickel in the manufacturing of EV batteries, and the effect that is having on stainless steel pricing. Before you sign up for your new car, ask them what the replacement cost is for that battery. Batteries do not last forever and you might want to know how much that battery costs to replace. We hear some rather shocking numbers floating around out there. Indonesia is threatening to add a tax to processed nickel again. First they halted all shipments of unprocessed nickel, and invited processors to build smelters in Indonesia, so they could see their citizens get jobs from that process. And that has happened. Now they want to tax that processed nickel as it leaves the country. Will they want to tax the nickel in stainless steel exports next? Stay safe out there and have a great day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $9.57/lb

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Shanghai copper scales a more than two-month peak on tight supply - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.4246
  • 304 SS Scrap Prices Local (updated bi-weekly) - more
  • SHFE China SS Index (yuan) - 17,305
  • ITS The State of Steel January 2022 - more
  • January constructsteel newsletter - more
  • Consumer Price Index - pdf here
  • Real Earnings - pdf here
  • Truck Tonnage - chart here
  • MetalForming Magazine Jan-Feb - online here
  • Recycling Today Jan 2002 - online here

   Shanghai Metals Market

  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Nickel Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Inventory (updated each Friday) - more
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here

  London Metals Market

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here
  • LME nickel chart - here 

    Wednesday's market review - Nickel and copper march to fresh peaks on supply concerns - Nickel prices surged to their highest in a decade on Wednesday and copper broke back through $10,000 a tonne on renewed supply fears as inventories dwindle. - more

     Nickel rises decade high on supply fears - Nickel extended its gains to a high in more than a decade after Indonesia, the main supplier of the metal, said it is considering an export tax, fueling a rally driven by projected demand for the vehicles. electrical - more

     China Hurt Most by Indonesia’s Move to Keep Nickel at Home -  Indonesia’s pledge to be more than a raw-materials supplier is set to pile pressure on China’s steel to electric vehicles industries that are already grappling with rising cost volatility. - more

    The 20 Best-Selling U.S. Models - New Subaru Forester Barely Sneaks In - How does the 2022 Subaru Forester rank with the best-selling new vehicles? See where Forester ranks in the top-20.  - more
  • Tesla Giga Texas Starts Production - more

      'Insult to injury': Record rail demurrage adds to shipper costs - Rising fees caught regulators' attention in 2019, and a new rule should make it easier to dispute some charges. - more

  • Port Tracker report eyes a return to normal for U.S.-bound import volumes - more
  • Global Supply Chains Brace for Impact as Omicron Reaches China - more
  • East Coast snowstorms jeopardized suppliers, $5B in revenue: Resilinc - more
  • Smart Fleets, Driver Rights: What’s Coming for Trucking in 2022 - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Great Resignation Not as 'Great' as it Seems - more
  • U.S. business fears never ending liability from 'take-home' COVID-19 lawsuits - more
  • U.S. Equity Futures Rise as Dollar Extends Decline: Markets Wrap - more

  Economic Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - here
  • US Economy At a Glance - more
  • US Economic Indicators - more
  • US Economic Activity - (every Monday) - pdf here
  • US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
  • FX Street Economic Calendar - more
  • Iron Ore Price Graph - 1  2  3 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
  • COVID By The Numbers - here
  • How is your state faring? - more
  • What time is it in....? - more
  • Euro/US Dollar chart - here
Why Stainless Steel
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here

Wednesday, January 12

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Tuesday's trading session at $9.72/lb ($21,430/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.52/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Monday and Tuesday and started today's session just under the 99,500 tonne level. Yes, the $.52/lb is not a misprint or fat finger fumble. Nickel traders have lost all sense of reality and after closing above the $21,000/tonne level yesterday, they are trading well over the $22,000/tonne level this morning. Well over. We are already more than half way to the $23,000/tonne level. And that is why we say traders have tossed reality to the side and are trying to cash in before the coaster crosses over the peak. This is when the big guys sucker the little guys into buying into the rally, before prices crash back down. Time will tell if we are right but we have been doing this site for many years and we have seen it happen many times before. We caution you when looking for reasons to explain the stupidity. Nothing has changed in the past week and we suspect this is being controlled primarily by the big trading house computers. LME stockpiles haven't done much since they fell below the 100,000 tonne level last Thursday. Cancelled warrants are over 51%, but market watchers have learned over the years, that these numbers don't necessarily mean what they used to. One thing for sure. If we don't see the other side of the coaster ride soon, then stainless steel is going to see some ridiculous price increases in the coming months. Stay safe out there and have a great hump day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $9.49/lb

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Low stocks, robust demand view drive Shanghai nickel to record high - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.4259
  • 304 SS Scrap Prices Local (updated bi-weekly) - more
  • SHFE China SS Index (yuan) - 18,150
  • J P Morgan 2022 Business Leaders Outlook - pdf here
  • Presentation thyssenkrupp January 2022 - pdf here

   Shanghai Metals Market

  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Nickel Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Inventory (updated each Friday) - more
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here

  London Metals Market

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here
  • LME nickel chart - here 

    Tuesday's market review - Nickel prices soar to highest since 2012 - Nickel prices hit their highest in nearly 10 years on Tuesday as dwindling global inventories pointed to solid demand while an outage at the London Metal Exchange (LME) hit trading. - more

     SunSirs: Stainless Steel Futures Rose Sharply Amid Rumors that A Factory Had Cut Production - According to the price monitoring of SunSirs, the price of stainless steel was mainly weak and stable, and the spot price of stainless steel was 17,566.67 RMB/ton, down 0.57% from the previous trading day. - more

     Yusco & Tang Eng’s 2021 revenue benefited by high nickel prices - Despite the weak stainless steel market at the end of last year, the revenue of Yieh United Steel Corp. (Yusco) and Tang Eng Iron Works Co., Ltd., two leading stainless steel upstream suppliers in Taiwan, sill hit new highs in recent years as the international nickel price rebounded to the US$20,000/ton level. - more

     Talon up 20% on nickel supply deal with Tesla - Talon Metals Corp. has struck a deal to supply Tesla Motors Ltd. with nickel concentrates produced from the Tamarack Project in central Minnesota. - more
  • USW Applauds Talon Metals' Nickel Supply Agreement - more
     Why China’s nickel carbon footprint assessment will advance global carbon neutrality - Major economies across the globe are setting climate neutrality targets. - more

     Midsize businesses are 'thinking big' for supply chain workarounds: survey - Nearly two-thirds of midsize businesses have used strategic stockpiling to alleviate recent supply chain disruptions, according to JPMorgan Chase's 2022 Business Leaders Outlook Survey released last week. - more

  • Outbreaks, Bottlenecks Expected to Slow Global Growth in '22 - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • 5 reasons you should not deliberately catch Omicron to 'get it over with' - more
  • Will this COVID-19 wave lead to herd immunity? - more
  • How Did Federal Stimulus Recipients Use Their Checks? - more
  • China’s infrastructure push to fast-track 102 major projects as Omicron and economic risks loom large in 2022 - more
  • Stocks Tick Higher on Inflation Day, Yields Steady: Markets Wrap - more

  Economic Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - here
  • US Economy At a Glance - more
  • US Economic Indicators - more
  • US Economic Activity - (every Monday) - pdf here
  • US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
  • FX Street Economic Calendar - more
  • Iron Ore Price Graph - 1  2  3 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
  • COVID By The Numbers - here
  • How is your state faring? - more
  • What time is it in....? - more
  • Euro/US Dollar chart - here
Why Stainless Steel
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here

Tuesday, January 11

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Monday's trading session at $9.43/lb ($20,790/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.27/lb higher. Stockpile numbers for yesterday are unpublished so far today and will be updated tomorrow. Nickel traded within a few dollars a tonne of the $21,000/tonne level on Monday, but the bullish run for the border was met by the bear patrol, and nearly all the morning gains were surrendered in late afternoon trading. This morning the bears have been caught napping, and the bulls have roared thru the level, and hope to get far enough ahead, they can't be pulled back. We are currently trading at levels not seen since January 2011. Tesla signed a contract yesterday with a proposed nickel mine in Minnesota, and that has been facing strong headwinds of resistance. Apparently Elon Musk has picked a side and endorsed the mine, and will likely give those who want it to be built, a boost of political momentum. One of the big questions that we think will be answered in the coming weeks, will be how does China react to omicron. Nothing apparently stops the spread of this variant, so how is a country with zero tolerance, going to react to outbreaks? Even with quarantines, the chances for major outbreaks are greater now than ever. As of today, three cities are in lockdown in China, so apparently they have not shifted their strategy. They have been successful with mass quarantines the last two years, but omicron is a new type of enemy. We really don't need additional supply chain bottlenecks right now, but China has proved it is willing to take the economic hit to keep the virus at bay. When sourcing, you might keep this risk factor in mind. Stay safe out there and have a great day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $9.42/lb

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - China stainless steel futures jump on supply woes, robust nickel prices - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.4259
  • 304 SS Scrap Prices Local (updated bi-weekly) - more
  • SHFE China SS Index (yuan) - 17,655

   Shanghai Metals Market

  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Nickel Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Inventory (updated each Friday) - more
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here

  London Metals Market

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here
  • LME nickel chart - here 

    Monday's market review - Nickel price buoyed by strong demand, dwindling stocks - Nickel prices held near their highest in more than two months on Monday boosted by demand from the electric vehicle battery sector lowering stocks held in London Metal Exchange (LME) approved warehouses. - more

     SunSirs: Stainless Steel Up Slightly This Week (January 4-7) - According to the price monitoring of SunSirs, stainless steel rose slightly this week. As of January 7, the daily average price of spot 304/2B stainless steel plate 1.0*1219*2438 (tolerance 0.91) was 16,140 RMB/ton, compared with the price of 16,065 RMB/ton at the beginning of the week, the price rose 0.47%,and was up 19.33% year-on-year. - more

     Universal Stainless Announces Base Price Increase on All Products -  Universal Stainless & Alloy Products, Inc. (Nasdaq: USAP) today announced a base price increase of 3% to 10% on all products. The increase goes into effect immediately for all new orders. Current material and energy surcharges will remain in effect. - more

   Tesla signs deal for first U.S. supply of nickel with Talon Metals - Tesla Inc on Monday said it has signed its first U.S. supply deal for nickel, choosing Talon Metals Corp's Tamarack mine project in Minnesota because of plans to make the electric vehicle battery metal using a process it considers more environmentally friendly. - more
  • Tesla New Model Line Coming In China: Expansion & Hiring Underway - more
  • Tesla Gets The Green Light To Begin Refreshed Model Y Production At Giga Texas - more
     India considers mandatory use of stainless steel in bridges near ocean - Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways of India, said that the Indian government is considering a policy to make the legislation of mandatory usage of stainless steel in the construction of bridges in areas within 30-50 km of a sea because it is common that the rusted metal will reduce the strength of bridges and buildings near the ocean areas. - more

     The raw-materials challenge: How the metals and mining sector will be at the core of enabling the energy transition - As the world gears up for net zero, demand for raw materials is set to soar. The energy transition presents unique challenges for metals and mining companies, which will need to innovate and rebuild their growth agenda. - more

     Courtesy AISI - In the week ending on January 8, 2022, domestic raw steel production was 1,813,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 82.3 percent. Production was 1,736,000 net tons in the week ending January 8, 2021 while the capability utilization then was 76.6 percent. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • The Great Resignation: Why more Americans are quitting their jobs than ever before - more
  • US flat products imports up 85% on December 2020 and up 72% annually 2020 to 2021 - more
  • 'Omicron absenteeism' strains Conagra's supply chain - more
  • Stock Recovery in Europe Led by Tech; Dollar Slips: Markets Wrap - more

  Economic Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - here
  • US Economy At a Glance - more
  • US Economic Indicators - more
  • US Economic Activity - (every Monday) - pdf here
  • US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
  • FX Street Economic Calendar - more
  • Iron Ore Price Graph - 1  2  3 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
  • COVID By The Numbers - here
  • How is your state faring? - more
  • What time is it in....? - more
  • Euro/US Dollar chart - here
Why Stainless Steel
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here

Monday, January 10

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Friday's trading session at $9.40/lb ($20,725/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.09/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Friday and fell just below the 100,000 tonne level for the first time since December 2019. Shanghai traders took the first positive jump last Friday, but had to play catch up this morning, after LME's jump on Friday, went much higher - at least percentile wise. The run continues this morning, with that psychological barrier of $21,000/tonne fast approaching. Stainless prices are edging up in China, with European Acerinox January prices higher as well. The omicron variant is affecting a lot of people, and while this strain does not appear to be the killer that Delta was, it is forcing a lot of employees to quarantine, and this is adding additional strain to already stressed supply chains. For those who were hoping things would get back to normal after the holidays - maybe a longer wait is in store. Stay safe out there and have a great week!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $9.39/lb

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Nickel price buoyed by strong demand, dwindling stocks - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.4259
  • 304 SS Scrap Prices Local (updated bi-weekly) - more
  • SHFE China SS Index (yuan) - 17,310
  • US Employment Situation December 2021 - pdf here

   Shanghai Metals Market

  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Nickel Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Inventory (updated each Friday) - more
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here

  London Metals Market

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here
  • LME nickel chart - here 

    Friday's market review - Aluminium touches 2-1/2 month high as output cuts loom - Aluminium prices on Friday reached their highest since Oct. 21 as the amount of metal available in London Metal Exchange warehouses fell and traders worried that high energy costs would force more smelters to cut output, worsening a supply shortage. - more

     SunSirs: Stainless Steel Prices Rose Slightly on the 6th - According to the price monitoring of SunSirs, the price of stainless steel rose slightly, and the spot price was reported at 17,666.67 RMB/ton, an increase of 0.95% from the previous trading day. - more

    Acerinox announces sixth price increase in 2021 for US market, reaching the highest level since 2009 - Acerinox, one of the world's largest stainless steel producers, announced in late December a price increase in the US market of between US$70-80/ton, which will be applied from January 2022. - more

      U.S. exports of Stainless steel <600mm wide increased 21.02 percent from $288.96 million to $349.7 million through the first 11 months of 2021 when compared to the same period the previous year, according to WorldCity analysis of the latest U.S. Census Bureau data. - more
  • U.S. imports of Stainless steel <600mm wide increased 45.94 percent from $134.36 million to $196.09 million through the first 11 months of 2021 when compared to the same period the previous year, according to WorldCity analysis of the latest U.S. Census Bureau data. - more
  • U.S. imports of Nickel increased 17.97 percent from $1.13 billion to $1.33 billion through the first 11 months of 2021 when compared to the same period the previous year, according to WorldCity analysis of the latest U.S. Census Bureau data. - more
  • Search the export and import stats for your items - more
     Jokowi: Nickel Export Ban Leads to 19 months of Trade Surplus - President Joko Widodo or Jokowi said that the ban on nickel exports has had a positive impact. The president said that since the ban was enforced, Indonesia's trade balance had recorded a surplus for 19 months. - more

     BHP re-enters Africa with Tanzania nickel investment - BHP Group has invested $40 million in a Tanzania nickel project, UK-based private company Kabanga Nickel said on Monday, the first new bet by the world's biggest miner in Africa in years. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Omicron’s Spread Means More Food Outages at U.S. Grocery Stores - more
  • Containergeddon Hits New York As Covid Cases Spike - more
  • China’s zero-Covid policy: Xian takes stock as 3rd lockdown week looms - more
  • Stocks Steady With U.S. Futures; Treasuries Drop: Markets Wrap - more

  Economic Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - here
  • US Economy At a Glance - more
  • US Economic Indicators - more
  • US Economic Activity - (every Monday) - pdf here
  • US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
  • FX Street Economic Calendar - more
  • Iron Ore Price Graph - 1  2  3 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
  • COVID By The Numbers - here
  • How is your state faring? - more
  • What time is it in....? - more
  • Euro/US Dollar chart - here
Why Stainless Steel
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here
  • ISSF Marvels of Stainless Steels in Construction - video here

Friday, January 7

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Thursday's trading session at $9.25/lb ($20,385/tonne). Indicators at 5:45 am CST today show nickel trading around $.16/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Thursday and started todays session just over the 100,200 tonne level. Shanghai nickel jumped overnight and did not follow LME's Thursday's slide, and this morning, London traders are chasing Shanghai traders for a change. All base metals are trading higher at the moment, except for lead - which is still sinking. There's a joke to be had there somewhere but we can't figure it out. Industry news is hard to come by this week, but we link to what we found. Stay safe out there and enjoy your weekend!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $9.39/lb

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - London copper up on supply concerns but set for biggest weekly fall since Nov - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.4259
  • 304 SS Scrap Prices Local (updated bi-weekly) - more
  • SHFE China SS Index (yuan) - 16,760
  • U.S. Imports for Consumption of Steel Products Nov 2021 - pdf here
  • Moody's The Global Ramifications of a China Debt Crisis - pdf here
  • Moody's Fast and Furious: Fed Version - pdf here
  • November 2021 Trade Gap is $80.2 Billion - more
  • December 2021 Fastener Distributor Index - pdf here

   Shanghai Metals Market

  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Nickel Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Inventory (updated each Friday) - more
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here

  London Metals Market

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here
  • LME nickel chart - here 

    Thursday's market review - Base metals fall on hawkish U.S. Fed signals - Industrial metals prices eased on Thursday after minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve's December meeting indicated that interest rates might rise quicker than expected, dampening risk appetite. - more

     Spot Nickel Imports Maintained Sound Profits - The SHFE/LME nickel price ratio bottomed out this week, and the import window re-opened, which improved the profitability of traders. - more

     The Short- and Long-Term Solutions to Supply Chain Bottlenecks - There’s no indication that supply chain disruptions will ease in 2022 as bottlenecks, labor shortages and capacity crunches remain widespread. Under its zero-tolerance COVID-19 measures, China is bound to shut down production and ports more frequently as the ultra-contagious Omicron variant spreads. - more

  • MSC Passes Maersk to Become World’s Top Container Shipping Line - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  •  New EAF capacity to pressure US HRC prices, raise 2022 scrap demand - more
  • The 10 Best Performing Commodities Of 2021 - more

  Economic Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - here
  • US Economy At a Glance - more
  • US Economic Indicators - more
  • US Economic Activity - (every Monday) - pdf here
  • US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
  • FX Street Economic Calendar - more
  • Iron Ore Price Graph - 1  2  3 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
  • COVID By The Numbers - here
  • How is your state faring? - more
  • What time is it in....? - more
  • Euro/US Dollar chart - here
Why Stainless Steel
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here

Thursday, January 6

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Wednesday's trading session at $9.36/lb ($20,635/tonne). Indicators at 5:45 am CST today show nickel trading around $.12/lb lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Wednesday and started today just under the 100,500 tonne level. Nickel continues to slide, after peeking its head over the $21,000/tonne level on the first trading day of the year. Nickel is now trading over $600/tonne lower. Nickel spent the last quarter of 2021 trading closer to the $20,000/tonne level, so we see no long term bearish signal - yet. There is an 'appearance' that some are acknowledging omicron is not stoppable, and that its quick spread may actually be a good thing. We are even hearing that outdated phrase 'herd immunity' pop up again. It is said that those who get sick will see their body build up antibodies to resist the next strain to come, and while vaccines are said to keep most out of the hospital, the claim that vaccines will keep all from getting sick, have grown silent with omicron. So, should we all run out and get sick with omicron, that appears to be less dangerous, so we can beat this virus once and for all? Or do we keep fighting a guerrilla war against an unseen enemy and hope to conquer it in an epic battle some day? Fatalistic thinking - or strategic? We wonder. Stay safe out there and have a great day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $9.44/lb

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Supply fears drive Shanghai aluminium to two-month peak - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.4287
  • 304 SS Scrap Prices Local (updated bi-weekly) - more (Updated 1/5)
  • SHFE China SS Index (yuan) - 16,820

   Shanghai Metals Market

  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Nickel Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Inventory (updated each Friday) - more
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here

  London Metals Market

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here
  • LME nickel chart - here 

    Wednesday's market review - Power prices propel aluminium to 2-month peak - Aluminium prices rose on Wednesday to their highest in more than two months as expectations of large deficits were reinforced by high power prices, particularly in Europe, and sliding stocks. - more

     Aperam raises European stainless steel alloy surcharges for Jan - Aperam, a stainless steel manufacturer based in Luxembourg, raised its alloy surcharge for European austenitic flat stainless steel products by EUR 100/ton for January. - more

     Nickel Downstream Composite PMI in December Stands in the Contraction Range - The final composite PMI for the nickel downstream industries came in at 49.59 in December 2021, remaining in contraction. - more

     Why 2022 could be a critical year for the controversial PolyMet mining project in northern Minnesota - What to know about where the $1 billion proposal stands today — and what’s in store for PolyMet in the coming year. - more

     'Short-handed every day:' Businesses face widespread labour shortages - An intensifying labour shortage is rippling through the economy, forcing businesses to curtail operations, reduce hours and in some cases, euthanize livestock. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Inventory ‘Bullwhip’ Risk Emerges in Latest U.S. Logistics Index - more
  • U.S. Futures Steady While Fed Shock Batters Bonds: Markets Wrap - more

  Economic Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - here
  • US Economy At a Glance - more
  • US Economic Indicators - more
  • US Economic Activity - (every Monday) - pdf here
  • US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
  • FX Street Economic Calendar - more
  • Iron Ore Price Graph - 1  2  3 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
  • COVID By The Numbers - here
  • How is your state faring? - more
  • What time is it in....? - more
  • Euro/US Dollar chart - here
Why Stainless Steel
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here

Wednesday, January 5

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Tuesday's trading session at $9.57/lb ($21,095/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.16/lb lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Tuesday and ended the session just over the 101,100 tonne level. For the third time in the last four months, nickel punched thru the $21,000/tonne level yesterday. The former two trips lasted one whole day each, and it appears that streak will not end today. Your average prices for December 2021 are as follows .... Nickel - $9.10/lb compared to $9.05/lb in November, Chromium - $5.60/lb compared to $5.63/lb in November, Molybdenum - $18.96/lb compared to $19.26/lb in November. Shanghai markets ended much higher overnight, playing follow the leader after yesterday's LME increase. Another forecast posted below for lower nickel prices in 2022. And we did a follow up to our warning last month about the Log4j computer flaw. This is a situation that will not be going away anytime soon, and hackers are using it daily to break into systems. There is a link to a scanner that your IT people can check your system computers. Those who fight hackers say companies should embrace a 'Zero Trust'  philosophy to protect their company. This is an approach, an attitude, and not something you can buy. It's hump day already so stay safe out there and have a great day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $9.40/lb

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning -Power prices propel aluminium to 2-month peak - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.4299
  • 304 SS Scrap Prices Local (updated bi-weekly) - more
  • SHFE China SS Index (yuan) - 17,130
  • Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary - more
  • Report On Business Roundup: December Manufacturing PMI - more
  • Distributor's Link Winter 2022 - online here

   Shanghai Metals Market

  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Nickel Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Inventory (updated each Friday) - more
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here

  London Metals Market

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here
  • LME nickel chart - here 

    Tuesday's market review - Supply fears boost aluminium and zinc prices - Aluminium and zinc prices climbed on Tuesday, with buying spurred on by concerns over supply disruptions because of prolonged high power prices, while industrial metals in general were boosted by a weaker dollar. - more

     Nickel price seen to weaken in Q1 as tightness in market eases - Refined nickel prices are expected to weaken in the first half of 2022 as the acute market tightness over October and November has continued to eased. - more

     Spot Supply of Stainless Steel was Tight due to Delayed Shipments -  The spot supply was relatively tight in the stainless steel market. The market was quiet at the end of the year, and the truck transportation in Jiangsu was impeded by the snow. - more

     US distributors facing tough environment in 2022 - Following a year in which US hot-rolled coil prices reached an all-time high, steel industry analysts are expecting 2022 to be a year of normalization and downward pressure as more supply and shorter lead times improve availability for buyers. - more

     Ramu NiCo, union sign agreement - The Developer of PNG’s first nickel/cobalt mining project in Madang Province, Ramu NiCo Management Limited, has successfully concluded and signed a new industrial agreement in 2022 with its workers’ union. - more

     Russia’s stainless steel imports drop in Nov 2021 m-o-m - According to statistics released by the Russian Special Steel and Alloys Consumers and Suppliers Association (SpetsStal Association), Russia’s stainless steel imports amounted to around 44,100 tons in November 2021, dropping by 2.5% compared to the previous month. - more

     The nickel market ushered in the warm current Lunni performance is particularly eye-catching! - From December 21, 2021 to today, Shanghai Nickel ushered in a wave of warm current rising, Lunni performance is more eye-catching. - more

     7 of the Most Impactful Cybersecurity Incidents of 2021 - The Log4j vulnerability that became public on Dec. 10 quickly established itself as one of the most significant security threats of 2021. - more

  • The Log4j Flaw Will Take Years to be Fully Addressed - more
  • CISA's New Log4j Scanner Aims to Find Vulnerable Apps - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • A record 4.5 million Americans quit their jobs in November - more
  • European Stocks Rise, U.S. Futures Pare Losses: Markets Wrap - more

  Economic Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - here
  • US Economy At a Glance - more
  • US Economic Indicators - more
  • US Economic Activity - (every Monday) - pdf here
  • US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
  • FX Street Economic Calendar - more
  • Iron Ore Price Graph - 1  2  3 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
  • COVID By The Numbers - here
  • How is your state faring? - more
  • What time is it in....? - more
  • Euro/US Dollar chart - here
Why Stainless Steel
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here

Tuesday, January 4

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Friday's trading session at $9.42/lb ($20,757/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.07/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Friday and started the New Year just under the 101,300 tonne level. We started 2021 with 247,980 tonnes. Nickel's bullish run continues from last week, with copper the only London traded base metal not feeling the love this morning. Reuters reported Friday that "The London Metal Exchange index, made up of copper, aluminium, nickel, zinc, lead and tin, was up 32% in 2021 after rising 20% in 2020." We start the new year with the 100 day moving average just a hair shy of the $19,500 tonne level. It started 2021 not quite $4,000/tonne lower. It's a new month and a new year and thanks to PAI Inc, estainlesssteel.com will continue to follow the nickel and stainless steel markets thru 2022. In our initial call for top banner sponsors, we received interest for only about half the year, and had pretty well decided it was time to close up shop. When long time sponsor PAI Inc asked about sponsoring a few months, we advised him of the decision to shut down the site, he offered to sponsor the entire year.  So thanks to them, we are here today.Remember this from two years ago ( BBC story)? Just another little story that meant little to the rest of the world? Boy howdie - how little did we realize at the time. Stay safe out there and have a great day, week, and year!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $9.10/lb (average for December)

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Supply worries boost aluminium and zinc prices - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.4299
  • 304 SS Scrap Prices Local (updated bi-weekly) - more
  • SHFE China SS Index (yuan) - 17,230
  • China NBS Manufacturing PMI - more
  • Chromium Crucible Steel Was First Made in Persia - pdf here
  • United States Imports For Consumption Of Stainless Steel Products - graph here

   Shanghai Metals Market

  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Nickel Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Inventory (updated each Friday) - more
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here

  London Metals Market

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here
  • LME nickel chart - here 

    Friday's market review - Industrial metals price surge set to stall after stellar 2021 - Industrial metals ended 2021 posting their biggest annual price gains since 2009 driven by tight supply and increased demand and led by aluminium and tin. - more

     SunSirs: Stainless Steel Prices Stabilized and Strengthened on the 30th - According to the price monitoring of SunSirs, the price of stainless steel has rebounded slightly recently, and the spot price on the 30th was reported at 17,466.67 RMB/ton. - more
  • China’s stainless steel futures price grows 27% in 2021 - more
     CISA: China’s crude steel output expected to fall by 3.3% y-o-y in 2021 - According to China Iron and Steel Association (CISA), China’s crude steel output was expected to reach 1.03 billion tons in 2021, decreasing by 35 million tons or 3.3% compared to the previous year. - more

     Tesla Seeks a Sustainable Way to Mine for Nickel - If you journey to the southeastern tip of New Caledonia, you’ll find yourself in the Goro nickel mine. - more

     Mining resolution debated - Representatives of local governments have come out yet again in support of the Twin Metals Minnesota copper-nickel mining project and against efforts that could derail those plans, but not without controversy. - more

     Courtesy AISI - In the week ending on January 1, 2022, domestic raw steel production was 1,785,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 80.9 percent. Production was 1,630,000 net tons in the week ending January 1, 2021 while the capability utilization then was 73.4 percent. The current week production represents a 9.5 percent increase from the same period in the previous year. - more

     Port of Los Angeles Plans Fees to Encourage Clearing Empty Containers - In the latest effort to clear some of the congestion at the container terminals, the Port of Los Angeles said it plans to begin charging a fee to ocean carriers that allow empty containers to linger for nine days or longer. - more

  • Supply Chain Managers To Confront Escalating Transport Rates in 2022 - more
  • Truck Drivers, Seafarers Quit as Omicron Spreads - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • The Fed’s Doomsday Prophet Has a Dire Warning About Where We’re Headed - more
  • U.S. Futures, Europe Stocks Gain; Yen at 2017 Low: Markets Wrap - more

  Economic Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - here
  • US Economy At a Glance - more
  • US Economic Indicators - more
  • US Economic Activity - (every Monday) - pdf here
  • US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
  • FX Street Economic Calendar - more
  • Iron Ore Price Graph - 1  2  3 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
  • COVID By The Numbers - here
  • How is your state faring? - more
  • What time is it in....? - more
  • Euro/US Dollar chart - here
Why Stainless Steel
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here


December Archives


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




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