This page is archived news covering the period of June 2012
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LME nickel prices and news

Stainless Steel News and Nickel Prices

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Daily Nickel Market News & Stainless Steel Prices

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Nickel PricesStainless Steel News

Friday, June 29

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - plus 10 to 1004  (chart)
  • Dollar trading graph - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Big rally today for nearly everything traded, whether in equity or commodity trading, and in metals, albeit precious and base. Indicator charts show nickel had no where to go but up today, with a solid uptrend all session. For the day, week, month, quarter and first half of 2012, Dow Jones reports three month nickel closed at $7.59/lb . Stockpiles of nickel took a big hit on Thursday and now total just over 102,800 tonnes.
  • Have a safe and relaxing weekend.

  Reports

  • Commodities Daily - here

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • Debt crisis: Italy and Spain threaten to block 'everything' at tense EU summit - more
  • Debt crisis live: Markets surge after EU summit deal - more
  • Consumer sentiment lowest since December - more

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

  • Indicators at 6:50 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.14/lb higher, with other London traded base metals higher as well on a stronger Euro which at the moment, is up over 1.1%. We are most likely seeing what we predicted earlier in the week, an initial jump in the traded price of commodities on news from the EU summit, followed by short covering. Whether the rally survives into July or not, remains to be seen. Nickel stockpiles fell hard on Thursday.
  • Reuters morning - Copper up on EU deal, still on track for Q2 drop - more
  • LME Morning - Relief rally continues but sustainability in doubt - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • (Merafe PR) Shareholders of the Company are advised that the European benchmark ferrochrome price has been settled at $1.25 per pound for the third quarter of 2012, a decrease of 7% from the $1.35 per pound price in the second quarter of 2012.
  • (Yieh) Yieh United Steel Corp. (Yusco), one of the major stainless producers in Taiwan announced to cut the domestic prices for 300 grade and 400 grade stainless steel products by NT$1,000 and NT$1,500/ton respectively for July. Besides, the firm decided to reduce the export prices of its stainless steel products by US$30~US$50/ton for July.
  • The Australian Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics report from June 27, states nickel production in Australia for 2011-12 is forecast to total 226,000 mt, 16% higher compared to 2010-11. Growth has been primarily driven by the restart of the Ravensthorpe mine.
  • Commodities Surge Most in Three Weeks, Trimming Quarterly Slump - more
  • Rio Tinto sees 2012 Chinese growth above 8 pct - more
  • China's Q2 economic growth may hit 7.6% - more

  Ni/Cr Ore Potential Supply Restrictions To China (Part 1) = Strong oppositions from domestic miners in Indonesia and in South Africa = China's share in global crude stainless steel production in 2011 was 41%, or 14 million tons. - more

  Norilsk cuts investment, sees no rally in metal prices - Russia's Norilsk Nickel , the world's largest nickel and palladium miner, plans to cut its 2012 investment programme within a month, the company's chief executive Vladimir Strzhalkovsky said on Friday. - more

  Clive's dangerous nickel ponds 'nothing to be taken lightly' - A Queensland scientist has backed Clive Palmer's claim his Yabulu nickel refinery has no other immediate option but to dump ponds of contaminated water on the Great Barrier Reef. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

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

Thursday, June 28

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - plus 6 to 994  (chart)
  • Dollar trading graph - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Indicator charts show nickel was looking very strong until US markets opened much lower, then nickel gave up all of its daily gains plus some. For the day, Dow Jones reports three month nickle closed down $.02/lb at $7.35/lb . Nickel stockpiles fell slightly on Wednesday and now register just under 103,750 tonnes.

  Reports

  • Commodities Daily - here

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • Changes to Guatemala mining law may be positive - more

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

  • Indicators at 6:50 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.12/lb higher, with other London traded base metals trading higher as well. Nickel stockpiles fell slightly on Wednesday. Equity markets are lower this morning as the European economic summit begins. News from US that reported $2 billion dollar loss at JP Morgan by rogue trader may now exceed $9 billion dollars has US traders unnerved.  Commodities appear to be experiencing a relief rally this morning, with no help coming from equity traders or the Euro. Copper and aluminum are higher but look to be trending into negative territory, while nickel looks strong.
  • Reuters morning - Copper slips, metals tread water ahead of EU summit - more
  • LME Morning - Hopes wane on EU summit outcome, copper and tin pare gains - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • (RIN) Business Mirror reported Century Peak Metals Holdings Corp. will no longer build a multibillion-peso ferro-nickel smelting facility in the Philippines.
  • (Lloyd's List) Shipowners risk prejudicing their P&I cover if they fail to notify their P&I club of any plans to fix, charter or order a ship to load nickel ore from a port in Indonesia or the Philippines.
  • (FAN) China to Become World's Largest Ferrochrome Producer in 2013
  • China daily steel output slips in mid-June -CISA - more
  • Glencore Courts Qatar as Xstrata Tweaks Merger Pay - more

  Chinese And Taiwanese Austenitic Stainless Mills Likely To Cut Deeply Production In June - The Chinese and Taiwanese austenitic stainless steel mills seem to have reduced sharply their production in June. - more

  Japan’s Nickel-Ore Imports From Indonesia Advance 81% in May - Japan’s imports of nickel ore from Indonesia jumped 81 percent in May from a year earlier, finance ministry data showed, as buyers stepped up purchase before the Southeast Asian nation curbed shipments.  - more

  Ferrochrome sector’s looming destruction is a national emergency - At the heart of the crisis is SA’s inability to set prices for commodities of which it has the lion’s share of reserves - more

  Mining firm to file raps vs Manicani residents - Criminal charges are being prepared by Samar Nickel Mine Resources Corp. against residents of Manicani Island in Guiuan, Eastern Samar who prevented the entry of a vehicle it unloaded on the island’s port Saturday morning. - more

  Palmer won't bully us on dumping: Qld govt - Mining magnate Clive Palmer has unsuccessfully tried to pressure the Queensland government into lowering environmental standards, the deputy premier says. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

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

Wednesday, June 27

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - plus 7 to 988  (chart)
  • Dollar trading graph - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Indicator charts show nickel opened lower, and traded for the session in a narrow band. For the day, Dow Jones reports three month nickel closed at $7.37/lb . Nickel stockpiles did very little on Tuesday and now register near the 103,800 tonne level. US equity markets got a boost from an early morning housing report, but the urge to buy did not trickle down to nickel. We could see some volatility in the next few days, as these EU summits did to give trader some good news, which is followed by a rise, short covering drawing prices higher, followed by a realization in a few days or weeks, that nothing really changed.  

  Reports

  • Commodities Daily - here
  • US Imports of Stainless Steel Mill Products - more
  • (Merafe) Shareholders of the Company are advised that the Xstrata-Merafe Chrome Venture will be operating, on average, eight out of twenty furnaces for the winter months of June, July and August 2012. Ferrochrome production for the winter months is envisaged to be in the region of 40% to 50% of installed capacity.
  • (MB) Vietnam's Ban Phuc deposit will start nickel production by Q2 2013

  'Add value or leave SA' - Mining companies must add value to their minerals or leave SA, says Paul Jourdan, a senior adviser to the government on minerals policies and co-author of the controversial State Intervention in the Minerals Sector (Sims) study. - more

  Century Peak drops smelting facility plans as fund woes hit Chinese partner - Listed Century Peak Metals Holdings Corp., which stopped booking mining revenues as of 2011, is terminating a plan to build a multibillion-peso ferro-nickel smelting facility in Leyte as financial problems hit its China-based partner. - more

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

  • Indicators at 7:00 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around  $7.32/lb , with other London traded base metals mostly lower and quiet as well. Stockpiles of nickel grew slightly on Tuesday. European markets are trading higher as European leaders prepare for a two day summit in Brussels beginning tomorrow. Markets are watchful.
  • Reuters morning - Copper slips on euro zone caution, EU summit eyed - more
  • LME Morning - Metals fall under continued downside pressure, aluminium sets fresh two-year low - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • (Yieh) According to preliminary data of the US Census Bureau, the US’s imports of stainless steel products totaled 112,078 tons in May, surging substantially by 18.7% from 94,455 tons in a month earlier.
  • The Leisure Gap - Why Don’t Americans Take Vacations? - more

  Ed Meir of INTL FC Stone Daily Metals Commentary

  • No longer available - this report will soon be available to paid subscribers

  Xstrata's Outlook of Ferrochrome Market in 2012 = Market tightened from curtailment on ESKOM's power buyback = Mr. Jeff McLaughlan, Marketing Director of Xstrata Alloys and Mr. Stuart Cutler from Glencore, a sole marketing agent for Xstrata gave an interview to our pressman (Mr. Saito) on the 15th of June at the Imperial Hotel, Tokyo. - more

  Qatar Holding Seeks Higher Xstrata Price From Glencore - Glencore International Plc 16 billion pound ($25 billion) offer for the rest of Xstrata Plc is in doubt after the target’s second-largest shareholder demanded the bid be increased by 16 percent. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

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

Tuesday, June 26

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - plus 3 to 981  (chart)
  • Dollar trading graph - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Indicator charts look similar to yesterday - nickel losing ground most of the session, recouping some of its losses late. For the day, Dow Jones reports three month nickel closed at $7.39/lb . Nickel stockpiles grew on Monday reflecting the third day of growth in the last 4 sessions. Totals now sit just shy of 16,300 tonnes.  

  Reports

  • Commodities Daily - here

  Polluted legacy: Repairing Britain's damaged landscapes - The Industrial Revolution, which made Britain the powerhouse of the world in the 19th Century, may have been consigned to the history books but it has left a legacy of environmental problems. - more

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

  • Indicators at 6:50 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.05/lb lower, with other London traded base metals mostly lower as well. Nickel stockpiles rose on Monday.
  • Reuters morning - Copper up as dollar falls, Europe subdues sentiment - more
  • LME Morning - Metals mostly under pressure; aluminium, zinc and lead hit new cycle lows - more

  Reports

  Ed Meir of INTL FC Stone Daily Metals Commentary

  • Copper prices rose yesterday for the first time in four days, but it was a pretty mixed picture in the rest of the metals, as well as in other markets. Energy prices, for example, lost ground despite a tumbling lower Euro, while US stocks finished sharply lower. Gold erased early losses to close higher. The inconsistent trends we were seeing yesterday perhaps reflected the mixed emotions regarding the European summit meeting that starts Thursday, as well as the spate of “non-summit” headlines that admittedly did not inspire much confidence heading into the meeting. In this regard, Cyprus became the fifth country to officially ask for an EU bailout to help its ailing banks, many of which have been saddled with Greek debt. Although the overall amount requested (about E5-10 billion) is chump-change compared to what some others in the “walking wounded” club are asking for, the fact that yet another country is in need, underlines the severity of the crisis that is now extending into its third year. Secondly, European investors were not pleased to see Greece being underrepresented at the upcoming meeting, as the country’s well-respected finance minister has decided to resign due to health issues. Greece's prime-minister will not be at the talks either, leaving lower ranking officials in charge. Right now, things are very quiet for a second day running. Metals are slightly lower, having given up earlier gains. Energy markets are practically unchanged, while the precious group is down, giving back most of yesterday’s gains. The Euro is steady at $1.2480, while US stocks are expected to open higher after yesterday's dismal performance. We don't expect to see much action until later in the week when the European summit starts.  .....  Nickel is at $16,300, down $120. (complete report here)

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • (Dow Jones) Stainless steelmakers must prepare for a difficult three or four years due to low profitability and muted global demand, a an economist at major Korean steelmaker Posco said Tuesday.
  • (Yieh) It is reported that the stainless steel producers in China and Taiwan have reduced the output in June. Yieh United Steel Corp. (Yusco) and Tang Eng in Taiwan are estimated to cut the output by 50% while Baosteel in China is estimated to cut the output by 50% as well.
  • (TI) China Nickel Resources plans to construct a mineral ore smelter in South Kalimantan. This Chinese mining company estimates the investment value for the project to reach US$ 600 million or about Rp 5.64 trillion.
  • (FAN) Chinese Customs' data shows, in May, China imported high-carbon ferrochrome 105.7 thousand tons, a decline of 8.6% MOM, down 40.8% YOY.
  • Goldman Sachs lowers nickel price forecasts - 2012 estimate to $8.15/lb, 2013 estimate to $8.00/lb and 2014 estimate to $8.50/lb.

  Japan Nickel Production - April 2012 = Ferronickel production during the first four months of 2012 was up 2.3 times from the same period of 2011 = According to the statistics released by Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan's nickel production in April 2012 was as per the tables attached hereto. - more

  Indonesia export tax encourages nickel ore imports - China's imports of nickel ore and concentrate increased for a fourth month in May as smelters stepped up purchases in anticipation of a new export tax in Indonesia, the largest supplier. - more

  Serious environmental threat developing at Yabulu Nickel Refinery - Queensland is one wet season away from an environmental disaster with the potential to destroy sections of the Great Barrier Reef. - more

  China Faces Summer Steel Output Cut On Prices: Chart Of The Day - China's steelmakers, the biggest in the world, may cut output in the next two months as prices have dropped at a time when the main raw material became costlier. - more

  Courtesy AISI - In the week ending June 23, 2012, domestic raw steel production was 1,854,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 75.0 percent. Production was 1,864,000 tons in the week ending June 23, 2011, while the capability utilization then was 76.2 percent. The current week production represents a 0.5 percent decrease from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending June 23, 2012 is down 1.5 percent from the previous week ending June 16, 2012 when production was 1,882,000 tons and the rate of capability utilization was 76.2 percent.

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

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

Monday, June 25

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - plus/minus 0 to 978 (chart)
  • Dollar trading graph - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Indicator charts show nickel fell for most of the session, before recovering slightly near the close. For the day, Dow Jones reports three month nickel closed at $7.45/lb . Stockpiles of nickel rose on Friday and now total just shy of 103,100 tonnes. Markets are lower again on Euro debt concerns and could trade choppy until the EU summit meeting later this week.

  Reports

  • Commodities Daily - here

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • INTL FCStone, Inc - Indonesia has granted mineral export permits to 13 companies following last month's implementation of new restrictions on such shipments, data from the country's Trade Ministry showed.
  • Corporate Profits Just Hit An All-Time High, Wages Just Hit An All-Time Low - more

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

  • Indicators at 6:55 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.09/lb lower, with other London traded base metals mixed and mostly quiet on a lower trading Euro. Nickel stockpiles rose over the weekend.
  • Reuters morning - London copper rises slightly from 6-month low - more
  • LME Morning - Base metals mixed, mood remains uncertain - more

  Reports

  Ed Meir of INTL FC Stone Daily Metals Commentary

  • Metals finished slightly lower on Friday (with the exception of nickel), closing the week on a pretty dreadful note, as lingering concern over the debt crisis in Europe, coupled with growing evidence of a slow-down in China, weighed on the complex. Trading volumes were light, with about 65,000 lots trading on COMEX, down from almost 90,000 seen on Thursday. The fact that Chinese markets were closed on Friday also reduced turnover. We have opened on a mixed note as we start the new week, with metals on either side of unchanged, except for nickel, which has given back all of the slight gains it made on Friday. Other markets are trading in quiet fashion, with energy and gold both showing modest changes. In the currency markets, the Euro is now at $1.2480, losing substantial ground since Friday (almost a full Euro), but so far, it has not triggered sharp losses in commodities. However, US stocks are called to open sharply lower, with Dow futures pointing to a 100-point opening decline following a weak Asian session. Once again, Europe will be the subject of focus as we start the new week. A meeting in Rome on Friday between the Italians, French, Spanish, and Germans resulted in a pledge to issue a limited form of Eurobonds, but the proceeds, (some $160 billion all in all), will be earmarked to fund private sector infrastructure projects. This is likely going to be too little and too late to make much of a difference. The four leaders also said that they would seek a Euro-zone financial transaction tax (used for bank rescues), but it remains to be seen how this measure will fare given opposition from countries like Britain.  .... In other news, there was an interesting article in the weekend issue of The New York Times saying that many of the recent Chinese macro numbers are suspect. The article states that provincial officials seem to be overstating economic output, corporate profits, and tax receipts, as they apparently are under pressure to report “good economic results to Beijing as they wait for promotions, demotions and transfers to cascade down…”. One Chinese executive said electricity production from two provinces in east-central China (Shandong and Jiangsu) had dropped some 10% in May from a year earlier, but the report to Beijing showed only flat or only slightly rising consumption. (Separately, we have always been amazed at how quickly some Chinese data seems to come in, usually appearing a day or two after month’s end).  .... Nickel is at $16,382, down $193. The complex staged a promising rally last week, but could not take out its down channel, (red line), which may be why prices are under pressure again. We now seem to be heading for a retest of support around the $15,980. Things look wide opened below that point. (complete report here)

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • (JMB) Ambatovy to Start Nickel Production in June
  • (Reuters) China's steel mills produced an average of 2 million tonnes of crude steel a day over the June 1-10 period, edging back to the record levels reached in early May, as large mills ramped up output, data from the China Iron and Steel Association (CISA) showed on Wednesday.
  • Bulls Proven Wrong as Prices Slump Into Bear Market: Comm - more

  Palmer 'wants to dump tailings in reef' - The Great Barrier Reef park authority should stand firm against mining magnate Clive Palmer's push to dump polluted water off north Queensland's coast, the Greens say. - more

  Japan Pamco expects Indonesian nickel conc to arrive this week - Japan's ferronickel producer Pacific Metals expects nickel concentrate from Indonesia to arrive at the north Japan Hachinohe port this week, after suspending the last May 6 shipping, a company official said Monday. - more

  Tubay mayor asks govt to revoke miner’s permit - The municipal government of Tubay, Agusan del Sur has called for the cancellation of the mining license of San Roque Metals Inc., after a state inspection found the nickel miner guilty of six counts of environmental violation. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

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

Friday, June 22

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - plus/minus 0 to 978  (chart)
  • Dollar trading graph - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Indicator charts show nickel fell early, did little for much fo the day, then spiked late. For the day and week, Dow Jones reports three month nickel closed at $7.52/lb . That is $.12/lb lower on the week, and $.15/lb lower on the month. Stockpiles of nickel fell on Thursday and now total just under 102,900 tonnes. Nickel's late session spike appears to had more to do with the Euro than anything else. European markets ended mostly lower, while US markets are recovering from yesterday's deep loss.
  • Have a safe and relaxing weekend! 

  Reports

  • Commodities Daily - here

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

  • Indicators at 7:00 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.07/lb lower, but off earlier session lows, with other London traded base metals lower as well. Stockpiles of nickel slipped overnight. World markets are mostly lower in an apparent reaction to yesterday's drop on Wall Street. Dow futures are up 35 points at the moment.  
  • Reuters morning - Copper hits 6-month low on shaky economic outlook - more
  • LME Morning - Risk-off attitude weighs on prices, uncertainty prevails - more

  Reports

  Ed Meir of INTL FC Stone Daily Metals Commentary

  • Markets collapsed yesterday, hit by a barrage of bearish headlines. Copper lost about $200/MT on the day and prices have now tumbled more than 12% this quarter and are off some 3% for the year. Energy prices also fell, although the declines were not as steep as Wednesday’s $3-plus plunge. Silver lost a whopping 4%, while gold prices tumbled some 2.5%, nearly wiping out this year’s gains. In aggregate, the Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index slid more than 2%, its biggest one-day drop since mid-December. On the equity side, US stocks posted their largest one-day retreat in three weeks, with the Dow losing some 250 points, as weakness in key commodity-related equities led the rout. Amid the carnage, the dollar and the US bond market were two of the few winners. As we noted yesterday, the selling was attributable to a spate of poor manufacturing numbers that came out from across the globe. After the Chinese and European numbers hit the markets earlier in the day, US readings also weighed in, with the June ISM report showing manufacturing growing at its slowest pace in 11 months. Separate readings had factory activity in the Mid-Atlantic region dropping to 10-month lows. Weekly initial claims slipped by 2,000 last week, but the four-week moving average-- considered a better measure of employment-- hit its highest level since December. .... Right now, base metals are lower. Most of the group is technically oversold, but not severely, with relative strength index (a gauge of overbought/oversold conditions) running between 30-43. Aluminum is the glaring exception, where we have a severely oversold reading of 17-- practically off the charts. Not surprisingly, it is the only metal that is holding up relatively well. ..... Nickel is at $16,319, down $131. (complete report here)

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Allegheny Ludlum posts July stainless steel surcharge - here
  • AK Steel posts stainless steel surcharge - pdf here
  • Thyssenkrupp Nirosta posts July stainless steel surcharge - here
  • Outokumpu posts stainless steel surcharge - pdf here
  • (Dow Jones) According to data of the Specialty Steel Industry of North America (SSINA), the US consumption of thin-gauge stainless steel flat products was weak in March even though the consumption of thicker-gauge products increased obviously.
  • (Interfax) As concerns mount over China’s diminishing appetite for commodities amid slowing growth in the world’s second largest economy, metals demand is set to see a long-awaited boost in the near-term from procurement programs and policy initiatives.
  • (Interfax) Guanghan Tiancheng Stainless Steel Co. Ltd. (Tiancheng) is inviting public consultation for an environmental impact assessment of a 400,000-ton cold-rolled stainless steel project in its home town of Guanghan City, Sichuan Province, the provincial government said in a statement Monday.
  • Investors 'must be alert to US risks' - more

  Japan Nickel Metal Consumption; January - April 2012 = 14,059 tons, down 9.2% from the same four-month period of 2011 = According to the data released by Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, consumption of nickel metal during the first four months (January - April) of 2012 as well as during the single month of April 2012 was as per the table attached hereto. - more

  Norilsk Nickel seeks funds for its Australia project - Russian group Norilsk Nickel, the world's largest nickel and palladium miner, is negotiating with banks to secure funding for its Australian nickel project, a company executive said on Friday. - more

  • Norilsk Plans to Invest $1.5 Bln in Australian Nickel Deposit - Russia's largest nickel producer Norilsk Nickel plans to invest over $1.5 billion in development of the Honeymoonwell Nickel Deposit in Australia, Norilsk Director of Overseas Operations Department Roman Panov said on Friday. - more

  Analysis of Sluggish Chinese Steel Market - According to the latest statistics from the China Iron and Steel Association, the total profit of China’s major large and medium-sized iron and steel enterprises in April was further reduced to ¥ 1.79 billion (Yuan), compared with ¥ 2.084 billion in March, and a decrease of 96.65% from 2011. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

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

Thursday, June 21

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - plus 6 to 978  (chart)
  • Dollar trading graph - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Indicator charts show nickel opened lower today and did little until US markets opened lower. The the charts started looking like a skydiver's path - after he jumped form a plane. For the day, Dow Jones reports three month nickel closed at $7.46/lb , its lowest close since the 6th. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME approved warehouses actually rose on Wednesday and now total just shy of 103,100 tonnes. Nearly everything was working against nickel traders today. PMI reports from Europe and China came in lower. The Euro was trading much lower against the US Dollar. And in return, most commodities got whacked hard.

  Reports

  • Commodities Daily - here

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

  • Indicators at 7:00 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.13/lb lower, with other London traded base metals trading lower as well. Stockpiles of nickel rose on Wednesday. Traders are bearish on a HSBC report showing manufacturing slowed for an eighth month in China, and the Fed's lack of action yesterday.
  • LME Morning - Base metals bearish, economic sentiment sours - more

  Reports

  Ed Meir of INTL FC Stone Daily Metals Commentary

  • Metals ended sharply lower yesterday, with aluminum sinking to two-year lows, while lead dipped to an eight-month trough. The carnage in energy was particularly noteworthy, with the two major crude contracts shedding about $3/brl each. There were notable losses in precious metals as well, but US stocks rallied off earlier lows to finish mixed. The selling was attributable to disappointment regarding the Federal Reserve statement in that many felt that it did not go far enough. Although the Fed did say that it was going to expand its “Operation Twist” program until the end of the year by selling $267 billion of shorter-term securities and buying the same amount of longer-term debt, many felt that this move was somewhat timid. Perhaps aware of this, Bernanke did say at his subsequent news conference that he was ready to do more: “If we don’t see continued improvement in the labor market, we’ll be prepared to take additional steps if appropriate. Additional asset purchases would be among the things that we would certainly consider.” .... Right now, most markets are lower as poor headlines have been coming at us all day today. Out of Asia, we have reports that China's factory sector shrank for an eighth straight month in June, with the HSBC’s flash purchasing managers’ index falling to a seven-month low of 48.1 from 48.4 in May. A new orders sub-index also fell sharply, as did a new export order index, the latter dipping to its lowest level since March 2009. Some economists are already downgrading China's growth prospects for the second quarter, with GDP projections as low as 7% now being heard. Similar numbers out of Europe is showing activity in the private sector contracting as well, as a gauge of Euro-region manufacturing fell to 44.8 from 45.1 in May. Data out of Germany showed manufacturing activity contracting at its fastest pace since June 2009, while its service sector barely expanded, posting its lowest reading in seven months. ..... We think most markets will remain in a downward drift at least until next week when we head into the run-up to the European summit. Among the proposals that European leaders will be looking at are ways to issue joint debt and offer cross-border deposit insurance. On the banking front, the leaders may also clear the way for more integrated bank integration by consolidating regulations across the 17-nation euro area. We think all these ideas will be essential if the markets are to be stabilized, as they would usher in a broader approach to the debt crisis, as opposed to the “whack-a-mole” approach now on display. However, most of these proposals have yet to gain the approval of Chancellor Angela Merkel, who also is resisting a separate proposal for direct sovereign-debt purchases through the euro-area bailout fund. It should make for an interesting meeting; we suspect markets will likely not be too impressed if the leaders come up short. ..... Nickel is at $16,870, down $330, and giving up a portion of its recent gains. (complete report here)

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Commodities Fall to Lowest Since 2010 as Fed Cuts Outlook - more
  • China manufacturing weakens further: HSBC - more

  The nickel laterite challenge - Emerging economies and the demand for stainless steels and other alloys are driving demand for nickel. - more

  China's imports of Indonesia metals jump on new rule fears - China's imports of bauxite jumped to a record 6.27 million tonnes in May, up 41 percent from a year earlier, a breakdown of monthly data from China's General Administration of Customs showed on Thursday. - more

  ABN Amro cuts 2012 base metal price forecasts - ABN Amro on Thursday cut its base metals price forecasts for this year, saying conditions in metals markets are deteriorating because of the weak performance of euro zone economies and slowing growth in China. - more

  Taiwanese and South America’s stainless steel demand remains sluggish - It is reported that Taiwan's stainless steel market has remained quiet even though the stainless steel mills have cut the price for the consecutive four months. Mainland China stainless steel market is good. - more

  Mixed reaction to call for SA chrome exchange - Iraj Abedian’s suggested alternative to the export tariff sought by SA’s ferrochrome industry may not smooth prices and curb oversupply as intended, and could attract speculators, say critics - more

  Japan Imported Ferroalloy Market Report - June 15, 2012 = Q3 bulk ferroalloy prices for EF mills to slide = Market outlook of the imported ferroalloys in Japan as of June 15, 2012 is as follows: - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

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

Wednesday, June 20

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - plus 18 to 972  (chart)
  • Dollar trading graph - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Indicator chart show nickel trading was much choppier today than it has been recently, and spent most fo the session in the black. For the day, Dow Jones reports three month nickel closed at $7.80/lb . Stockpiles of nickel held in LME approved warehouses did not change on Tuesday and remain just under 17,200 tonnes.

  Reports

  • Commodities Daily - here

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • (Dow Jones) The global nickel market was in surplus by 8,700 metric tons in January to April, the World Bureau of Metal Statistics said Wednesday. This compares with a 7,000-ton surplus over the whole of 2011.

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

  • Indicators at 7:00 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.04/lb higher, with other London traded base metals trading mixed. Stockpiles of nickel registered no change on Tuesday. Slow news day as all eyes will be on the press conference Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke gives after today's Fed meeting. European equity markets are mostly higher, as are US futures.
  • Reuters morning - Copper slips on euro zone debt caution, Fed policy eyed - more
  • LME Morning - Metals fall back, complex frets over economies ahead of Fed - more

  Reports

  Ed Meir of INTL FC Stone Daily Metals Commentary

  • If positive Greek election results failed to get markets going earlier this week, investors were clearly hoping that the Fed’s policy statement (out later today) will somehow do the trick. This may be why most markets rallied yesterday, with the Euro leading the charge and pushing back into the mid $1.27 range. Base metals and crude oil markets also moved higher, just as US stocks put in another strong showing to hit five-week highs.  .... We will have to see what happens later, but already it seems that investors are already reexamining their view that the Fed may “ride to the rescue”, as gold, base metals, and oil prices are all generally lower. Dow futures are also pointing to a slightly lower opening, while the Euro has come off slightly, and is now back below the $1.27 mark. .... No macro data is due out of the US today apart from the key Fed announcement, but we suspect that investors may be disappointed in the statement and could usher in another modest sell-off heading into the weekend. .... Nickel is at $17,121, up $31, and building on its recent gains. We were perhaps too negative in our commentary on nickel yesterday, as our charts instead are showing that the short-term down channel is on the verge of being broken (red line) with resistance at $17,200 being key. (complete report here)

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Notice on Changes of SMM Laterite Nickel Ore Prices - more
  • China Nickel Resources in $1.8 bln Indonesia steel plan - more
  • (China) Economy 'to rebound' amid fine-tuning - more

  Japan Hot-Rolled SUS Production Slightly Down; April 2012 = Down 2.6% from March; Cr-alloyed group output continued its recovery, while Ni-alloyed further down = According to the data released by Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry on June 14, details of output of hot-rolled stainless steel during April 2012 were as per the table attached hereto. - more

  Minister’s adviser urges SA to set up chrome exchange - Iraj Abedian says South Africa must consider setting up a chrome exchange to create smoother market conditions for embattled producers - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

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

Tuesday, June 19

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - plus 16 to 954  (chart)
  • Dollar trading graph - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Indicator charts show nickel opened lower but as the Euro strengthened, nickel turned positive and never looked back. It trended higher the entire session, even making a jump late. For the day, Dow Jones reports three month nickel closed at $7.75/lb , about where it did one week ago today. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME approved warehouses fell slightly on Monday and now total just under 17,100 tonnes. The Euro got a boost on speculation that the US Fed would take further easing action to combat a slowing economy, and for a moment, the Euro traded at a one month high.

  Reports

  • Commodities Daily - here

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  •  Leon Westgate of Standard Bank - "While we have little doubt that base metals will rally should the Fed announce significant policy easing tomorrow, we maintain that the rally would fade once short positions have been covered and new long positions take profit. For prices to sustain a rally, real demand needs to be stronger--something we do not anticipate for at least the next quarter."
  • (Dow Jones) The state of the world economy is likely to continue worsening if base metal prices are any judge, as LME 90-day forward base metal charts paint a very bleak picture.

  Zimbabwe: BNC to Pay Off Retrenched Workers - Bindura Nickel Corporation last week presented proposals to settle staff retrenchment and backpay liabilities, a move management sees as critical to restarting its Trojan Nickel Mine operations. - more

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

  • Indicators at 7:00 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.03/lb higher on a stronger Euro, with other London traded base metals mixed and listless. Stockpiles fell slightly on Monday.
  • Reuters morning - Copper steadies as dollar falls; euro crisis subdues - more
  • LME Morning - Metals turn lower, macroeconomic worries back to the forefront - more

  Reports

  Ed Meir of INTL FC Stone Daily Metals Commentary

  • The results of the Greek elections fell in line with what we thought would happen, namely, that the two pro-bailout parties (New Democracy and PASOK) would come up with enough votes between them to form a working coalition. With the votes now in, the two parties have 162 seats in the 300-seat parliament, with the biggest plurality (129 seats) going to the conservative New Democracy party. Its leader, Antonis Samaras, is in the process of forming a government, with reports suggesting that a deal is imminent. Samaras may even bring in a third smaller party along, giving him a 179-seat majority. Needless to say, markets rallied sharply on the results in early Asian trading late Sunday and going into Monday, but the euphoria lasted for far less time than we imagined. In fact, by the time trading opened in the US, most markets were substantially in the red, with the Euro undergoing the most dramatic reversal; the currency soared to an intraday high of $1.2747 in Asian trading only to sink to a low $1.2557 shortly before the New York close. ..... Things are hardly much different today, with most markets showing minor changes; base metals are mixed across the board, with aluminum being in the worst shape, as prices are hovering just above the recent low of $1915.25 hit yesterday. US equities are expected to open slightly higher, while the Euro is stronger, now back over the $1.26 mark. ..... Nickel is at $16,767, up $117. The long-term charts do not look encouraging and suggest a possible decline to the mid-$15,000 mark. (complete report here)

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • (SO) According to the latest data released by the Brazilian Institute of Non-ferrous Metals, the country's nickel production which was 3,553 mt in April last year amounted to 5,148 mt in April this year, down 20.9 percent compared to March. In the first four months of this year, Brazilian nickel output totaled 22,779 mt, up 75.4 percent compared to the corresponding period of the previous year.
  • (Yieh) Turkey imported 31,238 tons of stainless steel flat products in April, down by 1.13% from a month earlier while rising by 13.8% year on year, according to statistics released by the Turkish Statistical Institute.
  • URU Metals CEO is "tremendously excited" about its nickel mining prospects - more
  • Kibaran Nickel finds high grade graphite at Tanzania project - more
  • China to 'maintain 8% growth for over 20 years' - more
  • Tropical Pacific warming continues - more

  SA ‘needs chrome exchange market’ - South Africa should set up a chrome exchange market to manage the supply of chrome to the global market and prices, Iraj Abedian, CEO of investment company Pan-African Capital, said on Tuesday. - more

  Norilsk Surges as Potanin Said to Seek 2% Buyback: Moscow Mover - OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel jumped to a one-month high after Vladimir Potanin’s Interros Holding asked the board to consider buying back as much as 2 percent of its stock, according to two people with knowledge of the request. - more

  Courtesy AISI - In the week ending June 16, 2012, domestic raw steel production was 1,882,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 76.2 percent. Production was 1,864,000 tons in the week ending June 16, 2011, while the capability utilization then was 76.2 percent. The current week production represents a 1.0 percent increase from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending June 16, 2012 is down 0.2 percent from the previous week ending June 9, 2012 when production was 1,886,000 tons and the rate of capability utilization was 76.3 percent.

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

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

Monday, June 18

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - plus 14 to 938 (chart)
  • Dollar trading graph - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Indicator charts show nickel opened higher, but slumped thru the rest of the session. For the day, Dow Jones reports three month nickel closed at $7.55/lb . Stockpiles of nickel continued their slump on Friday and now total just over 102,900 tonnes. The relief over the weekend Greek elections gave way to concerns over Spain, as uncertainty over the European debt crisis and what is under the next rock, continue to overshadow the markets.

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

  • Indicators at 6:55 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.04/lb lower, with other London traded base metals trading lower as well. The Euro is trading much lower against the US Dollar, adding pressure on metals trading. Stockpiles of stored nickel fell on Friday.  
  • Reuters morning - Copper steady as Greek election relief fades - more
  • LME Morning - Base metals flounder, Spain overshadows Greek election result - more

  Reports

  Ed Meir of INTL FC Stone Daily Metals Commentary

  • no report received Monday

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • (Yieh) According to statistics released by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the country’s stainless steel output totaled 706,500 tons in the first quarter of this year, falling by 8.4% in comparison of 771,300 tons in the same period of a year earlier.
  • Robry Weekly Economic Assessment - more
  • SMM Nickel Price Forecast (Jun. 18-21) - more
  • Oryx Stainless - Monetary Policy for sustained growth!? - more

  Indonesia's nickel tariff affects Japan - A negative impact on the Japanese economy is feared after Indonesia imposed a 20 percent export tariff starting in June on almost all unprocessed ore, mainly nickel, exported to Japan and China, among other countries. - more

  Service Center Shipment Growth Picks Up in May - Growth in May shipments of aluminum and steel accelerated in both the U.S. and Canada, an improvement from the smaller growth levels shown in April. Inventory positions improved slightly in both countries. - more

  Chronology-History of the London Metal Exchange - The London Metal Exchange, which the Hong Kong stock exchange agreed to buy on Friday, was formed in the last quarter of the 19th century to serve industrial Britain's insatiable appetite for metals. - more

  Vale moves forward on Victor-Capre project - Vale is proposing a new nickel-copper-PGM mine in Sudbury that has the potential for a 10-year life with an estimated production of 5,000 tonnes per day, and a projected workforce of 500. - more

  Japan: Ferroalloys Apparent Supply/Demand Balance For Q1-2012 = Ferrosilicon and silico-manganese were comparatively tight = Supply and demand situation in Japan of major ferroalloys (ferromanganese, ferrochrome, ferrosilicon etc.) during the Q1 (January - March) of 2012 was as per the table attached hereto. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

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

Friday, June 15

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index -  plus 12 to 924 (chart)
  • Dollar trading graph - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Indicator charts show nickel was quiet early in today's trading session, then slid hard, before bouncing harder late. For the day, Dow Jones reports three month nickel closed at $7.64/lb , down $.03/lb on the week, and $.17/lb lower from one month ago today. Stockpiles continue their slide, and now total just over 103,500 tonnes. Inventory numbers are down 4,326 tonnes since the beginning of June. Elections in Greece Sunday could have a big bearing on Monday's trading, although central bank appear ready to counteract any negative reaction and world markets are trading higher.

  Reports

  • Commodities Daily - here

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • (Kedia) After slumping more than any other industrial metal, the worst may be over for nickel as restrictions on shipments from Indonesia, the biggest producer, diminish a worldwide glut. Indonesia banned some ore exports from May 2012 and imposed a 20% tax on the remainder to spur the development of its refining industry. The nation's output will drop for the first time in four years in 2013, slashing global supply growth to 0.2%, from 4.9% in 2012. Prices will average $20,000 a tonne in the Q4, an increase of 23%. The last month’s bullish rally was the impact of the ban on exports. China has enough stockpiles for about two-to-three months of consumption.
  • (GS) Industry consultant Wood Mackenzie estimates that the ninth decile of nickel industry cash costs for 2012 lies at approximately US $9.00/lb, so at its current cash price, US $7.80/lb, nickel is already trading well below what we would typically regard as the cost support level.

  Chrome firms want protection - A vital revenue stream for platinum miners - chrome ore - may be choked off if ferrochrome producers are successful in lobbying for a protectionist export tariff of $100/ton in their desperate attempt to protect their own businesses from China’s burgeoning chrome refiners. - more

  China traders abandon moly restocking plan amid bleak outlook - China's traders of molybdenum oxide have abandoned their earlier plans to restock at below $13/lb for moly oxide amid a bleak market outlook, industry sources said Thursday. - more

  WTO Rules Chinese Tariffs on U.S. Steel Products Are Illegal - China broke global commerce rules by imposing anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on more than $200 million of U.S. steel products, the World Trade Organization said in a ruling today. - more

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

  • Indicators at 7:00 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.04/lb higher, with other London traded base metals mostly higher as well. Stockpiles continued to fall on Thursday.
  • Reuters morning - Copper on track to end 6-wk losing streak; Greece eyed - more
  • LME Morning - Metals off highs, consolidate ahead of weekend Greek vote - more

  Reports

  Ed Meir of INTL FC Stone Daily Metals Commentary

  • Metals finished mixed yesterday, with copper prices inching forward, but aluminum seems to be caught in a slow drift lower. We are seeing the same divergence again right now, as copper and the rest of the group push higher, while aluminum continues to struggle, now bouncing around key support at $1950.  ..... Of course, as we noted in yesterday's note, metals are trading on anything but fundamentals these days and this will be especially true this weekend when all eyes will be on the Greek elections. We are expecting the Greek pro-bailout parties to prevail on Monday, in which case we could see multi-market rallies set in, but how much staying power such a move will have remains to be seen. On the other hand, should the elections bring on a leftist victory, we could see another downward spiral set in, which is why G20 leaders said yesterday that they are ready to authorize massive liquidity injections in order to head off any market disruptions or credit seizures. World leaders are going to be gathering in Los Cabos, Mexico on Monday and Tuesday, accompanied by their finance ministers. ..... Nickel is at $16,750, up $115. The market has moved off its recent low of $15,980, but charts continue to look poor. (complete report here)

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • (Goldman) In our opinion, the nickel market is now set for an extended period of surplus and, while we project a gradual improvement in annual average prices from 2014 onwards – this is largely due to our expectation of cost inflation – we see little prospect of demand-led pricing tension before 2016 at the earliest.
  • (Interfax) Daily steel product output edges down in May - more
  • (MBN) Chinese nickel premiums flat on low buying activity
  • (Dow Jones) The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Flex-N-Gate Corp., which operates as Guardian West in Urbana, with nine serious safety and health violations for failing to monitor workers' exposure to nickel, chromium, hydrochloric acid and sulfuric acid while cleaning electroplating tanks at the company's bumper manufacturing plant. Proposed fines total $57,000 following a December 2011 inspection.

  Hong Kong Exchanges Bid for LME Beats out ICE - Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd., host to the world’s fifth-largest equity market, agreed to pay 1.39 billion pounds ($2.15 billion) for the London Metal Exchange, which handles more than 80 percent of global trade in industrial-metal futures. - more

  Indonesia mining rules hitting ore exports -industry group - Indonesia's new mineral ore export regulations have halted operations at hundreds of small mining companies, costing the country's export industry up to $164 million a month in lost nickel and bauxite sales, a mining industry body said on Friday. - more

  BNP PARIBAS : Cuts 2012, 2013 Base Metal Forecasts - French Bank BNP Paribas Wednesday lowered its forecasts across all six base metals for this year and next, citing "great uncertainty" over the economic situation in Europe. - more

  Human Rights Watch - Mining, Regulatory Failure, and Human Rights in India - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Thursday, June 14

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - plus 10 to 912  (chart)
  • Dollar trading graph - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Indicator charts show nickel headed south at the beginning of today's trading session, and never looked back. For the day, Dow Jones reports three month nickel closed at $7.54/lb . Stockpiles of nickel held in LME approved warehouses fell and now total just over the 103,900 tonne level.

  Reports

  • Commodities Daily - here

  Zimbabwe: BNC's Restart Plans Commendable - Last week Bindura Nickel Corporation announced that it will soon be on the market to raise US$21 million by way of a rights issue, proceeds of which will be used to fund the restart of Trojan Nickel Mine. - more

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

  • Indicators at 7:00 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.05/lb lower, with other London traded base metal quiet and mostly lower. Stockpiles of nickel continued to slide on Wednesday.  
  • Reuters morning - Copper steady ahead of uncertain Greek election - more
  • LME Morning - Metals drag their heels, little change seen ahead of Greek vote - more

  Reports

  Ed Meir of INTL FC Stone Daily Metals Commentary

  • Metal prices were little changed in light trading on Wednesday, as weaker-than-expected US retail sales data, coupled with lingering concerns over Europe, kept the listless tone intact. Although the retail sales disappointed badly falling some .2% last month, the downside was exaggerated by the sharp decline in gasoline prices, in itself no bad thing, since it saved US consumers some $1 billion at the pump last month alone. We expect trading conditions to thin out over the balance of the week and don’t expect to see any extraordinary moves in practically any of the markets ahead of the critical Greek elections on Sunday. If forced to take a position, we likely would want to be long metals heading into the weekend, since as stated in previous commentary, we think the pro-bailout parties will likely eke out a working majority. In fact, the Greek stock market was up a whopping 20% overnight in anticipation of just such a result, although it is hard to get a firm handle as to who exactly is in the lead given that polling is banned heading into the election. However, if the pro-bailout parties do get in, the Euro will rally sharply on Monday, ushering in a round of buying into a host of relatively oversold markets. Having said that, the rally will likely prove to be short-lived, as investors will conclude that more turmoil lies ahead. For one thing, despite all the bailout money and debt haircuts, Greece’s debt load of $350 billion is still too high and cannot be serviced, let alone repaid. Indeed, when Argentina and Russia defaulted in the early 90’s, their debt levels hovered around $80 billion. With Greece’s debt about 4.5 times higher and not having a cheap currency to fall back on (as was the case with the other two countries), we do not see how the country could ever manage to break out of its predicament. .... Nickel: $16,870, down $110 (complete report here)

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • (Yieh) Affected by weak demand and falling nickel prices at LME, the quotes of 304 grade cold rolled coil (CRC) with the thickness of 2mm have decreased by US$50~US$150/ton in East Asia.
  • (FAN) Zimbabwe will lift chrome ore exports ban for another two years, responding to pressure from miners and the finance ministry, which highlighted the impact the ban was having on minerals revenue.
  • CBRC 'set to relax limits on lending' - more

  World stainless production shrinks slightly in first quarter - The International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF) has released preliminary data which shows that stainless steel production shrank by 2.8% in the first three months of 2012. - more

  Let Japan process nickel in Indonesia: Industry minister - The government is inviting Japan to relocate its nickel ore processing industry to Indonesia, vowing to provide the world’s second largest nickel consumer with sufficient raw materials and tax incentives. - more

  Japan Molybdenum Q1-2012 Supply/Demand = Ferromolybdenum consumption marginally up as was special steel production = Production of crude special steel in the Q1 (January - March) of 2012 was 6.282 million tons, a little up 1.2% from 6.205 million tons in the same quarter of 2011. Consequently, consumption of ferromolybdenum was 1,395 tons (of the material), also a little up 1.5% compared to the year-ago quarter. - more

  Courtesy AISI - In the week ending June 9, 2012, domestic raw steel production was 1,886,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 76.3 percent. Production was 1,864,000 tons in the week ending June 9, 2011, while the capability utilization then was 76.2 percent. The current week production represents a 1.2 percent increase from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending June 9, 2012 is down 1.8 percent from the previous week ending June 2, 2012 when production was 1,920,000 tons and the rate of capability utilization was 77.7 percent.

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Wednesday, June 13

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - plus 9 to 902 (chart)
  • Dollar trading graph - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Indicator charts show nickel rose early, but went negative after US retail sales disappointed. For the day, Dow Jones reports three month nickel closed at $7.70/lb . Traders are waiting to see what happens in the Greece elections this coming weekend. Stockpiles continue to fall, and now total just under 104,000 tonnes. Norilsk is shipping again from Dudinka, and the Vale plant in New Caledonia may remain closed for months according to local media reports.

  Reports

  • Commodities Daily - here

  MN Mining company optimistic over 'monster' metal deposit - The company planning a copper-nickel mine near Ely has significantly boosted estimates of how much metal it's sitting on. - more

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

  • Indicators at 7:00 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.01/lb higher with other London traded metals mixed and quiet. Nickel stockpiles fell on Tuesday. Nickel closed around $7.75/lb yesterday.
  • Reuters morning - Copper rebounds, debt caution caps gains - more
  • LME Morning - Metals move moderately higher, cautious ahead of euro-decisive Greek elections - more

  Reports

  Ed Meir of INTL FC Stone Daily Metals Commentary

  • next report Thursday

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • (Dow Jones) Russia exported 105,700 metric tons of nickel in January to April, 50.2% more than in the corresponding period last year, the federal statistics agency reported Wednesday.
  • (SKRIN) Stainless steel consumption in Russia up 6.4% over three months
  • (Yieh) It's reported that the stainless steel facility of Taiwan-based Formosa Plastics Group built in Fujian's Zhangzhou City will be put into operation in the first quarter of next year.
  • Baoshan Steel Cuts Prices as Demand Wanes for Cars, Appliances - more
  • (China) GDP growth set for Q3 rebound - more

  NBS releases China’s base metal output data for May - China's copper output edged down for the second consecutive month in May amid high prices for copper concentrate and maintenance work by smelters. - more

  Japan May Take Indonesia to WTO Over Curbs on Metal Exports - Japan, the world’s second-largest nickel user, called on Indonesia to remove restrictions on mineral-ore exports, saying it may complain to the World Trade Organization should compromise talks fail. - more

  Launch of New Caledonia’s Vale plant delayed - Reports from New Caledonia say delays in launching the Vale nickel plant is expected to last several months. - more

  Norilsk resumes Arctic shipments after seasonal halt - Russian group Norilsk Nickel , the world's largest nickel and palladium miner, has resumed shipments from its Arctic port of Dudinka after flooding prompted a seasonal halt. - more

  Zimplats projects growth in nickel output - Platinum giant, Zimplats says its nickel output would surpass production at the country’s largest nickel miner Bindura Nickel Corporation (BNC) in the next five years, as prices remain bullish on the international commodities market, a company official has said. - more

  Year-round nickel shipments eyed - Benguet Corp. is studying options for a year-round nickel processing and shipping to get more value out of its products, according to a company official. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Friday, June 8

  We are traveling on Monday and Tuesday of next week, so our next update will be on Wednesday, June 13. We apologize for the inconvenience.

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up

  • Baltic Dry Index - plus 5 to 877  (chart)
  • Dollar trading graph - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Base metals ended Friday's session lower ..... except for nickel. Nickel is apparently getting a bounce off nickel stockpiles held in LME warehouses taking a big hit over the last few days. Indicator charts show nickel opened lower this morning, but began to climb shortly thereafter and bounced later in the session. For the day, Dow Jones reports three month nickel closed at $7.67/lb . As mentioned before, stockpiles of nickel stored in LME approved warehouses now totals just over 105,300 tonnes, over 2500 tonnes lower than last Friday's reading.

  We periodically refer to a China stainless steel index that we monitor on a daily basis. Here is a chart reflecting this index reading over the past 3 years.

  Reports

  • Commodities Daily - here

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • (Dow Jones) U.S. nickel exports rose 0.03% in April from the previous month, and was up 120.1% from the previous year, the Commerce Department reported Friday.
  • (Dow Jones) U.S. nickel imports rose 0.4% in April from last month, but was down 16.2% from the previous year, the Commerce Department reported Friday.
  • Commodity Glut Spells Trouble for Producing Countries - more

  ENK’s pieces fall into place at Acoje - Nickel group ENK will reach a key stage in the development of its Acoje project in the Philippines in September. - more

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

  • Indicators at 6:500 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.05/lb lower, with other London traded base metals also trading lower. Nickel stockpiles took another big hit on Thursday.
  • Reuters morning - Copper hits six-month low on China economy fears - more
  • LME Morning - Base metals off lows but remain under pressure - more

  Reports

  Ed Meir of INTL FC Stone Daily Metals Commentary

  • It seems markets were hit with something of a one-two punch this week. The first blow, which was the ECB’s decision to stand pat on Wednesday, was a glancing one at best, as it only rolled back earlier gains, but the second punch landed much harder, this after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said yesterday that that he, too, will watch things from the sidelines for now. Gold tumbled by a whopping $46/ounce yesterday in the wake of his testimony and there were sizable declines in energy prices as well. The Euro trimmed its gains as did US equities, which finished mixed. Base metals, which held on to modest gains yesterday (although ending off their best levels), are getting hammered today, as the full impact of the Bernanke testimony sets in. Other markets are also sharply lower right now, with energy down again and heading for its biggest weekly loss in some 13 years. Gold is also off (this time by $9/ounce), while the Euro is now at $1.2450, well below the $1.2625 level hit early yesterday. US stocks are expected to open lower following weaker showing's in both Europe and Asia. ..... In macro news, China reports on inflation, investment and output figures tomorrow, and the fact that rates were lowered yesterday may be a hint that the economy is actually weaker than the government is portraying it to be. Australia and Brazil also lowered rates last week, but South Korea stayed on hold today. No major numbers are out of the US today, but out of Europe, we got reports earlier today that French business confidence declined this past month, while Italian industrial production dropped 1.9% in April from March levels. .... We still expect a major rally (and one that is somewhat more sustainable) to set in at the time of the Greek elections, provided that the pro-bailout parties are voted in. By then, Spain will also have gotten its loans and all that remains is for the Europeans to move decisively on some of the key issues mentioned earlier. Of course, these are big ifs, but the fate of the Euro hangs in the balance if policy makers fall short. We think the European politicians are well aware of the risks despite the agonizingly slow pace with which things seem to be moving. ..... Nickel is at $16,437, down $158. (complete report here)

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • (Yieh) It’s known that the South Korean steel giant Posco announced to cut its list prices for austenitic hot rolled and cold rolled coils by 300,000 won/ton for June contract in the end of May.
  • Copper Trade Most Bullish Since March After China Cuts - more
  • Commodities Drop on Concern of Slowdown in China, U.S. - more

  Oman’s Gulf Mining to be First Ferrochrome Producer in Region - Oman’s Gulf Mining Group has signed an agreement with the country’s Sohar Freezone to set up a ferrochrome smelter with an initial production capacity of 50,000 metric tonnes per year. - more

  POSCO exec says steel market recovery unlikely this year - Demand in the global steel market is unlikely to recover at least until the end of this year even after China's interest rate cut, a senior executive at South Korean steelmaker POSCO said on Friday. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Thursday, June 7

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - minus 6 to 872  (chart)
  • Dollar trading graph - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Indicator charts show nickel opened lower, but spent much of the session on the rise. Late trading was tempered somewhat by Bernanke testimony that silenced some of the 'more stimulus coming' talk. For the day, Dow Jones reports three month nickel had its first positive session in the last seven and ended at $7.53/lb . Stockpiles of nickel took a big hit and fell to a level totaling just over 106,100 tonnes. Equity markets remain positive for a second day.

  Reports

  • Commodities Daily - here

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • (NAS) North American Stainless will reduce the fuel surcharge to 33% for stainless flat and long products shipping in the month of June 2012.
  • Make or break for experimental seabed copper mining - more

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

  • Indicators at 7:00 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.17/lb higher, with all London traded base metals trading higher as well. Nickel stockpiles took a big hit yesterday,
  • Reuters morning - Copper turns positive after China cuts rates - more
  • LME Morning - Copper falls away, other metals little-changed - more

  Reports

  Ed Meir of INTL FC Stone Daily Metals Commentary

  • Metal prices rose yesterday for the first time in five sessions on Wednesday as markets sensed that the Europeans are hunting for ways to contain, if not entirely put out, the various fires around them. A firmer tone in the Euro helped the advance early on, but we saw a modest retreat in a number of complexes later in the day (particularly in gold) when the Euro retraced its gains on the back of a better-than-expected Fed "Beige Book" report. The report, prepared by the Federal Reserve of Dallas, said that the US economy was expanding at a moderate or modest pace, and that hiring was steady, a rather rosier picture of the labor markets than some of the recent data has suggested. Indeed, some Fed officials are now saying that they are not sure the economy needs further stimulus, but a key opinion on the issue will come later in the day when Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testifies in front of Congress. .... Right now, markets are generally higher, with base metals and energy up, but precious metals are struggling on disappointment that easing plans now seem to now be on hold. The Euro is holding steady, now trading at $1.2590, while equity markets are generally higher, building on the Dow’s monstrous 287 point rally from yesterday, the best of the year. The better tone in the markets is partly attributable to a relatively successful Spanish 10-year bond auction, where the average yield came in at 6.044% from 5.743% fetched in the last auction (on April 19) and well below the 6.7% we got to last week. The auction was helped by its small size, and more importantly, by hope that there is soon going to be some kind of help for the Spanish banks. In addition, there has been breaking news out of China in the last hour of an interest rate cut of 25 basis points, taking the markets somewhat by surprise. Despite an uptick on the headline, we would not read too much into this move, as China will soon see (as we have in the West) that cheaper money is not necessarily going to recharge an economy when aggregate global demand remains weak. We expect markets to hold their gains for the time being, but could see an element of heightened volatility when Bernanke takes the floor later in the day. Similar to the ECB, we think the Fed chairman will likely hold his ground and not hint at any “new” easing, basically sticking to the themes outlined in previous testimony. This will likely strengthen the dollar later in the day and could cause a modest retreat in most markets going into tomorrow’s session. ....  Nickel is at $16,530, up $430. (complete report here)

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • (Yieh) According to statistics release by the US Department of Commerce (DOC), the US imported 115,145 tons of stainless steel in May, rising from 92,951 tons in a month earlier, hitting the 15-month high.
  • (Interfax) China’s three leading ferromolybdenum producers have reduced prices for the material used in high-strength low-alloy steel, potentially ushering in an industry consolidation as smaller players are forced out of the business amid low profit margins.
  • (Interfax) Weak nickel prices prompted Indonesia to set lower-than-expected base prices for its recently-introduced nickel ore export tariff, giving Chinese smelters a temporary breather before the impact of the restrictions filters through to the market.
  • China's key stock index drops below 2,300 - more

  Mwana Africa Unit Bindura Nickel To Raise $21M To Restart Trojan Mine - Pan-African, multi-commodity resources company Mwana Africa PLC, said Thursday that its 52.9% subsidiary, Bindura Nickel Corporation or BNC, intends to carry out a rights issue to raise 21 million dollars, proceeds of which will be used to fund the restart of BNC's Trojan Nickel Mine in Zimbabwe. - more

  China’s $23 Billion Steel Push Seen Igniting Iron Ore - China is set to jolt iron ore off a six-month low after approving an estimated $23 billion of steel projects that will use the raw material produced by mining companies such as Rio Tinto Group (RIO) and BHP Billiton (BHP) Ltd. - more

  • Steel industry readies for project surge - The Chinese steel industry is gearing up for an expected surge in demand in the wake of a speedup in the approval of major infrastructure and industrial projects, experts said. - more

  Judge Delays Ruling on UP Nickel Mine - A federal judge has postponed a decision on whether to halt construction of a nickel and copper mine in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Wednesday, June 6

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - minus 26 to 878  (chart)
  • Dollar trading graph - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Indicator charts show nickel rose early on a stronger Euro, then collapsed, then rose late in after market trading. For the day, Dow Jones reports three month nickel closed $5/tonne lower at $7.30/lb . Stockpiles fell slightly over the extended weekend and now total just over 107,700 tonnes. Considering the strength in the Euro and equity market trading today, nickel's inability to gain ground is concerning.

  Reports

  • Commodities Daily - here

  European debt crisis will dampen iron ore and coal demand: BHP - BHP Billiton chief executive Marius Kloppers Wednesday warned that the European debt crisis will continue to dampen demand for commodities such as iron ore and metallurgical coal. - more

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

  • Indicators at 7:00 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.05/lb higher, with all London traded base metals higher this morning on a stronger Euro. Nickel stockpiles fell slightly over the extended weekend.
  • Reuters morning - Copper rises as dollar falls, ECB meeting in focus - more
  • LME Morning - Base metals pop higher as US dollar softens, all eyes on ECB - more

  Reports

  Ed Meir of INTL FC Stone Daily Metals Commentary

  • After sagging badly on Friday, the LME markets are higher today after being closed for the last two days. In fact, most markets have been stabilizing for much of this week, as investors watch the European situation with a mixture of apprehension and anticipation. Surprisingly, nothing of substance was announced last weekend, but markets were fairly restrained on Monday nonetheless, as investors suspected that there were serious discussions taking place and that the best place to be was on the sidelines. Indeed, a G-7 finance ministers phone conference took place on Tuesday, but no formal communique was issued, although individual ministers did say that they would work together to help Euro-area countries manage their public finances. ..... Tomorrow, attention will revert “state-side”, when Ben Bernanke gives testimony to Congress, with investors keen to hear whether the Fed Chairman will hint at any quantitative easing in the US. Keep in mind that Bernanke’s rhetoric has been interpreted bullishly by the markets the last few times he has spoken, and last week’s poor data will certainly give him some justification to make the case for easing if he chooses to go in that direction. What all this means for the markets, is that we could see an element of strengthening in the days ahead, as policy makers may be getting ready to open up the monetary spigots once again. This will likely weaken the dollar and possibly provide a short-lived shot in the arm for a number of commodities that are badly oversold as it is. .... Nickel is at $16,030, down $70; support at $16,500 gave way last week, and we do not see anything on the charts in terms of support until the late 2009 low of $15,720 (red line in our chart; see our link). .... The International Stainless Steel Forum has decided that it will not issue any demand or output forecast this year because it is unable to make decisive predictions given the economic climate and overcapacity, especially in China, the group’s secretary general said. “We do believe that stainless steel will continue to grow at 5-6 percent a year in the long term but in the very short term the picture is very, very uncertain,” he said. (complete report here)

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • (Yieh) Nippon Steel & Sumikin Stainless Steel announced to decrease the prices for stainless cold rolled coil (CRC) and plate for June contract through cutting alloy surcharge.
  • (FAN) Statistics released by China Customs showed that China's stainless steel exports totaled 218,724 tonnes in March, soaring by 51.94% as compared with a month earlier...
  • Shining potential — Noble finds awaruite among Ontario nickel and gold - more
  • Gold and nickel likely to escape royalty hikes - more
  • The Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index® (PCI®), issued by the UCLA Anderson School of Management and Ceridian Corporation rose 0.8 percent in May following the 0.1 percent increase in April and the 0.3 percent increase in March. - pdf here

  Stainless Steel & Special Alloys Committee: Stainless scrap availability generally tight - Despite the current difficulties shared by many heavy industries, the stainless steel sector has a “bright” long-term future, the Stainless Steel & Special Alloys Committee meeting in Rome was assured by its guest speaker. - more

  Norilsk Nickel Shares Retreat as Russia Raises Export Duty 16% - OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel, the world’s largest producer of nickel and palladium, declined after Interfax reported Russia raised the export duty on nickel by 16 percent - more

  Japan Imported Ferroalloy Market Report - May 31, 2012 = China's slowdown in growth of crude steel production casting a shadow over world ferroalloy market = Market outlook of the imported ferroalloys in Japan as of May 31, 2012 is as follows: - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Tuesday, June 5

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)
  • The London Metal Exchange is closed Monday and Tuesday for the Diamond Jubilee.    

  Reports

  Ed Meir of INTL FC Stone Daily Metals Commentary

  • INTL FCStone – Monthly Commodity Overview - June 2012 - pdf here

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • (Yieh) It’s reported that Tang Eng, one of the major stainless steel producers in Taiwan announced to cut the domestic and export prices of stainless steel products for June due to weak nickel prices.
  • (MF) China’s March stainless steel exports surge by 51.94% m-o-m
  • Tropical Pacific remains neutral; ocean warming slowly - more

  PNG nickel mine attracts Chinese money - Investigation of Chinese investment in Papua New Guinea indicates China's largest financial input there is in the $US1.5 billion Ramu nickel and cobalt mine, in Madang province. - more

  Japan Major Steels to Secure Mo Oxide from CODELCO - Iron and steel Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) singed an import loan agreement with Corporacion Nacional del Cobre de Chile (CODELCO) for up to US$ 224 million loan. - more

  Courtesy AISI - In the week ending June 2, 2012, domestic raw steel production was 1,920,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 77.7 percent. Production was 1,802,000 tons in the week ending June 2, 2011, while the capability utilization then was 73.7 percent. The current week production represents a 6.5 percent increase from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending June 2, 2012 is down 2.1 percent from the previous week ending May 26, 2012 when production was 1,961,000 tons and the rate of capability utilization was 79.4 percent.

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Monday, June 4

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)
  • The London Metal Exchange is closed Monday and Tuesday for the Diamond Jubilee.    
  • Reuters morning - Shanghai copper at 7-month low after soft US data - more

  Reports

  Ed Meir of INTL FC Stone Daily Metals Commentary

  • Posted when received

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • (JSC) According to Mr NC Mathur, senior advisor at Jindal Stainless Limited, Indian stainless steel consumption will grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 9.7% reaching 3.4 million tonnes per year by 2015, outstripping global consumption growth of 6% to 34.12 million tonnes.
  • (Yieh) According to the data from Russian’s special steel association Spetsstal, Russia’s stainless steel consumption is observed to grow in the first three months of this year.
  • Euro Falls as Crisis Clash Boosts Global Growth Concern - more
  • 35 cases of fallen windows in 1st 5 months of 2012 - more

  Indonesia Sets June Base Price for Metal Ore Exports - Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s largest economy, set the base price for exports of 32 types of metal ores in June including nickel, bauxite and copper, according to a trade ministry regulation. - more

  China Nickel Imports/Exports; April, 2012 = Imports of unwrought, oxide and ferronickel declined, while ore imports largely up = According to China's Customs Statistics, imports and exports of nickel-bearing materials including ores during April 2012 were as per the attached table hereto (all the figures in the table are the weight of material). Ore imports sharply increased, but imports of unwrought, oxide and ferronickel all declined. - more

  Environment tests clear mining firm - An independent team of environmental and social scientists have confirmed that the people and the community, as well as the environment in Agusan del Norte are safe from the operation of the nickel-mining firm San Roque Metals Inc. amid charges of environment law violations by local politicians. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Friday, June 1

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - minus 19 to 904  (chart)
  • Dollar trading graph - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Indicator charts show nickel fell early, rose as the Euro strengthened on poor US economic news, but collapsed again late. For the day and week, Dow Jones reports three month nickel closed at $7.30/lb . Nickel stockpiles rose on Thursday and now total just over 107,800 tonnes.

  Reports

  • Commodities Daily - here
  • (Dow Jones) Intercontinental Exchange Inc. and Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd. have been asked to resubmit their proposals to buy the London Metal Exchange on June 7, a senior LME executive told Dow Jones Newswires Friday.

  Declining Nickel Costs Fail to Stimulate Stainless Steel Market - Stainless steel markets throughout the world are in a subdued mood, reflecting a general, global malaise. - more

  Vale Faces Charges For Deaths Of Two Ontario Miners - Brazilian mining giant Vale S.A. faces charges from the Ontario government related to the deaths of two Canadian miners in an underground accident last year. - more

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

  • Indicators at 6:55 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.03/lb lower, with other London traded base metals trading lower as well. Nickel stockpiles grew overnight. China's PMI drop has added more gloom to world markets already struggling with European problems.
  • Reuters morning - Copper sinks to 2012 lows on economy slowdown fear - more
  • LME Morning - Metals tumble again, copper spears below $7,400 to fresh 5-mth low - more

  Reports

  Ed Meir of INTL FC Stone Daily Metals Commentary

  • Metals finished lower yesterday, with copper breaking down to a 2012 low, slammed by a surging dollar, rather soft US macro data, and continued concern about Europe's worsening debt crisis. For the month as a whole, copper finished May off 11%, its third consecutive monthly decline and its biggest one-month swoon since September 2011. Other markets also retreated yesterday, as the struggling Euro continues to prevent any meaningful rally from setting in. The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index was off some 11% in May, its second-largest monthly decline since 2008. If beaten up bulls are hoping for some relief in June given that the difficult days of "sell in May and go away" are behind us, today's action is not offering them much hope. We are seeing lower prices once again, with energy being hit particularly hard, off more than $2/brl. The Euro is also sharply lower, now threatening to take out the $1.23 level. Precious metals are down as well, while US stocks are expected to open lower, with Dow futures pointing to a 106-point decline. Base metals are dropping on account of poor manufacturing data coming out of Europe and China. In China’s case, the HSBC purchasing managers index showed manufacturing slowing sharply in May, with the index dropping to 50.4 from 53.3 in April, significantly less than the 51.5 reading expected. Euro-zone manufacturing figures were slightly better than expected, but still fell month-over-month, coming in at 45.1 for May vs. 45.9 in April. Spanish manufacturing activity fell at its fastest rate in three years, and Italian manufacturing also dropped sharply. ..... Heading into next week, we suspect that these policies stalemates will have to be broken, as the Germans move, however reluctantly, towards an easier stance. In fact, we could see some sort of announcement or aid package for Spain this weekend, as the pressure builds on policy markets to do something (anything!). At this critical stage, perception is more important than reality. (complete report here)

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • (PR) The Ontario Ministry of Labour today confirmed numerous charges against Vale and one of its supervisors in connection with the June 8, 2011, deaths of miners Jason Chenier and Jordan Fram at Vale's Stobie Mine in Sudbury.
  • (Yieh) It’s reported that the prices of austenitic stainless steel products have remained weak in the Japanese domestic market in the recent two months due to sluggish demand.
  • (China) PMI down to slowest in 5 months - more

  Indonesia's nickel export restrictions to support prices: Citigroup - The implementation of legislation to restrict exports of nickel ore from Indonesia will push the nickel market into deficit by the fourth quarter and support prices, Citigroup said Thursday in a research note. - more

  Japan Q1-2012 Nickel Production = Compared to Q1 of 2011, metal production almost unchanged, while ferronickel production increased = According to the statistics released by Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan's nickel production in the Q1 (January - March) of 2012 was as per the tables attached hereto. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

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