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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


Nickel Prices and Stainless Steel Market




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Thursday, June 27



  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing (7:00 AM CST is 12 PM in London)
  • Nickel closed Wednesday's trading session at $5.67/lb . Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.12/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose on Wednesday and started today just under the 165,500 tonne level. Nickel prices jumped to mid April levels this morning as the bulls are left to run loose. We aren't really sure what has to happen to meet an official 'bull run' definition, but unofficially, in our opinion, we are seeing one. This is also one of those runs that defy explanation and while those who are paid too, attempt to do so, it's mostly grasping for straws. Bull runs and bear runs tend to feed on themselves sometimes, especially during dramatic moves, and we suspect what was once short covering, is mostly computers and traders not wanting to be potentially be left behind a money maker move. We still suspect some manipulation going on here, but nothing illegal. Look at Any Home of Reuters story below titled "Why Goldman thinks nickel is trading like a biotech start-up". It starts "Nickel has been the strongest performer among the base metals traded on the London Metal Exchange (LME) this year." It continues "Trading currently at $12,450 per tonne, LME three-month nickel is up by more than 14% since the start of January. Zinc, which has put in the next best year-to-date performance, is up by only 5%.". It goes on to report why Goldman calls nickel the 'hope stock' as much of its upward momentum is based more on a 'hope and a prayer 'than market fundamentals. We suspect the whole 'best year to date performance' is something trading houses like to present investors and part of this recent move may be to solidify that first half of the year performance. We say a similar move at the end of last month, although that one proved a failure. So what will happen next week? Nobody knows of course, but what happens at the G-20 could make a difference. Even if Trump and Xi hug and sing Kumbaya, nickel is overbought, so if the bull run has legs, it is getting unhealthy. So volatility is likely to continue, no matter whether the bull continues to run, or the bear wakes up. This is our last update for the week, month, and first half of the year. We hope you each have a safe and relaxing weekend, and invite you to join us next week as we follow nickel, and its effect on stainless steel pricing.
  • Average price of cash nickel so far this month - $5.39/lb
  • Average price of LME traded nickel in in 2018 - $5.95/lb / 2017 - $4.73/lb / 2016 - $4.36/lb / 2015 - $5.37/lb /

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper flat as investors await Trump-Xi meeting - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Corrosion of Stainless Steel  - pdf here

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • China Stainless Steel Scrap Market News / Price - more
  • Scotiabank Reports - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - (chart)
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • Anxious allies tread a careful path around Trump - more
  • Trade-War Winner Vietnam Is Now a Target for Trump’s Tariffs - more
  • U.S. economic problems self-making, not caused by China: former official - more
  • Stocks Give Up Gains as G-20 Looms; Crude Declines: Markets Wrap - more

     Wednesday's market review - Copper hits 5-week high on hopes for end to U.S.-China trade dispute - Copper prices hit five-week highs on Wednesday after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said a U.S.-China trade deal was 90% complete, but gains were capped by concern about demand in top consumer China. - more

      Why Goldman thinks nickel is trading like a biotech start-up: Andy Home - Nickel has been the strongest performer among the base metals traded on the London Metal Exchange (LME) this year. - more

      Taiwan's Tang Eng increases stainless steel prices for Jul - Tang Eng Iron Works Co., Ltd. (Tang Eng), one of the main stainless steel manufacturers in Taiwan, announced its new stainless steel prices for July yesterday (June 26th). - more

      Stainless steel net exports in Jan-May remain lower on year  - China's net exports of stainless steel in May expanded 3% on the year, to stand at 248,700 mt, the latest customs data showed on Thursday June 27. - more

     Watchdog sues for White House documents on lobbying for Minnesota mining leases - A government watchdog group is suing the Trump administration for access to e-mails, notes and memos regarding its decision to renew two federal mineral leases for Twin Metals Minnesota, the company working to build a copper-nickel mine just outside the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. - more

  Morning Nickel Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here or here (updated)
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more  more
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - online 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 news and information free of charge. Contact us


Wednesday, June 26



  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing (7:00 AM CST is 12 PM in London)
  • Nickel closed Tuesday's trading session at $5.58/lb . Indicators at 6:05 am CST today show nickel trading around $.07/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell sharply on Tuesday and started the day just over the 164,800 tonne level. Nickel continues to move higher, as are all base metals this morning. Not really seeing any 'reason' for the increase. We suspect it has to do with Friday being the end of the first half of the year, and trading houses might be driving up prices to make their portfolio's look a little better. Much of January and February's increase in price, had evaporated, and this may be merely an attempt to recover as much of that as possible. Then again, the bump could feed on itself, and any end in the China-US trade war, could give birth to another bull run. One never knows until it happens in this industry, much to the chagrin of most of those involved outside of the trading floor. Daily technicals remain positive, and after closing above resistance last night, the market looks to stay above that level today, which would send another positive technical signal. Cancelled warrants have been interesting this month. Typically, they show little variety in their daily readings and trend higher, lower, or stay pretty much the same over a 30 day period. This month they have been as high as 37+% yesterday, as low as 30+% on the 14th, and over 35% today. And we are still on track to have our first monthly gain in LME nickel inventories since August 2017.
  • Average price of cash nickel so far this month - $5.38/lb
  • Average price of LME traded nickel in in 2018 - $5.95/lb / 2017 - $4.73/lb / 2016 - $4.36/lb / 2015 - $5.37/lb /

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - LME copper slips from 5-week high; dollar weighs - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • U.S. Imports of Stainless Steel Mill Products - more

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • China Stainless Steel Scrap Market News / Price - more
  • Scotiabank Reports - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - (chart)
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • Nickel Magazine Vol34 No1 Spring 2019 - pdf here
  • Zimbabwe: Smuggling - the New Corruption Frontier in Zimbabwe - more
  • Treasury Secretary Mnuchin says US-China trade deal is 90% complete - more
  • U.S. Stock Futures Climb as Bonds Drop; Oil Gains: Markets Wrap - more

     Tuesday's market review - Copper hits 1-month high as Chile strike underlines deficit - Copper prices reached a one-month high on Tuesday as a strike at a major mine in Chile underlined a supply shortfall, although investors were on edge ahead of U.S.-China trade talks later this week. - more

      China’s ferrochrome imports fall 19% in May - China imported 322,000 mt of ferrochrome in May, down 19.37% from April, but up 45.87% from May 2018, showed data from China Customs. - more

      Competitive struggle of stainless steel products in East Asia - The major stainless steel manufacturers' technical competition was increasingly fiercely in East Asia after the operation of PT. Indonesia Tsingshan Stainless Steel (ITSS) was added. - more

      Taiwanese industry hopes to continue AD duties on stainless steel products from China & South Korea - The Taiwanese government has imposed anti-dumping duties on imported stainless steel cold-rolled products from China and South Korea, which have a five-year statute of execution and will expire by August. - more

      Nickel industry banking on Build, Build, Build to spur growth - The Philippine Nickel Industry Association (PNIA) is banking on the government’s ambitious infrastructure program to drive near-term industrial growth. - more

      China commits $10 billion to mining infrastructure growth - China and South Africa have cemented good relations by developing mining infrastructure through the progressive Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). - more

     Minnesota appeals court orders hearing on PolyMet permit - A district court must determine if state environmental regulators improperly sought to suppress a federal agency’s serious concerns about the pollution risks arising from a proposed copper-nickel mine in northern Minnesota, the state Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday. - more

  • Appeals court, legislative auditor scrutinizing MPCA's PolyMet water permit - more
  • Developers seek financing for Minnesota copper-nickel mine - more

  Morning Nickel Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here or here (updated)
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more  more
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - online 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 news and information free of charge. Contact us


Tuesday, June 25



  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing (7:00 AM CST is 12 PM in London)
  • Nickel closed Monday's trading session at $5.53/lb . Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.04/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Monday and started today just under the 162,300 tonne level. Nickel held its own yesterday, after a late day surge pulled it out of the loss column and so far today, has looked bullish. A Euro that has been on the increase since last Wednesday is not hurting matters, nor is the optimism behind the leaders of the US and China meeting this week at the G-20. Short term technicals have turned bullish, while longer term technicals still lean to the bearish side. Chinese steel futures continue to climb, sending another positive sign to nickel traders. Market news is nearly non existent today. The G20 meeting will be held in Osaka on Friday and Saturday, so while we expect no trade news this week, we are seeing some market enthusiasm behind the mere fact the two are talking again. Minor resistance at $5.61/lb, with support now set at $5.41/lb.  
  • Average price of cash nickel so far this month - $5.37/lb
  • Average price of LME traded nickel in in 2018 - $5.95/lb / 2017 - $4.73/lb / 2016 - $4.36/lb / 2015 - $5.37/lb /

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper rises on supply concerns, weaker dollar - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • May 2019 crude steel production - more

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • China Stainless Steel Scrap Market News / Price - more
  • Scotiabank Reports - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - (chart)
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • Stocks Slip on Geopolitical Tensions; Gold Climbs: Markets Wrap - more
  • Positive Indian Ocean Dipole likely to drive Australian weather during winter to spring - more

     Monday's market review - no metals market review published yesterday

       Chinese stainless steel exports up in May m-o-m - According to the statistics, the exports of stainless steel in China totaled around 320,000 tons in May 2019, up by 6.9% compared to the previous month, while down by 29.71% compared to the same month a year ago. - more

      Michigan has minerals America needs - The Trump Administration's list of 35 mineral and mineral groups deemed critical to the nation includes several that are located in Michigan, although more research needs to be done to better characterize their locations, quantity and quality. - more

      Courtesy AISI - In the week ending on June 22, 2019, domestic raw steel production was 1,873,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 80.5 percent. Production was 1,815,000 net tons in the week ending June 22, 2018 while the capability utilization then was 77.4 percent. The current week production represents a 3.2 percent increase from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending June 22, 2019 is down 0.7 percent from the previous week ending June 15, 2019 when production was 1,887,000 net tons and the rate of capability utilization was 81.1 percent. - more

  Morning Nickel Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here or here (updated)
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more  more
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - online 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 news and information free of charge. Contact us


Monday, June 24



  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing (7:00 AM CST is 12 PM in London)
  • Nickel closed Friday's trading session at $5.52/lb . Indicators at 6:20 am CST today show nickel trading around $.02/lb lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on thursday and rose on Friday and start the week just under the 168,900 tonne level. Nickel ended Thursday at its highest in nearly a month, and backtracked some on Friday. Today it is lower but quiet. All eyes will be on the G-20 this week, and most likely, the President's Twitter account. We don't expect any sudden end to the trade spat between the US and China, but a return to talking should be seen by markets as a step in the right direction. US stainless steel manufacturers have published surcharges for July and they are at their lowest since January (see here). This is the final week of the first half of 2019. Expect the big trading houses to try to keep the price of nickel up to help their portfolio's look better, and to inflate a dismal daily average price. Have a great week and remember - “The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.” - John Kenneth Galbraith.
  • Average price of cash nickel so far this month - $5.36/lb
  • Average price of LME traded nickel in in 2018 - $5.95/lb / 2017 - $4.73/lb / 2016 - $4.36/lb / 2015 - $5.37/lb /

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper slips as rattled investors await Trump-Xi meeting - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • The New York Fed DSGE Model Forecast - more
  • U.S. Economy in a Snapshot - more

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • China Stainless Steel Scrap Market News / Price - more
  • Scotiabank Reports - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - (chart)
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • All Eyes On G20 As Trump and Xi Give Trade Talks Another Try - more
  • Is The Recent Commodity Plummet Making Commodities Lucrative? - more
  • Can European steel forge a strategy to withstand U.S. tariffs? - more
  • The U.K.’s biggest (and only) asteroid mining company has designs on our skies - more
  • Stocks Mixed, Bonds Gain; Oil Rises on Iran Stress: Markets Wrap - more

     Friday's market review - Zinc hits 5-1/2 month low on G20, Iran uncertainties - Zinc hit its lowest since early January and other industrial metals also fell on Friday as investors worried about uncertainties ahead of next week's G20 meeting and rising U.S.-Iran tensions. - more

      China's Crude Steel Output Hits Record High Again in May at 89.09 MT - China's monthly production output of crude steel reached 89.09 million tonnes (MT) in May, surpassing the previous all-time high by 4.06 MT that was set only last month. - more

     'The future is nickel' — mining executive - Toronto-based Cobalt 27 Capital Corp. is selling out at a low point for its namesake metal, a crucial component in the lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles and other devices. - more

      Taiwanese stainless steel mills may increase price for July - The price of nickel from the London Metal Exchange (LME) rebounded to nearly US$12,000/ton last week. - more

     Environmental group sues Trump administration over mining rules near Boundary Waters - An environmental group sued the Trump administration Thursday, seeking the release of documents related to a decision last year to end a study of a proposed 20-year mining ban within the watershed of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. - more

      Producers Attempt to Reverse Price Trend but Buyers Resist - Industrial activity and steel consumption are stronger, generally, in Scandinavia, than in the rest of Europe. - more

      She Defended Her Land Against a Mine in Guatemala. Then She Fled in Fear for Her Life - Teresa Muñoz was riding her motorbike along her regular delivery route on a winding Guatemala road, carrying the homemade cheese she sold for a living, when she saw in her rearview mirror one of the white sedans that employees of the Escobal silver mine drove. - more

  Morning Nickel Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here or here (updated)
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more  more
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - online 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 news and information free of charge. Contact us


Thursday, June 20



  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing (7:00 AM CST is 12 PM in London)
  • Nickel closed Wednesday's trading session at $5.48/lb . Indicators at 6:20 am CST today show nickel trading around $.11/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Wednesday and started today just under the 169,100 tonne level. Nickel is trading higher today, as is nearly all commodities except some of the agricultural grains. Gold, silver, tin are up over 2%. Oil up over 3%. Nickel, aluminum and copper trading around the 1-1/2% range. Some of this is due to a rebounding Euro, some of it is due to optimism brought on by the Fed's decision not to cut interest rates - a proclamation of confidence in the U.S. economy by the Fed. Some of it is a continuing boost from the restart of China and US trade talks. And some of it is shorts covering earlier bets. So after all those reasons why the market might be doing what it is doing, we are now trading back where we were at the end of May, and at the end of April before that. A suspicious type person might see a pattern there. There are seven trading days left in the first half of 2019 and it is starting to look like they might be less boring than the last seven. This is our final update for the week. We hope each of you has a safe and relaxing weekend and hope to see you here next week as we close out the first half of the year. Summer starts tomorrow north of the equator, which means winter starts south.
  • Average price of cash nickel so far this month - $5.34/lb
  • Average price of LME traded nickel in in 2018 - $5.95/lb / 2017 - $4.73/lb / 2016 - $4.36/lb / 2015 - $5.37/lb /

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper, nickel at over 3-week high as dollar eases on Fed rate cut hints - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here
  • SMM Evening Comments - more

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • China Stainless Steel Scrap Market News / Price - more
  • Scotiabank Reports - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - (chart)
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • DR Congo army guarding copper mine - more
  • Fed holds interest rates steady — but it leaves itself plenty of wiggle room by removing ‘patient’ pledge - more
  • Treasury 10-Year Yield Slides Below 2% to Lead Global Decline - more

     Wednesday's market review - Copper holds near 3-week highs on trade talk optimism - Copper prices stayed near three-week highs on Wednesday on hopes that renewed talks between China and the United States will defuse a trade dispute that investors fear will damage economic growth and metals demand. - more

      United States aims to reshape the critical minerals world: Andy Home - The United States has laid out its strategy to rebuild collapsed domestic supply chains for metals and minerals deemed “critical” to its defence and manufacturing sectors. - more

      WBMS Press Release June 2019 - Nickel market records deficit in January to April 2019 - The nickel market was in deficit during January to April 2019 with apparent demand exceeding production by 38.7 kt. In the whole of 2018 the calculated deficit was 90 kt.. - more

     Leaked email raises new questions about PolyMet water permit - A leaked email shows that a senior official sought to keep the public from knowing federal Environmental Protection Agency staffers’ concerns about the pollution risks of a planned PolyMet copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota, critics of the project contend. - more

  Morning Nickel Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here or here (updated)
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more  more
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - online 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 news and information free of charge. Contact us


Wednesday, June 19



  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing (7:00 AM CST is 12 PM in London)
  • Nickel closed Tuesday's trading session at $5.34/lb . Indicators at 6:20 am CST today show nickel trading around $.11/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose by nearly 3000 tonnes yesterday and started today just under the 170,100 tonne level. That is the third large daily gain we have seen so far this month. Today's in the 3 thousand tonne range, and the two prior in the 4 and 5 thousand tonne range. Another increase in today's range, and we will be back to April levels. After doing a whole lot of nothing yesterday, nickel jumped late last night to the $12,000 tonne level, and it appears a tug of war is going on this morning as the bulls try hard to maintain that level. Nickel missed out on on the 'China and US will resume trade talks rally' yesterday, and may be playing catch up today. The bulls have been trying to get back to the $12,000 tonne level to halt the overall negative trend, and prior attempts have been unsuccessful. It will be interesting to see if they can pull it off, as the chart makes it appear the bears got 'bushwhacked' last night and were taken by surprise. The jump could be in reaction to a comment Jim Lennon reportedly made at a nickel conference in China to a Reuters reporter. He remains optimistic about a huge nickel deficit this year, and forecast a price of $16,000 a tonne ($7.25/lb) by years end, and $8.16/lb for 2020. Mining News referred to Jim as a 'nickel market guru' in 2017, claiming he had correctly forecast three of the last six bull markets. We have always listened to what Jim has had to say with interest, as he does tend to know a whole lot more about nickel than many of the other 'metals analysts'. And no matter how much you know about this industry, being right half the time is something one can brag about.
  • Average price of cash nickel so far this month - $5.34/lb
  • Average price of LME traded nickel in in 2018 - $5.95/lb / 2017 - $4.73/lb / 2016 - $4.36/lb / 2015 - $5.37/lb /

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Shanghai base metals rise as U.S.-China trade talks set to resume - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here
  • SMM Evening Comments - more

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • China Stainless Steel Scrap Market News / Price - more
  • Scotiabank Reports - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - (chart)
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • ‘The future is nickel’: Cobalt 27 sells off its namesake steel after demanding twelve months - more
  • Pala to acquire Cobalt 27 in $501 million deal - more
  • China Stock Analysts Warn There's Too Much Optimism Before G-20 - more
  • U.S. Futures Mark Time Before Fed as Bonds Decline: Markets Wrap - more

     Tuesday's market review - Copper rises as U.S.-China trade talks set to resume - Copper jumped to a three-week high on Tuesday after U.S. President Donald Trump said trade talks with China would resume ahead of a meeting at the G20 summit, raising hopes for a resolution to the damaging conflict. - more

      Nickel price to benefit from short supply, strong steel demand through 2019 - Slower production increases in leading supplier Indonesia and continued growth in stainless steel demand are forecast to extend a supply shortage in the global nickel market, supporting price gains through 2019. - more

     Indonesia nickel ore processing stable amid floods - Nickel processing at most plants in Sulawesi, Indonesia, has been unaffected by heavy rain at flooding over the past week despite disruptions to mining. - more

  • Impact of Indonesia floods on NPI production, ore delivery wanes - Shipment of nickel ore at mines and production at nickel pig iron (NPI) mills in Konawe regency, south-east Sulawesi of Indonesia, has recovered since June 15 as the impact of floods waned, an SMM survey found on Wednesday June 19. - more

      Platts China Steel Sentiment slumps to second-lowest score of 8.42 pts - The outlook for China's steel market is the bleakest it has been for several years as high steel production, falling new orders and rising inventories combine to put intense pressure on domestic steel companies, latest S&P Global Platts data shows. - more

  Morning Nickel Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here or here (updated)
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more  more
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - online 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 news and information free of charge. Contact us


Tuesday, June 18



  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing (7:00 AM CST is 12 PM in London)
  • Nickel closed Monday's trading session at $5.34/lb . Indicators at 6:20 am CST today show nickel trading unchanged . Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell slightly on Monday and started todays session just over the 167,100 tonne level. Vale advised late yesterday that it has suspended operation at its nickel processing plant at its Onca Puma operation, due to a court order. Mine production was halted there September of 2017. While the trouble at Onca Puma pre-dated the disaster at the Córrego do Feijão iron ore mine in January, where 237 people were killed when a tailings dam collapsed, Vale's Brazil operations have been under close government scrutiny. Onca Puma's problems center around contamination of the Catete River and the negative environmental effect on local indigenous tribes. Nickel gave another try at the $12,000/tonne level yesterday, but collapsed shortly after, and has done little since. It did little more than convince some traders the bull was on the barbie, and the market gave up the $5.37/lb level it had been toying with for the last three days. While the Onca Puma shut down is news, it will have little effect on the market.
  • Average price of cash nickel so far this month - $5.33/lb
  • Average price of LME traded nickel in in 2018 - $5.95/lb / 2017 - $4.73/lb / 2016 - $4.36/lb / 2015 - $5.37/lb /

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper steady; investors eye Fed meeting amid Chile mine strike - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Indonesia Flooding Updates - more

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • China Stainless Steel Scrap Market News / Price - more
  • Scotiabank Reports - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - (chart)
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • Chalice moves to exploit WA nickel discoveries - more
  • Stocks, Bonds Climb as Draghi Fuels Stimulus Hopes: Markets Wrap - more

     Monday's market review - Copper recovers as China output falls, strike hits mine - Copper prices recovered on Monday, boosted by a mine strike and weak Chinese output, but other industrial metals were pressured by nervousness about the damage to growth and demand from the U.S.-China trade dispute. - more

      European stainless steel mills resist price downward pressure - Currently, full of influencing factors were in the EU market, but European steel mills were fighting against price cuts, and its offer for stainless remained flat this week. - more

      LME electronic pricing trial fails to boost volumes - sources - The London Metal Exchange’s three-month trial of switching to electronic closing prices for one of its benchmark base metal contracts has failed to lift volumes, industry sources said, lending further support to traditional open outcry trading. - more

      Vale's fines doubled for breaking Onça Puma court order - Fines imposed on Brazilian mining giant Vale for non-compliance with a court order issued in February calling for the full suspension of operations at the company's US$3bn Onca Puma nickel complex have already reached 19.5mn reais (US$5mn). - more

  • Vale informs on Onca Puma - more

     Courtesy AISI - In the week ending on June 15, 2019, domestic raw steel production was 1,887,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 81.1 percent. Production was 1,815,000 net tons in the week ending June 15, 2018 while the capability utilization then was 77.4 percent. The current week production represents a 4.0 percent increase from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending June 15, 2019 is up 0.6 percent from the previous week ending June 8, 2019 when production was 1,875,000 net tons and the rate of capability utilization was 80.6 percent. - more

  Morning Nickel Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here or here (updated)
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more  more
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - online 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 news and information free of charge. Contact us


Monday, June 17



  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing (7:00 AM CST is 12 PM in London)
  • Nickel closed Friday's trading session at $5.38/lb . Indicators at 6:20 am CST today show nickel trading around $.01/lb lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose on Friday and started the week just over the 167,100  tonne level. Nickel stockpiles are now back to where they were this time last month, and thus the mid month daily deficit report we post, is kaput this month. We started the month just over the 158,600 tonne level, so we have seen a rather large daily increase for the first half of this month. This, with a stronger US Dollar, is hurting any attempted bull run by traders. The $12,000 tonne level continues to put up resistance, and this morning's attempt has pushed nickel back to $5.37/lb. The news of flooding and landslides in Indonesia has helped add some stability to the market, but not much more than that. Nickel's closing for the last three days of last week were $5.37/lb, $5.37/lb, and $5.38/lb. And its currently trading around ..... $5.37/lb. So while we call last weeks run bullish, in fact, it was more of a stability move, and any attempt by the bulls to take the price of nickel over the $12,000/tonne level, and they have tried daily since last Tuesday, have failed. Technical indicators, thus, remain negative. Besides Indonesia, news remains on the light side, typical for the summer season. Even in Indonesia this is the typical peak of the dry season, so the timing of the floods there is not the norm. We hope your week, if eventful, is a beneficial one, and if not, a healthy one.
  • Average price of cash nickel so far this month - $5.34/lb
  • Average price of LME traded nickel in in 2018 - $5.95/lb / 2017 - $4.73/lb / 2016 - $4.36/lb / 2015 - $5.37/lb /

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Nickel rises on supply fears but strong dollar caps gains - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • U.S. Exports of Stainless Steel Mill Products - more

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • China Stainless Steel Scrap Market News / Price - more
  • Scotiabank Reports - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - (chart)
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • U.S. May Order Funds to Dump Chinese Stocks, Activist Webb Says - more
  • Stocks Trade Mixed as Focus Turns to Central Banks: Markets Wrap - more

     Friday's market review - Copper slides as China data dents demand prospects - Copper prices fell on Friday after weak manufacturing and investment data from top consumer China reinforced expectations of damage to growth and demand prospects from the protracted U.S.-China trade war. - more

      Landslides cut off access to cities, nickel mine in northern Sulawesi - Massive landslides have cut off the main road connecting Palu, Gorontalo and Manado in the northern part of Sulawesi just as thousands of Idul Fitri travelers were making their way home. - more

      Afarak’s South Africa woes show risks of mining geared to China - South African miners that are geared to Chinese demand are walking a tightrope between high domestic electricity costs and the prospects of economic slowdown in China. - more

      London Metal Exchange slaps alcohol ban on open outcry traders - The London Metal Exchange has banned open outcry traders from consuming alcohol during the day, it said on Friday, joining other London firms in halting a culture of boozy lunches. - more

      Taiwanese stainless steel scrap exports to Indonesia surge in Apr - According to the statistic from the Taiwanese customs, Taiwanese stainless steel exports had shown a dramatically increase in April. - more

      EPA inspector general will audit PolyMet permit - Further scrutiny after documents were released detailing the EPA's concerns on a draft permit for Minnesota's first copper-nickle mine - more

     What is BHP Nickel West searching for under the Nullarbor? - On several occasions in the past five years, BHP has tried to sell its WA-based nickel division, Nickel West. - more

  Morning Nickel Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here or here (updated)
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more  more
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - online 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 news and information free of charge. Contact us


Thursday, June 13



  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing (7:00 AM CST is 12 PM in London)
  • Nickel closed Wednesday's trading session at $5.37/lb . Indicators at 6:20 am CST today show nickel trading around $.05/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Wednesday and started today just over the 163,700 tonne level. Nickel is getting a boost from some actual supply and demand news this morning. although the effect was tempered by a report. Pig nickel production in Indonesia is being adversely affected by serious flooding in Indonesia this week, while a report issued by a respected metals analyst. Wood Mackenzie analyst Andrew Mitchell stated that nickel supply and demand would be fairly balanced for the reminder of the year, with a $5.58/lb price prediction for the year. When the Indonesia news hit markets, nickel spiked to just over the $12,000/tonne level again, but has slipped back under since. Technically, or psychologically. the $12,000 tonne level is offering some resistance to traders. This is our final update for the week, so we hope each of you has a safe and relaxing weekend and invite you to stop by next week as we follow the nickel industry and other factors affecting stainless steel markets. 
  • Average price of cash nickel so far this month - $5.32/lb
  • Average price of LME traded nickel in in 2018 - $5.95/lb / 2017 - $4.73/lb / 2016 - $4.36/lb / 2015 - $5.37/lb /

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Base metals fall amid trade uncertainty, weak China data - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here
  • SMM Evening Comments - more

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • China Stainless Steel Scrap Market News / Price - more
  • Scotiabank Reports - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - (chart)
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • Why Nickel Could Play its Part in Lifting BHP’s Share Price - more
  • U.S. Futures, Europe Stocks Climb as Oil Rebounds: Markets Wrap - more

     Wednesday's market review - Copper ticks lower on weak China data, aluminium up - Copper slipped on Wednesday after weak data from the economy of top metals consumer China, but other industrial metals prices edged higher on hopes for more stimulus. - more

      Nickel prices under pressure from vanishing deficits - Rapidly rising nickel supplies and slowing demand from stainless steel mills are weighing on prices of the metal, which are likely to come under further pressure this year as deficits disappear. - more (contains some nice charts)

      Thousands Evacuated After Floods Hit Indonesia - Indonesian authorities warned of more flash floods and landslides after days of flooding forced the evacuation of more than 5,000 people from Central and Southeast Sulawesi, the nation’s main nickel ore producing region. - more

      Taiwanese Tang Eng has losses in sales performance due to high nickel price in 2018 - Tang Eng Iron Works Co., Ltd., one of the main stainless steel manufacturers in Taiwan, announced its financial report on June 12th. - more

      South Africa's Cr Ore Export in April 2019 Is 1.2951 Million Tons - According to the foreign trade statistics of South Africa, the export volume of chrome ore (material quantity) in April 2019 was 1,295,103 tons, up by 7.7% from 1,202,707 tons in the prior month. - more

      Courtesy AISI - In the week ending on June 8, 2019, domestic raw steel production was 1,875,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 80.6 percent. Production was 1,815,000 net tons in the week ending June 8, 2018 while the capability utilization then was 77.4 percent. The current week production represents a 3.3 percent increase from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending June 8, 2019 is down 0.8 percent from the previous week ending June 1, 2019 when production was 1,890,000 net tons and the rate of capability utilization was 81.2 percent. - more

  Morning Nickel Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here or here (updated)
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more  more
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - online 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 news and information free of charge. Contact us


Wednesday, June 12



  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing (7:00 AM CST is 12 PM in London)
  • Nickel closed Tuesday's trading session at $5.39/lb . Indicators at 6:20 am CST today show nickel trading around $.03/lb lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Tuesday and started today's session just under the 164,000 tonne level. Nickel barely broke the $12,000/tonne level yesterday. It was the first time this month that level was seen. After punching thru, the traded price collapsed afterwards and we are running nearly $200/tonne off that level at present. While we make a big deal of that level, we were there just a few weeks ago, on May 31st to be exact. Most technical indicators appear to be sending sell signals with support at $5.25/lb and resistance at $5.46/lb. US estimated sales for electric vehicles in May came in shy of 28,400, compared to just over 24,300 cars last May. Another slow news day.
  • Average price of cash nickel so far this month - $5.32/lb
  • Average price of LME traded nickel in in 2018 - $5.95/lb / 2017 - $4.73/lb / 2016 - $4.36/lb / 2015 - $5.37/lb /

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper eases amid slowdown worries, lingering trade woes - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here
  • SMM Evening Comments - more

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • China Stainless Steel Scrap Market News / Price - more
  • Scotiabank Reports - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - (chart)
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • The big copper short is back as macro fears return - more
  • Top Steelmaker Warns of Price Hikes as Iron Ore Near 5-Year High - more
  • Trump Says He's Holding Up Trade Deal With China Ahead of G-20 - more
  • Stock Rally Stalls as Treasuries Climb; Oil Drops: Markets Wrap - more

     Tuesday's market review - Chinese stimulus hopes support copper - Copper prices touched their highest in two weeks on Tuesday, lifted by hopes that top consumer China will pump money into building metals-intensive infrastructure. - more

      Loading nickel ore in the Philippines or Indonesia - The mandatory notification requirement for the carriage of nickel ore loaded in Philippines and Indonesia still applies. - more

     Nickel projects attracting increased investor confidence and interest - Roskill’s Thomas Höhne-Sparborth discusses with Proactive London’s Andrew Scott the outlook for Nickel - more

      Tesla might get into the mining business to secure minerals for electric batteries - Tesla might get into the business of mining minerals used in electric vehicle batteries if it wants to expand its product lineup and scale production, CEO Elon Musk said during the company’s annual shareholder meeting. - more

  Morning Nickel Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here or here (updated)
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more  more
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - online 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 news and information free of charge. Contact us


Tuesday, June 11



  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing (7:00 AM CST is 12 PM in London)
  • Nickel closed Monday's trading session at $5.29/lb . Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.08/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell slightly on Monday and started today just under the 163,900 tonne level..... again. Nickel is trading higher this morning, with the commodity trading board much greener than it has been. This could send the market a bullish technical signal... and then again, it might not. At the moment, nickel has not quite made it back to where it was this time last week. While some morning media is claiming nickel is following the overnight Shanghai Metals Market, that would be untrue as SMM nickel closed lower overnight. Chinese steel futures did jump however. Nickel is trading above its 10 day moving average, so it will be interesting to see if it can hold on to its current gains. Another quiet day on the news side, as markets appear to be relieved by the president's decision not to add tariff's on Mexico. For the moment at least, tariff attention turns back to China. President Trump is now warning Chinese President Xi if he does not attend the G-20 and meet with President Trump later this month, then he will immediately implement more tariff's. Markets appear to be shrugging this comment off as just another threatening tweet. If President Xi was planning to attend, he may be giving that another thought today, with national pride now being challenged by the U.S. President. Not exactly a negotiating tactic we have ever heard of.
  • Average price of cash nickel so far this month - $5.32/lb
  • Average price of LME traded nickel in in 2018 - $5.95/lb / 2017 - $4.73/lb / 2016 - $4.36/lb / 2015 - $5.37/lb /

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper rises on demand hopes, nickel up as steel surges - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here
  • SMM Evening Comments - more

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • China Stainless Steel Scrap Market News / Price - more
  • Scotiabank Reports - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - (chart)
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • Germany Gets a Recession Warning as Investor Confidence Plunges - more
  • U.S. Small-Business Optimism Climbs to Highest in Seven Months - more
  • Equities Rise With U.S. Futures; Treasuries Steady: Markets Wrap - more
  • Positive IOD likely for winter; El Niño WATCH remains - more

     Monday's market review - Aluminium bounces after hitting 29-month low on China trade data - Consumer buying and short-covering helped aluminium to bounce on Monday from its lowest since January 2017 after data showed an upswing in exports from top producer China, fuelling worries about oversupply. - more

     Indonesia floods affect shipment of nickel ore  - Floods in three provinces of Sulawesi, Indonesia affected the loading of nickel ore at ports and production of local nickel pig iron (NPI) mills, an SMM survey found on Tuesday June 11. - more

  Morning Nickel Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here or here (updated)
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more  more
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - online 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 news and information free of charge. Contact us


Monday, June 10



  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing (7:00 AM CST is 12 PM in London)
  • Nickel closed Friday's trading session at $5.27/lb . Indicators at 6:25 am CST today show nickel trading around $.02/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell slightly on Thursday and Friday of last week and started this week just under the 163,900 tonne level. Stockpile numbers start the week well ahead of the first of the month, a rather unusual situation for the year. Nickel is trading slightly higher this morning, but the market appears to be trying to slow down the bear, rather than starting any kind of bullish run. Nickel is once again trading at levels it was back in January, with the next technical support level at $5.19/lb. An article about nickel appeared in last weeks 'Wall Street Journal' and we address the opening sentence. "The U.S.-China trade conflict has eroded the prices of most commodities, but one metal critical to rechargeable batteries is bucking the trend. Nickel prices have risen 9.1% so far this year to $11,666 a metric ton,...." This article implies that nickel is 'bucking the trend' caused by the US-China trade war. In our opinion this is the kind of information you get when a reporter decided to write an article on a topic they should study a little more on. The trade war began in March 2018 when President Trump announced the first round of tariff's on China. They began on March 23rd. On that day, nickel closed at $5.92/lb. Nickel would continue to climb until May 1. 2018 when nickel peaked at $6.92/lb. After a deep slide, nickel would bottom out on December 1st, 2018 at $4.84.lb, followed by a bump that lasted two months, talking nickel back up to $5.89/lb, where it has been sliding since. Cross your eyes, stomp your feet, do whatever you need to do to convince your readers that pigs can fly, but our daily readers are well aware that nickel has bucked no trend during this trade war and in an up and down market, one can pick and choice a starting point to support an agenda, but an overall trend tells the real story. Have a great week.
  • Average price of cash nickel so far this month - $5.33/lb
  • Average price of LME traded nickel in in 2018 - $5.95/lb / 2017 - $4.73/lb / 2016 - $4.36/lb / 2015 - $5.37/lb /

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper rebounds as U.S.-Mexico deal calms nerves - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • U.S. Imports of Stainless Steel Mill Products - more
  • Jumps in Commodity Markets June 2019 - Marex pdf here

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • China Stainless Steel Scrap Market News / Price - more
  • Scotiabank Reports - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - (chart)
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • Interview: U.S. causing dangerous disruptions to global value chains, says expert - more
  • China's newest threat to the U.S. tech industry: Cutting off access to rare earth metals - more
  • Stocks Rise, Treasuries Dip on Mexico Trade Relief: Markets Wrap - more

     Friday's market review - Copper stumbles towards eighth consecutive weekly loss - Copper prices were set for their eighth straight weekly fall after trade disputes, signs of slowing global economic growth and disappointing U.S. jobs data weakened the demand outlook for metals. - more

      A detour for nickel - Stainless steel continues to shine as the foremost consumer of the world’s primary and scrap nickel resources. A global shift toward electric vehicles , powered in part by nickel-containing batteries, however, could make a dent in the stainless industry’s dominant presence. - more

      Base metals: Mincor hones its nickel focus, but hits 7,610g/t gold in the process - Mincor Resources is going all in on nickel following a strategic review of its operations, but not before making a bonanza grade gold find. - more

      Norilsk Nickel 'Not Really' Feeling the Impact of a Trade War: CEO - Vladimir Potanin, chief executive officer at Norilsk Nickel, discusses digital technology in the commodities market, the impact of trade on his company, the threat of U.S. sanctions, and the leadership of Russian President Vladimir Putin - video here

       Zim rakes in US$1bn from minerals in Q1 - Zimbabwe’s mineral production reached US$970,5 million in the four months to April with gold accounting for 38% of that amount at US$383,8 million, official data has shown. - more

  Morning Nickel Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here or here (updated)
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more  more
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - online 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 news and information free of charge. Contact us


Thursday, June 6



  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing (7:00 AM CST is 12 PM in London)
  • Nickel closed Wednesday's trading session at $5.32/lb . Indicators at 6:20 am CST today show nickel trading around $.02/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Wednesday and started today's session just under the 164,000 tonne level. According to the China index we follow, stainless steel prices are running just over 3% lower this quarter than last and nearly 2-1/2% lower than this time last year. Steel futures in that country, which went on the decline mid May, appears to be trying a recovery this month, but so far, attempts appear to be unsuccessful. We are starting to see US sales estimates being tallied for electronic vehicles and the sales increase for May appear to be healthy. Thru April, worldwide sales of EV 's totaled just over 660,000 this year, compared to 430,000 thru April last year. Nickel is trading below a support level it surrendered yesterday, and unless it can climb back above it today, it could send another bearish technical signal. So as of today, nickel is up 8-1/2% on the year, or off nearly 14% in just the last quarter. Both are right, but bulls trying to sell this as a good year, are painting lipstick on a pig. This is our last update for the week, so we wish our readers a safe and relaxing weekend and invite you back next week.
  • Average price of cash nickel so far this month - $5.36/lb
  • Average price of LME traded nickel in in 2018 - $5.95/lb / 2017 - $4.73/lb / 2016 - $4.36/lb / 2015 - $5.37/lb /

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Shanghai copper hits 2-year low on demand concerns - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here
  • SMM Evening Comments - more (closed Friday for Dragon Boat Festival Holiday)

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • China Stainless Steel Scrap Market News / Price - more
  • Scotiabank Reports - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - (chart)
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • Money Talks: Nickel and zinc are this expert’s hot stock picks - more
  • Trade War Ended China's First Bull Market After Only 69 Days - more
  • Interview: China sends positive messages in white paper on trade, says U.S. expert - more
  • U.S. Futures, Europe Stocks Climb Alongside Bonds: Markets Wrap - more

     Wednesday's market review - Copper hits five-month low as U.S.-China trade dispute weighs - Copper sunk to a five-month low on Wednesday as a firmer dollar and anxiety about the fallout on growth and demand from the U.S.-China trade dispute outweighed dovish comments from the U.S. Federal Reserve chairman. - more

       Stainless steel output in China to be cut by 50,000 tons in Jun due to maintenance in weak market - It was reported that the maintenance across China's stainless steel plants in June would cut output of 200 series by around 50,000 tons, but it seemed the 300 series will face very limited impact. - more

      China sees higher output of refined nickel in May – China’s output of refined nickel increased slightly by 1.34% on month in May, according to latest SHMET survey. - more

       Trump's Cuba gambit pushes Canadian miner Sherritt to the brink - Sherritt International Corp., whose executives were once known as Fidel Castro’s favorite capitalists, is paying the price for its close ties to the struggling Caribbean nation. - more

      Papua New Guinea PM says resources reforms will take years - New Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape doubled down on his plans to earn more taxes from the gas-and-gold-rich country’s natural resources sector on Wednesday, but said major reform would not take effect for years. - more

  Morning Nickel Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here or here (updated)
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more  more
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - online 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 news and information free of charge. Contact us


Wednesday, June 5



  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing (7:00 AM CST is 12 PM in London)
  • Nickel closed Tuesday's trading session at $5.36/lb . Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading unchanged so far today. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose by a staggering 5100+ tonnes yesterday and now total just over the 164,000 tonne level. While a huge increase on paper, this increase takes us back to where we were in stockpile numbers on May 24th - in fact we are only 6 tonnes shy of where we were on that date. More concerning is the drop in the cancelled warrant percentile over the past month. On the first day of May, 'sold' inventory made up 39.69% of total LME nickel stockpiles. Today, that 'sold' figure only accounts for 32+%. We say sold but long time readers of this blog know that means much more than physical use, so we could be seeing uncertainty by large trading houses and their backing off on investment purchases. If in fact the spike in price we saw before Memorial Day was an attempt to 'shock' the bull into motion, it has proven to be a failure, and unless someone needed to cover some bets by forcing the market into short covering,  driving the price higher, nothing was gained by the move. Case in point, nickel is now trading lower than it was right before the spike. May 9th and May 13th were the low trading price points for nickel since January, and we are now in that territory. This will offer traders a technical support point, albeit a weak one. President Trump is now threatening Mexico with tariff's over the immigration issue. This is risky, as Mexico could counter with a tariff on the drug issue - as we suspect there are more victims in Mexico due to drug production heading to the U.S., than in the US from tomato pickers sending cash home to their family.
  • Average price of cash nickel so far this month - $5.37/lb
  • Average price of LME traded nickel in in 2018 - $5.95/lb / 2017 - $4.73/lb / 2016 - $4.36/lb / 2015 - $5.37/lb /

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Most metals rise as dollar weakens on dovish Fed comments - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • U.S. Imports of Stainless Steel Mill Products - more

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • China Stainless Steel Scrap Market News / Price - more
  • Scotiabank Reports - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - (chart)
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • Xinhua Headlines: Decoupling U.S.-China economies "utterly unrealistic," disaster for world - more
  • Why Tiny Magnets Could Be China's Destructive New Trade-War Weapon - more
  • Stocks Extend Gains as Dollar Steadies; Oil Falls: Markets Wrap - more

     Tuesday's market review - Escalating trade war keeps copper pinned at five-month lows - Copper prices hovered near a five-month low on Tuesday as an escalation of the U.S.-China trade war reinforced concern about demand for industrial metals while the weaker dollar provided some support. - more

     Jun maintenance to affect #200 stainless steel output by 50,000 mt - Maintenance across stainless steel producers in June will cut some 50,000 mt of #200 series output, but is likely to have minimal impact on the output of #300 series, an SMM survey found on Tuesday June 4. - more

     Japanese stainless steel imports up in Apr m-o-m - According to the official statistics, Japan imported a total of around 21,000 tons of stainless steel products in April this year, up by 8.5% compared to the same month a year ago. - more

     World’s top miners keep performing but investors unimpressed - The world’s 40 largest mining companies continued to consolidate their stellar performance of the past several years by delivering steady growth in 2018, according to PwC’s Mine 2019 report released today. - more

     Australia's Clean Teq to offload half of battery metals project - (excerpt) But many have stopped short of investing, as buzz over a demand boom dissipates given the uncertain timeline for electric vehicle uptake and subsequent price risk of chemicals like cobalt and nickel sulphate. - more

  Morning Nickel Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here or here (updated)
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more  more
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - online 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 news and information free of charge. Contact us


Tuesday, June 4



  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing (7:00 AM CST is 12 PM in London)
  • Nickel closed Monday's trading session at $5.39/lb . Indicators at 6:20 am CST today show nickel trading around $.01/lb lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell slightly on Monday and started today just over the158,900 tonne level again. Nickel fell back below the $12,000 tonne level yesterday and is now trading near the level it was before the May 24th price spike was triggered. It will be interesting to see if computer algorithm's react the same this time. Markets appear to be in a sour mood, and have been since the most recent tightening of tension in the US-China trade war. If one is to believe the purchasing manager indexes, then it is apparent both sides are starting to suffer the ill effects from the production standpoint. And American consumers have yet to start feeling the full extent of the price hikes that an increase in cost will bring. As far as market news goes, it is rather quiet out there. The unofficial summer season has started, and by August, it can be really quiet on the daily news front. We will continue to bring you what we can find.
  • Average price of cash nickel so far this month - $5.38/lb
  • Average price of LME traded nickel in in 2018 - $5.95/lb / 2017 - $4.73/lb / 2016 - $4.36/lb / 2015 - $5.37/lb /

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Industrial metals trade sideways on demand concerns - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here
  • SMM Evening Comments - more

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • China Stainless Steel Scrap Market News / Price - more
  • Scotiabank Reports - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - (chart)
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • Chinese steel futures extend losses amid high output, demand concerns - more
  • Wall Street Is Desperate for Wonks Who Can Explain the Rise of Populism - more
  • Stocks Advance After Tech Rout; Treasuries Decline: Markets Wrap - more

     Monday's market review - no metals updates posted Monday by Reuters

      DMCI Mining more than doubles nickel ore shipments - DMCI Mining Corp. recorded a 118% increase in nickel ore shipments in the first quarter of 2019. In a disclosure on Monday, DMCI Holdings said its mining unit more than doubled its nickel ore shipments to 338,000 wet metric tons (WMT) in the January to March period, from 156,000 WMT shipped a year ago. - more

      Ferrochrome plant shut down; 300 rendered jobless - The workers at the IDCOL-owned ferrochrome plant were worried after its authorities shut down operations from Friday afternoon. - more

      Courtesy AISI - In the week ending on June 1, 2019, domestic raw steel production was 1,890,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 81.2 percent. Production was 1,809,000 net tons in the week ending June 1, 2018 while the capability utilization then was 77.2 percent. The current week production represents a 4.5 percent increase from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending June 1, 2019 is down 0.1 percent from the previous week ending May 25, 2019 when production was 1,892,000 net tons and the rate of capability utilization was 81.3 percent. - more

  Morning Nickel Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here or here (updated)
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more  more
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - online 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 news and information free of charge. Contact us


Monday, June 3



  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing (7:00 AM CST is 12 PM in London)
  • Nickel closed Friday's trading session at $5.45/lb . Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.05/lb lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Thursday and rose on Friday and ended the month of May just over the 158,900 tonne level. For the month, the average daily decline in LME stockpile numbers totalled 698.24 tonnes. This is up from April's average of 470.4 tonnes and barely beat March's average of 683.71 tonnes per day.  Nickel is trading back under the $12,000/tonne level this morning, after cash nickel averaged $2 tonne under that level in May. Nickel starts the month of June where it spend most of spring - in bearish territory. Our hope is it's a bullish week - and month - for you.
  • Average price of cash nickel so far this month - $11,998/tonne (average for May)
  • Average price of LME traded nickel in in 2018 - $5.95/lb / 2017 - $4.73/lb / 2016 - $4.36/lb / 2015 - $5.37/lb /

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - none posted
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • World Steel in Figures 2019 now available - more

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • China Stainless Steel Scrap Market News / Price - more
  • Scotiabank Reports - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - (chart)
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • Gold to dominate PH’s mining sector - more
  • (SO) NDRC: China’s crude steel output up 10.1% in January-April
  • Fears Rise China Could Choke off Supply of Rare Earths in Trade War - more
  • Wall Street Warns of Mounting Recession Risk From Trade War - more
  • China's steel, raw materials weaken as demand outlook dims - more
  • Stocks Slip, Treasuries Rally on Trade-War Angst: Markets Wrap - more

     Friday's market review - Copper set for steepest monthly fall in 3-1/2 yrs amid demand worries - London copper eased on Friday and was on track for a third straight and biggest monthly fall in three-and-a-half years as global trade tensions raised concerns on weaker demand. - more

      A Perfect Storm Is Brewing For Nickel - Years of underinvestment, long lead times for mine development and a coming surge of electric vehicle demand are all bullish factors for nickel, said Michael Beck, managing director at Regent Advisors. - more

      Iron ore sticks to fundamentals as other commodities dance to noise: Russell - While geopolitical concerns have been the prime driver for most commodity markets recently, iron ore has been a standout, trading largely on traditional fundamentals. - more

      Losses drive stainless steel mills into maintenance in Jun – A stainless steel producer in China's south-western province of Guangxi began annual maintenance on its steel and hot-rolled coil capacity as its revenues fell below costs in a falling market, a source told SMM on Monday June 3. - more

      Press Release - For the month of June 2019, North American Stainless will maintain the fuel surcharge of 26% for stainless flat and long products. The surcharge rate is considered a maximum level for June and will be reviewed monthly. - source

      Excess Production Capacity Undermines Stainless Steel Prices - Stainless steel prices continue to show few signs of recovery. Selling values, in Europe, have been below producers’ breakeven levels since a collapse in transaction figures, and the widespread adoption of effective pricing, in the summer of 2018. - more

      Chrome ore exports contribute to stainless steel production - The export of chrome ores from South Africa for use in the ferrochrome smelter of Chinese stainless steel group Tsingshan’s stainless steel plant has contributed to global growth in chrome ore supply. - more

     Elections and Weather Push Axiom’s Island Mining Down - During Q1 of 2019, Axiom Mining was faced with the twin threats of staffing and transportation shortfalls—caused respectively by heavy rainfall and a general election in the Solomon Islands. - more

      RNC poised to advance Quebec nickel project - RNC Minerals Corp., aka Royal Nickel Corp., and joint venture partner Waterton are ready to accelerate discussions with potential participants to advance the Dumont nickel/cobalt project in Quebec towards construction. - more

      Acerinox Not Really At 'Can't Miss' Levels - To whatever extent I’m grudgingly interested in steel stocks today, it’s because some of the valuations appear to be pricing in bleak near-to-medium-term scenarios that don’t seem to fit with what is actually going on in the world (and that’s from someone who is pretty bearish relative to consensus). - more

  Morning Nickel Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here or here (updated)
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more  more
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - online 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 news and information free of charge. Contact us





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