This page is archived news covering the period of June 2020
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Stainless Steel News and Nickel Prices

RHS
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Tuesday, June 30

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Monday's trading session at $5.82/lb ($12,825/tonne). Indicators at 6:25 am CST today show nickel trading around $.01/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose on Monday and started the final day of June just under the 233,900 tonne level. Shanghai markets apparently decided they didn't want to get left behind in this recent bullish sprint and rose overnight. This morning, nickel traders are mostly quiet, with a strengthening US Dollar adding negative pressure. Considering nickel has spent much of the past 5 months trading somewhere in the $5/lb range, the price on the higher side of that range, shows there is optimism for the market, irregardless of the pandemic crisis. Three months ago, we were ending March facing a new and deadly virus, that had taken us by surprise and unprepared. Now, the newness is gone, our preparedness is much better, and the surprise has worn off. We ended March with the seven day average of new daily cases in the US not yet at 20,000. We saw that same seven day average sneak over the 40,000 level yesterday for the first time. Less deadly than it was, thanks to medical advances, the panic we witnessed in March is mostly gone. Some call it covid fatigue. We are tired of having our lives adversely affected by something we can't see, and until it actually hospitalizes someone we care about, it's just another bug. And the confusing signals! In March we were told masks were useless and actually harmful. Now, we are being told we must wear them. And yet, as tired as we are of hearing about it, the world economies are being held hostage by the virus, and it is hard to find something else to talk about. Quietly, and without fanfare, there is business humming along out there. Today is the last business day of June and we want to take the opportunity to thank Taunton Metals, for their support during the month. It is courtesy Taunton and our other monthly sponsors, we can bring you this news page. Stay safe and have a great day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.76/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - LME copper set for best quarter in nearly a decade - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index - $.2514/lb
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures -  13,300
  • Scotiabank Virus and Trade Give Commodity Markets Pause - pdf here
  • Australia's Diggers & Dealers Forum still on - more
  • USGS Chromium Statistics and Information April - pdf here
  • USGS Molybdenum Statistics and Information April - pdf here

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
Coronavirus Recovery Tracker - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

NAB's Alan Oster Podcast – Coronavirus and the economy - more
China’s military becomes world’s first to use experimental coronavirus vaccine - more


Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

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

     Monday's market review - Copper heads higher as coronavirus constricts Chilean supply - Supply disruption in top producer Chile, solid demand in top consumer China and dwindling stockpiles kept copper prices near five-month highs on Monday. - more

      Taiwan’s Yusco raises stainless steel prices for Jul - Yieh United Steel Corp. (Yusco), a leading stainless steel mill in Taiwan, announced its new prices for July today (June 29). - more

      Journalists uncover ‘Norilsk Nickel’ plant pumping toxic wastewater into the Russian tundra - The Talnakh Concentrator Plant, which belongs to industrial giant Norilsk Nickel, has been dumping industrial wastewater into the tundra in the Russian Arctic, reported the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta on June 27. - more

  • Massive Fire Engulfs Waste Landfill Near Russia's Norilsk - more

      Courtesy AISI - In the week ending on June 27, 2020, domestic raw steel production was 1,240,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 55.4 percent. Production was 1,863,000 net tons in the week ending June 27, 2019 while the capability utilization then was 80.1 percent. The current week production represents a 33.4 percent decrease from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending June 27, 2020 is up 1.3 percent from the previous week ending June 20, 2020 when production was 1,224,000 net tons and the rate of capability utilization was 54.6 percent. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • U.S. Futures Slide, Dollar Climbs to 1-Month High: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

Monday, June 29

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Friday's trading session at $5.78/lb ($12,740/tonne). Indicators at 6:10 am CST today show nickel trading unchanged. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Friday and started the week just under the 233,700 tonne level. Stockpile numbers for the month are now up just slightly over 150 tonnes, so it will be interesting to see what happens the next few days. Even though nickel prices have done a big nothing so far this morning, the US Dollar is trading lower and adding support. Traders may be a little taken back by the fact Shanghai reopened their markets today, but did not follow suit on LME's jump on Friday. As daily watchers of both markets, we can say with confidence, that for the most part and with rare exceptions, Chinese nickel traders tend to follow LME's lead. So when they did not follow Friday's nickel price jump, it has to raise some eyebrows in London. World traders must be wondering "Do they know something that we don't yet?". We suspect it had more to do with the dive in equity markets Friday, that overshadowed any positive speculation in the nickel market. Two working days left to the first half of 2020. Stay safe out there and have a great week!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.76/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Shanghai copper climbs over 5-month peak on Chile supply risks - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index - $.2512/lb
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures -  13,310
  • University of Michigan: Consumer Sentiment - more
  • ITA May Monthly Steel Factsheet - pdf here

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
Coronavirus Recovery Tracker - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Europe’s pandemic politics: How the virus has changed the public’s worldview - more
Instead of shutting down beaches, pools, parks, etc to residents suffering from the heat, why not restrict attendance to a daily range of last names starting within a range - ie Monday's limited to families with last names starting between A-F, etc. Stagger the weekend's so everyone has access at least one weekend per month.


Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

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

     Friday's market review - Copper strides to 5-month high on fears about Chile output - Copper prices touched a five-month peak on Friday on growing fears that output will be disrupted in top producer Chile by worsening COVID-19 infections at mines. - more

      Russian nickel mining firm admits pollution in Arctic - Russia's Norilsk Nickel has admitted that fluid waste was pumped into the tundra, one month after a subsidiary polluted Arctic waterways with diesel. - more

      Zimbabwe Restarting Chrome Export to China - Business Times reported that Zimbabwean chrome miners will resume exports to China following revelations that the China has started opening up its chrome market which was halted due to the Covid-19 pandemic and depressed prices. - more

      How the New Wave of Manufacturing Has Changed for the 21st Century - New Federal Reserve data confirms that the U.S. manufacturing industry was in a mild recession during 2019. Factory production decreased 1.3% over the past 12 months, representing the worst year for the sector since 2015.  - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Stocks Fluctuate With U.S. Futures; Dollar Dips: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

Friday, June 26

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Thursday's trading session at $5.65/lb ($12,445/tonne). Indicators at 6:45 am CST today show nickel trading around $.15/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose on Thursday and started today just shy of the 234,000 tonne level. The Dollar is trading slightly lower  this morning, but not enough to justify the increase in nickel trading. Since we are unable to find any other clues on what might be stimulating traders this morning, it may be little more than a release of pent up energy and another run for the $13,000/tonne level. This level was tested twice this month, and held both times. It could also be nothing more than a bounce off a technical support level. For those of us who do not necessarily believe in 'technical trading', it is wise to keep in mind that most commodity trading is performed by computers and computers need algorithms to function ... and technical levels offer some of those. So once again we see a move in the market and can offer little more than a shrug for an explanation. Maybe its because one of the only countries in the world that has a handle on covid is returning from a holiday break on Monday, who also just happens to be the worlds largest consumer of nickel. Seriously, we got nothing. One thing we do know for sure - it's Friday folks. We hope you stay safe and have a relaxing and enjoyable weekend.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.76/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper heads for sixth weekly gain as supply fears grow - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - (closed for holiday)
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index - $.2530
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures -  13,240 (closed for holiday)
  • US Economic Indicators:Durable Goods Orders& Shipments - pdf here
  • GDPNow model estimate for real GDP growth ...  -46.6% - more
  • Manufacturing Outlook June 2020 - online here
  • NAB US Economic Update - pdf here
  • Distributors Link Magazine (Fasteners) - online here

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
Coronavirus Recovery Tracker - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more


Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

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

     Yesterday's market review - Copper climbs as supply fears trump weak growth outlook - Copper prices pushed higher on Thursday, bucking the shift to safe-haven assets in other financial markets, as a surge in coronavirus cases fueled worries about mine shutdowns and shortages. - more

     UBS is hitching a ride on the copper, nickel bull train - China has bounced back faster than expected from the COVID-19 lockdown while commodity prices have proved remarkably resilient in the face of weak demand during the second quarter of 2020. - more

     
Analysis: China's steel market to remain balanced as 2020 output reaches 1 bil mt - The supply and demand dynamics in China's steel market look set to remain in balance over the second half of 2020 as its steel capacity expansion has slowed, while downstream infrastructure and construction demand is being aided by looser credit policies. - more

      How artificial intelligence can improve resilience in mineral processing during uncertain times  - As COVID-19 continues to affect millions of lives and livelihoods, it is delivering perhaps the most significant shock to industries - from education to healthcare to food supply - in almost a century. - more

    U.S.: Plug-Ins Account For 5.1% Of New Passenger Cars In January-May 2020 - According to IHS Markit data (via BMW's report), plug-in electric cars in the U.S. had about 5.1% share in the passenger car market during the first five months of 2020. That's noticeably less than the 5.5% reported for the first four months. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • US Sent $1.4B in Virus Relief to Dead People - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

Thursday, June 25

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Wednesday's trading session at $5.67/lb ($12,510/tonne). Indicators at 6:20 am CST today show nickel trading around $.03/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouse rose slightly on Wednesday and started the day just under the 233,600 tonne level .... again. China is closed for the remainder of the week for a national holiday, and things apparently have slowed down in response. First quiet news day of the week. Nickel's traded price continues to slide, and if you look at the Euro/Dollar trading chart and the LME cash nickel trading price over the past month, you may noticed some similarities. With little else to trade on, it appears the value of the Euro is offering some guidance. The Trump administration threatened Europe, including Great Britain, with some more tariff's yesterday, which helped drive US equities lower. This is in reference to a long term dispute over state subsidization of Airbus, and a break down in negotiations over that matter. The seven day moving average of new covid-19 case is now sitting only 22 Americans short of a new all time record high in the U.S., telling us more people will be catching the virus on a daily basis in the next week, than at its former peak in April. The good news, if we can call it that, is deaths per day are running around 1/3 of what they were in the initial bubble. Four working days, and one weekend left, to the second quarter and first half of 2020. Stay safe and have a great day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.77/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper rises amid low inventories, Chile supply risks - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - (on holiday)
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index - $.2118/lb
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures -  13,240 (on holiday)
  • World Economic Outlook Update, June 2020 - here
  • U.S. Imports of Stainless Steel Mill Products - more

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
Coronavirus Recovery Tracker - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more


Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

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

     Wednesday's market review - Copper choked by rising coronavirus cases - Copper eased on Wednesday as new coronavirus cases raised fears over a global economic recovery, offsetting upbeat data and potential supply disruptions in Chile. - more

      Chinese steel market recovery continues, amid global struggles - The coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc on steel markets and economies around the world, during the first six months of 2020. - more

      Copper-nickel mining - Antofagasta, the massive international copper-mining giant behind the proposed Twin Metals project, needs to start playing straight with Minnesotans, particularly residents here in the North Country. - more
  • Group sues to ban copper mining near Boundary Waters under state Environmental Rights Act - more
    Is nickel sustainable in electrical vehicle batteries? - Electric vehicles are becoming more popular and attractive as prices fall and charging infrastructure becomes more widespread. - more

      Capturing Value through the Digital Journey - More than 85% of industrial manufacturers believe that smart factory initiatives will be the main driver of manufacturing competitiveness in the next five years, according to results of a joint study between MAPI and Deloitte. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • U.S. Futures Fluctuate on Virus Worry; Bonds Gain: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

Wednesday, June 24

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Tuesday's trading session at $5.77/lb ($12,715/tonne). Indicators at 6:20 am CST today show nickel trading around $.03/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses went unchanged on Tuesday - for the sixth time this month. Cancelled warranted finally moved - up slightly to just into the 24% range. Nickel ended slightly lower overnight in China and that country is on holiday break for the remainder of the week. LME nickel trading continues to flounder, with little enthusiasm seen in either direction. It remains to be seen how nickel will end the month, and while its monthly performance is still up for grabs, it appears nickel will increase for the second quarter of 2020 - after experiencing the initial covid-19 shock to end the first quarter. Technical signals, for the believers, are sending mostly negative signals. What will the last half of 2020 hold? Couple of things to watch closely. First US-China relations .... again. If they continue to sour, then the upcoming election will give China little incentive to bend. Second, the covid-19 pandemic. If America is in the process of starting a second wave, or whatever the scientists want to call it, watch the US Dollar. A stronger Euro means higher metal prices. The US saw 36,015 new cases yesterday, the third highest total ever, and first time over 35,000 since May 1st. The highest 7 day moving average registered so far, in the U.S., was 32,425 on April 10th. The lowest average number was 21,265 on June 9th (2 weeks ago). That seven day average had risen to 30,667 yesterday.  In 2018, 36,560 people in the US lost their lives in car crashes.  In the winter of 2017-18, the CDC estimated 80,000 Americans lost their lives to the flu. Sometime this week, the US will see its 125,000th known death from covid-19.Those are the plain numbers. No politics. Stay safe and have a great day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.77/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper rises on supply risks but in choppy trade ahead of holiday in China - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index - $.2122/lb
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures -  13,2440

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
Coronavirus Recovery Tracker - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more


Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

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

     Tuesday's market review - Copper gains as Trump, positive data bolster demand outlook -  Copper prices rose on Tuesday after U.S. President Donald Trump said a trade deal with China was “fully intact” and stronger-than-expected European and U.S. data bolstered hopes of a rapid economic recovery. - more

      LME to examine floor reopening after easing of UK lockdown - The London Metal Exchange (LME) will examine whether the easing of social-distancing restrictions in England from July 4 will apply to its open-outcry floor, which has been closed for three months. - more

      Indonesia expects delay to 2021 for $3.7 bln smelter investments - Indonesia expects $3.7 billion in investments for smelter projects to be delayed to 2021 if the coronavirus outbreak persists until the end of 2020, a mining official said. - more

       India slaps anti-dumping duty on steel from China, Vietnam, Korea - The duty is applicable on products originating from or exported from China, Vietnam and Korea and imported into India - more

      Poisonous fuel from major Norilsk diesel leak may ALREADY be in the Arctic Ocean - Russian ecologist says his undercover trip shows Arctic ecosystem is irreversibly damaged, as whistleblower in ecological watchdog quits and leaves town. - more

      Rising nickel prices support stainless steel prices, Taiwan’s market to rebound in H2 2020 - LME nickel prices continued to rebound in June, and the highest point so far was at above US$13,000/ton. - more

      Launch of the new EUROFER website - The European Steel Association (EUROFER) has launched its new and refreshed website, making finding out about the European steel industry and the work of its Brussels-based trade association clearer and more accessible. - more

      Deep sea mining could destroy undiscovered species, says Ocean Panel - Mining on the sea floor should not begin before a full assessment of likely environmental impacts can be made, a report commissioned by the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy (Ocean Panel) said on Wednesday. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Stocks, U.S. Futures Slide as Virus Cases Rebound: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

Tuesday, June 23

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed yesterday's trading session at $5.74/lb ($12,645/tonne). Indicators at 6:10 am CST today show nickel trading around $.03/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose on Monday and now read just under the 233,600 tonne level. For the month of June, LME nickel stockpiles have now turned to positive growth. On the other hand, the priced of traded nickel on the LME continues to bleed and is testing technical support today. It's impossible on most days to explain why nickel prices are trading higher, and likewise, trading lower. While the equity markets continue to be juiced by fresh injections of money from the Fed, base metals could be a better reflection of traders deep concern of a resurgence in covid-19 infections. The U.S. saw its third in the last four days, of 30,000+ new infections. We added a link below in the virus news section where you can check how your state is doing. Other concerns for nickel include the strained relationship between the Chinese and Trump administration. Pessimistic comments made by a US trade adviser yesterday sent a ripple thru markets, and with the 'less than respectful comments made about the Chinese recently, make it hard to understand how China would feel compelled to live up to any agreement it might have made in the past. Another day of sunshine and cow manure. Stay safe... and have a great day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.78/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper recovers after Trump says U.S.-China trade deal still intact - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index - $.2032/lb
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures - 13,270
  • SFSA Casteel Reporter - more
  • Stainless steel for hygiene - pdf here

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
Coronavirus Business Recovery Tracker - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

In countries keeping the coronavirus at bay, experts watch U.S. case numbers with alarm - more
Administration to Disclose Businesses that Received Loans - more


Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

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

     Yesterday's market review - Copper rises on inventory draw and Chinese demand - Copper prices climbed on Monday, reinforced by lower inventories and robust consumption in top consumer China, though any further rally is likely to require signs of demand recovery in the rest of the world, analysts said. - more

       May 2020 crude steel production - World crude steel production for the 64 countries reporting to the World Steel Association (worldsteel) was 148.8 million tonnes (Mt) in May 2020, an 8.7% decrease compared to May 2019.  - more

      European stainless steel prices to remain stable - The stainless steel demand in Europe has been quiet in the past week. The supply chain profits have been very tight.  - more

      Nickel stocks are bullish - The market undoubtedly is showing some impressive backbone to rally in the face of bad news on both the macro and stock level, yesterday it was Challenger Group Financial (CGF) tapping the market for $300m in fresh equity .....  - more

      Metals and mining: who gets hit hardest by an economic slump? - Demand destruction and falling revenues leave some industry players at risk of financial distress - more

      Inalum to acquire 20% of PT Vale - State-owned PT Indonesia Asahan Aluminium (Persero), also known as Inalum, is set to take a 20% stake in PT Vale.  - more

      Pace of industry recovery boosts steel buyers’ sentiment - Steel producers and distributors were frantic back in March when the government ordered the shutdown of nonessential businesses to stem the spread of the coronavirus, slowing orders to a trickle. - more

  • AISI Applauds Supreme Court Decision to End Importer Challenge to Section 232 - more
      Courtesy AISI - In the week ending on June 20, 2020, domestic raw steel production was 1,224,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 54.6 percent. Production was 1,863,000 net tons in the week ending June 20, 2019 while the capability utilization then was 80.1 percent. The current week production represents a 34.3 percent decrease from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending June 20, 2020 is up 1.2 percent from the previous week ending June 13, 2020 when production was 1,210,000 net tons and the rate of capability utilization was 54.0 percent. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • China: In May 2020 Plug-In Electric Cars Sales Went Down 32% - more
  • Stocks Climb as PMIs Signal Recovery; Euro Gains: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

Monday, June 22

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Friday's trading session at $5.79/lb ($12,770/tonne). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.04/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses went unchanged on Friday and start the week just over the 233,200 tonne level. As far as LME nickel inventories go, the month of June is the month that wasn't, as the figures this month have gone no where fast. Cancelled warrants have remained in the 23% range since April and except for a few days in May where they fell to 22.99%, they have stayed in that range consistently during the entire period. We begin the last week of the first half of 2020 today. It's been a memorable first half, albeit one most would like to forget. The world is a much different place today than it was a few months ago. And now there is strong evidence that the next few may get dicey in the United States. Watching the seven day average of new cases in the U.S. has turned north again, with 30,000+ new cases a day once a thing of the past, but no more. More volatility around the corner. It will be a short week for China as their Dragon Boat Festival holiday starts Thursday and ends on Saturday. It's a new week, and we hope it is a good one for you. Stay safe, and have a great Monday!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.78/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper mixed on supply worries, demand fears led by virus - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index - $.2046/lb
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures -  13,245
  • Fastener Distributor Index – May 2020 - pdf here
  • The New York Fed DSGE Model Forecast - June 2020 - more
  • Stainless steel behind high-tech visual art - more
  • Sucden Quarterly Metals Report - here

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
Coronavirus Recovery Tracker - more

Reimagining the office and work life after COVID-19 - more
China Suspends Tyson Foods Poultry Imports From Arkansas Facility Following Outbreak - more


Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

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

     Friday's market review - Copper heads for fifth weekly gain on economic recovery hopes - Copper prices were heading for a fifth consecutive weekly gain on Friday as inventories declined and stock markets rose while demand improved in top consumer China.  - more

      China's sliding metals inventories point to higher prices, V-shaped recovery: Russell - One of the encouraging aspects for those hoping for a V-shaped economic recovery from the novel coronavirus in China has been the increase in the price and demand for many key metals. - more

      Glencore faces new corruption probe in Switzerland  - Sources close to Glencore said June 19 they expect "business as usual" at the Swiss-based international trader and miner even following the opening of a fourth investigation in less than two years into how the company runs its business. - more

      Optimism slowly returning to the EU steel market? - The mood in the EU steel market, in June, is one of cautious optimism. - more

      Prospects looking bright for Shire of Ravensthorpe post-COVID - Ravensthorpe is well poised to emerge from the worst of the coronavirus pandemic on a good footing, says Shire president Keith Dunlop. - more

      Putin calls fuel spill unprecedented for Russia, Greenpeace sees $1.4 bln damage - President Vladimir Putin said on Friday the scale of the clear-up operation after a huge fuel spill in the Arctic was unprecedented for Russia, with Greenpeace estimating the environmental damage to waters in the region at $1.4 billion. - more

      China opens up chrome market for Zimbabwe - Zimbabwean chrome miners will resume exports to China following revelations that the Asian economic giant has started opening up its chrome market which was halted due to the Covid-19 pandemic and depressed prices. - more

      Case AS660 - Stainless steel hot-rolled flat products (SSHR) -  Initial Investigation, Article 10 Countries investigated: Indonesia, People's Republic of China - more

      IRCG: Weekly Pandemic Revenue Index Shows 8.5% Decline - “The swings in business this week were very large — much larger than what we’ve typically seen previously," said Mike Emerson, IRCG partner. - more
  • June 2020 "Business Conditions Report" shows optimism for improved conditions - more
  •  Persistently High Layoffs Suggest Slow Rebound  - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • U.S. Stock Futures Gain as Traders Bet on Recovery: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

Friday, June 19

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Thursday's trading session at $5.84/lb  ($12,880/tonne). Indicators at 7:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.05/lb  higher Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell slightly on Thursday and started today's session just over the 233,200 tonne level. After ending last week lower, nickel prices appears to have recovered this week, but have done little more than that. The $13,000 tonne level was again tested, but successfully kept any bull penned. The U.S. continues to reopen and return to business, albeit normalcy is now being redefined on a daily basis. A month after reopening's began, covid-19 hospitalizations are on the rise again, and thanks to the politification of the pandemic, it too has become part of the new normalcy for many. Kind of like speeding in traffic. To many, it's not really a major concern - until its you in the crash. It's the weekend. Wear your seatbelt - wear your mask. Stay safe, enjoy your weekend, and we invite you back next week.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.78/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper heads for fifth weekly gain on economic recovery hopes - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index - $.2048/lb
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures -  13,400  (news about daily jump)
  • FED U.S. Economic Activity - pdf here
  • ATA Truck Tonnage Index - pdf here
  • The Australian Mining Review - June 2020 - online here

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
Coronavirus Recovery Tracker - more

Well before face masks became a pawn in the great chess game of American politics, on this site, we were complaining the 'guidelines' were being manipulated to protect the limited availability of N95 masks for the health workers. While we understood the motive for telling average 'Joe Six Pack' that masks did little to protect the user, the science, and years of experience, tell us otherwise. One of the ways to keep people from buying up the limited supply of masks, was to tell them masks really did little to protect the user, and really only gave a false sense of security. Now, the chickens have come to roost.
If the CDC and WHO can't understand why few Americans are taking their advice to wear a mask, and states wonder why 'mandatory' mask requirements raise the publics ire - we suggest they look in the mirror first. For those actually interested in the science, here is a study done after the SARS outbreak - pdf here


Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

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

     Thursday's market review - Copper strengthens on China stimulus plans - Copper rose on Thursday as top consumer China signaled plans to maintain liquidity in the financial system for the rest of the year, raising hopes of improved demand for metals. - more

      Nickel, chromium: Chinese conference season returns post-COVID-19 as Roskill attends Nickel & Chrome Products Summit - The 18th International Nickel & Chrome Products Summit, held by CNFEOL in Wuxi, Jiangsu in early-June, marked Roskill’s return to the post-COVID-19 conference scene. - more

      Vale to Restart Nickel Mine in Canada After Covid-19 Pause - Vale SA, the top commercial nickel producer, will resume operations next month at its Voisey’s Bay mine in Canada after halting work to monitor the coronavirus outbreak. - more

      BHP Group buys nickel tenements as Norilsk Nickel completes Australian exit - BHP Group said on Friday it was expanding its exposure to nickel by purchasing nickel tenements in Western Australia in a deal marking the exit from the country of Russian mining group Norilsk Nickel. - more

      Russian stainless steel product imports increase in May y-o-y - According to reports, Russia imported around 33,000 tons of stainless steel products in May, increasing by 9.4% from the same period a year ago while sliding by 10.9% from 37,000 in the previous month. - more

      Zhenshi Group’s ferronickel project in Indonesia’s Weda Bay to see 1st batch of output in end-June or early July -  Yashi nickel smelting project at Indonesia Weda Bay Industrial Park is expected to see its first batch of ferronickel output at the end of June or the beginning of July, after two production lines were ignited in early June. - more

      RockTalk - RockTalk is a Stockhead video series featuring a roundtable of resources experts discussing a new macro topic each week. In this edition, host Peter Strachan takes a closer look at the nickel market. - more

      Will touch full capacity utilisation level by September - Abhyuday JindalHe said that the stainless steel sector has a direct correlation with the GDP growth of the country - pdf here

      ID Catches Up With Fastener, MROP Distributor Bolts & Nuts - ID re-connects with Chattanooga, TN-based Bolts & Nuts Corp. to learn what they've been up to since visiting the distributor in December 2015. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Futures Rise With Stocks on Trade, Stimulus Hopes: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

Thursday, June 18

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing

  • Nickel closed Wednesday's trading session at $5.87/lb ($12,948/tonne). Indicators at 6:10 am CST today show nickel trading around $.02/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell slightly on Wednesday and started today just under the 233,300 tonne level for a second day. The $13,000 tonne level again held Tuesday, and prices are slowly backing off, trying to build up momentum for another charge. We have decided to add the Barchart scrap index and SHFE Stainless Steel Futures to our daily update under the Reports section. The Futures have closed as high as 13025 and as low 12635 so far this month. It's provided as offering a possible clue to what is going on in the Chinese stainless steel market, and potentially, future export prices. We have a lot of visitors looking for current scrap prices, so we added it as a service to them. Stay safe - and have a great day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.78/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Stocks drift as second wave virus fears mount - more (no metals update found)
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index - $.205/lb
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures -  13000

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
Coronavirus Recovery Tracker - more


Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

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

     Wednesday's market review - Copper claws higher after positive trial of coronavirus drug - Copper prices rose on Wednesday as risk appetite gained the upper hand in financial markets after promising trials of a COVID-19 treatment and strong U.S. economic data. - more

       January to April 2020 Metals Balances - The nickel market was in surplus during January to April 2020 with production exceeding apparent demand by 14.4 kt. In the whole of 2019, the calculated deficit was 17.9 kt.  - more

       BIR Global eForum: Stainless Steel & Special Alloys: Dramatically altered landscape for stainless steel and nickel - The COVID-19 pandemic had presented the stainless steel scrap industry with “a lot of difficulties and challenges”, reported BIR Stainless Steel & Special Alloys Committee Chairman Joost van Kleef of Oryx Stainless BV in his opening remarks to the body’s eForum on June 10. - more

      ID's 2020 Survey of Distributor Operations Report, Part 2 - See what our readers had to say about their financials, supplier relations, employment and more. - more

      Experts see environmental, social fallout in Indonesia’s infrastructure boom - The Indonesian government has announced a list of 89 priority projects, tagged at US$100 billion, to jump-start the economy out of the current Covid-19-induced slump. - more

      Aboriginal group files claims against Australian state over mining area: report -  An Aboriginal group has filed two compensation claims against the Western Australian state government for cultural losses on land that it granted to businesses including BHP Group, state broadcaster the ABC reported on Thursday. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Stocks Fluctuate With U.S. Futures on Virus Report: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

Wednesday, June 17

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Tuesday's trading session at $5.90/lb ($13,005/tonne). Indicators at 6:10 am CST today show nickel trading around $.02/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose on Tuesday and started today just under the 233,300 tonne level. We are now only down just under 200 tonnes for the month in LME stockpiles, with gains or unchanged registered the last seven sessions. Nickel traders continue their battle over the $13,000 tonne level, with the bears so far, successfully defending that level. The bulls seem determined to punch thru the fence, and any news of supply disruption or increase in demand could prove the weak spot they need to charge. At the moment, with covid-19 still handcuffing downstream industries, the $13,000/tonne pen seems to be holding. Another good news and report day, so we leave you to it. Stay safe and enjoy another hump day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.77/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper rises on COVID-19 treatment hopes, strong U.S. retail sales - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • FED Manufacturers Sales - more
  • FED Truck Tonnage - more
  • FED Industrial Production Index - more
  • FED NY - Finally, Some Signs of Improvement in the Regional Economy - more
  • The GDPNow model estimate for real GDP growth in the second quarter of 2020 is -45.4% on June 16 - more

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
Coronavirus Recovery Tracker - more


Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

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

     Tuesday's market review - Copper advances as latest Fed stimulus sparks buying spree -  Copper prices climbed on Tuesday as the Federal Reserve’s latest move to provide further support for the U.S. economy helped to boost sentiment, but gains were capped by worries about prospects for demand in top consumer China. - more

      China crude steel output soars 8.5% in May record on robust construction demand - China’s crude steel output jumped 8.5% from a month earlier in May, hitting the highest ever in records published for single-month production, lifted by a construction boom amid a Beijing infrastructure development push and a recovery in manufacturing. - more

       3 Japanese major companies to merge 2 stainless steel plants from Oct - Nippon Steel Stainless Steel Corp., Nippon Steel Trading Corp., and Sumitomo Corp. signed an agreement on the merger of Japanese domestic stainless steel plants. - more

      New Caledonia nickel ore export bids hit impasse - The government of New Caledonia is poised to refer the impasse over a new mining code to the next meeting of the signatories to the Noumea Accord. - more

      Governor allows 500 Chinese workers to enter Southeast Sulawesi after previous refusal - Southeast Sulawesi Governor Ali Mazi has allowed some 500 Chinese workers to work on nickel smelter projects in the province's Konawe regency after previously blocking their entry. - more

      Russia opens criminal case against Nornickel staff over 2017-2019 pollution -  Russia's Investigative Committee on Tuesday opened a criminal case against employees of Norilsk Nickel over the discharge of waste water into a river and soil between 2017 and 2019. - more

      Minnesota Supreme Court to hear appeal on PolyMet air permit - The Minnesota Supreme Court today granted review of a Minnesota Court of Appeals’ ruling regarding the NorthMet Project air permit, according to Poly Met Mining, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of PolyMet Mining Corp. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Stocks Add to Rally, Shrug Off Infection Concerns: Markets Wrap - more
  • Indian Army says 20 of its soldiers killed in Chinese troop border clash in Galwan - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

Tuesday, June 16

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Monday's trading session at $5.82/lb  ($12,840/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.05/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warhouses rose on Monday and started today's session just over the 233,100 tonne level. Nickel bounced yesterday and is continuing its return to a bullish mood today, once again nearing the $13,000/tonne level. Lot of reports for today, but otherwise, rather quiet on the news front. Stay safe and have a great day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.76/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper up, latest Fed stimulus sparks buying spree - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Metalforming Magazine - June 2020 - online here
  • Desjardin's Commodity Trends - pdf here
  • NAB China’s economy at a glance - pdf here
  • USGS Mineral Commodity Summaries 2020 - pdf here
  • U.S. Economy in a Snapshot - more
  • Great American Group Metals Monitor - online here

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
Coronavirus Recovery Tracker - more

Federal Reserve - Distribution of COVID-19 Incidence by Geography, Race, and Income - more
Beijing battles ‘explosive coronavirus outbreak’ as food market cases mount - more
Science, politics and trolls: How Carl Bergstrom became a voice of clarity on the coronavirus - more


Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

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

     Monday's market review - Copper slides as coronavirus worries resurface - Copper prices slid on Monday with sentiment hit by concern about a second wave of the coronavirus and uncertainty about whether demand would recover swiftly or stay subdued for longer. - more

      Global nickel output to decline 19% y-o-y in 2020 — report - In its latest report, Fitch Solutions revised down most of its 2020 mining production as well as metals production and consumption forecasts and said it will keep adjusting estimates in line with the evolution of the situation and of government and company announcements. - more

      Mining industry cushioning impact of pandemic in Sudbury: report -  The mining sector in Sudbury – among the industries declared essential at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic – has managed to retain most of its workforce, says a report headed to city council June 23. - more

      ID's 2020 Survey of Distributor Operations Report, Part 1 - See what our readers told us regarding distribution challenges, the economy, their technology usage and more. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Global Stock Rally Returns on Fresh Stimulus Hopes: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

Monday, June 15

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Friday's trading session at $5.74/lb ($12,660/tonne). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.03/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses went unchanged on Friday and ended the week just under the 232,900 tonne level. Markets are down this morning on news that China is reporting a cluster of new cases of covid-19 in Beijing. 79 new cases have been reported since June 11th, and China is reacting strongly, with new lockdowns and mass testing in the area. On the other hand, the U.S. saw 20,000 new cases yesterday, with states dropping more restrictions, if not all, on a near daily basis.  Using worldometer's numbers, the world saw its 8,000,000th confirmed case over the weekend. Nickel is likely trading lower not so much on the new case numbers in China, but concerns on China's reaction, and its impact on potential business. China has shown it is willing to sacrifice the economy to stop the spread, so if this 'cluster' spreads outside of the containment area, the country is willing to take extreme measures. As we have said before, when it comes to nickel, what happens in China, matters - a lot. Nickel is trading near June lows today. We are half way done with June and just a few weeks away from the half way point to 2020. Its been, to say the least, a memorable few months, but every day we are one step closer to a vaccine. Stay safe and have a wonderful week!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.77/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Base metals ease on worries over second virus wave in China - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - here

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
Coronavirus Recovery Tracker - more



Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

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

     Friday's market review - Copper heads for 4th weekly gain as stockpiles fall -  Copper prices rose on Friday and were set for a fourth consecutive weekly gain as falling stockpiles pointed to a pickup in demand and traders anticipated healthy buying from top consumer China. - more

     Knives out for nickel market as restaurants close: Andy Home - The knives may be out for the nickel market. Stainless steel knives specifically, together with stainless steel forks and spoons. - more

      China crude steel output soars 8.5% in May record on robust construction demand - China’s crude steel output jumped 8.5% from a month earlier in May, hitting the highest ever in records published for single-month production, lifted by a construction boom amid a Beijing infrastructure development push and a recovery in manufacturing. - more

      Vale renews bid for nickel ore exports from New Caledonia - The Vale nickel company is lobbying for the export of low grade nickel ore from New Caledonia as it finalises the sale of its assets to New Century Resources of Australia. - more

      Metal Shipments Continue to Decline in May - Metal shipments in both the U.S. and Canada declined at substantial rates again in May due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. - more

      Brighter times ahead for nickel, experts say - A recovery in the nickel market in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic is being forecast by analysts, but they caution it could take until 2022 for a return to 2019 price levels. - more

    Battle of the batteries - Cost versus Performance - The last three months have been unprecedented. But amidst the chaos and despite the drop in global GDP, there has still been a considerable amount of activity in the electric vehicle (EV) and battery world. - more

      April’s Freight Transportation Services Index largest drop since Great Recession - The Freight Transportation Services Index, which measures freight movement in tons and ton-miles, experienced the largest decline since the 2009 Great Recession. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • U.S. Futures Fall, Treasuries Rise on Virus Fears: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

Friday, June 12

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Thursday's trading session at $5.74/lb ($12,645/tonne). Indicators at 6:50 am CST today show nickel trading around $.06/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose on Thursday and started today just under the 232,900 tonne level. Nickel got whacked yesterday, as part of a general thumping traders took across the board. The warnings of a potential second covid-19 wave sent a chill thru markets worldwide. Coronavirus is the new reality, and the elephant in the room that is hard to ignore. Until a vaccine starts caging this monster, the world is trying to find a way to live with it. While some may feel pretending its harmless is the best strategy, hospital cases are starting to spike again in some areas of the U.S. It is much easier to ignore when it stays quiet. Another week is in the history books. We hope you have a safe and enjoyable weekend and invite you to join us next week as we follow the nickel and stainless industries.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.77/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - London copper flat; set for fourth weekly gain on hopes of stimulus boost - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - here

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
Coronavirus Recovery Tracker - more


Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

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

     Thursday's market review - Base metals fall on gloomy U.S. economic outlook, new COVID-19 cases - Copper and other metals fell on Thursday after a gloomy outlook for the U.S economy and fresh concerns over a second wave of COVID-19 infections cast doubt over demand. - more

      Tharisa PLC now operating chrome and PGM mines at full capacity, and enjoying renewed commodity price strength - No one could doubt that the world now is a very different place to the world as it seemed at the beginning of this year. - pdf here

      New bid for Vale assets in New Caledonia - Reports from New Caledonia say a rival bid involving South Korean interests has been mounted to buy the Vale nickel plant which is being sold to an Australian company. - more

      Criminal case opened against Norilsk mayor following massive Siberian oil spill that threatens Arctic Ocean - Nearly two weeks after an ecological disaster that has shocked environmental activists both in Russia and abroad, the top local official in Norilsk is to be prosecuted for ‘negligence.’ - more

      Metal miner Antam to set $105m capex, pay out $4.78m in dividends - Publicly listed state-owned metal miner PT Aneka Tambang (Antam) plans to set around Rp 1.5 trillion (US$105 million) in capital expenditure (capex) this year, mostly to build two smelter megaprojects. - more

      Producer Price Index by Commodity for Pulp, Paper, and Allied Products: Corrugated Paperboard in Sheets and Rolls, Lined and Unlined - more (some of us old timers operate on the theory most manufacturers need two things - fasteners and corrugated boxes - so watching their pricing gives an idea of the health of manufacturing)

  • Fastener Distributor Index – May 2020 - pdf here
  • Producer Price Index by Commodity for Metals and Metal Products: Steel Wire, Stainless Steel  - more
  • Producer Price Index by Commodity for Metals and Metal Products: Steel Pipe and Tube, Stainless Steel - more
  • Producer Price Index by Commodity for Metals and Metal Products: Stainless and Other Alloy Steel Scrap - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • China May exports slip back into contraction, imports worst in 4 years - more
  • U.S. Futures Bounce Back While Treasuries Decline: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

Thursday, June 11

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Wednesday's trading session at $5.90/lb ($13,010/tonne). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.14/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses for the third time this week, went unchanged and once again, start the day just over the 232,400 tonne level. For the month of June so far, stockpile numbers are down a smidgen over 1000 tonnes. A follower of technical trading is content this morning that his theory worked, with nickel falling sharply after being unable to hold above resistance for two consecutive sessions. In this particular case, the $13,000 tonne psychological resistance proved to be the level to beat, and it appears, at least in the short term, that level has held. The rest of us, who once believed fundamentals actually meant something, really don't have a clue why nickel traders do what they do, so we blame technical traders for mucking up the works. Stay safe and have a wonderful Thursday!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.78/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - London copper slips from January high but seen rebounding on stimulus - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - no report posted
  • Barchart 304 SS Scrap Index - $.197/lb
  • Metalforming June/July 2020 Issue - pdf here
  • U.S. Imports of Stainless Steel Mill Products - more

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
Coronavirus Recovery Tracker - more


Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

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

     Wednesday's market review - Copper glides to highest since January on technicals, demand uplift - Copper prices rose for a fifth straight session on Wednesday to their highest since January, supported by firm demand and an improved technical picture. - more

      Stainless steel prices forecast to commence gradual recovery - The coronavirus outbreak has severely affected the global stainless steel sector. Although end-user manufacturing facilities are gradually resuming operations, activity levels continue to be considerably below those witnessed pre-Covid-19. - more

      About 20 liters of sulphuric acid leaks during incident in Sudbury - About 20 liters of sulphuric acid leaked at three spots along the route a tanker truck traveled as it departed the Glencore smelter in Falconbridge late last Friday afternoon before the leak was discovered in Lively, the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks investigation has determined. - more

      Russia detains three as wind complicates the clean-up of an Arctic fuel spill -  Russian investigators on Wednesday detained three managers of an Arctic power station in connection with a huge fuel spill last month, as wind, rain and cold complicated the clean-up. - more

      Metals tycoon Gupta's GFG to cut jobs as forecasts further weak demand - British-based commodities tycoon Sanjeev Gupta’s global metals businesses said on Thursday it will cut costs and shed jobs due to a sharp slide in demand that could last up to 18 months. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • U.S. Futures Slump on Fed Caution and Virus Fears: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

Wednesday, June 10

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Tuesday's trading session at $5.81/lb ($12,815/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.04/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose on Tuesday and began the day just over the 232,400 tonne level. With yesterday's gain identical to it's Friday loss, numbers are unchanged from last Thursday. Nickel spent one night over the $13,000/tonne level and yesterday fell back below. This morning, nickel is pushing up against the old resistance level again, which has already been beat twice in the last three days. Light news day. Stay safe out there and have a great hump day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.77/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Chinese demand drives Shanghai copper to 20-week high - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Barchart 304 SS Scrap Index - $.217/lb
  • ISSF Stainless steel and safety - pdf here

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
Coronavirus Recovery Tracker - more


Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

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

     Tuesday's market review - Aluminium and zinc hit by inventory gains and demand uncertainty - Aluminum and zinc prices retreated on Tuesday after inventories climbed, reminding investors that weak demand because of the coronavirus pandemic is likely to result in large surpluses. - more

       Chinese nickel market under pressure due to Indonesian ferronickel growth - The pandemic of this year truly caused huge pressure on the global economy. - more

      Chinese media Mysteel reports stainless steel crude steel output for May was (in 10,000 tons) - 200 series SS - 81.69 - 300 series - 117.75 - 400 series - 35.43

      Losses mount for New Caledonia's SLN - New Caledonia's loss-making SLN nickel company says $US75 million is left of the loan it had taken out after another year of losses. - more

      Fuel from Russian Arctic spill reaches large lake, says governor - Diesel fuel from a major spill in Russia’s Arctic has reached a pristine lake which is the basin for a river flowing into the Arctic Ocean, a regional official said on Tuesday, but the mining giant embroiled in the scandal rejected his allegation.  - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Stocks Slip With Futures Amid Grim Economy Warning: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

Tuesday, June 9

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Monday's trading session at $5.91/lb ($13,025/tonne). Indicators at 6:10 am CST today show nickel trading around $.05/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouse went unchanged on Monday and started the day just over the 232,100 tonne level. Nickel closed above the $13,000/tonne level yesterday for the first time since mid February. It is trading lower today as part of a general pull back in world markets, commodities included. It is rather to see the Dow turn profitable for the year again. While there were fears back in January that there might be a recession in 2020, there is no question about it now, with the pandemic turning the possible into a much worse inevitability than was previously feared.  And yet, the Dow  moves higher, now above where we started the year. For anyone who needs further proof of the disconnect between the stock market and the reality of the economy, look no further. Stay safe and have a great day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.76/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Shanghai aluminum hits 4-1/2-month peak on China demand - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
Coronavirus Recovery Tracker - more

Remember when (May 3rd) the President predicted 75 to 100,000 deaths by June? (here) We crossed the 100,000 level on May 27th and now it appears the gloomy 125,000 forecast by the end of August made by the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the same time will be hit earlier than forecast. We rolled over 112,000 this past weekend.
Remember way back (last month) when death tolls and forecasts were apparently important?


Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

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

     Monday's market review - Copper hits three-month peak on economic stimulus - Copper prices climbed to three-month highs on Monday as economic stimulus from central banks, expected stronger demand in top consumer China and falling inventories in Shanghai triggered fresh buying. - more

      Vladimir Potanin to President Putin: The Fuel Spill in Norilsk is Localized and the Company Will Cover the Clean Up Expenses - In a frank conversation over a televised videoconference, Vladimir Potanin, Russia's leading metal and mining industrialist, updated Russia's president Putin on the vast scale of the clean-up effort he is putting forward to minimize the consequences of the diesel fuel spill. - more

      Europe jump-starts faltering electric vehicle revolution: Andy Home - The electric vehicle revolution has been stalled by COVID-19. - more

      The Just-in-Time Tribe - The COVID-19 mess has exposed some serious flaws in the system, as evidenced by the horrors of the toilet paper production shortage (thankfully, some companies are still printing catalogs).  - more

      U.S. exports of Nickel decreased 20.02 percent from $100.32 million to $80.23 million through the first four months of 2020 when compared to the same period the previous year, according to WorldCity analysis of the latest U.S. Census Bureau data. - more
  •  U.S. exports of Stainless steel, not less than 600mm wide decreased 20.00 percent from $265.22 million to $212.18 million through the first four months of 2020 when compared to the same period the previous year, according to WorldCity analysis of the latest U.S. Census Bureau data. - more
  • U.S. imports of Stainless steel, not less than 600mm wide decreased 12.92 percent from $220.69 million to $192.18 million through the first four months of 2020 when compared to the same period the previous year, according to WorldCity analysis of the latest U.S. Census Bureau data. - more
  • U.S. imports of Stainless steel wire decreased 29.01 percent from $77.15 million to $54.77 million through the first four months of 2020 when compared to the same period the previous year, according to WorldCity analysis of the latest U.S. Census Bureau data. - more
  •  U.S. exports of Stainless steel wire increased 0.68 percent from $44.89 million to $45.2 million through the first four months of 2020 when compared to the same period the previous year, according to WorldCity analysis of the latest U.S. Census Bureau data. - more

      Courtesy AISI - In the week ending on June 6, 2020, domestic raw steel production was 1,195,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 53.3 percent. Production was 1,866,000 net tons in the week ending June 6, 2019 while the capability utilization then was 80.2 percent. The current week production represents a 36.0 percent decrease from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending June 6, 2020 is down 0.9 percent from the previous week ending May 30, 2020 when production was 1,206,000 net tons and the rate of capability utilization was 53.8 percent. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Stock Rally Slams to a Halt While Treasuries Jump: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

Monday, June 8

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Friday's trading session at $5.89/lb ($12,995/tonne). Indicators at 6:10 am CST today show nickel trading around $.02/lb lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Friday and start the week just over the 232,100 tonne level. Nickel closed above technical resistance on Friday, but just shy of a psychological level of resistance at $13,000/tonne. Next technical level should be around $6.00-$6.02/lb, which is the highest nickel has traded since it's sharp drop in late January. The overall trend for nickel has been a tempered bull market since late March, but nickel started 2020 trading well over the $14,000 tonne mark, so there is still ground to make up before the year turns positive. Over the weekend, the world saw its 7,000,000th diagnosed case of covid-19, while the U.S. saw its death toll creep over 110,000. Sometime this week, the U.S. will see its 2,000,000th diagnosed case, still averaging around 20,000 new cases a day. Germany reported industrial production in that country dropped by 25% in April 2020 when compared to the same month last year. Production of automobiles there was down nearly 75%. It's the second week of the sixth month of the beginning year of the third decade of the 21st century. Now, don't you feel historic? Here is to a safe and successful week for you!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.74/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - London copper slips from 3-month high; markets expect quick rebound - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Barchart 304 SS Scrap Index - $.219/lb
  • U.S. Imports of Stainless Steel Mill Products - more
  • International Trade Administration April Monthly Steel Factsheet - pdf here
  • US Exports of Stainless Steel Mill Products - more

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
Coronavirus Recovery Tracker - more


Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

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

     Friday's market review - Copper on track for its biggest weekly gain since September 2018 - Copper prices surged on Friday to the highest in 13 weeks as an unexpected increase in U.S. employment in May fuelled hopes of a revival of global economic activity.  - more

      Nickel Rush Restarts As Steel And Battery Demand Rises - China’s rapid exit from its Covid-19 lockdown has triggered the restart of a rush for nickel, an old-fashioned metal mainly used in making stainless steel, but also a key ingredient in the batteries of electric vehicles. - more

      Supply chain reports look at the state of manufacturing during COVID-19 crisis - To get an idea of how manufacturing managed during the peak of the COVID-19 crisis in April and May, just take look down the industry’s supply chains. - more

  • You Prepared for Disruption, Now Prepare for Change - more
      US offers help with Nornickel’s Arctic fuel spill, Russia thankful - Russia’s Vice-minister for Emergencies, Alexandr Chupriyan, expressed gratitude to the countries that have offered to help with the fuel spill in Siberia in which 20,000 tons of diesel leaked from a reservoir owned by MMC Norilsk Nickel PJSC. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • U.S. Futures Advance; Dollar Drops With Treasuries: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

Friday, June 5

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Thursday's trading session at $5.79/lb ($12,765/tonne). Indicators at 7:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.06/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Thursday and started today just over the 232,400 tonne level. Nickel is knocking on resistance's door again this morning, but with little momentum - so far. Good news week, as first weeks of the month typically are. On a somber note, the US is expected to see its 2,000,000th diagnosed case of covid-19 this weekend. It's the weekend gang, and we hope you have a safe, healthy and relaxing one.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.73/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper heads for its biggest weekly gain in more than a year - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Manufacturing Engineering: June 2020 - online here
  • NAB China Economic Update: June 2020 - pdf here
  • The GDPNow model estimate for real GDP growth in the second quarter of 2020 is -53.8% on June 4 - more

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
Coronavirus Recovery Tracker - more



Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

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

     Thursday's market review - Copper inches higher as Europe redoubles stimulus - Copper prices rose on Thursday towards 2-1/2 month highs reached in the previous session as the European Central Bank and German government announced big stimulus packages and U.S. data showed unemployment growth slowing sharply. - more

      US' stainless steel keeps stable amid pandemic - At this moment, the US buyers of stainless steel were still scarce. Companies were reluctant to place new forward orders because of the uncertain economic environment caused by the COVID-19.  - more

      COLUMN-LME storage capacity rises as metals glut looms in the shadows: Andy Home - Where’s the metal? Global manufacturing activity is experiencing the most severe contraction since the Financial Crisis of 2008-2009 but signs of surplus metal are conspicuous by their absence. - more

      worldsteel Short Range Outlook June 2020 - The World Steel Association (worldsteel) today released its Short Range Outlook (SRO) for 2020 and 2021. In 2020 worldsteel forecasts that steel demand will contract by 6.4%, dropping to 1,654 Mt due to the COVID-19 crisis. - more

      Government extends anti-dumping duty on certain steel items  - The government has extended anti-dumping duty on certain variety of steel products ... - more

      Norilsk Nickel under pressure over Russia diesel spill - Around 21,000 tonnes of diesel leaked into the Ambarnaya river after the fuel spill at a power plant operated by a subsidiary of the Russian miner  - more

      Unease grows in New Caledonia over Vale nickel plant sale - Access to New Caledonia's Vale nickel plant has been restricted by sub-contractors worried about the plant's sale. - more

      Fastenal Trims 400 Sales Staff in May as Safety Line Surges 136% - Fastenal reported its May sales figures on Thursday, showing that safety products continued to show massive growth amid the COVID-19 pandemic — more than offsetting considerable declines in the company's other product segments. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • US Trade Gap Rises to $49.4B in April - more
  • Stocks Gain on Wave of Stimulus Ahead of Jobs Data: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

Thursday, June 4

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Wednesday's trading session at $5.81/lb  ($12,800/tonne). Indicators at 6:05 am CST today show nickel trading around $.07/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses  went unchanged on  Wednesday and for the third consecutive day, start just over the 232,800 tonne level.  If you are a believer in technical trading, then yesterday worked out for you. For the second consecutive day, nickel was unable to punch thru resistance, and  today is  backing off. For those of us who don't necessarily believe in the technical trading theory, we might suggest that having been unable to build the momentum to beat a recent high, nickel traders have backed off a tad to try to build up the momentum for another try. Kind of like punching thru a bank of snow. Its easier to do by charging at it, and punching thru, rather than trying to push it from a near stop. We suspect that since computers do most of the trading anyhow, the technical theory has more truth behind it, but our theory sounds better. We reported about the huge spill in the Arctic yesterday and if it weren't for the protests and the pandemic, it would likely be leading some news shows. Regardless, the word is getting out and much more than environmental sites are now reporting on it. Putin has issued a state of emergency today. Another newsy day, so we leave you with it. Oh and one other thing. If you .. or your loved one .... start to feel any discomfort down in the family jewels region .... that is now a potential symptom of coronavirus, according to a Chinese report. Oh the jokes that come to mind. Stay safe, stay healthy, and have a great day.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.73/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper falls on renewed U.S.-China tensions, stronger dollar - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • U.S. Imports of Stainless Steel Mill Products - more
  • US Economic Indicators: Durable Goods Orders & Shipments - pdf here
  • World Steel in Figures 2010 to 2020 - more here

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
Coronavirus Recovery Tracker - more

Coronavirus may damage testicles without entering cells, study finds - more


Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

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

     Wednesday's market review - Copper touches March high on recovery in top consumer China - Copper hit its highest since March on Thursday, buoyed by the prospect of higher demand from top consumer China after data showed a strong performance in its services sector.  - more

      Indonesia nickel ore export ban to remain -mining ministry director -  Indonesia will keep in place a ban on the export of nickel ore even as it relaxes exports of some other minerals under revisions to its mining law, the director of minerals at the country's energy and minerals ministry said on Thursday. - more

      Shrinking demand - Stainless Commodity Focus - Stainless steel demand has been shrinking, and there’s little appetite for raw materials. - more

      US dollar safe haven loss may spell more metals price volatility - The US dollar, typically used for pricing metals, is no longer considered a safe haven for investors and this could mean more price volatility in metals, including scrap, moving forward, a commodities analyst told a scrap metals forum June 3. - more

      The shift to high nickel batteries is happening right now - Meaningful efforts to increase nickel content in batteries will support an anticipated +560 per cent increase in battery related nickel demand over the next five years. - more

       Putin backs state of emergency in Arctic region over fuel spill in river - 20,000 tonnes of oil products spilled out of a power station in the industrial city of Norilsk last week -  more

      Indonesia Processing Requests for Deep-sea Mining Waste Disposal - Indonesian authorities are considering two companies’ requests to dispose mining waste into the ocean, a senior government official said on Sunday, at a time of heightened sensitivity about the environmental impact of mining. - more

      Distributor Pandemic Index Swings Back to Growth After 9 Weeks of Major Losses - The index surged to just above break-even last week - a substantial turnaround since late March. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Stock Rally Pauses as Dollar Rebounds; Oil Slips: Markets Wrap - more
  • Global GDP Tracker’s 2.3% Drop in May Shows Worst Over - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

Wednesday, June 3

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Tuesday's trading session at $5.82/lb ($12,840/tonne). Indicators at 6:10 am CST today show nickel trading around $.03/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell by one lot on Tuesday and started today just over the 232,800 tonne level again. Nickel is testing resistance again this morning, which was established on May 21st, the highest nickel had traded last month and highest since March. This is the second day resistance is being tested and some analysts will tell you another unsuccessful attempt today could send a negative signal. We will see. So called technical analysis appears to us to share a win loss record with flipping a coin. It's hump day. Stay safe and have a great day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.69/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - London copper falls from 2-1/2-month high as demand risk lingers - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - no update at press time
  • Investor Presentation - Horizonte Minerals - pdf here

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
Coronavirus Recovery Tracker - more


Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

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

     Tuesday's market review - Copper and aluminium touch highest since March on China recovery - Copper and aluminium prices climbed to their highest in more than two months on Tuesday as more signs emerged that the Chinese economy is extending its recovery from the coronavirus outbreak. - more

      ThyssenKrupp intends to sell Italy's 130-year-old stainless steel plant - The two major Italian steel producers Marcegaglia and Arvedi Group were still considering further business expansion even under the epidemic of Covid-19. - more

       Hedge funds still giving industrial metals a wide berth: Andy Home -  Industrial metals such as copper have clawed their way back from coronavirus crisis lows, with the London Metal Exchange (LME) index of leading base metals contracts 12% off its March trough.  - more

       Arctic declares state of emergency after thousands of tons of diesel leak into river - The exact reason of the leak is under investigation but a statement from Norilsk Nickel company that operates the site suggests subsidence caused by collapsing permafrost was to blame. - more

      European Commission proposes alterations to steel safeguard measures -  Following the conclusion of the second review period, the European Commission has notified the World Trade Organisation of its proposed amendments to existing steel safeguard measures. - more

      Court finds Clive Palmer’s Queensland Nickel was insolvent - Clive Palmer’s failed Queensland Nickel refinery was insolvent in the days before administrators were called in, a judge has found. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Stocks Prolong Rally; Dollar Weakens to March Low: Markets Wrap - more
  • The Fed has made valuing stocks like ‘cheating off the F student,’ strategist says - more
  • (for those interested) Four part courts test  that makes it nearly impossible to convict police officers - here

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

Tuesday, June 2

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Monday's trading session at $5.73/lb ($12,635/tonne). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.09/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Monday and started today just over the 232,800 tonne level. Last year, the largest bull run started on May 1st and peaked on August 1st. This year the started with the market in a slide that had started in 2019, and one that bottomed on March 23rd. The market has been in what we would call a sneaky bull market since, with back and forth rushes seeing the overall average gradually moving higher. So far, June's new bull run looks impressive, but it still has yet to beat the May 21st high, which is offering some technical resistance. Nickel may be trading higher on the Chinese manufacturing PMI turning positive again (see here), but the other three we record monthly, remain negative. Newsy Tuesday so we leave you with it. Stay safe and have a great day.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.63/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Shanghai copper hits 3-month high as demand recovers - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Fed GDPNow 2nd quarter estimate: -52.8% - more
  • PUC Monthly Report - pdf here

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
Coronavirus Recovery Tracker - more


Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

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

     Monday's market review - Copper scales March highs on improving demand prospects - Copper prices climbed to three-month highs on Monday as stronger manufacturing data from top consumer China and the loosening of lockdowns imposed to contain the coronavirus stoked expectations of healthier demand. - more

      Nickel in a Pickle! - The ability of the nickel market to excite investors and developers – only to then shoot itself in the foot – is second-to-none in the metal industry. - more

      Russia’s stainless steel output drops, imports rise in April - The Federal Service for State Statistics (Rosstat) data showed that Russia’s production of stainless steel decreased in April. - more

    Global Plug-In Electric Car Sales In April 2020 Down 30% - The decline of plug-in electric car sales in April was significant, but compared to the overall market, it was actually better than average. - more

      Merafe Resources shares leap 9% on acquisition of Unicorn Chrome stake - Merafe Resources closed 9.09 percent higher to close at 60c a share on Friday following  news that it had acquired a  20.5 percent stake in Unicorn Chrome from Glencore for R32.2 million. - more

      Courtesy AISI - In the week ending on May 30, 2020, domestic raw steel production was 1,206,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 53.8 percent. Production was 1,880,000 net tons in the week ending May 30, 2019 while the capability utilization then was 80.8 percent. The current week production represents a 35.9 percent decrease from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending May 30, 2020 is up 1.3 percent from the previous week ending May 23, 2020 when production was 1,191,000 net tons and the rate of capability utilization was 53.2 percent. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Stocks, Futures Advance With Crude; Dollar Slips: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

Monday, June 1

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Friday's trading session at $5.53/lb ($12,200/tonne). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.13/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses ended the month of May just under the 233,500 tonne level. For the month of May, nickel stockpiles in, LME warehouses rose by 2,784 tonnes. While the month saw prices see saw in a fairly wide band, nickel ended the last day of May $25/tonne lower than it ended the month of April. While history will show the month was a big yawner, those of us living it, know it was anything but. Nickel is trading higher this morning on positive Chinese PMI numbers. The markets, as well as the world, are being held hostage to a nearly invisible, yet deadly enemy, in the form of a microscopic virus. Pandemic was a word we rarely heard just a few months ago, and now, it guides our daily lives. The last month saw America, as well as other parts of the world, start to re-open, after being shut down for the past month to six weeks, in an attempt to slow the spread of covid-19, by putting parts of the world in seclusion. Here in the US, we ended the month of May averaging closer to 20,000 new cases a day, compared to 30,000 the two months prior. Things are slowly getting better, and the phrase of the month is likely to be 'cautious optimism'. If we may steal a toast from Colonel Potter, yet change it to reflect our situation, " Here's to the month of June. May she be a damn sight better than May, and may we all still be healthy when she's over."It's a new month and we welcome back Taunton Metals of Florida as our June sponsor. We invite you to visit their web site by clicking on their banner, and we thank them for their multi month sponsorship. Stay safe, and have a great week!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.50/lb (May average)
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper up on improving demand prospects - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • University of Michigan: Consumer Sentiment - more
  • Barchart 304 SS Scrap Index - $.218/lb

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
Coronavirus Recovery Tracker - more

Coronavirus started spreading in the U.S. in January, CDC says - more

Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

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

     Friday's market review - Copper climbs on demand hope, U.S.-China tensions weigh - Copper rose on Friday, on track for its second straight month of gains, as expectations of economic stimulus from top consumer China spurred buying, while mounting U.S-China tensions capped the upside. - more

      Stainless Steel Order Volumes Remain Low, amid Ongoing Pandemic - In the United States, buyers of stainless steel are purchasing minimal quantities, at present. - more
  • Global Stainless Steel Market Faces Protracted Recovery from Covid-19 - more
      Taiwan’s Walsin Lihwa & Yieh Hsing raise stainless steel wire rod prices for Jun - After Yieh United Steel Corp. (Yusco) hiked its stainless steel prices yesterday (May 28th), Walsin Lihwa and Yieh Hsing Enterprise Co., Ltd., two leading stainless steel wire rod producers in Taiwan, also announced to raise their prices for June, which have been hiked for two consecutive months. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Copper gets a warning the worst may be yet to come: Andy Home - more
  • How U.S. Congress is helping manufacturers survive the pandemic - more
  • U.S. Futures Drop on China Pausing Some Imports: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

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


May Archives


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




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