This page is archived news covering the period of June 2021
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Stainless Steel News and Nickel Prices

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Friday, June 18

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Thursday's trading session at $7.79/lb ($17,180/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.07/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Thursday and started today's session just over the 238,400 tonne level.  Nickel climbed in overnight trading, but is showing some weakness this morning. Shanghai markets stabilized and rose slightly as well overnight. USW workers are entering their fourth month on strike against Allegheny Technologies. Fitch has raised its nickel price forecast for 2021 to $7.48/lb. Quite a few articles below for your weekend reading, so with that said, we wish you a safe and relaxing weekend and stay safe out there.
  • Page sponsorship for July available - info at estainlesssteel.com
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $8.12/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - LME copper eyes worst week since March 2020 on China sale plan, Fed tone - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comment - more
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.3690
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) -  16,155
  • Moody's The Dot Plot Thickens - more
  • Sterling Monthly Global Markets Update June 2021 - 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 sinks to two-month low as dollar strengthens - Copper prices fell to their lowest in two months on Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reserve brought forward its expectations for raising interest rates, sending the dollar higher and sapping demand for metals. - more

      Universal Stainless Announces Base Price Increase - Universal Stainless & Alloy Products, Inc. today announced a base price increase of 3% to 10% on all bar products. - more

      Merafe press release - Shareholders of the Company are advised that the European benchmark ferrochrome price for the third quarter of 2021 has been settled at 156 US cents per pound, a rollover from the second quarter of 2021. - source

      Stainless production ramps up in US, Europe - The Brussels-based International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF), in a recap of national statistics, says stainless steel production increased globally by 24.7 percent in the first quarter of 2021 compared with the first quarter of 2020. - more

      China steelmaking ingredients rise on robust production demand - Prices of steelmaking raw materials in China rose on Thursday, buoyed by data showing a record monthly output of crude steel and as China said it sees room for further growth in demand. - more
  • China’s 316L stainless steel prices surge due to higher ferromolybdenum prices - more

      Fitch upgrades long-term nickel price forecast - The nickel price will remain on a gradual uptrend in the long term as the global market remains in deficit, prompting Fitch Solutions to upgrade its long-term nickel price outlook from $15,750 per tonne to $16,500 per tonne for 2021. - more

       Striking ATI Steelworkers Hold the Line for Premium-Free Health Insurance - Across the country, steelworkers at nine plants of Allegheny Technologies, Inc. have been on strike for the last 11 weeks. - more

      What could cause iron ore price to tumble - Calls to reintroduce a mining tax could signal the price of Australia’s most valuable export may have hit its peak, experts have warned. - more

      ExOne surpasses global delivery of 2 million metal parts, bolsters stainless steel part production with new systems - Binder jet 3D printer manufacturer ExOne has reached a milestone with its Metal 3D Printing Adoption Center, which has now delivered more than two million metal parts to its customers worldwide. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Nasdaq Futures Gain With Bonds on Reflation Reboot: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Stats and Prices

  • What time is it in....? - more
  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - online here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - online here
  • US Economy At a Glance - more
  • US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
  • COVID By The Numbers - here


Thursday, June 17

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Wednesday's trading session at $8.01/lb ($17,665/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.12/lb lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell by over 1000 tonnes on Wednesday and ended that session just over the 238,600 tonne level. Nickel traded quietly yesterday, but a stronger Dollar, has turned the commodity board nearly all red this morning. The Fed announced it could start cutting back on ZIRP 'by 2024', and with the possibility of withdrawal symptoms in the future, albeit far in the future, markets are turning to the fetal position for comfort. Here is the Federal Funds Rate over the last 62 years - Historical Chart. As you can see, it appears the American economy, since the recession of 2007, has become dependent on zero or near zero interest rates (ZIRP). Reuters is reporting China hit an all time record high in crude steel production in May, producing 99.45 million tonnes. Strikes continue at Vale in Canada and Allegheny here in the States. And we posted a group of articles discussing the port congestion problems in both China and here in the U.S. Finally, if you would like to vacation to Europe, the US was added to the safe travel list yesterday, meaning it will be easier to book your trip. And that is the news for this Thursday morning. Stay safe out there and have a great day!
  • Page sponsorship for July available - info at estainlesssteel.com
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $8.14/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Dollar strength sends copper to lowest in nearly two months - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comment - more
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.3696
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) -  16,160
  • Global stainless steel melt shop production from 2005 to 2020 - more
  • BIR publishes 12th Edition of “World Steel Recycling in Figures” - 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 rebounds as market shrugs off China stockpile plans - Copper prices bounced on Wednesday after touching their lowest in more than seven weeks as analysts said that China’s release of some of its metals stockpiles may be modest in copper. - more

      Six workers injured after fire at Indonesia's Weda Bay nickel smelter - A fire broke out at an Indonesian nickel smelting facility on Halmahera island, injuring six workers, who were evacuated and receiving intensive care, operator PT Indonesia Weda Bay Industrial Park (IWIP) said on Wednesday. - more
  • Indonesia warns about possible tsunami after earthquake - more
      New ‘Toxic 10’ List Outlines Worst Industrial Polluters in Allegheny County - The 10 biggest industrial polluters in Allegheny County released more toxic pollution into the air in 2019 than they did in previous years, according to a report PennEnvironment released Tuesday. - more
  • Allegheny Technologies to Cut 250 Jobs - more
      Vale announces first ore at Voisey’s Bay mine extension - Vale reaches milestone of first ore production on its Reid Brook deposit at the Voisey’s Bay mine expansion project in Northern Labrador, Canada - more

      Maersk warns Yantian port congestion a ‘much bigger disruption’ than Suez Canal closure - The world’s largest container line Maersk says that congestion and delays at Yantian port in South China are a much bigger disruption to its operations than the Ever Given blocking the Suez Canal in March this year. - more

  • US import boom hits new heights, with ships queuing to enter congested ports - more
  • Carriers 'feasting' on rates boom, oblivious to supply chain chaos around them - more
  • Out-of-Control Shipping Costs Fire Up Prices From Coffee to Toys - more
  • Why High Container Rates are Likely to Persist - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Faster world recovery boosting prices, but runaway inflation unlikely, says Fitch Ratings - more
  • U.S. Futures, European Stocks Drop; Dollar Climbs: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Stats and Prices

  • What time is it in....? - more
  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - online here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - online here
  • US Economy At a Glance - more
  • US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
  • COVID By The Numbers - here


Wednesday, June 16

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Tuesday's trading session at $7.99/lb ($17,607/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.03/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Tuesday and started today's session just over the 239,800 tonne level. After a day that saw nickel sink in the area of $900/tonne, traders appear to have sealed the hole in the hull - at least for the moment. Technical signals, the ones that said nickel was a buy on Monday, now are flashing sell, and once again, confirm their tendency to reflect what is already happening, and in doing so - predict what will happen with little accuracy. If a commodity or stock stays in a trend, then technicals will tend to be accurate. If they are volatile, like nickel tends to be, they are good for telling you what happened - yesterday. China finally sneezed and took some further measures to crack down on commodity speculation. You can read about their actions below. These changes were announced overnight, just hours after the market took its dive. Makes one wonder if the big boys were tipped off. It's hump day and the week and month are on, or will be on shortly, the down hill slide. Stay safe out there and have a great day!
  • Page sponsorship for July available - contact us
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $8.16/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - LME copper rebounds from sharp sell-off, but inflation weighs - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comment - more
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.3696
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) -  16,075
  • Manufacturing & Trade Inventories & Sales - pdf here
  •  Manufacturers Sales - more
  • Producer Price Index by Commodity: Steel Wire, Stainless Steel - more
  • Producer Price Index by Commodity: Corrugated Paperboard in Sheets and Rolls - more
  • Producer Price Index by Industry: Corrugated and Solid Fiber Box Manufacturing - more
  • Producer Price Index by Commodity: Steel Pipe and Tube, Stainless Steel - more
  • Producer Price Index by Commodity: Stainless and Other Alloy Steel Scrap - more
  • Producer Price Index by Commodity: Steel Wire, Stainless Steel - more
  • Producer Price Index by Commodity: Paperboard, Excluding Corrugated Paperboard - more
  • SFSA CaSteel Reporter - 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

     Tuesday's market review - Copper prices at 7-week low on Chinese crackdown fears - Copper prices dropped on Tuesday to their lowest since April 26, weighed down by investor fears over measures Chinese authorities could take to curb a recent price rally in commodities. - more

      China’s Campaign to Control Commodities Goes Into Overdrive - China has stepped up its campaign to rein in commodity prices and reduce speculation in a bid to ease the threat to its pandemic rebound from soaring raw material costs. - more

      Brazil's Vale says output begins at Reid Brook nickel deposit in Canada - Vale’s Voisey’s Bay nickel mine in Northern Labrador has started the production at its Reid Brook deposit, the Brazilian miner said in a securities filing on Tuesday. - more

      China May refined nickel output down 4.5% m/m - Antaike - China's refined nickel cathode output in May fell 4.5% from the prior month and slumped 10.8% year-on-year to 12,424 tonnes amid maintenance at top producer Jinchuan Group, state-backed research house Antaike said on Tuesday - more

      Volkswagen seeks partners for battery materials race - Volkswagen is in talks with suppliers to secure direct access to raw materials for electric vehicle (EV) batteries via partnerships, one of its board members told Reuters on Tuesday. - more

      US Wholesale Prices Up Record 6.6% Over Past Year - Wholesale prices, driven by rising food costs, increased 0.8% in May and by a unprecedented amount over the past year as the U.S. economy emerges from pandemic lockdowns and pushes inflation higher. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • The Scourge of the Mining Industry - more
  • U.S. Stock Futures Waver, Bonds Steady on FOMC Day: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Stats and Prices

  • What time is it in....? - more
  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - online here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - online here
  • US Economy At a Glance - more
  • US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
  • COVID By The Numbers - here


Tuesday, June 15

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Monday's trading session at $8.38/lb ($18,465/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.27/lb lower. Yeah - well below the $18,000/tonne level already this morning. Stockpiles grew slightly on Monday and ended that session just below the 240,500 tonne level. Base metals traders in general, and nickel in particular, are in a bad mood today - or have started booking some profits a few weeks before the end of the fiscal quarter. The tipping point might have been the fact Shanghai traders came back to work overnight and instead of following LME traders higher, they took nickel a little lower. We say little because it was nothing like the 3+% lowering nickel has experienced so far today. Couple of points to touch on this morning. First, if you are a buyer and purchase grease in large quantities for your facility, it might be worth talking to your supplier. The explosion at Chemtool in Illinois yesterday could potentially exacerbate any future shortages. Secondly, Andy Home of Reuters yesterday wrote a column titled "A nickel refinery tops U.S. battery metals wish list". We have linked to it below as well as to the pdf of the actual report. Andy states this recommendation was a surprise and we would like to second that. Does someone in our national security department worry our neighbor to the north might actually cut us off? We thought, in general, that America and Canada got along? There are a lot of minerals, especially critical, that our government should be worried about. Nickel? Not really a huge concern in our opinion. It's the day after Monday and nearing the mid point of the month. Stay safe out there and have a great day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $8.17/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper hits 7-week low as funds, traders cut long positions - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comment - more
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.3706
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) - 16,300

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 falls as market frets about demand, China curbs - Copper slipped on Monday as fears that top consumer China would take action to curb any further rises in prices of industrial metals and the notion of fundamentals overtaking prices sparked some selling. - more

      Column: A nickel refinery tops U.S. battery metals wish list - The United States government should invest in nickel refining capacity in coordination with its allies, according to the Biden Administration’s 100-day review of critical supply chains. - more  (100 day report - pdf here)

      Taiwan’s stainless steel manufacturers stay high turnover in May - According to the strong nickel price in the world, the stainless steel industry in Taiwan showed optimism in May. - more

      Members of Vale Sudbury nickel miners' union reject new offer - Members of a union representing striking workers from Vale SA's Sudbury, Canada, nickel mine have rejected the Brazilian company's latest offer, urging it to commit to "good-faith" talks to settle the strike. - more

  • Striking ATI Steelworkers Hold the Line for Premium-Free Health Insurance - more

      Courtesy AISI - In the week ending on June 12, 2021, domestic raw steel production was 1,834,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 82.6 percent. Production was 1,272,000 net tons in the week ending June 12, 2020 while the capability utilization then was 56.8 percent. The current week production represents a 44.2 percent increase from the same period in the previous year.  - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Treasuries Signal Calm Before FOMC; Futures Steady: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Stats and Prices

  • What time is it in....? - more
  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - online here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - online here
  • US Economy At a Glance - more
  • US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
  • COVID By The Numbers - here


Monday, June 14

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Friday's trading session at $8.27/lb ($18,235/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.08/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Friday and started this week just over the 240,200 tonne level. Nickel has now closed for three sessions above the $18,000/tonne level and typically, this would be a positive technical signal. But we have been here a few times over the past few months and technical signals have proved about as valuable as analyst forecasts. China markets were closed today (overnight) for their Dragon Boat Festival and will return to work tomorrow. Industry news remains subdued for the mid month. We should see some export/import numbers published sometime this week. Many people seem to be having a good 2021 so far, but if you are not one of them, there are only 200 days left until 2022. And there are 13 working days left in the first half of 2021. Stay safe out there and have a great week!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $8.15/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper falls as market frets about demand, China curbs - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comment - closed today
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.3641
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) -  closed today
  • constructsteel June constructsteel newsletter - more
  • United States Imports of Nickel April - 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 - Tin's ascent to decade highs fuelled by supply fears -  Tin prices rose to their highest in more than a decade on Friday as expectations of severe shortages due to supply and shipping disruptions created by COVID-19 restrictions fuelled another speculative buying frenzy. - more

      Japan has filed a complaint with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) over China's anti-dumping - Japan has filed a complaint with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) over China's anti-dumping duties (ADDs) on stainless steel products exports from Japan. - more

      Metal Shipments Increased Dramatically For 3rd Straight Month - Steel and aluminum shipments increased dramatically for the third straight month in the US and Canada in May. - more

    Samsung increases nickel content in NCA batteries - Samsung SDI has increased the nickel content in the cathodes of its battery cells with NCA (nickel-cobalt-aluminium oxide) chemistry for electric cars. This should not only increase the energy density, but also reduce the costs compared to cells with a higher cobalt content. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • NATO to toughen G7 message on China despite Beijing's cries of 'slander' - more
  • U.S. Futures Gain, Bond Rally Pauses as Fed Eyed: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Stats and Prices

  • What time is it in....? - more
  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - online here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - online here
  • US Economy At a Glance - more
  • US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
  • COVID By The Numbers - here


Friday, June 11

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Thursday's trading session at $8.29/lb  ($18,280/tonne). Indicators at 6:20 am CST today show nickel trading around $.04/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses broke a 17 session streak and rose on Thursday, starting today's session just over the 240,700 tonne level. LME nickel closed higher yesterday, keeping its head above the $18,000/tonne level, and so far this morning continues to climb. Traders appear to be betting more on the risk of shortages, than increasing prices due to inflationary pressures. Chinese ports are reporting massive backups, as the state tries to juggle record shipments against covid safety restrictions. They are reporting an increase in cases around one port, and as they have shown since the early days of the pandemic, they take the virus very serious. US ports are reporting record numbers of TEU's (20 foot equivalent shipping container) as well. Marketwatch published an article this morning called "Steel’s Massive Rally Is Hitting All Parts of the Global Economy". It's in the section "Other News" below and worth a read. The inflation numbers came in higher than expected, but if the market is reacting one way or the other, you wouldn't notice it. Slow news day to end the week. Stay safe out there and enjoy your weekend.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $8.13/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper rises on weaker dollar, aluminium jumps - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comment - more
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.3647
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) - 16,700
  • Current US Inflation Rate / Consumer CPI - more
  • Moody's Analytics Cost Push or Demand Pull - pdf here
  • Truck Tonnage - chart 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 falls on China's pledge to cool prices, low premiums - Copper prices fell on Thursday on signs of sluggish demand for the red metal from top metals consumer China and the country’s efforts to curb surging prices for base metals. - more

      Russia’s stainless steel output drops in first 4 months of this year - According to the official statistic from Russia, the total domestic output of stainless steel in the first four months of this year was 66,200 tons, which decreased by 5% year on year. - more

      Industrial Distribution's 74th Survey of Operations Report, Pt. 2 - See what our respondents had to say about their supplier relations, the value they provide, and employment, along with their comments. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Steel’s Massive Rally Is Hitting All Parts of the Global Economy - more
  • Port of Long Beach posts new record container volume in May - more
  • Stocks Extend Record, U.S. Treasuries Hold Steady: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Stats and Prices

  • What time is it in....? - more
  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - online here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - online here
  • US Economy At a Glance - more
  • US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
  • COVID By The Numbers - here


Thursday, June 10

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Wednesday's trading session at $8.22/lb ($18,130/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.11/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Wednesday and ended that session just over the 240,500 tonne level. Nickel climbed to close over the $18,000 tonne yesterday, and is now trading by the same margin below that level. It is starting to appear like the bulls are fighting to hold this level, rather than pass it. And while the bears are putting up a good fight, they have been unable to pull the market down for long. Whether you are bullish or bearish, the market has stalled, albeit with volatility intact. China continues to send traders menacing messages ( see here) and LME traders are following Shanghai overnight traders lower today. Today the market sees inflation numbers for May, and they might give an idea of how the Fed might react next week. Analysts expectation is at 4.7%. We think that will be low, but what do we know. The European Central Bank meeting is going on today as well. And next week, besides the Fed meeting, we have President Biden's meeting with the Russia President and Comrade Supreme Commander Putin. Lot of uncertainty in the markets, and traders hate uncertainty. It's Thursday and we are in the downhill slide. Stay safe out there and have a great day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $8.14/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper eases on fears of China price curbs - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comment - more
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.3653
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) -  16,170
  • Monthly Wholesale Trade - 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

     Wednesday's market review - Copper treads water as Chinese factory gate prices surge - Copper prices hovered below $10,000 a tonne on Wednesday as data showed Chinese factories were facing the fastest rises in the cost of input materials in 12 years and a Chinese government agency said it would step up monitoring of commodities markets. - more

      Column: London Metal Exchange ring will return, but for how long? - The shouting will resume on Sept. 6, when the nine ring-dealing members of the London Metal Exchange (LME) take their red leather seats after more than a year’s coronavirus-induced break. - more

      Metal prices are at a 9-year high. What’s driving them up? - Metal prices have increased by 72 percent relative to their pre-pandemic levels - reaching a nine-year high in May (in inflation adjusted terms), according to the International Monetary Fund, which said that the increase has been broad-based across industrial metals - copper is up 89 percent in May (year-over-year), iron ore is up 116 percent, and nickel is up 41 percent. - more

      AISI Releases May SIMA Imports Data - Based on the Commerce Department’s most recent Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis (SIMA) data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported today that steel import permit applications for the month of May totaled 2,621,000 net tons (NT)*. - more

      EU should promote moratorium on deep-sea mining, lawmakers say - The European Union should promote a moratorium on deep seabed mining until its effects on the environment are better understood and can be managed, the European Parliament said on Wednesday, adding to calls for a pause on the nascent industry. - more

      EPA: Proposed PolyMet mine ‘may affect’ downstream water quality - The federal Environmental Protection Agency has notified the Fond du Lac Band and the state of Wisconsin that the proposed PolyMet copper-nickel mine near Babbitt “may affect” downstream water quality. - more

      The Risk of Cargo Liquefaction - Some bulk cargoes can cause cargo liquefaction if the moisture content exceeds a certain level. Cargo liquefaction occurs when dry bulk cargoes with high moisture content start to behave like liquids when the ship is moving. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • US and EU to end for good Trump’s $18 billion tariff fight - more
  • Stocks, Bonds Steady Before Inflation Print, ECB: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Stats and Prices

  • What time is it in....? - more
  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - online here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - online here
  • US Economy At a Glance - more
  • US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
  • COVID By The Numbers - here


Wednesday, June 9

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Tuesday's trading session at $8.14/lb ($17,945/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.08/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Tuesday and started today's session just over the 241,250 tonne level. Nickel is trading back over the $18,000/tonne level this morning, with positive sentiment being assisted by a stronger trading Euro. Nickel is getting most of the attention from traders this morning, with the other base metals trading flat to slightly lower. The World Bank revised their forecast for  global growth in 2021 upward yesterday, and  the ISSF reported stainless steel production increased by nearly 25% in the first three months of this year. U.S. inflation numbers are out tomorrow, and European Central Bank meeting starts tomorrow as well, and the Fed meets next week - all catching the markets full attention. It's Wednesday. Be safe out there and have a great hump day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $8.13/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper steadies as Chinese producer inflation stokes price curb fears - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comment - more
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.3653
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) - 16,165
  • April 2021 Trade Gap is $68.9 Billion - more
  • Quarterly Financial Report - Manufacturing, Mining, Wholesale Trade, and Selected Service Industries - 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

     Tuesday's market review - Copper ticks higher, but vulnerable to further losses - Copper prices rose on Tuesday on optimism about economic recovery, but volumes were low and analysts cited the potential for more downside. - more

       Stainless steel production increases by 24.7% to 14.5 million tons in the first 3 months of 2021 – The International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF) has released figures for the first three months of 2021 showing that stainless steel melt shop production increased by 24.7% year–on–year to 14.5 million metric tons. - more

       What does China’s 14th Five-year Plan mean for nickel? - In 2021, China instigated its 14th Five-year Plan. Under the Plan, the country aims to move from an era of rapid economic growth towards improving its economic structure and the standard of living of the Chinese people. - more

       Miners should target smaller deposits for clean energy era -PwC - The world's biggest miners should consider developing smaller deposits to make the most of the commodities expected to be in demand during the transition to cleaner energy production, a report on Wednesday said. - more

       Inside the battle to own a prized nickel deposit in Ontario's remote Ring of Fire - Wyloo Metals, backed by an Australian iron ore magnate with deep pockets, is looking to buy Noront Resources for its prospective nickel as a carbon transition play  - more

  • Mayor welcomes good news from two local mining sector sources - more
  • Dollar Stalls, Yields Ease as Stocks Trade Mixed: Markets Wrap - more

   Other News

  Morning Stats and Prices

  • What time is it in....? - more
  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - online here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - online here
  • US Economy At a Glance - more
  • US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
  • COVID By The Numbers - here


Tuesday, June 8

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Monday's trading session at $8.11/lb ($17,890/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.02/lb lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses continued their downward trend on Monday, and started today just under the 241,400 tonne level. Nickel rebounded from earlier losses yesterday, but was unable to climb over the $18,000/tonne level. Down this morning, but markets appear to be quiet. May 2021 inflation numbers will be published on Thursday and until then, reporters are blaming it for every shift in prices, be it equity, commodity, or court ordered alimony. Higher inflation could force the Fed to back off on some of its market stimulus, and an addicted market is not looking forward to the withdrawal side effects. It's day two, week two, month six, of the 21st year of the 21st century. Stay safe out there today and make it a memorable one.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $8.14/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper ticks higher, but vulnerable to further losses - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comment - more
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.3665
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) -  15,850
  • Desjardin's Commodity Trends - pdf here
  • Recycling Today June 2021 - online here
  • The world's largest crude steel producers in 2020, by production volume - more
  • Nine problems of stainless steel welding - 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 slips on worries about Chinese demand after trade data - Copper prices eased on Monday as investors took fright from weaker than expected trade data from top consumer China showing lackluster demand. - more

      Indonesia says 3 nickel smelters to be completed and operational this year -  Indonesia aims for three nickel smelters to be completed and operational this year, an official at the country’s energy and natural resources ministry said on Tuesday, without specifying the capacity of the smelters. - more

      London Metal Exchange to decide fate of iconic open-outcry 'ring' - The London Metal Exchange will tell its members on Tuesday whether its iconic open outcry floor is to close for good, cementing the switch to electronic trading, a move strongly opposed by many of the exchange’s users. - more

      Courtesy AISI - In the week ending on June 5, 2021, domestic raw steel production was 1,840,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 82.3 percent. Production was 1,258,000 net tons in the week ending June 5, 2020 while the capability utilization then was 56.2 percent. The current week production represents a 46.3 percent increase from the same period in the previous year. - more

    Report: Tesla will change battery chemistry for Model Y in China - Tesla Model Y electric cars built in China will soon start using a new battery chemistry from LG Chem, according to South Korean newspaper Business Korea (via Electrek). - more

      Fastener Distributor Index Accelerates in May as Outlook Holds Near Record Level - Selling conditions remain very favorable, but some distributors are struggling to procure enough product to meet demand. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • China unveils new legal weapon to hit United States and other Western rivals with tougher sanctions - more
  • Treasuries, Dollar Advance Amid Inflation Caution: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Stats and Prices

  • What time is it in....? - more
  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - online here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - online here
  • US Economy At a Glance - more
  • US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
  • COVID By The Numbers - here


Monday, June 7

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Friday's trading session at $8.18/lb ($18,030/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.12/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Friday and ended the week just over the 242,000 tonne level. Once again, the $18,000/tonne level proved to put up enough resistance, that traders are backing off. This is the third time in the last month that nickel has punched thru this level, only to retreat sharply thereafter. The last retreat didn't stop until the $16,800/tonne range, the one prior not nearly as dramatic. So it will be interesting to see what happens this time, and if any pattern forms. Both strikes, Vale and Allegheny, are still active, and Allegheny has given the USW until 5 pm today to either accept its latest offer, or prepare for a less generous offer in the future. Indonesia is suffering a rebound in covid cases and its worth tracking, as they have become a major supplier to the word of nickel and stainless steel. In fact, the analysts say Indonesia will become the world's second large supplier of stainless steel this year, bumping India to number three. It's Monday - a new week loaded with new opportunities. Stay safe out there and ave a great day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $8.18/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - London copper eases as China exports data fans demand concerns - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comment - more
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.3526
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) -  15,850
  • Global Economic Indicators:Global Manufacturing PMIs - pdf here
  • World Steel in Figures 2021 - pdf here
  • Manufacturers' Shipments, Inventories, and Orders - pdf here
  • US Durable Goods Orders & Shipments - pdf here
  • World Bank Commodities Price Data - pdf here
  • Kedia Base Metal Advisory - pdf here
  • Weekly Ship Recycling Report - pdf here
  • Jindall Stainless Ltd Presentation - pdf here
  • Talon Metals Tamarack Nickel Project Presentation - pdf here
  • Fastener Distributor Index May 2021 - 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

     Friday's market review - Copper rebounds on bargain hunting and U.S. jobs data - Copper prices rebounded on Friday as investors bought in at lower prices after heavy losses the previous day, driven by concerns that strong U.S. economic data could spur tighter monetary policy. - more

      Global Steel Production: China Blows the Socks off the Rest of the World, US Production Plunges - China produced 57% of global crude steel, turned nearly all into finished steel products that it exported or used in domestic manufacturing and construction. The annual steel report is out. - more
  • World Steel in Figures 2021 now available - more
  • China's crude stainless steel output slides in May m-o-m - more
      As Vale Inco nickel miners’ walkout in Ontario prepares to enter second week, critical lessons posed by 2009-10 strike - A few hours after the beginning of the strike at the Vale Inco nickel mining complex in Sudbury, Ontario, last Tuesday, company security called police on picketing miners. - more

      Mining in the Pacific: a blessing and a curse - Mining is big business in the Pacific. Guardian analysis of trade data can reveal that each year nearly 11m tonnes of fuel and oil (the equivalent of 1100 Eiffel towers) are extracted from the region, 2m tonnes of copper, nickel, manganese and aluminium are mined, and gold worth US$2.6bn is quarried. - more

      Here's Where Industrial Distributors, Suppliers Landed on the 2021 Fortune 500 - See how far major industrial distributors and manufacturers moved up or down the annual who's who of corporations. - more

  • Employee Background Checks: Beyond Ban-The-Box - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • The Modern China-Russia-US Triangle - more
  • U.S. Futures Fall With Inflation, Tax Plan in View: Markets Wrap - pdf here

  Morning Stats and Prices

  • What time is it in....? - more
  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - online here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - online here
  • US Economy At a Glance - more
  • US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
  • COVID By The Numbers - here


Friday, June 4

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Thursday's trading session at $8.10/lb ($17,865/tonne). Indicators at 6:35 am CST today show nickel trading around $.05/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME approved warehouses fell on Thursday and ended that session just under the 242,600 tonne level. All eyes are on the employment numbers being released in the U.S. today, with positive numbers all but assuring traders the Fed will begin to pull back on some of its stimulus measures. As we have stated before, the markets have become addicted to the Fed's generosity, and even in the face of much higher inflation than the Fed likes, we suspect any "pull back" on the free money, will be in baby steps. Russia announced Norilsk's second mine closed by floods, has reopened and is operational. Russia also announced they will sell their first batch of carbon neutral nickel later this year. It would be interesting to hear how they mined, shipped and refined nickel, and somehow maintained a carbon neutral status. After a shortened week for many of us, it's already Friday. Stay safe out there and have a great weekend!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $8.20/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper rebounds on bargain hunting after steep fall - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comment - more
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.3533
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) -  15,890
  • Moody's Fed Walks the Tightrope - pdf here
  • ISM Report On Business® Roundup: May Services PMI - 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 plunges below $10,000 as U.S. jobs data knocks markets - Copper and other industrial metal prices dived to five-week lows on Thursday as strong U.S. jobs data fueled concerns that monetary policy could tighten, knocking growth-related assets. - more

      Indonesia's nickel boom is a win for resource nationalism: Andy Home -  Indonesia has emerged as the world's dominant producer of nickel over the last 10 years. Mined production last year was 771,000 tonnes, twice as much as the world's second largest producer the Philippines and accounting for almost a third of global output, according to the International Nickel Study Group (INSG).- more
  • Indonesia to surpass Japan & India, becoming second-largest stainless steel producer in the world - more
      Commodity Firms Race To Hire Metal Traders - Amid booming demand for key metals in the energy transition, the world’s largest commodity traders, as well as some hedge funds, are racing to hire metals traders to capitalize on the demand for critical minerals, Reuters reported on Wednesday, quoting sources with direct knowledge of the hiring spree. - more

      DENR conducts inventory of idle mining assets - The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), through the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), has started conducting an inventory of the government’s idle mining assets in preparation for their sale or re-operation supposedly to augment funds for pandemic response. - more

      Russia's Nornickel resumes mining at second mine after flooding - Russian metals producer Nornickel GMKN.MM has resumed ore mining at the second of its two mines hit by flooding this year, it said on Friday. - more

  • Russian Norilsk Nickel to release the first batch of carbon-neutral nickel this year - more

      Rebuilding the might of the domestic metal supply chain - As metal fabricators try to stay on top of increased business opportunities, they might find it hard to believe that metals manufacturing is nowhere near the levels it was in the years leading up to the Great Recession. - more

      Industrial Distribution's 74th Survey of Operations Report, Pt. 2 - See what our respondents had to say about their supplier relations, the value they provide, and employment, along with their comments. - more

  • ID Editorial: Have We Reached the Other Side? - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • U.S. Futures, Stocks Steady Ahead of Payrolls Data: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Stats and Prices

  • What time is it in....? - more
  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - online here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - online here
  • US Economy At a Glance - more
  • US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
  • COVID By The Numbers - here


Thursday, June 3

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Wednesday's trading session at $8.26/lb ($18,205/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.04/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Wednesday and started today just under the 243,200 tonne level.  Cancelled warrants are moving slowly lower, somewhat unusual to see as we watch inventory levels drop as well.  We were seeing figures in the 28% range in mid May, today they are reporting under 25%.  New Caledonia will vote on an independence referendum for a third time in December. We will cover this more as it gets closer, as it could potentially have an effect on nickel production from that country. In two former votes, the majority of the citizens voted to stay part of France. The Philippines have apparently tired of watching Indonesia grabbing up EV battery manufacturing, and want to attract some investment as well. Strikes at Inco in Canada and Allegheny here in the states continue. If your company uses chlorine for any reason, you should have your purchasing department talk to their suppliers today. Chlorine tablets were already scarce, but Westlake Chemical declared force majeure yesterday, after a plant in West Virginia was forced to shut down. It seems everything is in short supply these days, but some appear worse than others, and anyone declaring they will be unable to meet commitments, is really throwing a monkey wrench into the works. And if you can find it, you have to pay more to get it to your location, due to higher fuel costs and driver shortages. Frustrating, but still better than a recession. It's the day before Friday, so stay safe and have a great day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $8.23/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper edges lower as weak Chinese demand weighs - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comment - more
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.3541
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) -  16,260
  • Fed Beige Book - pdf here
  • Pancon Resources Report June 2021 - pdf here
  • Australia's Global Resources Statement - 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

     Wednesday's market review - Copper dips on strong dollar and low Chinese demand - Copper edged lower on Wednesday as investors took some money off the table over worries about a dip in demand from top consumer China while a firmer dollar also sapped the metal’s appeal. - more

       BIR World Recycling Convention - Stainless Steel & Special Alloys Committee: Electric vehicle battery market to drive nickel use growth - The outlook for scrap in a shifting nickel-use landscape occupied much of the discussion at the latest online meeting of the BIR Stainless Steel & Special Alloys Committee, hosted yesterday by its Chairman Joost van Kleef of Netherlands-based Oryx Stainless BV. - more
  • Stainless steel, EV batteries to drive nickel unit demand: panel - more
       Shortages continue to drive up EU stainless steel prices - Limited availability continues to propel European stainless steel prices on an upward trajectory. - more

       Philippines to develop home grown batteries for EVs - An effort to develop local battery technology for electric vehicles (EV) and renewable energy industries in the Philippines will receive over 142 million pesos (RM12.2 million) in funding over the next three years. - more

      Take ID's Survey to See How Your Salary & Benefits Compare With Peers - It's time for ID's annual Salary Survey! The resulting report shares how salary & compensation figures compare across different industrial distribution job titles. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Stocks, Futures Slip as Traders Weigh China, Fed: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Stats and Prices

  • What time is it in....? - more
  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - online here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - online here
  • US Economy At a Glance - more
  • US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
  • COVID By The Numbers - here


Wednesday, June 2

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Tuesday's trading session at $8.21/lb ($18,110/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.07/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell sharply on Tuesday and started today just over the 243,600 tonne level. Nickel closed above the $18,000/tonne for a second straight session, which typically would send a bullish technical signal, but this level has given nickel bulls a little trouble in the past few months. The big news is the calling of a strike against Vale Inco in Canada, and the response by Vale, to suspend operations at the mine. This will have an adverse effect on future nickel supply, the very day, LME nickel supplies were reported to have gone negative for the year. Based on this particular union's history, don't expect any announcements of an agreement any time soon. Speaking of strikes, according to at least one web site, USW has softened its stance against Allegheny (article here). It's on the web so it must be true, right? Average U.S. prices for May compared to April - nickel - rose from $7.48/lb to $7.99/lb, molybdenum - rose from $11.26/lb to $13.18/lb, chromium - rose from $3.53/lb to $3.55/lb, iron flat at $1.04/lb. And that partially explains why your 300 series stainless steel prices rose this month. Thanks to the holiday break, it's already Wednesday. Stay safe and have a great hump day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $8.23/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper eases on weak China demand, stronger dollar - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comment - more
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.3541
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) -  16,265
  • Global Manufacturing PMIs - pdf here
  • Report On Business Roundup: May Manufacturing PMI - more
  • US Economic Update – May 2021 - 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

     Tuesday's market review - Copper down on low China demand despite upbeat factory data - Copper prices gave up some gains on Tuesday in choppy trade as lower physical demand in top consumer China offset upbeat manufacturing activity in major economies and supply concerns. - more

      Brazilian miner Vale to suspend Sudbury ops after failed labor talks  - Brazilian miner Vale said in a securities filing on Tuesday it will suspend operations at its Sudbury, Canada nickel mine, after its proposal for a five-year contract was rejected by the United Steelworkers union. - more
  • Vale workers in Sudbury reject contract offer, strike for 1st time in over a decade - more
      Taiwan’s Tang Eng raises stainless steel prices for Jun - Tang Eng Iron Works Co., Ltd., one of the main stainless steel manufacturers in Taiwan, announced to raise its new stainless steel prices for May yesterday (May 31), following Yieh United Steel Corp. (Yusco)’s price hike. - more

    Tesla to buy more than $1 bln of Australian battery minerals a year - Tesla said it expects to spend more than $1 billion a year on battery raw materials from Australia given the country's reliable mining industry and responsible production practices. - more
  • Indonesia On Track To Dominate The Supply Of Nickel To Make Batteries - more

      Courtesy AISI - In the week ending on May 29, 2021, domestic raw steel production was 1,836,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 81.5 percent. Production was 1,223,000 net tons in the week ending May 29, 2020 while the capability utilization then was 54.6 percent. The current week production represents a 50.1 percent increase from the same period in the previous year. - more

      Industrial Distribution's 74th Survey of Operations Report, Pt. 1 - See what our respondents had to say about their demographics, primary concerns, technology & e-commerce usage, and balance sheet. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Europe Stocks Rise as Futures Drift; Dollar Gains: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Stats and Prices

  • What time is it in....? - more
  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - online here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - online here
  • US Economy At a Glance - more
  • US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
  • COVID By The Numbers - here


Tuesday, June 1

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Friday's trading session at $8.22/lb ($18,125/tonne) and London markets were closed Monday for Spring Bank Holiday. Indicators at 6:05 am CST today show nickel trading around $.06/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Friday and started the month just over the 246,400 tonne level. For the first five months of 2021, we were in a surplus situation, with nickel stockpiles measuring above where we had started the year. The month of May begins with us in the negative for the first time in years, with 2020 ending with 246,708 tonnes of nickel in LME monitored warehouses. With this fundamental actually supporting the bull market, that began in March of last year, it would not seem likely the bear will gain much traction, until these numbers go positive again. In other words, if your a stainless steel producer or user, buckle up. Nickel moved back above $18,000/tonne on Friday, which in the past has proven to be a line of resistance, nickel traders could not breech for any period of time. With this inventory news, it is possible they might be more successful this time. We have no idea, of course, but its worth considering if you are making long term plans. When it comes to base metals, copper is king and what economists have watched for years to gauge the health of the economy. Here are some figures we found interesting. On August 1st, 2019, tin traded at $16,282/tonne, while nickel traded at $17,900/tonne. By March 1, 2020, tin was trading at $14,560, while nickel was trading at $11,470/tonne. Friday, tin was trading at $30,950/tonne, while nickel was trading at $18,137/tonne. During these same periods, copper was trading at $5,652/tonne, $4,927/tonne, and $10,275/tonne. While one could immediately say the numbers since March of last year show nickel is not experiencing quite the degree of bullishness that copper and tin are, in our opinion, if you add 2019 to the equation, it also reflects the overall volatility of nickel over time. That said, today, is a new day and nickel remains bullish. It's also a new month. Month six, and the final month of the second quarter and the last month of the first half of 2021. Seriously? We welcome back RHS Stainless, as our June sponsor. As a distributor of stainless steel bar based in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, we thank them for their support and encourage you to visit their site to see if they can help you with your stainless steel requirements. Stay safe out there and have a great Tuesday!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $7.99/lb (average for May)
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper rises on global demand recovery, supply worries - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comment - more
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.3553/lb
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) -  16,440
  •  Industrial Production: Manufacturing: Durable Goods: Raw Steel - more
  • Advance Monthly Wholesale Inventories - pdf here
  • University of Michigan: Consumer Sentiment - more
  • US Personal Income and Outlays, April 2021 - 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 claws higher on hopes for wave of U.S. spending - Copper prices rebounded on Friday as investors bet that U.S spending plans on infrastructure would fuel shortages, shrugging aside worries about weak Chinese demand. - more

      Metals and mining global outlook for second half of 2021 to remain bullish: Platts - The near-term outlook for the mining industry remains strong as pent-up demand will emerge after the pandemic panic settles down in the second half of this year, predicts S&P Global Platts. “Gold prices are expected to remain elevated. - more

      All-time high forecast for global crude stainless steel production in 2021 - After the production slump recorded last year, global crude stainless steel output is predicted to rebound strongly, to 55 million tonnes, in 2021. - more

      Provisional anti-dumping duties on India and Indonesia stainless steel imports an important first step, says EUROFER - The European Commission has confirmed imports of stainless steel from India and Indonesia were sold at dumped prices. - more
  • Case AD670 - Stainless Steel Cold-Rolled products (SSCR) - more
      Spike in iron ore export, largely to China, has made the lives of Indian steel makers miserable - In the first four months (January-April), iron ore exports from India increased by 66 per cent to 22.42 million tonne (MT). About 90 per cent of the export goes to China - more

      Australia's Wyloo promises metals hub in bid for Canada's Noront - Australian mining billionaire Andrew Forrest’s Wyloo Metals on Monday said it would develop a “future metals hub” and study battery material production in Canada as it seeks to clinch a takeover of nickel-copper miner Noront Resources. - more

      Mark Selby lays out the big picture for a stainless steel industry in Timmins - Canada Nickel CEO says base metal project capable of generating downstream processing possibilities  - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Stocks, Futures Rise on Positive Data; Oil Jumps: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Stats and Prices

  • What time is it in....? - more
  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - online here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - online here
  • US Economy At a Glance - more
  • US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
  • COVID By The Numbers - here



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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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