This page is archived news covering the period from March 1, 2006 to March 31, 2006.
If you are looking for current daily market news, please visit this page.

Daily Nickel Market Prices

March 2006

(Nickel prices are followed here daily as they are responsible for up to 60% of the cost of stainless steel)
(Molybdenum prices are for molybdenum oxide, a major price factor in 316 stainless)

(all ton listings are metric tons = 2204.6 pounds - what we use to determine closing - see bottom of page)

3-31

LME nickel, at $6.89/lb,  ends the day, as did all metals, in the negative as fund investors consolidate their portfolio's for the quarter end.
*    LME nickel inventory - plus 222 tons = 32,826 tons

3-30

Dollar down, nickel up on heels of copper - nickel closed at $7.01/lb.
*    International Stainless Steel Forum announced that world stainless crude steel production declined by 1% in 2005 for the first time since 2001.
*    LME nickel inventory - plus 66 tons = 32,604 tons

3-29

LME nickel ends the day at $6.83/lb.
*    Anglo American Plc considers plans to invest $3.9 billion in various mining projects, of which nickel in included.
*    Federal Reserve raises interest rates for 15th straight time to 4.75% and hints the 16th increase to 5% will come in May.
*    Taiwan stainless steel wire producers announce price increase for April - approximately 17% increase since January. This follows news that other worldwide stainles steel producers have increased prices.
*    LME nickel inventory - plus 204 tons = 32,538 tons

3-28

Nickel ends the day at $6.89/lb.
*   LME nickel inventory - minus 66 tons = 32,334 tons

3-27

LME nickel ended the day above $15M ton, at $6.92/lb. Copper set a new high on strike threats out of Zambia, and zinc set a new record high.
*    LME nickel inventory - plus 150 tons = 32,400 tons

3-24

The metals market leaned bullish today, with all metals, except nickel, on the upside. Nickel closed at $6.89/lb.
*    JP Morgan told Reuters that they see a recovery in world steel prices in 2006, but also stated nickel prices had been inflated by fund buying and "does not deserve to join in the recovery in the stainless steel market...."
*    Shangxiang Minmetals president, George Song, told delegates at the Metal Bulletin's 7th annual Asian ferroalloys conference that China may become a net importer of molybdenum within the next 5 years.
*    LME nickel invetory - minus 570 tons = 32,250 tons

3-23

LME nickel ended the day at $6.95/lb - a 3 week high.
*    LME nickel inventory - minus 66 tons = 32,820 tons

3-22

LME nickel ended the day at $6.75/lb, possibly on the coat tails of zinc, which hit a new record high.
*    LME nickel inventory - minus 882 tons = 32,886 tons

3-21

LME nickel ends the day at $6.69/lb.
*   LME nickel inventory - plus 228 tons = 33,768 tons

3-20

LME nickel ends the day at $6.71/lb
*   LME nickel inventory - minus 276 tons = 33,540 tons.

3-17

LME nickel ended the day at $6.76/lb. Without any disruption in supply, and the stainless market sending mixed signals, traders seem to have no real direction, letting other factors like interest rates and the value of the dollar guide the market.
*    LME nickel inventory - minus 336 tons = 33,816 tons

3-16

LME nickel ended the day at $6.71/lb.
*    LME nickel inventory - minus 114 tons = 34,152 tons

3-15

LME nickel trading remains in neutral, closing at $6.75/lb.
*   LME nickel inventory - minus 24 tons = 34,266 tons

3-14

While other metals drew some interest from the fund markets today, nickel closed unchanged at $6.74/lb.
*    Japan's largest stainless steel producer, Nippon Steel, raises 304 stainless prices for 3rd consecutive month.
*    LME nickel inventory - plus 120 tons  = 34,290 tons

3-13

LME nickel neds the day at $6.74/lb.
*    LME nickel inventory - minus 198 tons = 34,170 tons

3-10

LME nickel ends the day and week at $6.76/lb.
*    For those of you who buy stainless sheet, an interesting article about what is happening and why here
*    LME nickel inventory - minus 426 tons = 34,368 tons

3-9



LME nickel closed at $6.71/lb, a little surprising considering the large overnight increase in  LME warehouse inventory.
*    LME nickel inventory - plus 750 tons = 34,794 tons

3-8

LME nickel closes at $6.67/lb, as funds continue to sell.
*    Swiss based Xstrata to make counter offer for Falconbridge, which has agreed to sell to Inco.
*    LME nickel inventory - plus 84 tons = 34,044 tons

3-7

LME nickel ended the day at $6.74/lb.
*    Allegheny Ludlum announces 3% increase in 200, 300 and 400 series stainless effective 3/20
*    LME nickel inventory - minus 294 tons = 33,960 tons

3-6

LME nickel ended the day at $6.84/lb.
*   Stainless steel fastener importers, who had seen signs of a slight decline in prices over the last few months, had a big shock late last week, with prices bouncing back up.
*   Citigroup Metals Prospect - 52 page report here
*   Nickel pricing is expected to stay strong, or possibly rise, in the coming weeks, as customers stock up in anticipation of a possible strike at Inco's Sudbury mine at the end of May. The last time these two negotiated (Inco and the USW at Sudbury), it ended after a 4 month strike had paralyzed production. May is always a dicey month with nickel deliveries as Norilsk shipments are usually blocked due to annual flooding. USW News
*   LME nickel inventory - plus 36 tons = 34,254 tons

3-3

LME nickel ends the day at $6.87/lb.
*   European and Japanese mills announce price increases on 304 series stainless product.
*   LME nickel inventory - minus 510 tons = 34,218 tons. (this would partially explain yesterday's increase in price)

3-2

LME nickel closed at $6.93/lb.
*    Yieh is reporting Taiwan stainless wire increased approx 6%. This will effect fastener prices. 
*    Imported steel on the rise again.
*    AK Steel raises prices on some stainless items by 3% effective 3/19. NAS announced the same yesterday, efective 4/1.
*    LME nickel inventory - plus 42 tons = 34,728 tons

3-1

LME nickel ends the day at $6.74/lb.
*    Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics has made the follwoing nickel price forecast. 2006 - average $6.22/lb. 2007 - $5.67/lb. 2008 - forecasting a steep drop to $3.31/lb by 2011
*    Merrill Lynch raises its price forecasts for copper, zinc, nickel and aluminium
*    LME nickel inventory - minus 102 tons = 34,686 tons


Nickel (average annual price) Molybdenum (average annual price)
2001 $2.70/lb $2.36/lb
2002 $3.07/lb $3.59/lb
2003 $4.37/lb $5.21/lb
2004 $6.28/lb $15.92/lb
2005 $6.69/lb $32.51/lb
2005 - average price of ferrochrome - $.74/lb



Closing price - you may notice different sites giving different "closing" costs. Iuse the price LME uses, which Joanna James at the Global FX Desk graciously explained, is the settlement price for 3 months nickel after the 2nd ring close offer. LME shows on their site the closing price taken after the last kerb.

Every effort is made to provide factual information in a timely manner as a convenience to the reader. Any opinion given on this web site is just that - a mere opinion, and the author is not responsible for any action taken based off that opinion. Multiple sources are used for obtaining this info and there is no guarantee of its accuracy. Any reproduction without written permission from the author is prohibited.

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