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Stainless Steel News and Nickel Prices

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Wednesday, March 31

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Tuesday's trading session at $7.23/lb ($15,930/tonne). Indicators at 6:05 am CST today show nickel trading around $.08/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Tuesday and started just over the 260,200 tonne level. Nickel closed below the $16,000/tonne level and more importantly, the 200 day moving average on Tuesday The bulls are apparently very worried about a second close below these two levels today, and nickel is trading above the 200 day moving average at the moment. But just barely. In stainless steel news here in the U.S., United Steelworkers called a strike against Allegheny Technologies, and hit the bricks about an hour after we published yesterday. If this lasts any length of time, it is going to exacerbate an already tight market, and will do nothing to stabilize pricing for the foreseeable future. It's the last day of March, and the end of the first quarter of 2021. We hope it was a profitable quarter for you, and the next three months offer you a new opportunity. We also want to thank our March sponsors, P.A. Inc and ELG Metals Inc. Their support brought the daily news to you free in March. It's also hump day, so please stay safe out there and have a great day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $7.47/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Pandemic, firm dollar set LME copper for first monthly fall in 1 year - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comment - more
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.3779
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) -  14,440
  • Manufacturing Engineering Magazine April 2021 - online here
  • Polymet Investor Presentation - 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 - Dollar, inventories weigh on copper prices - Copper prices fell on Tuesday as a firmer dollar and higher inventories triggered a bout of selling while the market looked ahead to surveys of manufacturers in top consumer China. - more

      United Steelworkers Go On Strike At Nine Allegheny Technologies Facilities -  Approximately 1,300 workers at Allegheny Technologies have gone on strike as of Tuesday morning. They hit the picket lines demanding a better contract and better conditions. - more

      Regional stainless steel flat product prices reach multi-year highs - Global stainless steel prices continued to strengthen in early March, most notably for 300 series coil and sheet. - more

      Why nickel prices are holding up compared to other base metals - Nickel prices are holding up even as other base metals like copper are having a price rout. Meanwhile, shifting electric car demand is changing demand for metals. Paul Bagnell discusses to Ken Hoffman, senior expert of basic materials practice at McKinsey & Company. - more

      Google, BMW, Volvo, and Samsung SDI sign up to WWF call for temporary ban on deep-sea mining  - Google, BMW, Volvo and Samsung SDI are the first global companies to have signed up to a World Wildlife Fund (WWF) call for a moratorium on deep-sea mining, the WWF said on Wednesday. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Yields Gain as Traders Absorb Biden Spending Plan: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - online here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - online here
  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Tuesday, March 30

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Monday's trading session at $7.36/lb ($16,230/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.03/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell  on Monday and ended that session just under the 260,600 tonne level. Nickel fell back into trading within a $300/tonne range yesterday, maintaining itself above the 200 day moving average. Today could be much of the same with another mine opening in Australia, and the Euro continuing to fall against the U.S. Dollar, adding negative pressure. Stainless steel prices in China continue to recover from an early month dip, and considering the stability in nickel prices, the price appears to have more to do with demand, than the hike in ferrochrome pricing. Imports into the country of stainless steel, are way up over last year as well. Another day with little news, but the first of the month typically brings a rash of reports, so it may get better by weeks end. Stay safe out there and have a great day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $7.58/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper falls as U.S. tax hike threats outweigh demand prospects from China - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comment - more
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.3781
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) -  14,735
  • Industrial Distribution - online 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

     Monday's market review - Copper slides as ship blocking Suez refloated - Copper prices slid on Monday as worries about higher freight costs receded after a container ship blocking traffic in the Suez Canal was refloated, while a stronger dollar reinforced negative sentiment. - more

      Indonesia says Australia's Fortescue, China's steel giant Tsingshan in talks for Borneo investments  - Indonesia is in talks with China's Tsingshan Holding Group and Australia's Fortescue Metals Group FMG.AX to build a new industrial estate for metal smelting near a planned hydropower plant on Borneo island, a minister said on Tuesday. - more

      Mincor opens Cassini Nickel Mine in Kambalda - Mincor Resources NL has announced the official opening of the Cassini Nickel Mine, the cornerstone of its Kambalda Nickel Operations in Western Australia, marking a key milestone in its journey to commence nickel production early next year. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Treasury Yields Rise With Biden Spending in Focus: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - online here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - online here
  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Monday, March 29

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Friday's trading session at $7.42/lb ($16,350/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 Friday and started the week just over the 261,000 tonne level. Considering the news today, we are surprised nickel isn't trading lower than it is at the moment.  US Dollar is trading higher, Ambatovy reopened,  Norilsk stopped the water flowing into two of their mines, and the cargo ship blocking the Suez has been refloated. From a supply standpoint, all of this should help bring up the nickel inventory numbers in the future, which, for LME licensed warehouses, are about 13,000 tonnes higher in the first quarter of the year. Traders could be closing out their books for the month and quarter, with only three days left, and if so, the stalled market will extend itself. Since the big drops of March 3rd and 4th, nickel has traded from a low of 15,665/tonne to a high of 16,685/tonne, with much of that trading taking place in a much tighter spread. It's Monday, with April right around the corner. Stay safe out there and have a great week! 
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $7.48/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper slides as ship blocking Suez partially refloated - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comment - more
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.3744
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) -  14,505
  • US Industrial Production - pdf here
  • USGS Mineral Industry Surveys Chromium Jan 2021 - pdf here
  • Advance U.S. International Trade in Goods - pdf here
  • University of Michigan: Consumer Sentiment - more
  • Australia Resources and Energy Quarterly: March 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 - Suez blockage boosts copper, new coronavirus lockdowns weigh - Copper prices rose on Friday as the market worried about the cost repercussions for transporting industrial metals following the blockage in the Suez Canal, but new coronavirus lockdowns and the slow pace of vaccinations in the euro zone capped gains. - more

     Commodities in upside pressure push, not supercycle: analysts, economists say -  Commodities including metals aren't experiencing a supercycle, but a short period of upside price pressure backed by pandemic-driven government stimulus, analysts and economists said in a series of commodities webinars this week. - more

      The Moly Mystery. Why Is China Soaking Up The World’s Molybdenum? - Somewhere in China there is a warehouse stuffed to the ceiling with molybdenum, a tongue-twister metal which most people call moly and which has a number of interesting uses ranging from oil drilling pipe to the steel used in armaments. - more

      Madagascar’ focused Ambatovy restarts nickel production - Madagascan nickel and cobalt producer Ambatovy has restarted nickel production after a one-year stoppage, with the company announcing in a March 26 LinkedIn post that it had produced its first 99.9% nickel briquettes on March 23. - more

      Russia's Nornickel halts water inflow at two major mines - Russian metals producer Nornickel said on Monday it had stopped water flowing into its two major mines in the Siberian Arctic and both were on track to fully resume production in coming months. - more

      Colombia coal production fell 40% last year amid coronavirus, strike - Colombia’s production of coal fell 40% last year, the government said on Friday, after a national coronavirus lockdown which affected output and a 91-day strike at a major mine. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Fitch expects copper rally to weaken - more
  • U.S. Futures Fall as Block Trades Rattle Nerves: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - online here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - online here
  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Friday, March 26

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Thursday's trading session at $7.33/lb ($16,150/tonne). Indicators at 6:35 am CST today show nickel trading around $.08/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Thursday and started today's session just over the 260,900 tonne level. Shanghai nickel jumped nearly 2% overnight, and LME nickel traders appear to be taking the bait. Unable to find any reasoning behind the move, but we rarely do. Shanghai nickel stockpiles fell overnight, but following this once a week number is kind of like the story of Jesus feeding the masses with five loaves of bread and two fishes. The figures released weekly seem to go down every Friday, but never really go anywhere. And we don't honestly remember ever seeing them increase. LME nickel traded between $15,945 and $16,235/tonne yesterday, once again staying around the $300/tonne up and down range. The official cash price yesterday posted below the $16,000.tonne level for the first time since last Thursday. If you have product shipping thru the Suez Canal, expect delays, and if they can re-route your shipment around the blockage, expect a big increase in shipping rates. Canada is making it harder for foreign ownership of their mineral deposits, as they have watched some of their biggest name mining companies being taken over by foreign companies. Inco and Falconbridge come to mind immediately in the nickel industry. It's Friday, the last for this quarter. Stay safe out there and have a great weekend!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $7.49/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - London copper rises on optimism around global economic recovery - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comment - more
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.3745
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) -  14,510
  • MINE Issue 103 | April 2021 - more
  • Manufacturing Outlook for March 2021 - online here
  • U.S. Imports for Consumption of Steel Products February 2021 (Preliminary) - pdf here
  • Gross Domestic Product (Third Estimate), Corporate Profits, and GDP by Industry, Fourth Quarter and Year 2020 - 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 falls to near 3-week low on China demand worries, firm dollar - Copper prices slid to their lowest in nearly three weeks on Thursday on a buoyant dollar and concern about demand in top metals consumer China. - more

      Canada tightens takeover rules for critical minerals - Canada has tightened foreign investment rules to protect the security of critical mineral supply chains, a government spokesperson said on Thursday, ahead of an expected surge in demand for metals used to make electric vehicles. - more

      Metals prices at multi-year highs as supply plays catch-up with demand recovery  - Participants holding material in the current bull run metals market probably feel a bit like Bitcoin investors lately. - more

       Japan UEX's stainless steel sales slide in Apr-Dec 2020 y-o-y - According to the consolidated sales performance report released by UEX, Ltd., a Japan-based stainless steel distributor, in the first three quarters of the fiscal year 2020 (April-December 2020), the firm’s sales dropped by 13.6% year on year to roughly 36.47 billion yen due to declined demand and sales. - more

       A year after pandemic lockdowns, has the commodity cycle turned for good? - Last March, as the world economy shut down, commodity producers knew they were in for a harrowing time. Demand fell off a cliff and producers scrambled to cut capacity. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • U.S. Stock Futures Rise on Biden Pledge, Oil Gains: Markets Wrap - more
  • Russia's Rusal open for talks over Nornickel dividend - deputy CEO - more
  • Biden sees ‘stiff competition with China’ on being the leading country in the world - more

  Morning Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - online here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - online here
  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Thursday, March 25

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Wednesday's trading session at $7.34/lb ($16,185/tonne). Indicators at 6:10 am CST today show nickel trading around $.07/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Wednesday and ended the session just over the 261,200 tonne level. Commodity traders are in a sour mood today, and as we look at the board this morning, only coca and coffee are trading higher. All metals, base and precious, are lower. Reuters is blaming the resurgence of covid in Europe, while others are ignoring commodities this morning.  The Euro is trading lower against the US Dollar, but while this is adding negative pressure on base metals, we don't think it is necessarily responsible for the bearish tone. The great nickel shortage that we have been forecast to be suffering from has yet to develop and a full year plus after Indonesia stopped exporting nickel ore, and after a year of record EV sales, we saw stockpiles on Tuesday, record their highest level since July 19, 2018. We are a full year into a bull market where the fundamentals could be argued as comparable to last March when a bear market came to an end. So when you are asked by a customer why stainless prices have gone thru the roof, tell them for the same reason it costs more to fill up their gas tank each week. Investors are optimistic and betting on better times to come. This has increased their level of risk tolerance. The phrase of the day is 'commodity boom' and everyone wants a piece of the pie. Is it too late and the boom will bust? The traders that went long yesterday hope not. The stainless producer who ordered six tonnes of nickel yesterday hopes not. The distributor of stainless product, who just ordered ten pallets of stainless bolts that he won't see until August of this year, really hopes not. And of course, the nickel miner hopes not. So no one wants to see nickel prices fall as fast as they rose, ie a bear market. But most on the downside of the supply chain, wouldn't protest a slow gradual decline. If only. Stay safe out there today and have a great day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $7.50/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper hits 2-week low on firmer dollar amid Europe virus worries - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comment - more
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.3757
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) -  14,330
  • Iron Ore & Steel Outlook for Q2: Iron ore prices to stay high on strong steel output  - more
  • NAB US Economic Update - March 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

     Wednesday's market review - Copper prices succumb to stronger dollar in choppy trade - Copper prices were lower in choppy trade on Wednesday as a stronger dollar overpowered high activity levels in European factories and as coronavirus cases rise in the bloc. - more

      Nickel market records surplus in January to December 2020 - The nickel market was in surplus during January to December 2020 with production exceeding apparent demand by 53.2 kt. In the whole of 2019 [2020], the calculated deficit was 27.6 kt. - more

    Column: Volkswagen powers up for the electric vehicle revolution - Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess is no Elon Musk but the German carmaker is following a path already traveled by Tesla as it gears up for the mass rollout of electric vehicles (EV). - more

      The Coming Demand Surge Brings Back Memories of 1970s Inflation - The last bout of inflation the U.S. experienced was in the 1970s. Commentators duly note this historic reference but don’t really understand it—many weren’t yet born, and few were adults, at the time. It was no mere inconvenience; it was a catastrophe. - more

      US steelmakers, industry users tussle over future of tariffs - Steel producers are sparring with industries that use the metal as both lobby the Biden administration over the future of Trump-era tariffs on billions of dollars in annual imports. - more

      Twin Metals leases under review - A lawsuit challenging a Trump administration decision to renew two federal mineral leases critical to the proposed Twin Metals copper-nickel mine, near Ely, have been stayed while the Biden administration reviews the case. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • U.S. Futures Edge Up on Reflation Bets, Oil Drops: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - online here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - online here
  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Wednesday, March 24

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Tuesday's trading session at $7.29/lb ($16,063/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.05/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose on Tuesday and started today just shy of the 261,700/tonne level. Prices fell sharply late yesterday and its your pick on why. Europe's resurgence in covid cases or their internal fight over vaccine distribution is being blamed by Reuters. Europe, Britain, Canada and the U.S. join forces to add new sanctions on China was being blamed by Marketwatch yesterday. North Korea fires off a couple of missiles, U.S. Dollar continues to climb against the Euro, a trader discovered his ex-wife is sleeping with that know-it-all jerk from college ..... it could really be anything. Nickel is starting today in a better mood than it ended yesterday, but we see nickel back in its last two weeks trading range. This move helped relieve the rubber band tension that was building - which could be important or not. AK Steel and Allegheny published April surcharge prices on Tuesday (posted here), and one saw 304 and 316 surcharges rise for April, while the other saw them fall. Ferrochrome prices are on the rise, with the European benchmark jumping by 32.8% for the second quarter. Yes - 32.8%. It's jump day in the ferrochrome industry and hump day for the rest of us. Stay safe out there and have a great day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $7.51/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper falls on Europe coronavirus lockdowns, firmer dollar - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comment - more
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.3757
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) -  14,275
  • U.S. Current Account Deficit Widens in 2020 - more
  • Fitch Quarterly Report - (excerpt) We are revising up our 2021 average price forecast for nickel from USD15,250/tonne to USD15,750/tonne as prices started the year from a high base.

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 aluminum fall as sanctions and COVID chill markets - Copper prices fell on Tuesday as tit-for-tat sanctions between China and the West and new coronavirus lockdowns in Europe spread a sober mood through markets, while aluminum slipped due to rumors that the Chinese state will sell stockpiled metal. - more

       February 2021 crude steel production - World crude steel production for the 64 countries reporting to the World Steel Association (worldsteel) was 150.2 million tonnes (Mt) in February 2021, a 4.1% increase compared to February 2020. - more

      Merafe Press Release - Ferrochrome price announcement for the second quarter of 2021 - Shareholders of the Company are advised that the European benchmark ferrochrome price for the second quarter of 2021 has been settled at 156 US cents per pound, a 32.8% increase from the first quarter of 2021. - source

    Top 14 UBS battery metals forecasts after VW teardown - On the again of know-how and value breakthroughs, many compelling new fashions hitting the market and continued regulatory assist, UBS made some changes to its forecasts. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • 5 ways that DeJoy’s new USPS plan could affect your mail delivery - more
  • Nasdaq Leads Futures Higher as Yields Steady: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - online here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - online here
  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Tuesday, March 23

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Monday's trading session at $7.45/lb ($16,435/tonne). Indicators at 6:05 am CST today show nickel trading around $.05/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose on Monday and ended that session just over the 260,900 tonne level. One year ago today, nickel prices turned around and the bear market of 2019-20 came to an end and the bull market of 2020-21 began. It's still open to debate on whether that bull market has ended, but for the month of March, most can agree the market is experiencing a rather intense correction. Nickel is trading at a near two week high today, with most base and precious metals trading in the red. Mysteel is reporting the mandated productions cuts in China may not affect output as much as originally thought. Russia announced that its closing of a processing plant on its border with Norway and Finland, meant it would be sending less pollution into the latter two countries. Having just been proclaimed the happiest people on earth, Finland just smiled when asked to comment. Finally have some news to post below so we leave you with it. Stay safe out there and have a great Tuesday!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $7.51/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Shanghai aluminum hits over 1-month low on rising supply concerns  - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comment - more
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.3760
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) -  14,375
  • Quarterly Financial Report - Manufacturing, Mining, Wholesale Trade, and Selected Service Industries - full pdf report 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

     Monday's market review - Aluminium hits highest since 2018 as China pollution curbs seen restricting output - Aluminium prices rose on Monday to their highest level since June 2018 as investors worried that Chinese efforts to reduce smelter pollution will restrict output and supply will fall short of demand. - more

      China steel output seen near record levels despite capacity cuts - China has embarked on cuts in production in its largest steel-making city of Tangshan to check pollution, but its overall output will likely still remain near last year’s record levels, senior market analyst Hongmei Li, Editor of Mysteel Global, told Biman Mukherji in an interview. - more

      Singapore probes nickel trading fraud, Envy Global director charged - Prosecutors in Singapore filed charges of fraud and cheating on Monday against a director at commodity trading company in connection with a nickel trading scheme that raised at least S$1 billion ($746 million) from investors. - more

      Russia's Nornickel to cut emissions in Russia's border region with Norway, Finland - Russian metals producer Nornickel said on Monday it has shut down a metallurgical processing facility in Russia’s border region with Norway and Finland which had been the area’s main source of sulphur dioxide emissions. - more

      Courtesy AISI - In the week ending on March 20, 2021, domestic raw steel production was 1,753,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 77.3 percent. Production was 1,741,000 net tons in the week ending March 20, 2020 while the capability utilization then was 75.3 percent. The current week production represents a 0.7 percent increase from the same period in the previous year. - more

      Sales is NOT an Outside Activity. It Hasn’t Been for Years. - Justin Roff-Marsh argues that if you design your sales function around the concept of sales as an outside activity, you will seriously handicap growth. - more

  • Fed Chair: US Economic Recovery 'Far From Complete' - more
  • European steel coil prices forecast to reach record levels - more
  • German crude steel output drops 10% on year in February - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Stocks, Futures Fall Amid Virus Woes; Bonds Jump: Markets Wrap - more
  • Are We Witnessing the Start of a New Commodities Supercycle? - more

  Morning Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - online here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - online here
  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Monday, March 22

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Friday's trading session at $7.39/lb ($16,295/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 ended the week just over the 259,300 tonne level. All base metals are trading higher this morning, but nickel may be getting an extra boost from the production reduction at the Australian Murrin Murrin mine, as it is a full percentage point higher than the others. If interested in knowing what happened there is an article below. In other articles below, we learn that Chinese stainless steel production is way up over last year, Chinese steel production is bracing for some mandated production cuts now in place for the rest of the year, and a prediction that Chinese steel production may peak in 2025. If you wonder why we spend so much time talking about China sometimes, besides the fact they are the world's largest producer of stainless steel, today is a good example of the news coverage on an otherwise slow news day. Stay safe out there and have a wonderful week.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $7.52/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Shanghai zinc hits over 3-year high on demand hopes - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.3708
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) -  14,275
  • U.S. Economy in a Snapshot March 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

     Friday's market review - Copper edges higher on rising demand, tight supply - Expectations of rising demand and tight supply pushed copper prices slightly higher on Friday, although investors were cautious following tensions between Chinese and U.S. diplomats and a rapid rise in U.S. bond yields. - more

      Stainless steel market prices may rebound - (excerpt) In the first 2 months, the total output of stainless steel has increased by 34.65% year on year, which also showed the strong market demand. - more

      Glencore says Australian nickel plant running at reduced production after outage - Repair work is underway at Glencore Murrin Murrin nickel and cobalt plant in Western Australia following a component failure at an acid plant that left the facility running at reduced capacity, the miner said on Monday. - more

     China's crude steel output to peak around 2025 – govt consultancy  - China’s crude steel output will peak at around 1.16 billion tonnes in 2025, when carbon emissions in the sector will also reach a peak, a government consultancy said on Saturday. - more

      China's iron, steel markets brace for 'new normal' of production controls in Tangshan -  China's iron ore market was bracing for pollution curbs on steelmakers in Tangshan to become the new normal after local authorities announced plans to impose production controls on 23 steelmakers from March 20 to Dec. 31 in a bid to lower emissions by 30%-50%. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Tech Shares Gain as Yields Dip; Turkish Lira Sinks: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - online here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - online here
  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Friday, March 19

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Thursday's trading session at $7.28/lb ($16,040/tonne). Indicators at 7:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.02/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Thursday and started today just under the 260,000 tonne level. For the last two days, the 'official' LME price for cash nickel has been published below the $16,000/tonne level. But both those days closed above that level. In both cases, the official and ending were on either side of $16,000 by what could best be described as just barely. Yesterday's official cash price for nickel was $15,999/tonne. Can't get much closer than that.  Nickel continues to trade primarily between $16,000 and $16,300/tonne, with the 200 day moving average in the $16,100.tonne range. Tin also saw a big collapse the first week of March, but immediately bounced and remains bullish, although trading lower today. It is possible that some of the money that nickel might have otherwise seen invested, has been shifted to tin and other base metals, which are trending higher. Over the years, we have seen technicals becoming less important to shorter term movements, and where those institutions holding your retirement funds deciding to invest, a far more important driver in pricing. Right now, it appears that money has shifted elsewhere, and the remaining bears and bulls have decided to play a quiet game of chess. In the world of supply and demand, demand appears to be going well, with EV sales booming around the world, and stainless steel production in China sending positive signals. And it's Friday, which on its own, can usually help start the day with a smile. Stay safe out there and have a great weekend!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $7.53/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Industrial metals fall as dollar firms on higher U.S. yields - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comment - more
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) -  $.3711
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) -  14,020

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 dips as stronger dollar offsets supply concerns - Copper prices came under pressure on Thursday from a higher dollar and spiking U.S. Treasury bond yields, but losses were capped by supply worries fueled by shortages of concentrates. - more

      Steel prices continue to set new record highs week after week - Signs last month that steel prices were beginning to lose steam proved premature. Price tags for flat-rolled and plate steel products have continued to move upward, setting new record highs week after week. - more

    Germany: Plug-In Car Sales More Than Doubled In February 2021 - The German car market was down 20% year-over-year in February (to 193,349 units), but the plug-in electric segment does not slow down. - more

  • China: Plug-In Car Sales Up 600% In February 2021 - more
      Counterpoint: Anti-mining rehash doesn't change the facts - Now that we have entered the "policymakers restating the same arguments" phase of the state's debate over copper-nickel mining in Minnesota, I'll weigh in. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Futures Signal Tech Rebound; Treasury Yields Dip: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - online here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - online here
  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Thursday, March 18

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Wednesday's trading session at $7.31/lb ($16,115/tonne). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.01/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose on Wednesday and started today's session just over the 260,200 tonne level. The difference between the daily high and low in LME nickel trading continues to narrow slightly, with the 200 day moving average within that band. Something will eventually pop, but in the mean time, enjoy the short term price consistency. Prices drifting, news remains light, ... not all that enjoyable trying to put together daily entry on the industry that is informative. It is interesting to read all the bullish metals analysts report on the correction nickel has taken this month. Nearly all blame it on the Tsinghan discovery, and not Elon Musk. Apparently Mr Musk is not to receive credit for putting a serious dent in their prediction. One can look back over the history of this site, and see that while the 'professional' analysts were dismissing the Chinese claim that they had figured out a way to process low content laterite ore into nickel, calling it pig nickel, we were applauding their innovation. And we still do. While recent polls show the majority of Americans believe China is the newest enemy of  our country, we are not one of them. U.S. Economic competitor? You bet. Biggest trading partner? Yes. Military threat? Not yet, and not based on history. So when China sneezes, we all catch a cold. When Elon speaks about the future of EV's in respect to its effect on nickel, we should probably all pay closer attention. Stay safe and have a great day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $7.55/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper falls as rising inventories spur 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) - $.3725
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) -  14,035
  • Industrial Production: Manufacturing: Durable Goods: Raw Steel - graph here
  • Newly updated Practical Guidelines for the Fabrication of Austenitic Stainless Steels - 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 rises on signs of higher demand but dollar caps gains - Copper climbed on Wednesday on indications of higher demand for the metal, though gains were capped by rising inventories and as the dollar firmed ahead of a U.S. Federal Reserve statement. - more

      Tsingshan news on supplying nickel matte to act as a handbrake to prices – CE - News on a potential breakthrough in the supply of nickel matte from Tsingshan has dampened nickel prices. - more

      China's climate pledge to create tectonic shift, enhance energy security: Woodmac - China’s goal to become carbon neutral in 2060 will require $6.4 trillion of investment in new power generating capacity, leading to a tectonic shift in manufacturing and commodity imports while boosting its energy security, consultancy Wood Mackenzie said on Thursday. - more

      EUROFER: CBAM to preserve steel supply chain in EU - The European Parliament voted to implement the carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM). The European Steel Association (EUROFER) expected it will preserve the steel supply chain for the EU. - more

   Inside Innovation: The quest for a ‘million mile battery’ is key to future growth - The development of battery-powered equipment is rapid and relentless. We’re witnessing an increased diversity in cordless tools, larger and more powerful wheeled construction machinery and new electric pickups and long-haul transport vehicles. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • U.S. Futures Slump With Bonds on Inflation Fears: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - online here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - online here
  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Wednesday, March 17

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Tuesday's trading session at $7.33/lb ($16,155/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.02/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Tuesday and ended that session just below the 259,800 tonne level. Nickel is trading lower this morning, or we might call it drifting lower on a stronger U.S. Dollar. The daily highs and lows are slowly growing closer together, and while we are not aware of the proper stock name for this, typically this builds tension in the trading of a stock or commodity, which is often followed by a noticeable break, one way or the other. This sudden jump or drop in price really doesn't usually mean anything to the overall trend, but it is interesting to watch happen. With this one building around a technically important point (200 day moving average) and a psychologically important point (the $16,000 tonne level), it will be curious how tight this rubber band gets wound, before it snaps. Norilsk says its production expectation will be down 15 - 20% due to the flooding. If this announcement had been made in January or even early February, it could have had a bullish impact on nickel prices, which were already in a bullish mood and jumping at any opportunity to find the slightest reason to go higher. Now, just a few weeks later, not so much. It's still too early to say the market has turned bearish long term, but if the 200 day MVA line fails - and remains so - then we could see a larger movement to the south. As far as news goes, bearish or bullish, there is little to be found today. We posted some reports below, so we leave you with what little bit we could find. Its hump day, so stay safe out there and have a great day.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $7.58/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - London copper rises on demand view, tight mine supply - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comment - more
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.3725
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) -  14,000
  • Manufacturing Production & Capacity by Major Industries - pdf here
  • Industrial Production - pdf here
  • Manufacturing Sales - more
  • NY Business Leaders Survey  - pdf here
  • 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 slips ahead of Fed meeting - Copper prices slumped on Tuesday as investors shed some of their bullish positions on uncertainty ahead of central bank meetings. - more

      Nornickel downgrades output forecast by 15-20% after mine restarts delayed - Nornickel expects its 2021 nickel, copper, platinum and palladium output to fall 15-20% short of original guidance due to waterlogging at two Siberian mines, the Russian company said on Tuesday. - more

      Blackstone fast-tracks Vietnam nickel PFS - Blackstone Minerals is looking to fast-track its development program in Vietnam, establishing separate business units to handle critical components of its evolving pre-feasibility study over the Ta Khoa nickel project. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Europe Stocks Slip; Futures Steady Ahead of Fed: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - online here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - online here
  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Tuesday, March 16

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Monday's trading session at $7.36/lb   ($16,230/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.08/lb lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Monday and ended that session just above the 260,100 tonne level. Nickel jumped early yesterday, but has been on a slow decline ever since. It was able to close back above the $16,000 tonne level, so Friday remains the only time its fallen below this year. The 200 day moving average has leveled off and appears to be giving the bulls and bears something to use as a target to fight over. Falling below would send a technical and psychologically bearish signal to the market, so the bulls are fighting to keep their head above that level. Probably has the analysts nervous as well. Had we forecast we were in the beginning of a commodity bull market, only to see the price of nickel to collapse 20% in the following weeks, we would be sweating. There are a lot of commodities however, so as long as gas is more expensive at the pumps and the price for your bacon cheeseburger keeps rising, one can potentially claim victory in the super cycle prediction. Canada courts dropped the hammer on a recycler who bought a boat load of nickel and then claimed they had no idea it was stolen. Maybe U.S. prosecutors should start doing the same with catalytic converters, and a few more of those might stay on cars. Stay safe out there and have a great day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $7.60/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Shanghai aluminum touches over 9-year high on Chinese supply concerns - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comment - more
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.3728
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) -  14,020

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 gains in thin volume, aluminum jumps on China power cuts - Copper prices gained on Monday after stronger-than-expected industrial growth in top metals consumer China, while energy-intensive aluminum surged as a Chinese city clamped down on power consumption. - more

       Stainless steel production decreases by 2.5% to 50.9 million tons in 2020 - The International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF) has released figures for the full year 2020 showing that stainless steel melt shop production decreased by 2.5% year–on–year to 50.9 million metric tons. - more

      Should nickel bulls be worried about ‘dirty’ Tsingshan battery metals? - Last week, Chinese nickel giant Tsingshan agreed to supply 100,000 tonnes of nickel ‘matte’ converted from lower quality nickel pig iron (NPI) to battery midstream majors CNGR and Huayou Cobalt. - more

      US' stainless steel prices rise for 4 months due to low supply - With the support of low supply and the increase of processing surcharge, the US' domestic prices of stainless steel have increased for four consecutive months. - more

      Indonesian Minister of Trade: Indonesia facing AD investigation on stainless steel exports to China - Muhammad Lutfi, Indonesian Minister of Trade, said that the exports of steel products, including stainless steel, from Indonesia to China in 2020 were more than US$7 billion. - more

      Nickel 28 claims industry ‘first’ carbon neutral status - Nickel 28 Capital Corp has become what it believes is the first carbon neutral refined nickel-cobalt producer in the world through a transaction involving the purchase of 52,500 carbon offsets on the Verra Registry. - more

      Winnipeg recycler ordered to pay $3.6 million in stolen nickel case - A Winnipeg metal recycling company has been ordered to pay restitution of $3.6 million, after it bought more than 220,000 kilograms of nickel stolen from a Thompson mining compound.  - more

      The future of the European steel industry - The steel industry is a backbone of the European economy and a key supplier to Europe’s automotive, machinery, and other flagship industries. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Europe Stocks Climb Amid Vaccine Delay; Tech Gains: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - online here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - online here
  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Monday, March 15

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Friday's trading session at $7.25/lb ($15,975/tonne). Indicators at 6:05 am CST today show nickel trading around $.15/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell by one lot on Friday and started this week just over the 260,700 tonne level. Nickel closed below the $16,000/tonne level on Friday, for the first time this year. That close apparently has the bulls nervous, as nickel has bounced higher this morning. Shanghai markets closed lower overnight, continuing their follow the LME leader role. Saxo has assured the commodity bulls that the bull market is secure, although they may face a near term correction. We will see if they are right. In our opinion, since we are trading around $4000/tonne off earlier highs (20% from less than a month ago), one could call this a rather 'intense correction'. News is light for a Monday, but we have a full week and half a month left for things to happen. On this side of the pond, its March madness, and whether you are a fan of basketball or not, it is encouraging to see a degree of normalcy return. Stay safe out there and have a great week!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $7.63/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - China data, supply concerns lift copper prices to near two-week high - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Morning Comment - more
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.3650
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) -  13,930
  • Producer Price Index: Metals and Metal Products: Steel Wire, Stainless Steel  - more
  • Producer Price Index Corrugated Paperboard in Sheets and Rolls, Lined and Unlined - more
  • Producer Price Index Corrugated Shipping Containers for Paper and Allied Products - more
  • Fed Truck Tonnage - 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 rises on hopes for U.S. infrastructure spending - Copper prices gained on Friday as investors were cheered by buoyant U.S. economic data and hoped that planned spending on infrastructure would boost metals demand. - more

     Commodities bull market set to run but faces risk of near-term correction: Saxo's Hansen - Key commodities such as oil and copper remain on track for a multi-year bull market due to tightening fundamentals but could be set for a near-term correction after investors "jumped the gun" over the anticipated demand rebound as the world emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Saxo Bank's head of commodity strategy Ole Hansen. - more

      Service Center Shipments Down Year-Over-Year in February - Steel and aluminum shipments declined on a year-over-year basis across the board in the U.S. and Canada in February, but at lower rates than in January. - more

      How a steel plant in India tapped the value of data—and won global acclaim - Shortly before molten steel is cast into solid shapes at Tata Steel’s plant in Kalinganagar, India, frontline operators put the metal through a process known as superheating, which is necessary to bring the steel to the proper temperature for casting. - more

      Russia To Use Convicts In Clean-Up Work From Norilsk Arctic Diesel Spill  - The chief of Russia's Federal Penitentiary System (FSIN) may use convicts to help clean a contaminated zone of the Arctic following a massive diesel spill. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • U.S. Futures Climb With European Stocks and Oil: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - online here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - online here
  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Friday, March 12

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Thursday's trading session at $7.46/lb ($16,455/tonne). Indicators at 7:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.14/lb lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose by over 1000 tonnes on Thursday, and started today's session just over the 260,700 tonne level. Nickel's mini rally yesterday has fizzled out with the other base metals, and except for tin, all are trading lower on a stronger U.S. Dollar. One sometimes wonders if the bulls and bears somehow time news to coincide with a movement they are trying to make. If so, the bears are pouring it on this month. Musk's crack about being done with nickel, China's announcement it can make battery acceptable nickel from laterite ore, and LME warehouse numbers growing. And after a day when the price of nickel actually ended higher, a story below helped put the kabosh on that rally. Maybe Elon Musk is 'done' with nickel, or at least, worrying about whether the industry can keep up with the  demand estimates. If you can't control the supply, then control the demand. This will send a shudder through the nickel mining industry, so buckle up, the next few weeks could potentially get a little wild. Just what the stainless steel industry wanted to see. While it is not the nickel industry's fault, as they are mere pawns in the traders world of price manipulation, it would be a nice fantasy to wonder if this all really means something to men and machines making boatloads of money, manipulating the labor and efforts of others. The stainless steel industry would drop nickel as fast as the EV industry might, if they could. 200 series stainless, with its large content of manganese rather than nickel, was touted as the savior of the industry, but has yet to catch on except in China, where it can account for nearly 1/3 of stainless production in that country. It has found a place in less corrosive environments, but distributors and users are reluctant to inventory something that may or may not sell, and even more importantly, may or may not resist corrosion in their application. And the scrap industry wants no part of another non magnetic stainless entering the supply chain. So 200 series stainless has had a hard sell on this side of the Pacific. The traders who trade nickel must make money, whether they trade long or short. That is part of life. But this make it all at once going way up, and then making more on the way down, with miners, stainless steel producers, EV battery producers, distributors, and all the manufacturers out here using stainless steel product paying the inevitable price for the greed of an unseen group, encourages innovation, and the day when entire industries are no longer held hostage to the greed of a few. It's Friday gang. Stay safe and have a great weekend!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $7.66/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - China pollution clampdown fuels copper demand concerns - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.3655
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) -  13,960
  • Truck Tonnage - chart
  • AIER Research March 2021 - pdf here (one article titled 'Are the Conditions Right for Another Commodity Super-Cycle?')

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 rises towards 10-year highs as bullish mood grips markets - Copper prices rose on Thursday towards 10-year highs hit last month as a bumper U.S. stimulus bill, benign U.S. inflation data and better than expected Chinese lending numbers spread a bullish mood through markets. - more

      Glencore’s Raglan mine to add energy-producing turbines - Raglan mine, located in the Nunavik region of Quebec, is getting two new wind turbines to generate clean electricity, the federal government announced on Mar. 10 during the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada Convention. - more

      Russian metal, fertiliser, other firms should invest more at home - Putin - Russian exporters of metals and other big firms should take the opportunity of an improved economy to invest more for the good of the country, President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday, a day after Nornickel paid a record environmental fine. - more

      Indonesia says Suzuki, Mitsubishi to increase autos investments - Japanese automakers Suzuki Motor Corp and Mitsubishi Motors Corp plan to increase their investments in Indonesia over the next four years in the manufacturing of hybrid models, an Indonesian minister said. - more

    Cobalt, nickel free electric car batteries are a runaway success - A year ago, Tesla surprised the electric car industry when it announced some Model 3s made in its Shanghai factory will be equipped with lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries made by China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL). - more

      How COVID-19 Reshaped the US Economy - At first, it was expected to be brief. At least that was the hope. Instead, a once-in-a-century pandemic has ground on for a year, throwing millions out of work and upending wide swathes of the American economy. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Nasdaq Futures Slide as Yields Climb With Dollar: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - online here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - online here
  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Thursday, March 11

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Wednesday's trading session at $7.30/lb ($16,095/tonne). Indicators at 6:10 am CST today show nickel trading around $.16/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose by one lot on Wednesday and ended that session just below the 259,700 tonne level. Nickel is trading much higher this morning, as part of a general rally in commodities, with the Biden stimulus money about to flood into the market. Thank your children and grand children today, because it will be they who will pay the piper for the big check you've been promised. The early part of the 20th century taught us to save money, while the early part of the 21st century has taught us to look to the government for 'stimulus'. Neither political party can claim to hold the keys to fiscal responsibility, with the last President who can lay claim to an annual balanced budget being Democrat President Clinton, with a Republican led House. Anyone who thinks the free money will always be there, should look to the shocking steps Greece has had to take in the last decade. In the short term, the stimulus will be good for business, and a big percentile of Americans, regardless of what the politicians tell you, will either save the money because they really didn't need it, or will spend it on ridiculous items that they really don't need. That second part is what business is counting on, and stainless steel producers and users are hoping to get their piece of. More and more covid restrictions are ending and while 'pandemic' was the word for 2020, the term 'herd immunity' appears to be the buzz word for 2021. This could be a boom year for the travel and recreation industry, with Americans returning to a group environment in droves. Disney World in Florida, is running at 35% capacity, and is completely booked for the next two weeks. The happiest place on earth, Disneyland, is scheduled to reopen in days. So unless you are long on U.S. Dollars today, or went short on nickel for the day, it's looking like a good day. Stay safe out there, and have a great Thursday!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $7.69/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Industrial metals rise as U.S. stimulus boosts demand hopes - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.3670
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) -  14,000
  • USGS Chromium Statistics and Information Dec 2020 - 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 rises as speculative clearout makes way for further gains -  Copper prices rose on Wednesday as traders hoped a pullback from 10-year highs had run its course and the metal’s spectacular rally would resume. - more

      China stainless steelmaker TISCO to seek joint investments as boosts output - chairman - China Taiyuan Iron & Steel (Group) Co Ltd, the country's second-largest stainless steelmaker, will seek joint projects with local and international companies to help meet its goal of tripling production, chairman Gao Xiangming said. - more

       Nornickel's $2 bln fine will be used to improve Arctic environment - Putin - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that a $2 billion fine paid by metals miner Nornickel after a fuel spill, the country's worst Arctic environmental disaster, will be used to improve ecology in the region. - more

      BHP says acquisitions unlikely near-term given high commodity prices - BHP Group is unlikely to make any major acquisitions in the near-term given rocketing commodity prices, and will instead focus on exploration and wringing more value out of existing assets, its chief executive said on Thursday. - more

      Stay away, locals of Indonesia’s Biak Island tell Elon Musk - Indonesia has invited Tesla boss Elon Musk to build a launch site for his SpaceX's rocket in the Southeast Asian country’s Biak Island, pointing out the benefits of a location next to the equator, officials said on Thursday, but locals are worried. - more

      Tsingshan of China Plans Iron Ore Mine, Steel Plant in Zimbabwe - Tsingshan Holdings Group Co., the world’s top producer of nickel and stainless steel, will start construction on an iron ore mine and a carbon steel plant in Zimbabwe in May, according to a senior government official. - more

      SK Innovation pushes nickel limits of EV batteries - SK Innovation is pushing the boundaries of nickel ratio inside electric vehicle batteries to the extreme, taking initiative in the global nickel cobalt manganese, or NCM, battery market.  - more

      Iron ore shipments fall 11% on month in Feb, fueling high prices - Iron ore shipments by Rio Tinto, BHP, Vale, Fortescue Metals Group and Roy Hill in Australia, along with Saldanha port in South Africa, fell 11.2% month on month in February but were up 3.3% year on year, according to S&P Global Platts' trade flow software, cFlow. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Nasdaq Leads U.S. Futures as Global Stocks Climb: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - online here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - online here
  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Wednesday, March 10

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Tuesday's trading session at $7.33/lb ($16,170/tonne). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading unchanged . Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Tuesday and ended that session just below the 259,700 tonne level. Nickel had a second day that started very bearish, but ended much better than it looked early. Monday's close was nearly identical to Friday's, and while Tuesday's close was around $200/tonne lower, at one point nickel traded as low as $15,665/tonne on Tuesday. This morning  nickel opened lower, but has recovered and if it experiences a third day of bullish afternoon's, we may actually see nickel climb today. It appears nickel traders are using the 200 day moving average as the mud zone for bulls and bears playing tug of war.  In other news, Norilsk says it will know in another week if it will be able to save a few of its mines from water, and in the mean time, paid a $2 billion penalty to the Russian government. Indonesia is still trying to get Elon Musk to spend his money on nickel in that country, and has offered him an island to build a launch pad for his spacecraft. Musk caused an earthquake in the industry a few weeks back when he expressed his dissatisfaction with nickel and threatened to take his EV battery technology in a different direction. Nickel plummeted but then China sent a huge aftershock a few days later when they revealed they had figured out how to convert laterite ore into nickel acceptable for use in the battery industry. This wasn't supposed to happen and the threat of a future loss of demand, followed by the promise of a new source of supply, has sent nickel into a tail spin. Stainless steel producers, distributors, and users, who have been here many times before, are unimpressed. Speculation on what might happen has taken nickel to pricing not seen in seven years, and stainless steel, already adversely affected by the pandemic, is now in one of those 'pricing changes on a daily basis' situations. Or is that 'changing by the hour'?  This is a time when customer relations can become 'strained' thru no fault of either party. It's Wednesday, so stay safe out there and enjoy your hump day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $7.75/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - London copper rises on demand hopes; China policy worries hit Shanghai - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.3670
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) -  13,860
  • Fastener Distributor Index – Report #110 February 2021 - pdf here
  • Minerals & Energy Outlook: March 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 prices slip as China cools growth and credit plans - Copper prices fell on Tuesday after modest economic growth targets from China and indications that it could pull back on credit expansion, though analysts remained positive on the metal’s long-term fundamentals. - more

      Russia's stainless steel imports & exports increase in 2020 y-o-y - According to statistics, Russia imported a total of about 383,000 tons of stainless steel in 2020, a year-on-year growth of about 3.8%.  - more

      Column: Battery metals buzz is back as Europe reboots EV sector - The battery metals are back. Both lithium and cobalt markets spent the last two years absorbing the glut of supply that followed the price boom of 2017-2018. - more

      POSCO’s stainless steel production & sales decline in 2020 - According to a report released by POSCO, a South Korean steelmaker, the firm produced totally around 1.8 million tons of stainless steel products in 2020, a drop compared with the 1.97 million tons of 2019. - more

      Nornickel to take another week to halt water inflow at Siberia mines - Russia’s Norilsk Nickel said on Tuesday it expects it will be another week before it has an idea of when it can restart two waterlogged mines in Siberia. - more

  • Nornickel pays Russia $2 billion over Arctic fuel leak - more
      Electric vehicles expected to boost Canadian mining growth, industry panel agrees - Mining industry insiders say opportunities for Canada are rising with world demand, technical advances and political support for electric vehicles. - more

      U.S. imports of Stainless steel wire decreased 50.80 percent from $18.71 million to $9.2 million through the first month of 2021 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 decreased 14.72 percent from $11.04 million to $9.42 million through the first month of 2021 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 Misc. stainless steel bars, rods increased 1.32 percent from $33.75 million to $34.2 million through the first month of 2021 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 Misc. stainless steel bars, rods decreased 29.37 percent from $30.85 million to $21.79 million through the first month of 2021 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 Nickel increased 45.94 percent from $98.03 million to $143.06 million through the first month of 2021 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 Nickel decreased 20.56 percent from $20.58 million to $16.35 million through the first month of 2021 when compared to the same period the previous year, according to WorldCity analysis of the latest U.S. Census Bureau data. - more
      “Domestic Stainless Steel Demand to Outshine Global Growth” - A robust growth in the stainless steel (SS) sector in India has been made possible through increased awareness about the benefits of the metal amongst stakeholders, including engineers, architects, designers, railway officials and other professionals responsible for drafting specification for procuring the material, and fabricators who shape and provide perfect finish to stainless steel in a technically precise manner. - more

       Anger after Indonesia offers Elon Musk Papuan island for SpaceX launchpad - Biak island residents say SpaceX launchpad would devastate island’s ecology and displace people from their homes - more

      Mark Dayton: Sulfide mining has no business near our Boundary Waters - The pristine wilderness has been a place of recreation and respite for years, and we must protect it for future generations. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Stocks Steady; Nasdaq Futures Slip as Tech Cools: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - online here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - online here
  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Tuesday, March 9

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Monday's trading session at $7.43/lb ($16,385/tonne). Indicators at 6:05 am CST today show nickel trading around $.21/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME approved warehouses fell slightly on Monday and ended yesterday just below the 260,400 tonne level. The Euro is finally trading higher today, but you wouldn't know it looking at base metals trading. All are down this morning, with nickel leading the retreat. Yesterday, nickel traded within a near $600/tonne range, but ended pretty much where it started the session. Today, nickel is down nearly $500/tonne, but around $200/tonne off an earlier low. Traders could be looking to the Shanghai markets for direction after a neutral day, and last evening Shanghai nickel fell. Chinese stainless steel futures are chasing nickel, but with nickel trading in an early December 2020 range at the moment, it will take stainless futures awhile to drop back to a similar range. It's Tuesday and virus deaths in the U.S. have fallen well below the 1,000 a day level for two consuecutive days, and the seven day average is nearing 1,500. The average of daily new cases are just south of 60,000 a day, which a year ago today, would have horrified us, but today, gives us hope. A year ago today, 18 Americans reportedly died from this fairly new virus - yesterday there were 788, which is well off the 4000+ deaths we were seeing daily the last few weeks in January. For most of us, this is all good news, with shots going into arms. There remains the ever vocal deniers, although their group size has shrunk dramatically as deaths grew closer to home. No one remembers who the last casualty of a war was. So, with the race nearly won, it's not the time yet to drop your guard. Stay safe out there and have a great Tuesday!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $7.84/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - London copper falls on firm dollar, but outlook seen bright - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.3675
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) -  13,970
  • January 2021 Wholesale Trade - pdf here
  • FN Material Matters - 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

     Monday's market review - Copper rises on U.S. stimulus and higher Chinese imports -  Copper prices gained on Monday, breaching $9,000 a tonne, after the U.S. Senate approved a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus package and top consumer China boosted imports of the metal while its exports hit records. - more

      US' 304/2B prices may hit 9-year high - During the past few months, the inventories of stainless steel in the US market had been at the lowest level.  - more

      China Nickel and Steel Giant Answers Big Auto’s Call for Green EV Batteries -  A Chinese group aiming to supply nickel for electric vehicles is planning a suite of renewable-energy plants in Indonesia to clean up its metal smelters and meet demands from carmakers for greener battery materials. - more

      China's lower-than-expected GDP growth could impact steel demand  - China has set a GDP growth target for 2021 of "above 6%," below the market consensus of 7%-9%, indicating that stable economic growth, deleveraging and decarbonizing of the economy will be priorities for the year, rather than maintaining high GDP growth, which is set to adversely impact infrastructure and property steel demand, as well as steel production, according to S&P Global Platts Analytics. - more

      Stauber advocates for mineral mining in Minnesota - U.S. Rep. Pete Stauber led a contingent of Republican colleagues from his home state in requesting that President Joe Biden follow through on the publication of an executive order that prioritizes the nation’s domestic supply chains for semiconductors, modern energy technologies, healthcare applications, and others. - more

      Courtesy AISI - In the week ending on March 6, 2021, domestic raw steel production was 1,755,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 77.4 percent. Production was 1,761,000 net tons in the week ending March 6, 2020 while the capability utilization then was 76.2 percent. The current week production represents a 0.3 percent decrease from the same period in the previous year.  - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • OSHA’s Top 10 Safety Citations - more
  • Nasdaq Leads Surge in Futures as Bonds Rebound: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - online here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - online here
  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Monday, March 8

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Friday's trading session at $7.43/lb ($16,390/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.07/lb lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses went unchanged on Friday and started this week just under the 260,400 tonne level. Nickel fell early this morning, and has done little since. Friday saw the price of nickel rebound, bouncing off a low of 15,880/tonne, and jumping to a high of 16,690.tonne. In our opinion, this action was triggered by the announcement that Tesla was playing a part in the purchase of Vale's nickel mine. Elon Musk started the most recent down trend when he expressed his dissatisfaction with the nickel industry, only to stabilize when his name came up in the Vale sale. As the news trickled out that his role was more of an advisory role and less of ownership, the nickel jump stabilized and calmed down. Depending on what part of the nickel and stainless steel industry you take part in, you may be wondering what mood Mr Musk woke up in this morning and what he might tweet. This morning, a stronger US Dollar is putting pressure on commodities trading in general. This week could be important and potentially tell us where nickel is heading this summer. Lot of news below for those interested. Stay safe our there and have a great Monday!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $7.94/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - London copper dips as U.S. stimulus fails to lift prices - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • SMM Evening News - here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.3533
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) -  14,050
  • United States Imports of Nickel Jan 2021 - chart here
  • January 2021 Trade Gap is $68.2 Billion - more
  • 2020 Trade Gap is $681.7 Billion - more
  • U.S. Imports for Consumption of Steel Products January 2021 Final Report - 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 - Nickel firms but remains set for biggest weekly loss since 2011 - Nickel edged up on Friday as buyers sought to pick up bargains after two days of hefty losses, though prices were still set for their steepest weekly fall in almost a decade after a major supply deal undermined expectations for shortages. - more

      Nickel slumps as electric dreams are rudely disturbed: Andy Home - Nickel has endured its worst week in almost ten years, with the London Metal Exchange (LME) price collapsing by 16% in the space of two days to a three-month low of $15,830 per tonne. - more
  • Nickel Price Falls By 16% But That Might Not Help EV Makers - more
  • Chinese Metal Giant Is Upending the Nickel Market All Over Again - more
      Brazil initiates AD investigation on cold-rolled stainless steel products from Indonesia & South Africa - On February 25, 2021, the Brazilian Secretariat of Foreign Trade (SECEX) announced to initiate an anti-dumping (AD) investigation on 304 cold-rolled stainless steel products, with a thickness equal to or greater than 0.35 mm but less than 4.75 mm, originating in Indonesia and South Africa. - more

      Indonesia's 3 new nickel smelters to put into production in 2021 - Arifin Tasrif, the Minister for Energy and Mineral Resources of Indonesia, announced that the three new nickel smelters in Indonesia will be completed and put into operation in 2021. - more

     Commodities Trading Far Outstrips Tourism, New Swiss Stats Show -  The economic importance of the commodity trading sector in Switzerland is larger than previously believed, new government statistics show. - more

      New Caledonia: re-confined but calmed down - After a year without transmission of Covid-19 on its soil, New Caledonia will urgently reconfine itself as of tomorrow, following the discovery of a local chain of contagion. - more

  • Tesla partners with nickel mine after Elon Musk said the metal is the group's 'biggest concern' amid shortage fears - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • EV batteries poised to get 20% power boost  - more
  • EV battery-maker’s misconduct said ‘extraordinary’ by ITC - more
  • Fastener Distributor Index Jumps in February as Outlook Hits Record-High - more
  • The Secret to Overcoming Price Objections - more
  • Tech Leads Losses in U.S. Futures; Dollar Gains: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - online here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - online here
  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Friday, March 5

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Thursday's trading session at $7.30/lb ($16,100/tonne). Indicators at 7:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.13/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Thursday and started today just below the 260,400 tonne level. Nickel has fallen around 14% the last two days and fell below the $16,000 tonne level for the first time since early December 2020. It is up today, but whether this is the beginning of a recovery, or merely a bounce off the $16,000 tonne level, remains to be seen. For those in the nickel industry, one must keep telling them self, that only last week, the great and powerful Goldman Sachs forecast, that even after 11 months of bullish activity, we were merely in the beginning stages of a structural bull market. So sit back, relax, and watch the stainless steel industry get air sick from the sudden price roller coaster they have been put on. Up, down, it matters not - just give those in the stainless steel industry price stability. And we welcome the EV industry to a little thing we call "nickel price volatility". Of course, China has once again beat the odds makers and come up with a way to use that once trashed low grade ore to supply the EV battery business with nickel, and while at first glance that could be called a game changer, as some metals analysts have done, on the other hand, the price of nickel started going up when Indonesia says it would discontinue exporting that low grade ore .... so we still have a supply issue. Right? So have we seen the top? If one looks at the nickel price chart for the past decade, one could easily make an argument that we have. But we will let the paid pontificators put their spin on what is going to happen, and we will let you know what 'is' happening. Its Friday and the weekend is in the windshield. Stay safe out there and have a great weekend!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $8.07/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - LME nickel set for worst week since 2011 on supply pressure - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.3541
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) -  13,805
  • US Manufacturers' Shipments, Inventories, and Orders - pdf here
  • Practical Guidelines for the Fabrication of Austenitic Stainless Steels - 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 - Nickel collapse triggers slide across industrial metals - Industrial metals fell on Thursday as a collapse in nickel prices and a jittery mood among investors on wider markets combined to drag down copper by as much as 5%. - more

      New Caledonia agrees to Vale nickel mine sale, Tesla to be partner - Political leaders in New Caledonia on Thursday agreed new terms for the sale of Vale’s nickel business, including a majority stakeholding for local interests, seeking to resolve unrest over the planned sale. - more
  • “But what is Elon Musk doing in this mess?” “ - more
      Nippon Steel raises domestic prices of stainless steel for Mar - Nippon Steel Stainless Steel Corp (NSSC) announced to raise its domestic price of stainless steel cold-rolled coils and plates due to higher costs of production. - more

      Dinagat nickel miner wins 2nd Presidential award - For two consecutive years, the Cagdianao Mining Corp. (CMC) has been chosen as a winner of the Presidential Mineral Industry Environmental Award (PMIEA), the Philippine mineral industry's highest accolade. - more

      AISI Releases February 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 February totaled 1,945,000 net tons (NT)*. - more

  • Fastenal's Sales Growth Slows in February as Safety Products Cool - more
  • Productivity Declines Most in Nearly 40 Years - more
  • Manufacturing continues to lead economy out of pandemic downturn - more
  • No let-up in freight and steel cost pressures - more

      Vladimir Potanin Commits Additional US $2B to Support Norilsk - Vladimir Potanin, Norilsk Nickel CEO, announced a comprehensive RUR 150B program to support Norilsk, where the Company's main industrial campus is located. It comes in addition to the RUR 80B (US $1B) committed to Norilsk just last month.  - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Biden Commerce chief says steel, aluminum tariffs ‘effective’ - more
  • Futures Erase Losses Before Payrolls; Oil Gains: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - online here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - online here
  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

COVID-19 Risks Expose Vulnerabilities, Downside Risks to U.S. Outlook - more

Thursday, March 4

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Wednesday's trading session at $7.86/lb ($17,320/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.52/lb lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Wednesday and ended that session just under the 261,000 tonne level. February ended with a $1200 tonne drop the last week, and yesterday beat that. Today, we are seeing the biggest morning drop we ever remember recording on this site. Nickel fell below the 50 day moving average yesterday, with the 200 day mva sitting around the $16,200 tonne level. Technical signals are all flashing sell, and once again, appear to be reflecting the actual condition of the market, rather than forecasting. Typically, when we see this type of bearish turn, a nickel producer will pop up with some supply news to add some support. Yesterday, it was Norilsk's turn, and they took the opportunity to remind traders that nearly 36% of their production of nickel has been adversely affected by the mine floods. Traders, however, were having none of it and the warning fell on deaf ears. So, the bull market that began on March 31st, 2020 is suddenly in trouble. It's too early to call an end to the bull's free roam, but his free running appears to be in trouble. Business reporters are crediting the Tsingham news for the sudden turn in the market. We aren't buying this as the market was clearly in trouble last week, well before yesterday's announcement. This turn was started by Mr Musk, and all the news since, bearish or otherwise, has just added salt to the sore. It's Thursday and we are on the downhill slide. Stay safe and have a great day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $8.32/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - London nickel drops most since 2016 after Tsingshan supply deal - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.3557
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) -  13,905
  • Global Manufacturing PMIs - pdf here
  • Beige Book - pdf here
  • MolyReview issue 1, 2021 - pdf here
  • Recycling Today March 2021 - online 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 - Aluminium gives up gains on producer selling, options expiry - Aluminum prices retreated on Wednesday as producers took advantage of a rally to sell metal and after an options expiry spurred higher volatility. - more

      US stainless steel prices forecast to reach 9-year high - The past twelve months were a turbulent time for all those involved in the US stainless steel market. In a dramatic turnaround, the unprecedented pandemic-induced slump in steel requirements was superseded by strong demand, stock shortages and soaring prices. - more

      China stainless steel slumps 6% as nickel prices drop - Stainless steel futures in China dropped 6% on Thursday to hit their daily trading limit, as a slide in nickel rates weighed on prices. - more

      Nornickel warns on output as two mines remain partly suspended - Russia's Norilsk Nickel expects production losses as its two major mines remain partly suspended due to an ingress of water, CEO and top shareholder Vladimir Potanin said on Wednesday, adding that it would calculate the losses by March 9. - more

      Nickel: Breakthrough technology may be a game-changer - The nickel industry has always been on the cusp of change, and the latest news that Tsingshan will mass-produce nickel matte could be a game-changer. - more

      Indonesia takes the battle to WTO over EU’s challenge against nickel export curbs - Indonesia is “ready to fight” the European Union’s challenge of the Southeast Asian country’s ban on nickel ore exports at the World Trade Organisation, arguing the Union’s actions may hinder Indonesia’s development plans, according to Indonesia’s trade minister, as reported by Reuters. - more

      Rising EV-grade nickel demand fuels interest in risky HPAL process - As analysts and industry participants warn of a looming shortage of battery-grade nickel, there is an ample pipeline of projects employing high-pressure acid leach (HPAL) technology to produce nickel chemicals. But scrutiny of the process is also growing, after some facilities ran into difficulties or produced less than expected. - more

      Courtesy AISI - In the week ending on February 27, 2021, domestic raw steel production was 1,749,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 77.2 percent. Production was 1,880,000 net tons in the week ending February 27, 2020 while the capability utilization then was 81.3 percent. The current week production represents a 7.0 percent decrease from the same period in the previous year. - more

      Distributor Pandemic Index Posts Major Rebound - The penultimate PRI showed a healthy rebound to double-digit gains after weather impacts previously snapped a 13-week growth streak. - more

      Director of two firms under nickel trading probe tells investors he will try to return their money - The director of two firms being probed for alleged fraud related to nickel trading told investors at a 10-minute webcast meeting on Wednesday (March 3) that he will try to return them all their money. - more

      Economist predicts net job loss from mine near BWCA - Harvard economics professor predicts proposed copper-nickel mine near Boundary Waters would chase away more jobs than it would create - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • US public turns against China in worst poll savaging since last year’s record - more
  • Stocks Drop With U.S. Futures; Bond Yields Steady: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - online here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - online here
  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Wednesday, March 3

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Tuesday's trading session at $8.49/lb ($18,715/tonne). Indicators at 6:10 am CST today show nickel trading around $.14/lb lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose sharply for a second consecutive day, and ended yesterday just over the 261,500 tonne level. Nickel is down sharply this morning, with traders most likely spooked by the sudden influx of nickel into the Rotterdam warehouse. Ever since Indonesia announced it was permanently banning exports of nickel ore at the end of 2019, and the EV industry was proclaimed to be the next big user of nickel, the pontificators have been spreading stories of dread about all futures supplies of nickel being swallowed up before they could gather dust in a warehouse. Last year, the first year of this doom and gloom scenario, stockpiles in LME warehouses grew by just shy of 95,000 tonnes. An adverse effect of the worldwide covid pandemic? Now, with 1/6th of this year in the rear view mirror, stockpiles have  risen  by another 10,400+ tonnes. At some point, we really will need to start seeing some larger outflows than influx on a consistent basis, or this year is starting to look familiar. Except for prices. Eleven months after nickel began its most recent bullish turn, Goldman Sachs proclaimed earlier this week that we are in the beginning of a structural bull market. Kind of like predicting you are going to fly as high as 30,000 feet - after you've reached 35,000 feet. They also said nickel is in a structural supply deficit. The Euro is trading a tad higher this morning, but for a third day, there appears to be a disconnect between base metals and the Euro. Is this a symptom of Brexit? It's hump day, and the third day of the third month. Stay safe out there and have a great day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $8.45/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Shanghai aluminum lingers near 9-1/2-year high on supply worries - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.3555
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) -  14,550

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 - Industrial metals rebound as copper steadies above $9,000 - Copper prices traded comfortably above $9,000 a tonne on Tuesday, snapping two days of losses and building confidence in a rally powered by expected tight supply and growing demand. - more

      Goldman Sachs says it’s the beginning of a structural bull market in commodities - It’s all looking one way for commodities, Goldman Sachs analysts say in a note to clients. Analysts led by Jeffrey Currie said there is the beginning of a new structural bull market, with every market but cocoa and zinc in structural deficit. - more

      Global stainless output falls for first time in 5 years - Global crude stainless steel production decreased to approximately 50.7 million tonnes in 2020 – down almost 3 percent, year-on-year. - more

      Russia's Nornickel can restore water-hit mines, but unclear when - experts - Russian metals producer Norilsk Nickel can draw on Soviet-era know-how to clear two partly-suspended ore mines of water, but it is hard to predict how long the operation will take, two industry experts said. - more

      China's Tsingshan signs pacts for 100,000 T nickel matte in EV push - China’s Tsingshan Holding Group has signed agreements to provide nickel matte, which is used to make batteries for electric vehicles (EVs), to Huayou Cobalt and battery materials maker CNGR Advanced Material. - more

      Bill to permanently ban mining in parts of Southwest Oregon passes US House - Conservationists have been resisting a proposed nickel mine in Southern Oregon for many years. Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a permanent mining ban in the area as part of a new public lands bill. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • China’s top banking regulator warns of asset bubbles on Wall Street and elsewhere - more
  • The Texas Freeze: Repercussions and Risk Mitigation - more
  • La Niņa weakens, but influence likely to continue into autumn - more (we predict an active tornado season in spring 2021 in the U.S. based on this)
  • Stocks Advance With U.S. Futures; Treasuries Slide: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - online here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - online here
  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Tuesday, March 2

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Monday's trading session at $8.47/lb  ($18,675/tonne). Indicators at 6:05 am CST today show nickel trading around $.03/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose by an eyebrow raising 8200+ tonnes on Monday and ended the first business day of March just shy of the 258,800 tonne level. That large a one day gain dropped the cancelled warrant percentile a full point. While the trading price of nickel gained yesterday, it did so with reserved enthusiasm. This continues this morning. Nickel traded as high as 18,900/tonne (almost) and as low as $18,500/tonne. It ended $60/tonne higher than it did Friday, and is trading about that amount higher this morning. The Euro continues to trade lower against the U.S. Dollar, but base metals are all trading in the black again today. Technical indicators for nickel traders are mixed, with some sending negative signals and others, sending positive signals. Even a few neutral signals to be had. The 50 day moving average is running around the $18,100 tonne level, so nickel has a lot of room to play before there is any threat, or promise for the stainless steel industry, of any long term bearish turn. The great debate on Wall Street has turned from covid's impact on the economy to the perceived threat of inflation. Quiet news day, so we leave you with it Stay safe out there and have a great day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $8.46/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper falls for third day as subdued China demand weighs - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.3562
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) -  14,805
  • ISM February Manufacturing PMI - pdf here
  • Worldwide Manufacturing PMI's - 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 - Tin retreats from nine-year high but fundamentals underpin prices - Tin prices plunged more than 10% on Monday as last week’s nine-year highs triggered some technical selling and prompted investors to book profits, though shortages capped losses. - more

      Nornickel operations chief to leave in management shake-up - Russian metals producer Norilsk Nickel's (Nornickel) Chief Operating Officer Sergey Dyachenko is leaving the company as part of a management restructuring, it said on Monday. - more

      To go electric, America needs more mines. Can it build them? - Last September, in the arid hills of northern Nevada, a cluster of flowers found nowhere else on earth died mysteriously overnight. - more

  • Mining for electric car batteries ‘hundreds of times’ better than petrol car emission cycles - more
      A closer look at the “Made in America” manufacturing program - The Biden administration seeks to make small and medium-sized manufacturers possible suppliers to the federal government - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Global Plug-In Electric Car Sales January 2021: Over 320,000 Sold - more
  • U.S. Equity Futures Slide While Europe Shares Gain: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - online here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - online here
  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more

Monday, March 1

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Friday's trading session at $8.42/lb ($18,565/tonne). Indicators at 6:10 am CST today show nickel trading around $.03/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Friday and ended February just below the 250,600 tonne level. That's a gain of a little over 1,700 tones for the month, and a tad over 2,600 tonne gain for the year. Nickel fell hard on Friday, but is up this morning. Not sure why, but the commodity board is nearly all in the black this morning, while the U.S. Dollar is also trading stronger against the Euro. Those two generally don't go together, but traders appear to want to start the month of March on a positive note. Nickel traded as low as 18,515/tonne on Friday, and a high of 19,130/tonne. It was a good day for the bears, but in the overall scheme, the bulls appear to still be firmly in control. We had the Musk bump last year, so we will call this the Musk slide. We want to welcome a new site sponsor this month. P.A. Inc, out of Houston, Texas, is a master distributor of stainless steel pipe and pipe fittings. Please visit their web site and see if they offer products that can help you. And we thank them for being our March sponsor. We also want to thank ELG Metals for their continued support as a sidebar sponsor. Please contact us if you are interested in sponsoring a banner later in the year, or are interested in a sidebar add. Exposing yourself to the public can get you arrested, but if your company does it, its called advertisement. It's a new month and here in the lower 48, spring is peeking its head out and teasing. It was a brutal February for much of the country, and it is hoped that March will be little more gentle. Stay safe out there and have a great day, week, and month!
  • .Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $8.42/lb (average February)
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Shanghai copper falls on China's subdued factory growth data - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • SMM Evening Comments - here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.3625
  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) -  14,985
  • US Economic Indicators:Industrial Production - pdf here
  • University of Michigan: Consumer Sentiment - more
  • Advance Monthly Wholesale Inventories - pdf here
  • Vale's Performance in 4Q20 Presentation - pdf here
  • March 2021 edition of Manufacturing Engineering - online here
  • Global Manufacturing PMIs - 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 spirals lower as bond rout spooks investors - Copper retreated on Friday after touching successive multi-year peaks, falling more than 3% as risk-off sentiment hit wider financial markets after a spike in bond yields. - more

     Are we entering a new commodities super cycle? - The commodities sector, as a whole, is looking very attractive right now all over the world. Demand from China is likely to surge in the coming months and years as the country comes out of the pandemic as the only major economy to expand in 2020. - more

      Steel traders alert for China steel export rebate cuts - With China's foreign trade in steel steadily picking up after the Chinese New Year holiday lull while international steel prices keep soaring, speculation regarding possible cuts to Chinese export tax rebates on steel has become more intense both in and out of China. - more

      Glencore workers in Sudbury reach tentative deal - Glencore's Integrated Nickel Operations in Sudbury have reached a tentative agreement for a new collective agreement with office, clerical and technical employees represented by United Steelworkers Local 2020, Unit 6855. - more

      Sweden will soon be home to a major steel factory powered by the ‘world’s largest green hydrogen plant’ - A Swedish firm backed by investors including Spotify founder Daniel Ek plans to build a steel production facility in the north of the country that will be powered by what it describes as “the world’s largest green hydrogen plant. - more

      Expectations for U.S. and Overseas Manufacturing - How supply chain factors, investment decisions and a new administration will all play key roles in manufacturing's near future. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Stocks, Commodities Rally as Treasuries Steady: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - online here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - online here
  • Yesterday's LME official prices here 
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
US Fed MN Covid Economic Dashboard - more
US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
Resurgence - how is your state faring? - more


February 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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