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

RHS
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Friday, May 29

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Thursday's trading session at $5.56/lb ($12,250/tonne). Indicators at 7:30 am CST today show nickel trading around $.02/lb lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Thursday and started today just under the 233,300 tonne level. The commodity board is rather quiet this morning, as traders await to see what steps President Trump will take against China's decision on Hong Kong. The President has announced a press conference for today where he will announce his actions. As we close the month of May, we want to take a final opportunity to thank our May sponsor, RHS Stainless Steel. RHS is a Pennsylvania distributor of stainless steel round, hex and square bars, and thanks to their sponsorship of this site, we were able to bring you daily news about the stainless steel and nickel industries. Enjoy your weekend, stay safe, and we hope to see you next month.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.50/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - London aluminium set for strongest monthly gain in 16 months on China demand - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • U.S. Imports of Stainless Steel Mill Products - more
  • US Economic Indicators: Durable Goods Orders & Shipments - pdf here
  • GDPNow estimate for real GDP growth 2nd quarter of 2020 is -40.4% - more

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
Covid-19 County Tracker - here
Covid-19 Projections by country/state - more
Coronavirus Recovery Tracker - more

COVID-19 speeds up global manufacturing, steel production shift - 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 - Aluminium hits two-month high on China demand hopes - Aluminium prices touched two-month highs on Thursday as hopes for stronger demand in top consumer China buoyed sentiment, but an oversupplied global market and large surpluses are expected to cap gains. - more

      Sustainability may have large role in steel, metals recovery -  Improving the environment and cutting emissions may continue to be a focus for metals and mining industries as economies recover from COVID-19, with greater scrap metal use, new technologies and lower coal usage likely to be the key trends. - more

      Bid to overturn New Caledonia ore export permit fails - A legal challenge to overturn the New Caledonian government's decision to allow more nickel ore exports has failed. - more

      Indonesia high-speed rail, nickel among $97 bln priority projects - Indonesia plans to extend a high-speed rail project being built with China and bring in Japanese investors, as part of 89 priority projects slated for Southeast Asia’s biggest economy over four years, a minister said on Friday.  - more

      Centaurus quickly advancing Brazil nickel project - The company acquired the Jaguar project, in Brazil's Carajas region, from Vale late last year, though the transaction only closed last month. - more

      Fed Report: Businesses Less Optimistic on Economy - The Fed's report also pointed to sharp declines in US manufacturing, with output notably weak in autos, aerospace and energy - more

      Steel Imports Down 20% Year-to-Date Through April 2020 - Based on preliminary Census Bureau data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported today that the U.S. imported a total of 2,773,000 net tons (NT) of steel in April 2020, including 1,309,000 net tons (NT) of finished steel (up 58.2% and down 13.5%, respectively, vs. March final data). - more

    Global EV Top 20 April 2020 -  Registrations were down 30% YoY, to some 110.000 units, while the YTD numbers are now down 12% regarding the same period last year, with 571.000 registrations. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • U.S. Futures Mixed as Trump Stokes China Tensions: Markets Wrap - more
  • The Investment Cost of the U.S.-China Trade War - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

Thursday, May 28

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Wednesday's trading session at $5.50/lb ($12,125/tonne). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.03/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Wednesday and started today just over the 233,500 tonne level. Except for a few days when it fell to 22.99%, cancelled warrants have stayed in the 23% range since the first of April. Depending on which counter you watch, the US passed the 100,000 fatality mark on Tuesday or Wednesday. Either way, very few but the doom sayers were predicting these kind of numbers a few months ago. As America, as well as other parts of the world, take steps to reopen, it is an especially challenging time to be a business owner. New procedures, new concerns, new liabilities. There was a time when an employee showed up sick, it was an irritation. Today, it could prove deadly. Or a public relations nightmare, as a Springfield, Missouri, hair salon discovered. And if you really want a shock, find out what it costs to disinfect a factory or warehouses were a known covid patient has been. If you every been quoted 'per foot', you have some kind of idea how bad it could be. But.... things are better for many people than they were at the end of last month. And while there is fear out there, it is at a level far less than it was just two months ago. So slowly, and gradually, things are getting better. Here is hoping you have a better day than yesterday, but not quite as good as it will be tomorrow. Stay safe and have a great day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.50/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - London copper gains on optimism over demand prospects - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Fed U.S. Economic Activity - pdf here
  • Fed Beige Book - pdf here
  • ATA Truck Tonnage Index - pdf here
  • Scotiabank Commodity Price Index - pdf here

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
Covid-19 County Tracker - here
Covid-19 Projections by country/state - more
Coronavirus Recovery Tracker - more

Mining companies’ response to coronavirus - more


Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

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

     Wednesday's market review - Copper stumbles on worries over Hong Kong protests - Copper and other base metals prices retreated on Wednesday, shaken by protests in Hong Kong and expected retaliation by Washington against top metals consumer China. - more

      New Caledonia nickel sale plan labelled a disgrace - New Caledonia's pro-independence Palika party has spoken out against a proposed law change to allow two nickel producers to export ore earmarked for local plants. - more

      Courtesy AISI - In the week ending on May 23, 2020, domestic raw steel production was 1,191,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 53.2 percent. Production was 1,880,000 net tons in the week ending May 23, 2019 while the capability utilization then was 80.8 percent. The current week production represents a 36.6 percent decrease from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending May 23, 2020 is up 0.8 percent from the previous week ending May 16, 2020 when production was 1,181,000 net tons and the rate of capability utilization was 52.7 percent. - more

      Coronavirus crisis leads to sales decline - The Hilti Group has experienced a significant downturn in business after the first four months of 2020 as result of the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Trump's Hong Kong response to be announced by end of week - more
  • U.S. Futures Fluctuate as Stocks Rise With Dollar: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

Wednesday, May 27

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Tuesday's trading session at $5.60/lb ($12,348/tonne). Indicators at 6:10 am CST today show nickel trading around $.05/lb  lower. For the fourth time this month, nickel stockpiles went unchanged yesterday, and started the day just shy of the 234,200 tonne level. Jaime Dimon, head of JPMorgan Chase & Co, told a virtual conference yesterday, that he sees the odds for a quick economic recovery to be good, while at the same time forecasting unemployment at 10% by years end. While10% unemployment by Christmas is a rather dismal forecast, in light of some of the other doom and gloom forecasts being voiced out there, it leans to the positive side. The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index has leveled off, after steep drops earlier, and with people returning to work, we should hopefully see some positive numbers in the near future. Many U.S. states started reopening earlier this month, and as of yet, there is little evidence of a second wave of covid-19 infections. Granted, approximately 20,000 new cases a day shocked us a few months ago, and today leave us less phased, but for many parts of the country, the optimism grows that the worse might be behind us. It's already hump day this short work week, so stay safe and have a wonderful day.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.50/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper falls as U.S.-China tensions curb risk appetite - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • USGS Chromium March 2020 Publication - pdf here
  • USGS Molybdenum March 2020 Publication - pdf here
  • Consumer Confidence Survey - more

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
Covid-19 County Tracker - here
Covid-19 Projections by country/state - more
Coronavirus Recovery Tracker - more

China’s top virus warrior ‘shocked’ by US coronavirus death toll - more
A safer, smarter future: Working remotely in energy and materials - more


Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

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

     Tuesday's market review - Hopes for Chinese stimulus push copper higher - Copper prices rose as much as 2% on Tuesday as investors looked past a U.S.-China confrontation over Hong Kong to the prospect of Chinese economic stimulus that would improve metals demand. - more

      US Steelmakers Announce Second Round of Price Hikes, But Will They Stick? - US steel producers increased their list prices, in the past few days. - more

      History Repeats As Brazil Delivers Another Iron Ore Boom - Brazil’s worsening Covid-19 crisis is making waves in the commodities world with reduced iron ore shipments from the South American country lifting the price of the steel-making material by 30% to almost $100 a ton. - more

  • An investigation into the Global Environment Facility-funded project“Production of sustainable, renewable biomass-based charcoal for the iron and steel industry in Brazil” - pdf here

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Stocks, U.S. Futures Extend Gains; Oil Slips: Markets Wrap - more
  • Dimon Sees Good Chance for a Rapid U.S. Economic Recovery - more
  • U.S. consumer confidence is shattered and reopening alone won’t bring it back, new survey finds - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

Tuesday, May 26

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Friday's trading session at $5.56/lb ($12,255/tonne). Indicators at 6:20 am CST today show nickel trading around $.05/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose on Friday and started the last week of May just under the 235,000 tonne level. Nickel had a bad day on Friday, as traders pulled back from their most recent bull run and hit the exits rather hard. Today, they are in a better mood and markets are recovering. The overall trend is sneaking higher, with the charts peaks getting higher and the valleys bottoming out higher as well. Global steel production fell 13% in April, according to figures released by the World Steel Association on Friday. March ended with the country under attack of a new virus, and April was spent under siege. May has been a month where we have seen attempts around the country to fight back and reopen. The weapons we have available are limited and based on media accounts, many are not using them. Everyone is looking for the ultimate weapon, the vaccine, to save the day, and help life return to complete normalcy - whatever that might be in the future. In the mean time, like nearly everything else in life these days, the virus has become less of a disease, than a political hot potato. Stay safe and have a great week!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.50/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Hopes for Chinese stimulus push copper higher - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Modern Metals - May 2020 - online here

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
Covid-19 County Tracker - here
Covid-19 Projections by country/state - more

Feds: Man Lied to Mfg. Employer About Having Virus - more
Xi Jinping says China must strengthen health system after coronavirus pandemic - more
On Tuesday, the total US covid death count will hit 100,000


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 drops on fears of renewed U.S.-China tensions - Copper prices slid on Friday on worries that renewed U.S.-Chinese tensions will further damage a global economy already hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. - more

      Australia's New Century takes aim at Vale's New Caledonia assets - Australia’s New Century Resources Ltd said on Tuesday it was in talks with Brazilian miner Vale SA to buy its nickel and cobalt operations on the Pacific island of New Caledonia. - more

  • Uncertainty clouds future of SLN mine in New Caledonia - more
      Q1 metal output drops amid mine closures - The country’s metal production value fell 10.69% to P24.86 billion in the first quarter from a year earlier as some mining operations were halted amid a coronavirus pandemic, according to the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB). - more

       April global steel output drops 13% on year hit by coronavirus pandemic -  Global crude steel production in April fell 13% year on year to 137.1 million metric tons across the 64 countries reporting to the World Steel Association (worldsteel), as the coronavirus pandemic continues to hit the sector. - more

  • April 2020 crude steel production - more
  • China leads metals demand recovery as trade tensions dim outlook: analysts - more

      Locals stage latest fight against PNG mine dumping waste into sea - A coalition of more than 5,000 villagers and a provincial government in Papua New Guinea has built a legal challenge against the world’s most productive battery nickel plant. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Where Do Distributors Go From Here? - more
  • Stocks Climb With U.S. Futures; Dollar Steady: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

Friday, May 22

      The London Metal is closed on Monday, May 25th, for Spring Bank Holiday, while US markets are closed for Memorial Day. Our next update will be on Tuesday, May 26th. Stay safe and have an enjoyable weekend.

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Thursday's trading session at $5.79/lb ($12,775/tonne). Indicators at 7:40 am CST today show nickel trading around $.25/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell slightly and started the day just over the 233,800 tonne level. That positive momentum that technicals signaled yesterday, lasted about a day, as the market has slumped sharply this morning. It is much easier to find reasons why traders might turn pessimistic these days, but we suspect the primary cause has to do with China. At the same time they are lowering their annual growth forecast, the U.S. President is dialing up his rhetoric, now warning China over their administration of Hong Kong.  As we have been stating for years now, when China sneezes, nickel catches a cold. That may not be an appropriate analogy, under the current circumstances, but it remains applicable. Another week is nearly in the books, and for most of you, there is a three day weekend to look forward too. Stay safe, enjoy your long weekend, and we invite you to join us next week.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.50/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper falls as China skips GDP goal, U.S.-Sino tension ramps up - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Barchart 304 SS Scrap Index - $.214/lb

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
Covid-19 County Tracker - here
Covid-19 Projections by country/state - 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 climbs to 10-week high on demand expectations - Copper prices hit 10-week highs on Thursday as easing COVID-19 lockdowns around the world raised expectations of stronger demand and economic activity. - more

      China Moly's Congo copper-cobalt mine expects stable output this year - China Molybdenum's 603993.SS Tenke Fungurume copper-cobalt mine in Democratic Republic of Congo will maintain the same output this year as 2019 despite COVID-19 disruptions, Tenke Fungurume director Simon Tuma-Waku said on Thursday. - more

      China copper inventories drop by most since September 2019 - Copper inventories in warehouses tracked by the Shanghai Futures Exchange dropped at the fastest rate in nearly eight months, weekly exchange data showed on Friday. - more

      ‘Either open it, or sell’: Union workers prepare for Midland steel plant closure - Union workers at Allegheny Technologies Inc.’s Midland site want the company to consider selling the plant for good. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • U.S. Futures Reverse Drop; Treasuries, Dollar Gain: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

Thursday, May 21

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Wednesday's trading session at $5.75/lb ($12,670/tonne). Indicators at 6:10 am CST today show nickel trading around $.08/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses went unchanged on Wednesday and started today just under the 233,900 tonne level for a second day. Nickel jumped out of its month long range late yesterday and the leap is continuing this morning. From a technicals point of view, this is bullish for the trading price of nickel. That is from a technical point of view. From a fundamental point of view the news remains less positive. While nickel ore imports into China have fallen since the Indonesia export ban and the covid-19 pandemic put the brakes on Philippine exports, the demand is thus far, not much better. Nickel stockpiles stored in the LME authorized warehouses continue to grow, albeit stagnated would be a better description. Stainless demand comes with a huge question mark attached to it. EV sales are down, but at least in China and Europe, not as bad as one might suspect. Betting on what is happening today is a non started. Betting on the future rebound in demand is what is leading prices higher, and at least for the last 48 hours, traders appear to be suffering from covid fatigue and believe things will get better sooner, rather than later. We hope they are proven to be right. Stay safe and have a wonderful day.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.48/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - London copper falls from 2-month high as economic worries linger - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Fed U.S. Economic Activity - pdf here
  • U of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment - more
  • New edition of ISSF Stainless Steel in Figures - more

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
Covid-19 County Tracker - here
Covid-19 Projections by country/state - more

US SBA Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Application - pdf here

Note to those who obviously have never actually read the U.S. Constitution. You do NOT have any Constitutional guaranteed right to enter any private business or private property and disregard their specific rules of entry, as long as those rules apply to everyone. If they require you to wear shoes, pants, a shirt, or these days, a mask, you are required to abide by those rules. Period. However, you DO have the right to go somewhere that does not have these rules, should these types of requirements infringe on your particular sensitivities.


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 hits two-month high on China meeting, recovery hopes - Copper prices hit a two-month high on Wednesday ahead of a Chinese government meeting this week expected to boost demand with pledges of higher spending on infrastructure, and on hopes for a global economic recovery. - more

      EU's industrial strategy is being wrecked by coronavirus: Andy Home - German zinc producer Metallwerk Dinslaken (MWD) has just announced it is closing. - more

      January to March 2020 Metals Balances - Please note that the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic has had a dramatic effect on both the supply and demand for metals worldwide. The true impact of the lockdown in many countries will emerge over the next few months. - more

      Material Matters: China, Iron Ore, Manganese, Dividends (and Nickel) - (excerpt) Nickel Pig Iron (NPI) flows have seen a shift with increasing production and exports from Indonesia, supported by a weak domestic stainless-steel market and a ban on nickel ore exports. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • U.S. Futures Slip With Stocks on China Tension: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

Wednesday, May 20

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Tuesday's trading session at $5.65/lb ($12,445/tonne). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.01/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Tuesday and started today's session just under the 233,900 tonne level. Nickel is bumping up against resistance this morning and unless traders can punch thru, we will have our fourth mountain peak form in the charts in the last 30 days. The world reported its 5,000,000th diagnosed case of covid-19 overnight, with nearly 2,000,000 of them being reported as recovered. Stay safe and have a great 'hump day'.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.47/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Shanghai tin hits 3-month high on supply shortage concerns - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Meet Sandvik A Challenging Start 2020 - pdf here

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
Covid-19 County Tracker - here
Covid-19 Projections by country/state - more

The Observer view on Trump's continued goading of China - more


Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

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

     Tuesday's market review - Copper retreats from two-month high, economic worry weighs - Copper prices retreated from a two-month high on Tuesday as worries about the economic damage from the COVID-19 pandemic offset optimism over a potential vaccine. - more

      Tsingshan's stainless steel order book fills as China rebounds, traders load up -  Tsingshan Holding Group, the world’s biggest stainless steel producer, has sold the entire output of its Chinese plants through June, said two sources familiar with its sales, a sign of potentially strong domestic demand for the metal  - more

       Stainless Steel Sheet and Strip From the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Anti-Circumvention and Scope Inquiries on the Antidumping Duty and Countervailing Duty Orders - pdf here

      Distributor Pandemic Index Holds Steady, Down 15% - It appears that distributors with projects as a material part of their business are suffering the least so far. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • U.S. Futures Rise, Europe Stocks Pare Declines: Markets Wrap - more
  • BofA Warns of Volatility-Shock Risk as Markets Get More Fragile - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

Tuesday, May 19

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Monday's trading session at $5.56/lb  ($12,250/tonne). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.02/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose on Monday and started today just under the 234,000 tonne level. Looking at the nickel trading chart, we are building our fourth mountain in the last thirty days. $5.66/lb looks to be the highest peak of the three former mountains, so we see that as resistance. News remains on the quiet side and most of what we are posting today is not stuff we would typically post. Markets are trading higher around the world and most media outlets appear to be crediting hopes on a covid-19 vaccine as the primary driver. The President of Brazil's apparent laissez faire attitude toward covid-19 is starting to haunt the country, as they saw over 14,000 new infections yesterday, second only to the U.S. at 22,000+. Russia came in third in new infections, and ranks second in total cases. Comparing Russia with Brazil is hard to do, with Brazil testing only about 1 in 10 as many as Russia has, and thus the outbreak could be much worse there than is being reported. Stay safe and have a great day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.46/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper rises on vaccine hopes, U.S.-China tensions cap gains - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • US Economic Indicators:ATA Truck Tonnage Index - pdf here
  • Polymet Investor Presentation - pdf here
  • Nornickel BAML Global Metals, Mining & Steel Conference - pdf here
  • NY Fed U.S. Economy in a Snapshot - more

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
States with/without stay at home orders - more
Kinsa U.S. health monitor - here
Covid-19 County Tracker - here
Covid-19 Projections by country/state - 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 - Lockdown easing pushes copper to biggest daily gain in a month - Industrial metals prices jumped on Monday, with copper rising as much as 3% as an easing of coronavirus lockdowns in many countries and hopes for a vaccine fuelled optimism among investors that also lifted stock markets and oil. - more

      Nickel Mines (ASX:NIC) taps investors for $231M to bolster nickel project interest - Nickel pig iron producer Nickel Mines (NIC) is raising $231 million to bump up its interest in two Indonesian nickel mines - more

      Courtesy AISI - In the week ending on May 16, 2020, domestic raw steel production was 1,181,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 52.7 percent. Production was 1,880,000 net tons in the week ending May 16, 2019 while the capability utilization then was 80.8 percent. The current week production represents a 37.2 percent decrease from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending May 16, 2020 is down 1.9 percent from the previous week ending May 9, 2020 when production was 1,204,000 net tons and the rate of capability utilization was 53.7 percent. - more

      Fastenal Ramps up Locker Pickup for Contactless Handoff - ID chats with Fastenal about the company's new Locker Pickup capabilities, which are particularly useful during a pandemic. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • U.S. Futures Decline With Stocks; Treasuries Climb: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

Monday, May 18

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Friday's trading session at $5.38/tonne ($11,855/tonne). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.07/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Friday by nearly as much as they rose the prior day, and started the week just over the 233,600 tonne level. The commodity trading board is mostly green this morning as more investors buy into a recovery. Nickel bounced off support and a shift in overall mood this morning, is helping nickel bounce back over the $12,000/tonne level. Clues about stainless steel production in China are mixed, but the overall consensus appears to be production is on the rebound. Europe appears to be producing more than they need, which may be an identical situation in the US. It is hard to know what is really going on out there, as we are all in uncharted waters. While one business owner appears to be on life support, another is struggling to keep things rolling, while a lucky few wonder what all the fuss is about. Even the Fed admitted last week, we will be in an economic recovery for a long time. And even that pessimistic forecast is based on the fact we do not see another wave of covid-19 infections. Something that the medical and scientific community fear with the rush to return to some sort of normalcy. There is a level that anxiety that remains, with the average Joe wondering if he will keep, or get back his job, and whether she will have enough food to last the week. Business owners worry about whether AR numbers can stay ahead of AP numbers, or worse, when will they return to that level. Manufacturers debate whether to start up lines when there is little more than hopes that demand will return. Things are getting better, and whether the recovery in your neighborhood is a quick one, or takes its time, they will get even better. It is spring, and while winter is not letting go readily in some parts of the U.S., it is relinguishing its grip. As will covid-19. Its the first business day of the last half on the fifth month of 2020. Coronavirus is a reality, not an excuse to fail. Stay safe, and have a great week.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.46/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper rises as economies reopen, but demand seen slowing in May - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Scrap Index - $.208/lb
  • GDP Now Latest GDP estimate: -42.8% - May 15, 2020 - pdf here
  • Wells Fargo Weekly Economic & Financial Commentary - pdf here
  • NAB China’s economy at a glance - May 2020 - pdf here
  • US Economic Indicators:ATA Truck Tonnage Index - pdf here
  • US Economic Indicators:Durable Goods Orders& Shipments - pdf here
  • The Australian Mining Review - online here

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
States with/without stay at home orders - more
Kinsa U.S. health monitor - here
Covid-19 County Tracker - here
Covid-19 Projections by country/state - more

If you have a deep interest in the science behind covid-19, 'numerous' preliminary findings that have not been peer reviewed are being posted daily here.

People mostly staying home are still getting Covid-19—here’s the problem and what to do about it - more

Sometime early this week, the world will see its 5 millionth diagnosed case of covid-19. The U.S. passed the 1.5 million mark this past weekend. It also passed the 90,000 deaths mark (based on worldometer).


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 under pressure despite China factory rebound - Copper prices fell on Friday and were set for a weekly loss as rising stockpiles and dire economic data around the world hammered home fears that demand will remain weak despite a rebound in Chinese factory activity. - more

      China April crude steel output jumps, demand picks up after coronavirus curbs eased - China’s steel mills ramped up production 7.7% in April from the previous month, boosted by robust domestic demand as the world’s second-biggest economy began to pick up after easing curbs imposed earlier in the year to counter the coronavirus epidemic. - more

      Indonesian miners eyeing EV nickel boom seek to dump waste into the sea - As Indonesia ramps up its mining sector to feed the world’s hunger for zero-emission vehicles, it is faced with a problem: what to do with all the waste. - more

      Larco mining industry on brink of collapse - The Larco General Mining and Metallurgical Company is one step from closure, after entering receivership status in March to be sold to a private investor or declare bankruptcy. - more

      Nickel, cobalt prices benefit as electric car action shifts to Europe - Mining.com EV Metal Index tracking value of battery metals in newly-sold EVs globally rebound as nickel and cobalt-rich batteries favoured in the EU and US gain traction. - more
  • Passenger Plug-In Electric Car Sales In Europe In Q1 2020 By Country - more

      Steelmakers could be heading for “Steelmageddon” amid COVID-19 crisis - The economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis will be a slow one, lasting years, not months, said Timna Tanners, metals and mining analyst, Bank of America Securities, during Steel Market Update’s Community Chat webinar on May 6. - more

  • EU steel output outpacing demand despite cuts, auto restarts - more

      Metal Shipments Fall Sharply in April - Metal shipments in the US and in Canada fell at double digit levels in April due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, eliminating the gains made since the last recession. - more

  • ISM: Economic Downturn Will Continue Through 2020 - more
      The world's first online electric vehicle supply chain festival - Tuesday 26 - Friday 29 May 2020 | Online - Schedule here (it appears to be free to view but must pre-register)

      Save this information, especially if you are new to the stainless steel industry (especially the video). Here is a common question - why is my 304 Stainless Steel magnetic?

  • Effect of cold work and heat treatment on the magnetic permeability of austenitic stainless steels - more
  • Magnetic Response of Stainless Steels - more
  • And finally - a video that says it all - video here (52 seconds long)

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Trump threatens to cut 'whole relationship' with China - more
  • US pushes China decoupling, wiping billions off Apple and Boeing - more
  • Stocks Rise With U.S. Futures; Gold, Oil Advance: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

Friday, May 15

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Thursday's trading session at $5.47/lb ($12,065/tonne). Indicators at 7:10 am CST today show nickel trading around $.08/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose again on Thursday and started today's session just over the 233,800 tonne level. Nickel continues to slide but is nearly ready to test a major support level. In covid news, Illinois shot past New York in new cases yesterday. The US had a bad day for growth in new cases, beating #2 Brazil, #3 Russia, and #4 Peru - combined. And to end the week on a bright spot - over 1.7 million cases have been resolved with the patient recovering. Let us hope we will see the last victim succumb to this deadly virus sooner, than later. It's the weekend and we are half way thru the month. Have a safe and restful weekend, and if you are starting to have trouble finding the good news out there - go make some yourself.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.48/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper under pressure despite China factory rebound - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
States with/without stay at home orders - more
Kinsa U.S. health monitor - here
Covid-19 County Tracker - here
Covid-19 Projections by country/state - more

COVID-19: Implications for business - more
Virus Revives Worst-Case Scenarios for U.S.-China Relationship - more

China considers retaliation for US coronavirus lawsuits, Global Times says - more
EU Steel: Why carbon matters more with Covid-19 - 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 falters for fourth day on somber U.S. economic outlook - Copper extended losses on Thursday after U.S. officials flagged an extended economic downturn brought on by coronavirus, hitting the metal used as a gauge of economic health. - more

      Which metals will gain most from a green energy revolution?: Andy Home -  If the world is serious about reducing global warming, it’s going to need a lot of minerals and metals. - more

      Philippine miners can fully operate, but quarantine rules set - Miners in the Philippines, one of the world’s top nickel ore suppliers, are allowed to operate at full capacity as the country begins to relax coronavirus-containment measures, but they must follow strict safety protocols, the government said. - more

      MSC Expects March-April Orders Backlog to Carry Past May - The metalworking and MRO products distributor broke out its March and April sales figures due to uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 impacts. - more

  • Around the tracks: Virus topples global autos and weakens steel coil prices - more
  • How Covid-19 is impacting the European fastener industry - more
  • What's in store for waterworks? - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • U.S. Stock Futures Slide on Trade Concern; Oil Up: Markets Wrap - more
  • Tesla to introduce 'million-mile' battery later this year or early next - more
  • Cyber attacks on Australian businesses on the rise but experts not blaming state actors - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

Thursday, May 14

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Wednesday's trading session at $5.56/lb ($12,256/tonne). Indicators at 6:20 am CST today show nickel trading around $.03/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose on Wednesday and started the day just over the 233,600 tonne level. Base metals are mostly lower this morning, although none are making any moves of significance. The Fed Chairman told the Peterson Institute for International Economics yesterday, that without further stimulus by Congress and the White House, the economic recovery from the pandemic, would be slow and lengthy. He also added that 40% of those who make less than $40,000 a year, lost their jobs in the last few months. President Trump, in the mean time, took issue with NIAID Director Faucci's assessment from the prior day, of the potential for a second deadly wave. The world should see its 4 and a half millionth diagnosed victim today, as well as its 300 thousandth known death. The growth in covid-19 cases yesterday in #2 Brazil (+11,555 new cases) and #3 Russia (+10,028 cases) still did not beat the US combined (+21,712 new cases). There was a time, just a few weeks ago, where that many new cases here in the States frightened us, as many States had already shut down before we reached that level. Now, as the numbers slowly decline, many of those same states are reopening. China EV sales showed further signs of recovery last month, although a recent bump in covid-19 cases has that country scrambling to stop another outbreak. Stay safe and have a great day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.47/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper falls as prolonged weak growth threatens demand - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • US Economic Briefing: High Frequency Indicators - pdf here
  • Noront Presentation Q1 2020 - pdf here

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
States with/without stay at home orders - more
Kinsa U.S. health monitor - here
Covid-19 County Tracker - here
Covid-19 Projections by country/state - more

Coronavirus: US-China blame game prompts Beijing hawks to ramp up criticism of phase one trade deal - more
China hacking poses 'significant threat' to US Covid-19 response, says FBI  - more


Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

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

     Wednesday's market review - Copper prices eased on Wednesday on fears of a second wave of coronavirus infections in top metals consumer China and in South Korea. - more

      FACTBOX-Demand and supply loss estimates for industrial metals - Demand and supply for industrial metals are expected to drop this year as the new coronavirus and lockdowns to contain its spread disrupt manufacturing and mining activity. - more

      Italy govt allows stainless steel industry to resume working on May 4 - According to the market in Italy, the average prices of stainless steel in Italy had increased this month, due to the strong nickel price. - more

      China: New Energy Vehicle Sales In April Continue On Road To Recovery - Some 63,000 plug-in electric cars were sold in April, which is 4.1% of the total car sales. - more

      Bank of America Merrill Lynch Conference Presentation

      Distributor Pandemic Revenue Index Improves, Begins to Steady - While the index showed a seventh-straight week of double-digit declines, the range of losses and gains continues to shrink. - more

      Producer Price Index by Commodity for Metals and Metal Products: Steel Wire, Stainless Steel - more

  • Producer Price Index by Commodity for Metals and Metal Products: Steel Pipe and Tube, Stainless Steel - more
  • Producer Price Index by Commodity for Metals and Metal Products: Stainless and Other Alloy Steel Scrap - more
  • Producer Price Index by Commodity for Metals and Metal Products: Nonferrous Metals - more
  • Producer Price Index by Commodity for Pulp, Paper, and Allied Products: Corrugated and Solid Fiber Boxes - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • U.S. Futures Edge Down; Bonds Advance With Dollar: Markets Wrap - more
  • In nod to grim U.S. outlook, Fed's Powell calls for more fiscal support - more
  • US job losses have reached Great Depression levels. Did it have to be that way? - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

Wednesday, May 13

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Tuesday's trading session at $5.59/lb ($12,315/tonne). Indicators at 6:10 am CST today show nickel trading around $.03/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses went unchanged on Tuesday and remain just over the 233,300 tonne level. With markets held hostage to the covid-19 pandemic, traders are watching the news closely, as nervous of a secondary wave of infections as many in the general public are. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testified before a Senate committee yesterday, and his warnings of opening too early, sent a shiver thru the market, which may still be reverberating today. Numerous polls have shown Fauci is the most trusted man in the government by the public - in regards to covid-19. Numerous attempts have been made to politicize or criticize his comments, but he has so far, stayed above the fray. Besides coronavirus coverage, industry news remains subdued. The United States saw its 1.4 millionth diagnosed case yesterday, and sometime tonight, the world will see its 300,000th known death from covid-19. It's hump day. Stay safe and have a great day.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.47/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper prices extend losses on virus resurgence fears - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Fastener Distributor Index April 2020 - pdf here
  • Barchart 304 SS Scrap Index - $.234/lb
  • Aperam 1st Quarter Results - pdf here

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
States with/without stay at home orders - more
Kinsa U.S. health monitor - here
Covid-19 County Tracker - here
Covid-19 Projections by country/state - more

High SARS-CoV-2 Attack Rate Following Exposure at a Choir Practice — Skagit County, Washington, March 2020 - more
Wuhan orders fresh coronavirus tests for all residents as new cluster fans fears of second wave - more


Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

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

     Tuesday's market review - Aluminium slides on concern over demand and new coronavirus cases -  Aluminum slipped along with other industrial metals on Tuesday on worries about demand as new COVID-19 cases emerged in China and more data showed how global economies have been battered by the pandemic. - more

      US launches circumvention inquiry on Vietnamese stainless steel sheet, strip -  The US Department of Commerce on Tuesday self-initiated a circumvention inquiry to determine if imports of stainless steel sheet and strip from Vietnam are circumventing existing US anti dumping and countervailing duties on these products from China. - more

      Bank of America Metals, Mining & Steel Virtual Conference Presentations
      China’s stainless steel futures for June hit new 9-month high - According to the report, China’s stainless steel futures for June rose on May 11th, which also hit a 9-month new high, mainly because of the resuming domestic demand after the COVID-19 situation had been controlled. - more

       How Will Coronavirus Pandemic Affect Global Steel Production in 2020 & 2021? - Early indications suggested that 2020 would be a year of modest economic recovery. Activity had been trending downwards since the zenith reached in the spring of 2018. - more

      How Did China’s COVID-19 Shutdown Affect U.S. Supply Chains? - The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on trade between the United States and China so far. As workers became sick or were quarantined, factories temporarily closed, disrupting international supply chains. - more

      How procurement leaders can bring metals and mining up to speed - Procurement is critical to manage the fallout of the COVID-19 crisis. Assertive and resourceful leaders can help mining companies address immediate imperatives and prepare for a quick recovery. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Europe Stocks Decline, U.S. Futures Edge Higher: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

Tuesday, May 12

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Monday's trading session at $5.60/lb ($12,345/tonne). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.02/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose on Monday and start the day just over the 233,300 tonne level. The nickel chart is starting to resemble a mountain range, with the $12,500/tonne level adding the current peaks. After retreating from that level, nickel traders try again, without success. Traders appear to be building up momentum for another attempt to push past that level, and we will have to wait and see if they are successful. More evidence that steel demand in China is increasing, which may allow producers the opportunity to enforce price increases. American and Europe are still early in their reopening cycle, so much of their news is based on hopeful speculation, rather than actual numbers. Slow news day, but for the last few months, besides covid, there hasn't been much else found. Stay safe and have a great day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.45/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Shanghai lead hits 2-month high on low stocks, but demand still weak - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • China Economic Update: May 2020 - pdf here

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
States with/without stay at home orders - more
Kinsa U.S. health monitor - here
Covid-19 County Tracker - here
Covid-19 Projections by country/state - more

President says one person infected 533 with coronavirus at Ghana fish factory - more
Coronavirus: evidence of demand shock wave to China’s economy piles up, as South Korean exports collapse - more
New Chinese Covid-19 cases raise fears of fresh wave of infections as disease returns to Wuhan - more


Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

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

     Monday's market review - Copper prices hit 8-week high on China demand hopes - Copper prices hit eight-week highs on Monday as recovering economic activity in top consumer China after the coronavirus lockdowns boosted expectations of stronger demand and the country’s central bank signaled further stimulus. - more

      Indonesia govt, parliament committee agree on mining law revision bill -  Indonesia’s government and a parliamentary committee overseeing mineral resources on Monday agreed on revisions to the country’s mining law which include changes to the rules on concession size and the permit length. - more

      China steel futures extend gains on firm demand, trade optimism - Construction rebar and hot-rolled coil futures in China rose for the seventh straight session on Tuesday, boosted by firm consumption outlook even as data showed that the country reported a sharp drop in factory gate prices last month. - more

      Courtesy AISI - In the week ending on May 9, 2020, domestic raw steel production was 1,204,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 53.7 percent. Production was 1,880,000 net tons in the week ending May 9, 2019 while the capability utilization then was 80.8 percent. The current week production represents a 36.0 percent decrease from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending May 9, 2020 is up 5.2 percent from the previous week ending May 2, 2020 when production was 1,144,000 net tons and the rate of capability utilization was 51.1 percent. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • U.S. Futures Turn Higher While Europe Stocks Rise: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

Monday, May 11

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Thursday's trading session at $5.58/lb  ($12,313/tonne). Indicators at 6:20 am CST today show nickel trading around $.02/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose by a few lots on Thursday and started this week just over the 233,000 tonne level. Nickel is down this morning, but it is anyone's guess why.  There is evidence that demand for stainless steel and nickel is up in China, and markets in Europe are taking further steps to reopen. But apparently there exists a fear the virus could rear its ugly head again, and there is deep skepticism on the rate of recovery. There is a lot of 'free' money floating around out there and based off our Federal Express driver, at least in this area, some people are spending it on crazy stuff. Others are waiting to spend in case they need it, and others are spending it because they need the basics of life to survive. Millions are getting an extra $600/week, on top of their normal weekly unemployment check. That is equivalent to a $15/hour bonus to sit at home - more money that is or will flow into the economy. And there is pent up demand. It is no secret to the rest of the world that we Americans like 'stuff' and no recession will stop some of us from having our 'stuff'. It is the purchasing of this 'stuff' that keeps our economy humming, so we need our residents to feel confident enough to but more 'stuff'. This confidence has been seriously shaken and now we see long lines of mostly newer vehicles, waiting for food handouts, so families can eat. Oh well, let's get this party started and tackle what awaits us this week. Stay safe and have a great week!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.43/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - London copper hits 8-week high as countries ease restrictions - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Barchart 304 SS Scrap Index - $.232/lb
  • AISI Releases April SIMA Imports Data - more
  • US Exports of Stainless Steel Mill Products - more
  • Manufacturing Matters: The April Jobs Report - audio report here
  • GDPNow model estimate for second quarter of 2020 is -34.9% on May 8 - more

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
States with/without stay at home orders - more
Kinsa U.S. health monitor - here
Covid-19 County Tracker - here
Covid-19 Projections by country/state - more

Coronavirus: South Korea reports new infection cluster linked to nightclubs - more
Amid the COVID-19 Outbreak, Consumers Temper Spending Outlook - more
US and China offer different takes on resumed trade talks - more
Coronavirus: a scientific inquiry could prevent a US-China war - more

China reported 14 new cases on Sunday - first double digit increase in 10 days.

Anyone notice that some of the same people that demand a business owner has the right to refuse service when the customer's request is contrary to their sense of morality, claim other business owners do not have the right to refuse service when they are unwilling to wear a required mask. Oh the simplest of 'sacrifices' some are asked to make.


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 rallies on higher imports and rebounding exports in China - Copper prices climbed for a fourth straight session on Thursday as top consumer China reported a rise in imports for the metal and an unexpected jump in overall exports, signaling a rebound in the health of world’s second-largest economy. - more

      China stainless steel futures surge as domestic demand recovers - Chinese stainless steel futures soared nearly 4.5% to a more than nine-month high on Monday as domestic demand continues to recover from coronavirus-related shutdowns. - more

      Shanghai exchange to allow delivery of nickel briquettes amid EV push - The Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) said on Friday it would allow delivery of nickel briquettes against its nickel futures contracts later this year in response to rising demand for other forms of the metal, notably for electric vehicles (EVs). - more

      Merafe Resources - Shareholders  are  hereby  advised  that the Glencore  Merafe  Chrome  Venture has recommenced operations at the Lion smelter and Eastern Chrome mines. Furthermore, the Venture’s UG2 plants will commence operations in a phased approach once platinum mines resume operations. - more here

      CRU: Five Critical Uncertainties Facing the Steel Raw Materials Market due to COVID-19 - The market impacts of COVID-19 are unknown in scale, varied and staggered in time across the world.  - more

      China’s actions in Papua New Guinea provide an opening for Australia’s ‘step-up’ - Australia’s ‘step-up’ program in the South Pacific may already be having an impact, at least in Papua New Guinea. - more

      Fastener Distributor Index Hits New Record-Low in April - FCH Sourcing Network's monthly Fastener Distributor Index (FDI) set a new record-low during April amid worsening impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, hitting the lowest mark in the index's nine-year history. - more (there was a time when one could gauge what was happening in US manufacturing, by gaging  fastener sales and box sales. Nearly all mfg's use fasteners and need boxes to ship. This is why we post them.)

  • Fastenal's April Safety Sales Spiked 120% as Other Product Lines Fell - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • U.S. Futures Drop with Europe Stocks; Crude Slips: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

Thursday, May 7
      The London Metal Exchange is closed on Friday, May 8th, for their Early May Bank Holiday. Our next daily update will be Monday, May 11th. Have a safe and relaxing weekend!

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Wednesday's trading session at $5.58/lb ($12,300/tonne). Indicators at 6:20 am CST today show nickel trading around $.01/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Wednesday and started the day just over the 233,000 tonne level. Nickel is closing in on its peak from last week, but so far this morning, has been fairly subdued and has yet to show any enthusiasm. Little more news than yesterday, but still pretty quiet. The London Metal Exchange is closed tomorrow so our next update will be on Monday. May you continue to stay safe and enjoy a relaxing weekend.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.40/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - LME copper rises for 4th day as Chinese demand recovers, export rebounds - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - more
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • U.S. Imports of Stainless Steel Mill Products - more

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
States with/without stay at home orders - more
Kinsa U.S. health monitor - here
Covid-19 County Tracker - here
Covid-19 Projections by country/state - more

Coronavirus: White House plans to disband virus task force - more (this decision was reversed after a roar of disapproval)
EU Forecasts 'Recession of Historic Proportions' This Year - more
Calls for virus payback against China mount in Washington - more

The world should see its 4 millionth victim diagnosed with covid-19 on Friday. 1.3 million of these victims will live in the United States. As will 28% of the fatalities.


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, zinc stride higher on easing virus lockdowns, yuan move - Copper prices rose for a third day on Wednesday and zinc hit a seven-week peak as investors welcomed more easing of coronavirus lockdowns and a pause in China-U.S. tensions. - more

      Indonesia Delays Bringing 500 Workers from China - The Indonesian Ministry of Manpower postponed plans to bring in 500 foreign workers from China to Konawe, Southeast Sulawesi.  - more

      China's stainless steel market may face 2nd rebound in May-Jun - According to the market, the stainless steel market in China might face the 2nd rebound in these two months, due to the domestic demand rebounded strongly in April. - more

      U.S. imports of Stainless steel wire decreased 25.19 percent from $56.08 million to $41.95 million through the first three months of 2020 when compared to the same period the previous year, according to WorldCity analysis of the latest U.S. Census Bureau data. - more

  •  U.S. exports of Stainless steel wire increased 1.68 percent from $34.43 million to $35.01 million through the first three months of 2020 when compared to the same period the previous year, according to WorldCity analysis of the latest U.S. Census Bureau data. - more
  • U.S. imports of Nickel increased 12.73 percent from $319.87 million to $360.58 million through the first three months of 2020 when compared to the same period the previous year, according to WorldCity analysis of the latest U.S. Census Bureau data. - more
  • U.S. exports of Nickel decreased 16.39 percent from $72.65 million to $60.74 million through the first three months of 2020 when compared to the same period the previous year, according to WorldCity analysis of the latest U.S. Census Bureau data. - more

   Other News

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

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

Wednesday, May 6

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed yesterday's trading session at $5.45/lb ($12,010/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.10/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses went unchanged on Tuesday and remain just over the 233,300 tonne level. Shanghai markets returned last evening and nickel fell from its Thursday close. It's a very quiet news day for the stainless steel and nickel industries, so far. A lot of uncertainty, and nervous optimism out there. People are reopening business' with higher expenses, in many cases, but shrunken sales. How long can business absorb new expenses and operation restrictions on their business? How long will it take for healthy sales to return? How long will it take for confidence to return to the general public, so they will start spending money again? The rhetoric between the US President and China is ramping up again - what are the possible implications, tariff wise? And overhanging it all, how many more will get sick and/or die from this invisible enemy? There remain far more questions than answers these days, and that might explain the lack of newsworthy events in our industries. Tomorrow's update may be delayed slightly as it will be our final update for the week, with the London Metal Exchange closed on Friday. Stay safe and have a great hump day.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.36/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - London copper at highest in nearly a week on easing virus restrictions - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Barchart 304 SS scrap Index - $.231/lb

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
States with/without stay at home orders - more
Kinsa U.S. health monitor - here
Covid-19 County Tracker - here
Covid-19 Projections by country/state - more

Not sure if anyone noticed, but the above projection site from the University of Washington, was showing a projection of 67,641 COVID-19 deaths by August 4, 2020 last week for the U.S.. Since this projection was exceeded last Sunday, the new projection for August 4th in the United States, now reads an estimated 134,475 deaths.

National Geographic article on Anthony Fauci - more
Trump Pushes Virus-From-China-Lab Theory That Divides U.S. Spies - more


Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

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

     Yesterday's market review - Lockdown easing lifts base metals, but aluminum lags -  Industrial metals prices rose on Tuesday as some countries eased coronavirus lockdown measures and oil prices jumped more than 10%, but aluminum lagged, with investors worried that a collapse in demand will cause huge oversupply. - more

      A brief history of China's metals stockpiling programmes: Andy Home - When the going gets tough in industrial metal markets, the Chinese get stockpiling. - more

      COVID-19’s sudden bite could have lasting impact on US steel market - I stepped on a snake the other day.It was near the woods at the back of our property, while I was gathering logs cut from a fallen tree. - more

   Other News

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

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

Tuesday, May 5

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Monday's trading session at $5.37/lb ($11,830/tonne). Indicators at 6:20 am CST today show nickel trading around $.01/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses jumped on Monday and started today just over the 233,300 tonne level. Euro is trading lower and off last weeks highs, which is adding negative pressure on base metals, which in response, are trading mostly higher this morning. So the Euro means little so far. Nickel stockpiles jumped by over 2600 tonnes overnight, their biggest single day jump recorded since February. America is entering the Great Experiment Day Two, with much of the country making attempts to return to work. Over 1300 Americans died yesterday, with another near 25,000 being diagnosed positive for covid-19. The country's count stood at 1,212,835, and 69,921  fatalities. Already some of the politicians who have agreed to reopen economies are taking steps to distance themselves from responsibility, so even they are nervous their state is moving too quickly. The country needs this experiment to work, so lets hope it pays off for everyone. Stay safe and have a great day.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.36/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Base metals rise as some countries ease coronavirus restrictions - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - closed until tomorrow
  • Pancon Resources PUC Report - pdf here
  • Fed US Economic Activity - pdf here

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
States with/without stay at home orders - more
Kinsa U.S. health monitor - here
Covid-19 County Tracker - here
Covid-19 Projections by country/state - more

Trump says he will kill phase one trade deal if China US$200 billion spending promise falls short - more
The coronavirus pandemic makes it clear: Europe must decide between the US and China - more


Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

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

     Monday's market review - Copper sinks to two-week low as demand concerns resurface - Copper prices fell to their lowest in more than a week on Monday as worries resurfaced about shrinking demand in top consumer China and elsewhere because of the coronavirus and as some producers eased lockdown restrictions. - more

      Stainless Steel Market Adapting to Coronavirus Restrictions - Stainless steel service centres and distributors, in many parts of Europe, reported relatively strong sales during the first three months of 2020. - more

      US lowers certain AD duties on corrosion-resistant plate imports from Taiwan - It was reported that the US lowered the anti-dumping (AD) duties on imported corrosion-resistant plates from Taiwan due to a ministerial error in the final results. - more

      Low carbon FeCr prices fall to record low - Low-carbon ferro-chrome prices in Europe have sunk to their lowest since May 2008 amid intense competition for sales between international suppliers and structural changes to the market that began to emerge before the Covid-19 pandemic. - more

      Copper demand could take years to recovery: Sucden -  It could take a number of years for copper demand to return to pre-coronavirus pandemic levels, with only government stimulus packages acting as any real demand support, according to brokerage Sucden. - more

      Courtesy AISI - In the week ending on May 2, 2020, domestic raw steel production was 1,144,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 51.1 percent. Production was 1,889,000 net tons in the week ending May 2, 2019 while the capability utilization then was 81.2 percent. The current week production represents a 39.4 percent decrease from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending May 2, 2020 is down 8.5 percent from the previous week ending April 25, 2020 when production was 1,250,000 net tons and the rate of capability utilization was 55.8 percent. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • U.S. Futures Climb With Stocks on Easing Lockdowns: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

Monday, May 4

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed yesterday's trading session at $5.41/lb ($11,935/tonne). Indicators at 6:20 am CST today show nickel trading around $.02/lb lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell slightly on Friday and started this week just over the 230,600 tonne level. Lot of negativity in world markets this morning, with red in fashion this morning. Much of Europe returned from a three day break and is expressing displeasure over the Trump administration's renewed threats against China. This was blamed for Friday's drop in US markets, and US futures point lower. Since April 29th, when we commented "Nickel's trend ... has been bullish, and at least for the short term, is likely to remain so.", the price of nickel has been in retreat, falling back below the $12,000/tonne on Friday. While we did say short term, we didn't imagine the short was defining the rest of that day only. This morning, nickel continues to trade below the $12,000/tonne level, with nickel looking for support at $5.39/lb. This week of trading will be somewhat disrupted by the fact Shanghai markets are closed until Wednesday, as Chinese officials extend the Mayday festivities in an attempt to juice their economy and give workers that spent much of the last few months in home confinement, a chance to enjoy a few days off. And the London Metal Exchange will be closed Friday for the annual Early May Bank holiday. In virus news, the world saw its 3,500,000th victim this weekend, while the United States will likely suffer its 70,000th fatality sometime today. Much of the country is taking steps to reopen and in the areas that are not, protests are becoming more common.  Politicians are gambling and in some cases, making health decisions based on who is screaming the loudest. The Ohio governor, after requiring masks be worn by customers in business', changed his mind after some complained it was violating their freedom. He explained his change to a reporter by noting "“Generally, Republicans are less inclined to have the government tell them what to do. And that’s generally how I am." One might look at the response and outcome in communist China, and wonder if there are occasions when the government should tell the general public what to do.  At least one that isn't looking to polls or stock markets for daily public approval. Whatever the future holds, we live in challenging times. One can only hope that with 911, the Great Recession of 2007-8, and now the pandemic of 2020, the next two decades are a little more 'boring' than the 21st century has been so far.  It's the first week of May, and springtime north of the equator. Life is back as flowers bloom and the landscape greens. One can not help but feel the worst is behind us, and while that may be based more on a hope and a prayer, than reality, we still can hope. A hope for a better tomorrow is what gets us thru all hard times, and today is no different. So we start this new month, with a hope that the news that greets you each morning is, and continues to be, good news. May you continue to stay safe, and have a great day.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.38/lb
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - London copper hits near 2-week low as some producers resume work - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - closed until Wednesday
  • GDPNow model estimate for real GDP growth in 2nd quarter 2020 - more
  • Scotiabank Commodity Price Index - pdf here
  • Scotiabank Metals Strategy: Metal Floors - Where are they? - pdf here
  • US: Manufacturing meltdown (worse than 41.5?) - more

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
States with/without stay at home orders - more
Kinsa U.S. health monitor - here
Covid-19 County Tracker - here
Covid-19 Projections by country/state - more

China’s coronavirus blues clouds hopes for Labour Day holiday spending spree - more
Top intel agency rules out 'manmade' theory of coronavirus origins - more
Calls for virus payback against China mount in Washington - more
Coronavirus most likely to be passed on in early stages of illness or before symptoms appear, Taiwan study says - more

At the end of March, the United States had 205,438 diagnosed covid-19 cases. By the end of April, that number had risen to 1,111,510 cases. 4,528 had died by the end of March, 64,884 by the end of April.


Stainless steel 21st century metal   Why Stainless Steel

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

     Yesterday's market review - Industrial metals tumble on Trump threats and dire data - Copper and other base metals prices fell sharply on Friday as a threat by U.S. President Donald Trump to impose new tariffs on China and bleak economic data added to pessimism over the demand outlook. - more

      CHART: Covid-19 disrupts $6.9 billion of global mining output - Covid-19 has impacted the mining industry across the globe as governments enforce lockdowns and quarantines and companies halt operations because workers and contractors can’t get on-site due to restrictions. - more

      Worldwide Crude Stainless Steel Production to Fall by 10% in 2020 - Worldwide crude stainless steel production, in 2019, reached an all-time high total of more than 52.2 million tonnes. This represents an increase of almost 3 percent, compared with the year earlier figure. - more

      Excess steel capacity an 'enormous' issue in coronavirus recovery: AISI - With Chinese steel production and inventory data pointing to high volumes amid the global coronavirus pandemic, it is going to continue to put pressure on global steel markets, American Iron and Steel Institute CEO Thomas Gibson said in an interview with S&P Global Platts this week. - more

  • Interview: US demand-side policy support key to steel's recovery: AISI CEO - more
  • Blog: COVID-19 and steelmaking raw materials - more

      Economists Say Quick Rebound from Recession Unlikely - Devastated by the coronavirus, the U.S. economy is sinking. And the plunge is accelerating. - more

  • IRCG Index: Distributor Sales Down 15% Last Week - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Global Plug-In Electric Car Sales In March 2020 Were Stronger Than Expected - more
  • Stocks Fall With U.S. Index Futures; Dollar Climbs: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

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

Friday, May 1 (Mayday in much of the world)

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Thursday's trading session at $5.56/lb ($12,255/tonne). Indicators at 7:30 am CST today show nickel trading around $.13/lb lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Thursday and start May just over the 230,700 tonne level. Nickel is trading lower after reports that President Trump was considering new tariffs on China, which came on the back of earnings warnings to investors. We doubt if anything comes of the threat, but based on history, the markets are sending a warning shot of disapproval. It's a new month and we introduce a new sponsor. Thanks to RHS Stainless Steel,  our daily news updates remain free to visitors and we invite you to visit their website and examine their services. For the month of April, we saw nickel increase in price approximately $1000/tonne and LME inventories grow by a little over 1300 tonnes. It was  a brutal month economic wise, with the covid-19 pandemic affecting everyone, in one form or another. 30,000,000 American workers have lost their jobs in the last 6 weeks, and while some states are taking measures to reopen, it could be years before we see all these people back to work. It's Friday and a new month. May your weekend be relaxing and safe, and may the month of May be a d--n site better for all of us.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $5.33/lb (average for April)
  • LME nickel chart - here   /   Euro/US Dollar chart - here

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Industrial metals tumble on Trump threats and dire data - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here 
  • SMM Evening Comments - closed until Wednesday
  • Q & A w/BHP CEO Mike Henry and shareholders - online here

Virus News and Numbers

Coronavirus By The Numbers - here
Coronavirus by John Hopkins - here
CDC Cases in the US - here
States with/without stay at home orders - more
Kinsa U.S. health monitor - here
Covid-19 County Tracker - here
Covid-19 Projections by country/state - 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 set for biggest monthly gain since Dec 2017 on China recovery - Copper eased on Thursday as a private sector survey showed factory activity in top consumer China unexpectedly shrank, but held on course for its biggest monthly gain in over two years as the world’s second largest economy rebooted. - more

      Tsingshan and Eramet's Indonesia Weda Bay nickel project starts production - Production began on Thursday at Indonesia Weda Bay Industrial Park (IWIP), a nickel project by France’s Eramet and China’s Tsingshan Holding Group. - more

      Steel producers struggle to regain momentum - The European stainless steel industry is resuming production but the future is said to be uncertain as the continent is ravaged by the Covid-19 pandemic. - more

      Glencore slashes spending and output guidance, says it can ride out coronavirus - Glencore cut its 2020 capital expenditure and output targets on Thursday to reflect the impact of the coronavirus on its operations, saying the belt-tightening left it well placed to weather the pandemic. - more

      Russia's Nornickel draws on credit lines to build cash buffer - Russian mining giant Norilsk Nickel has drawn on some of its credit lines to build a cash position of $5 billion to protect it against market volatility caused by the coronavirus outbreak and ahead of a $1.2 billion dividend payment. - more

  • Russia’s Richest Man Gets To Work While Confidence In President Putin Falls Flat - Russia’s richest man, Vladimir Potanin, has announced a series of positive plans at metal and mining giant Norilsk Nickel, as the response from Russia’s leading business to the coronavirus pandemic takes shape. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • U.S. Equity Futures Drop on Earnings; Dollar Rises: Markets Wrap - more

  Morning Nickel Prices

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


April 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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