This page is archived news covering the period of October 2010
If you are looking for current daily market news, please visit here.

LME nickel prices and news

Stainless Steel News and Nickel Prices

Free comprehensive information on worldwide nickel market pricing, stainless steel prices and metals analysis and forecasts


Daily Nickel Market News & Stainless Steel Prices

Kiva - loans that change lives

 Nickel Prices

Friday, October 29

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - minus 29 to 2,678. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) China Curbs Speculation in Agriculture Futures As Prices Surge to Records // China Stocks Fall for 4th Day on Concern About Inflation; Developers Drop // Japan Output Slide, Deepening Deflation Point to Economic Slump // Bonds Suggest China Central Bank's Inflation Battle to Heat Up // India Seeks Ban on Iron-Ore Shipments, Minister Says // Asian Stocks Decline as Sharp, Samsung Electronics Stoke Earnings Concern // EU Bows to German Call for Permanent Debt Mechanism // U.K. Consumer Confidence Rises in `Prelude' to Cuts, GfK Says // Euro Falls as Summit Renews Concern Over Sovereign-Debt Crisis; Yen Gains // European Stocks Are Little Changed; Telecinco Gain Offsets Sandvik Decline // Foreclosure Freeze Cuts Sales, Supply in Hardest-Hit U.S. States // Jobless Likely to Shun U.S. Election That Is Focused on Their Plight // U.S. Economy Grew 2% as Consumer Spending Rises // Chicago Purchasing Managers Say Activity Accelerated // Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index Decreased in October // Poll: Americans Don't Know Economy Expanded With Tax Cuts
  • The Euro is only trading 1/10 of 1% lower against the US Dollar, while NYMEX crude is off more than 1.1%. Gold is up nearly a full percent and silver is higher by 2%. Base metals ended the session lower. Indicator charts show nickel was in trouble early on, opening lower, but when the US GDP failed to impress and the Dollar began losing some earlier steam, nickel began a slow gradual climb thru the rest fo the session. For the day, Dow Jones reports three month nickel ended the day at $10.43/lb .  That is down a nickel for the day, $.09/lb for the week, and down $.18/lb on the month. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME approved warehouses fell slightly yesterday and now stand just over the 128,150 tonne mark. Sucden's day old chart shows trend bound nickel trading thru yesterday (chart here). After having appeared stalled over the past few weeks, the Baltic Dry Index made a noticeable drop yesterday, following that up today with a less eyebrow raising decline of 29 points. For the month, the BDI gained 232 points and the index has risen 8.66% since Sept 30. Initial GDP numbers for the US were released today, showing an economy sputtering along at a snail's pace. Consumer spending allegedly rose at its highest pace since 2006, but if consumers are spending, few other gauges reflect it. Consumer confidence numbers fell while Chicago PMI numbers rose. Wall Street is having problems deciding what to do with the numbers. And thus ends the last working day of the first 1/3 of the last 1/4 of year 1 of the second decade of the 21st century. And only 57 shopping days till Christmas. That's enough with the numbers, unless you are of the doom and gloom crowd, and for you the next scheduled end of the world event of Dec 21, 2012 - is just 783 days away.
  • Have a relaxing and safe weekend!

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • (Dow Jones) Russia's OAO Norilsk Nickel, the world's largest nickel producer by production volumes, Friday reported a rise in third quarter nickel and platinum production, and a slight drop in copper output. The company said its third-quarter nickel output was 74,942 metric tons, up 12% from 66,703 tons a year earlier.
  • Why Did China Boom? - multimedia project here
  • Toward Common Ground: Bridging the Political Divide to Reduce Spending - more
  • IRS Paid Out $111 Million in Erroneous Stimulus Tax Breaks - more
  • Macro Musing: Are We in Another Jobless Recovery? - more
  • Executives Reluctant to Move for New Job - more
  • The Big Lie on Fraudclosure - more
  • Negative real interest rates - more

  China steel assn suspects Sept steel output was misreported - Discrepancies in China's steel output figures in September could be the result of deliberate misreporting on the part of regional governments and enterprises, an official with China's steel association said on Friday. - more

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:15 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.12/lb lower, with all London traded base metals lower on a higher US Dollar. The Euro is trading lower against the US Dollar, by more than 4/10 of 1%. NYMEX crude is down nearly 6/10 of 1% and trading at $81.71/barrel. Gold is up over 1/2 of 1% and silver is higher by 2/3 of 1%. In overnight trading, Asian markets fell, with China off 1/2 of 1%. European markets are lower this morning, while US futures show Wall Street may also open down. Nickel inventories fell slightly yesterday. US markets will most likely be led today by the release of initial 3rd quarter GDP numbers to be released shortly, overshadowed by nervousness of Fed news next week. .   
  • Bloomberg morning base metal news - more
  • LME Morning - Metals prices under fire on demand concerns - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments - Metal prices ended mostly higher yesterday (except for lead and zinc) supported by better-than-expected data out of the US showing initial claims falling to a three-month low, as well as a weaker dollar, which retreated to $1.3950 against the Euro. Given the extent of the greenback's decline, we were surprised commodities did not do better than they actually did yesterday. We have to assume that funds are not piling back into the asset class as they likely are "hunkering down" ahead of the Federal Reserve's meeting next week. Estimates from a Reuters survey of economists on what the Fed may do on "QEII" range from $250 billion to a high of $2 trillion. Preceding this decision, we should also get the results of the US Congressional elections, likely another important driver, particularly for the US equity markets. Later today, we get another important snapshot of the US economy; third quarter GDP readings will be released, expected up 2.0% from the prior quarter, and although the reading is backward looking, the number should still figure prominently in the Fed's QEII decision. In addition to this release, we get Chicago PMI readings for October (expected at 58), as well as October Michigan consumer confidence levels (expected at 68). Out of Europe, we have reports that European inflation unexpectedly accelerated to the fastest in almost two years, while unemployment came in at a 12-year high. Metals are jittery again as of this writing, as we are seeing broad-based declines led by copper, which dipped to a low of $8140 at one point earlier in the day. Zinc and lead are losing the most ground, as they rallied the most to begin with earlier in the month. We expect the weaker tone in metals to be with us for much of next week heading into the Fed announcement, and would therefore hold off on any long-side price-fixing for the moment.  ..... Nickel is at $22,810, down $290, as the short-term trend continues to deteriorate. (read Ed Meir's complete morning base metals report here)
  • (Yieh) Taiwan’s Yieh United Steel Corp. (Yusco) has announced to remain the prices of domestic and export offers unchanged for November due to the soft nickel price and poor demand in current market.
  • (Interfax) China's Ministry of Land and Resources (MLR) plans to accord molybdenum a protected mining status and impose quotas on its production in 2011, the state-owned China Securities Journal reported Oct. 29.
  • (Interfax) China boosted its export of crude steel and steel-related products to 36.24 million tons in the first nine months of 2010, up 116.73 percent year-on-year, according to statistics released by the China Iron and Steel Association (CISA), an industry organization that represents China's major steel mills, on Oct.29.
  • (Interfax) China has begun iron ore price negotiations for next year, Vice Chairman Luo Bingsheng of the China Iron and Steel Association (CISA), which represents China's major steel mills, said at an Oct. 29 press conference.
  • AAR Reports Rail Traffic Remains Up Over 2009 - more

  Even Under Crisis Of Electricity Supply, Xstrata Increases Facilities For FeCr Production = To Construct Independent Electric Power Plant, Advantage Of Major Resources Company - Under the circumstances, which new projects to produce ferro-alloys have been postponed because of a crisis of electricity supply in South Africa, Xstrata announced on the 20th of October that the Company has decided to implement the second phase of the Lion Project.  - more

  Firms face stronger competition in mining M&A transactions: Report - China, which dominated the global mining and metals transactions market in 2009, has faced stronger competition this year, being ranked fourth in global market share in the first three quarters, the consultancy firm Ernst & Young said on Thursday. - more

  Modest Steel Price Recovery May Not Last - In the Russian Federation, metallurgical plants have adopted controversial pricing positions for October. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Thursday, October 28

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - minus 77 to 2,707. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) Chinese Yuan Declines to Weakest Level This Month on Lower Reference Rate // China Toymakers Reject Clients as Yuan Gains Hurt Margins // China's Stocks Drop for Third Day on Policy Concern; Insurers, Miners Fall // Bank of Japan to Buy Lowered-Rated Corporate Debt // Japan Issues Warnings as Typhoon Approaches; Flights Canceled  // Asian Stocks Advance as Australian Banks Rise on Earnings // Europe Economic Confidence Improves More Than Forecast // Spain's Deficit Cuts Rewarded With Cheaper Funding: Euro Credit // German Adjusted Unemployment Total Drops as Labor Market Boosted by Growth // European Stocks Gain as Eni, France Telecom, Dassault Profit Top Estimates // Fed Asks Dealers to Estimate Size, Impact of Debt Purchases // Dollar Slumps on Speculation Federal Reserve Easing Will Debase Greenback // Jobless Claims in U.S. Unexpectedly Drop To Three-Month Low // Fed Easing Will Keep the Dollar Weak Through November, John Taylor Says
  • The Euro is currently trading over 1.15% higher against the US Dollar. NYMEX crude is struggling and only up 1/10 of 1% and trading at $82.04/barrel. Gold is up over 1.2% and silver is higher by 1.4%. Base metals ended the session higher as well, thanks to the falling Dollar. Indicator charts show nickel opened slightly higher but as the Dollar lost value, it rose much of the early part fo the session, before becoming choppy in the latter half. Dow Jones reports three month nickel ended the session at $10.48/lb , continuing to play follow the leader to the Euro. Stores of nickel stockpiled in LME approved warehouses jumped yesterday and now register a total of over 128,250 tonnes. This is off the 2010 low registered on August 19th of 115,668 tonnes. Sucden's day old chart shows yesterday's drop with the Euro (chart here). The Baltic Dry Index finally made a major move and regretfully, it went south by 77 points. Wall Street is currently trading in the red, as good economic news fails to ease nervous traders concerns about the Fed's stimulus scenario to play out next week.

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • The Street - Commodities markets were lower Wednesday on speculation China regulators may visit exchanges to investigate signs of abnormal trading. Base metals were likely to remain under pressure and trade lower through the day, but positive economic data from the U.S. could cap the losses.
  • Volcano Erupts Again in Indonesia as Toll Rises - more
  • Retiring CFTC judge's allegations should concern small investors - more
  • Banks: U.S. Solicitor General Blocked Fed Appeal to Supreme Court - more
  • Moody’s: Companies Reluctant to Spend on Expansion, Hiring - more
  • Denninger, Tea Party founder: “Tea Party is a joke” - more
  • The Worst Economist in the World - more
  • Retire in France at 62? In Turkey, it's 45 - more
  • Can’t Keep a Bad Idea Down - more
  • Too Little - more

  Global steel industry's outlook gloomy on slower growth - The steel industry's outlook has dimmed with the unevenness of the global economy. Sales have dropped along with prices while costs have risen, leaving companies pessimistic about the rest of the year. - more

  Apple Working More Durable Types of Metal Stainless Steel - We've heard that Apple has obtained an exclusive license to develop electronic components with the company's extremely durable alloy. - more

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:20 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.15/lb higher, with most London traded base metals trading higher this morning. The Euro is trading 6/10 of 1% higher against the US Dollar. NYMEX crude is flat and trading at $81.90/barrel. Gold is higher by nearly 1/2 of 1% and silver is up over 3/4 of 1%. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended higher, with China off slightly. European markets are higher at the moment, while  futures show US markets could open higher. Nickel inventories rose again overnight.    
  • Bloomberg morning base metal news - more
  • LME Morning - Metals edge higher, but lack momentum ahead of Fed meeting - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments - Metals finished lower yesterday, as did most other markets, after investors were blindsided by a Wall Street Journal story outlining the Fed's thinking on next week's QEII announcement where it quickly became apparent that prevailing expectations were running well ahead of what is being contemplated by the Fed. We wonder if the Fed itself is behind the leaked story, since by revealing its intentions to the Wall Street Journal, it could better prepare the markets for the announcement. If this is indeed the case and the proposal falls along the lines outlined, we may not see much of a price reaction post-announcement, since the markets will have already had a chance to react. However, we suspect there will be more in terms of details that have yet to be filled out, in which case, we still want to be rather cautious for the balance of this week and heading into next. In addition to the Fed announcement, the US Congressional elections will be another wild card, as depending on how the Republicans fare, there is potential for further sharp fluctuations in the equity markets. Markets are steadier right now, with modest gains seen in most of the metals group, with the exception of lead and zinc, both of which continue to struggle. Energy prices are a tad higher, and the dollar is weaker today, now trading at $1.3850 against the Euro after getting to a high of $1.3734 yesterday. US stocks are expected to open higher as well. ... Nickel is at $23,100, up $295, but very quiet. The market has been in a tight $1200 trading range all week, and has not really done all that much. (read Ed Meir's complete morning base metals report here)
  • (Dow Jones) Posco, the world's No. 3 steel maker by output, said Thursday it will raise stainless steel product prices by up to 2.7% from Nov. 1 to pass higher prices of raw material nickel on to customers. Posco will raise prices of hot-rolled stainless steel products by 2.7% to KRW3.8 million a metric ton, while cold-rolled stainless steel product prices will be raised 2.5% to KRW4.07 million, the company said in a statement.
  • (Interfax) The declining level of output from China's steel mills in recent months is expected to lower company inventories, balancing market demand and supply, an industry analyst told Interfax Oct. 27.
  • (Yieh) Taiwan's Ta Chen has raised the market shares from 6% to 10% in the US since some US stainless steel manufacturers and distributors have slashed their stocks to reduce the risk.Ta Chen owns 10% of market shares in the US domestic market and the company's monthly delivery volume has reached to 17 thousand tons which is about 5 thousand tons more than its record high in 2008.
  • (Ros) UC Rusal has denied speculation in some of today's media publications on alleged talks between the aluminum giant's chief Oleg Deripaska and owner of investment holding Interros Vladimir Potanin on the potential sale of UC Rusal's stake in Norilsk Nickel, the aluminum company's press office reported today.
  • (MP) Ferro-chrome prices in the United States have started to move higher again after a brief period of stagnation as consumers dip back into the spot market for immediate deliveries.
  • IEA warns of asset bubble in commodities - more
  • China set to add fuel to commodities rally - more

   Ambatovy project nearly complete, on schedule for Q2 production: Sherritt (Sherritt) - Sherritt International Corp. is finally reaching the end of construction at its costly Ambatovy nickel project in Madagascar, although CEO Ian Delaney says he´s still getting "heart burn" over delays at the site´s power plant. - more

  Material Matters: Ag Commodities Rising, As Is Global Steel Production - Agricultural commodity prices have rallied in recent months to the extent prices have hit a series of multi-year, and for cotton, all-time highs. - more

  Eramet Group: Turnover in 3rd quarter 2010 - more

  India to Boost Iron-Ore Demand on Urbanization, Infrastructure, Vale Says - Vale SA, the world’s biggest iron- ore producer, said India may play a bigger role in ensuring a “tight” future market for the steelmaking ingredient as it boosts infrastructure spending and becomes more urbanized. - more

  POSCO breaks ground on steel mill in Indonesia - The world’s fourth-largest steelmaker POSCO began works on the site for its first overseas and Southeast Asia’s first integrated steelworks in Indonesia on Thursday. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Wednesday, October 27

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - plus 6 to 2,784. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) Yuan Declines Most in 22 Months on Signs China Seeks to Slow Pace of Gains // China Stocks Fall Most in Six Weeks on Fed Reserve Speculation, Valuations // Asian Stocks Fall to Two-Week Low on Fed Program Speculation; Rio Declines // French Parliament to Vote on Sarkozy's Pension Bill // French Consumer Spending Rises More Than Forecast on Outlook for Jobs, Pay // German Inflation Holds Steady as Stronger Euro Helps Counter Energy Prices // European Stocks Drop Most in Five Weeks After SAP, Heineken Miss Estimates // Employers in U.S. Start Bracing for Higher Tax Withholding // Orders for U.S. Capital Goods Fall, Signaling Less Investment // Stocks, Treasuries, Commodities Drop on Fed Speculation
  • The Euro is now trading 2/3 of 1% lower against the US Dollar. NYMEX crud eis off 1-2/3% and trading at $81.18/barrel. Gold is down 1/3% and silver is lower by over 1-1/2%. Base metals ended lower, across the board, as the DOllar strengthened. Indicator charts show nickel opened lower and spent the session in a slow decline. Dow Jones reports three month nickel ended the session at $10.34/lb  , its lowest close in over a month.  Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME approved warehouses fell yesterday for the first time seven days and for only the seventh day this month. Totals now sit just under the 127,000 tonne level. Sucden's day old chart shows nickel struggling thru yesterday's trading (chart here). Considering the IS and SStoch numbers are fairly balanced, nickel has shown weakness over the past few days and could be heading into a slump - but a strengthening in the Euro could turn this around. The Baltic Dry Index gained only six points overnight, and remains in a stalled pattern. The big bet in the market that has equities higher, the Euro higher, and commodities trading higher, is quantitative easing. When, and how much, will the Fed announce on November 3rd? In our opinion, some of the strength we have seen in the US Dollar over the last few days is no more than uncertainty creeping into the market as we near the day of reckoning. This uncertainty is dragging over into the base metals traders arena, and until the question is answered, this volatility will remain. Then the question will be asked - how much has the market already traded in for and will the announcement be less than - or more than traders expect. The US Fed is taking strong steps to beat deflation and by doing so, risks guiding the nation into severe inflation. Inflation attracts commodity buyers, so we wouldn't expect to see any potential upcoming correction in the trading price of nickel to drive it too much below the $10/lb level. Ed Meir of MF Global has strong support at $9.98/lb. Then again, our track record of predictions is pretty sad, so as a stainless steel buyer, we can't say we would be too upset if we were proven wrong.     

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • Fed Gears Up for Stimulus - more
  • Weaker Home Prices Draw Buyers but Hurt Lending - more
  • Now It’s Official: Corruption Has Risen in US, Leading to Fall in Global Ranking - more
  • A little perspective on the impact that a weaker USD will have on overall economic activity - more

  Record High Global Steel Production in 2010 Despite Second Half Weakness - MEPS forecasts world crude steel production, this year, at 1.4 billion tonnes. This represents an increase of 14.4 percent over the outturn in the previous twelve months. - more

  Ring of Fire: Ontario Embarking on a Major Economic Development Project - Ontario has been blessed in that a number of world class mineral discoveries have been made over the past 125 years which has brought wealth and prosperity to its citizens and Canada. - more

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:20 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around  $.18/lb lower, with all LOndon traded base metals trading lower this morning. The Euro is lower against the US Dollar by 4/10 of 1% currently. NYMEX crude is down nearly 1% and trading at $81.74/barrel. Gold is down 7/10 of 1% and silver is off 1.1%. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended lower, with China off 1.8%. European markets are trading flat at the moment, while US futures show Wall Street may open lower. Nickel inventories fell yesterday.
  • Bloomberg morning base metal news - more
  • LME Morning - Metals punished by resurgent dollar, turn markedly lower - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments - Metals had early gains yesterday, but gave back much of their advance later in the day, with copper actually finishing the session slightly lower. News that BlackRock Asset Management joined the race to provide an exchange-traded copper product to investors by filing its offering with the SEC did not have the same impact as the JP Morgan announcement did the day before, perhaps signaling some wariness on behalf of investors about reading too much into these filings. News that unions at Chile's giant Collahuasi mine were calling for a strike vote did not have much staying power either. US macro numbers out yesterday had a mildly positive bias on the markets; consumer confidence readings inched up in October, rising to 50.2 from 48.6 in September and came in slightly higher than the 49 expected. More neutral, was the August Case-Shiller 20-City index of home prices for major metropolitan, where prices fell 0.2% from July levels. Although prices edged up a modest 1.7% for the year, this was less than the 2% rise expected. Later today, we get US September durable goods orders (expected at +1.7%), along with new home sales for October (expected at 295,000 units annualized). We are lower across most markets right now, with metals selling off particularly hard. Energy markets are off by almost a $.80/brl, while US stocks are called to open lower as well. Not surprisingly, the dollar is up, now trading at $1.3815 against the Euro, and is the main reason behind the general decline. Its strength is partly attributable to a story run in today’s Wall Street Journal that the Fed is likely to unveil a program of Treasury bond purchases worth a few hundred billion dollars spread out over several months. Judging from the negative reaction thus far, it is fair to assume that prevailing quantitative-easing parameters may have been overplayed in recent weeks, as both the amount and the phased-in nature of the current proposal is falling somewhat short of expectations. The Wall Street Journal report also said that officials want to avoid the “shock-and-awe” approach used during the 2008/2009 crisis in favor of an approach that allows them to adjust policy over time as the recovery unfolds. Of course, we will know for sure what the Fed has in mind by next week, but in the meantime, we are not very surprised by his turn of events, as we have been cautioning that such a “sell-the-news” type of reaction could be imminent. We suspect that the selling may have somewhat more room to run now that it has started, but just as we saw in the aftermath of the China rate hike, the correction may prove to be relatively short-lived. ....Nickel is at $22,905, down $395; charts are looking more negative, with the sideways pattern now looking like it is breaking up. (read Ed Meir's complete morning base metals report here)
  • (Interfax) Steel products prices fell an average of 0.6 percent last week due to a decrease in trading volume, China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) announced Oct. 26.
  • (MF) China's Molybdenum price strongly rises up with market becoming more and more active. Some suppliers suddenly raised up their quotation by RMB4,000-5,000/mt to RMB142,000/mt around.
  • (Interfax) The Chinese steel industry's twelfth Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) will concentrate on structural adjustments and energy conservation, state media reported Oct. 25.
  • (PR) The American Trucking Associations' advance seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 1.7 percent in September after falling a revised 2.8 percent in August. The latest gain put the SA index at 108.7 (2000=100) in September from 106.9 in August. The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 112.4 in September, down 0.9 percent from the previous month.
  • Is the Fed Blowing a Commodities Bubble? - more
  • The Fed’s secret $4 trillion experiment - more
  • Moderate to strong La Niña event in Pacific - more

  India: Big jump is expected in steel and ferrochrome prices in 2011 - Big jump is expected in steel and ferrochrome prices in 2011. Ferrochrome producers settled the fourth quarter European benchmark price at $1,30/lb. - more

  China Commodities Decline on Concern Regulators to Tighten Trading Rules - Commodities in China snapped a rally, led by rice, zinc, soybean oil and rubber, on growing concerns that security regulators may tighten trading rules to curb excessive speculation. - more

  U.S. Service Center Steel Shipments Up 20 Percent for the Year - September steel shipments from U.S.-based service centers totaled 3.17 million tons, up 23.9 percent from the same month last year. - more

  Mine inquiry wants documents from Vale, union - A provincial industrial inquiry into a protracted strike at a nickel mine in Labrador has ordered workers and the mine owners to give it documents outlining their bargaining efforts. - more

  AK Steel's Profit Dips, Outlook Uncertain - (excerpt) Stainless/Electrical products’ shipments were up 27% to 226.9 million tons, while coated and cold-rolled product shipments spiked 25% and 66% to 624 million tons and 322.5 million tons, respectively. Hot-rolled steel products shipments shot up 80% to 213.6 million tons while Secondary steel product shipments went up 25% to 45.2 million tons. - more

  • Universal Stainless Reports Strong 2010 Third Quarter Results - Universal Stainless & Alloy Products, Inc. reported today that sales for the third quarter of 2010 were $51.9 million compared with $25.3 million in the third quarter of 2009 and $51.3 million in the 2010 second quarter. - more

  PNG’s Ramu landowners happy with pipeline injunction - An activist from the Papua New Guinea NGO Act Now says the landowners who’ve mounted a legal challenge against the Madang Province Ramu nickel mine marine tailings pipeline are satisfied with a recent court ruling allowing it to go ahead. - more

  • PNG’s Ramu Mine Can Build Waste Pipeline But Not Use It - In Papua New Guinea (PNG), it was a win, win situation for both the defendants and the plaintiff in the Ramu Nickel Mine deep sea tailings placement project (DSTP), court battle. - more

  Talvivaara boosts resources by 54 pct, shares up - Finnish nickel producer Talvivaara said it had discovered 54 percent more metal in its deposits, lifting its shares after a slow ramp-up of production at the mine. - more

  Baltic index rises; China coal interest eyed - The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, which tracks rates to ship dry commodities, gained on Monday as Chinese iron ore and coal enquiry bolstered sentiment for larger capesize vessels. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Tuesday, October 26

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - plus 30 to 2,778. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) China Raises Fuel Prices to Help Cool Economy, Conserve Energy // China Railway Construction Plunges Most in Two Years on Mecca-Project Loss // Buffett-Backed BYD's Profit Plunges More Than 99% as Sales Drop // Yuan Forwards Decline After China Ministry Says Trade Surplus Will Shrink // China's Stocks Decline from 6-Month High on Inflation, Valuation Concerns // Japan's Igarashi Says Yen Sales Most Effective When 'Surprise' // Wal-Mart `Optimistic' India to Allow Foreign Retail Investment // Indonesian Quake Death Toll Rises to 23 People as Aftershocks Rock Islands // Asian Stocks Decline on Strong Yen; ASX Retreats on Singapore Exchange Bid // UBS Posts Investment-Banking Loss, Inflows From Wealthy Clients // U.K. Growth Sustains Surprise Momentum as S&P Spares AAA Grade // Weber Says He Won't Change His Stripes to Become ECB President // German Government Bonds Fall After Import Prices Increase for Second Month // Russia Is Most Corrupt G-20 Nation in Transparency International Ranking // European Stocks Retreat as UBS, ArcelorMittal, Cairn Energy Lead Declines // Ford Posts $1.69 Billion Third-Quarter Profit on Gains in U.S. // Bernanke Asset Purchases Risk Unleashing 1970s Inflation Genie // Shrinking Bank Revenue Signals Dawn of `Worst' Growth Decade // `New Normal' Odds Stand at 55%, Pimco's El-Erian Says: Tom Keene // U.S. Consumer Confidence Increases More Than Forecast // U.S. Stocks Fluctuate as IBM Gains, U.S. Steel Retreats
  • The Euro is now trading nearly 8/10 of 1% lower against the US Dollar. NYMEX crude is down nearly 1/4 of 1% and trading at $82.33/barrel. Gold is down slightly, while silver is up over 9/10 of 1%. Base metals ended the session mixed, with some ending slightly higher. Indicator charts show nickel opened lower this morning and after a day of choppy up and down trading, all within a $300/range, nickel closed lower than Asian markets had left it. Dow Jones reports three month nickel ended the day at $10.57/lb . Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME approved warehouses rose for a sixth straight day Monday and now sit just over the 127,250 tonne level. With four remaining shipping/receiving days left in the month, LME approved warehouses have received more nickel than they have shipped for October, at a two to one margin (12 showing gains, 6 showing losses). Last month, the statistic was dead even at 11 days each way. August favored the loss column by one day, and in July, we saw days with losses lead gainers at a ratio of 19 to 3. The Baltic Dry Index rose for a third straight session, but its 30 point gain looks nearly as stalled as the loss numbers did last week. MarketWatch reported "Consumer confidence rose in October, though it remains near historically low levels, with a monthly gauge compiled by the Conference Board increasing to 50.2." and "Home prices fell 0.2% in August, according to the Case-Shiller home price index released Tuesday by Standard & Poor’s, in a report labelled “disappointing” by its compilers.".

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • (Blog) Allegheny Technologies Inc. reported Q3 net earnings of $1 million, or $0.01 per share, down from the $1.4 million in the year-ago period. EPS came in at $0.05, ex. one-time items. Revenue jumped 52% year-over-year to $1.1 billion.
  • A U.S. State on the Verge of Default: A Simulation…. Or Is It? - more
  • Markets Put Low Odds on Deflation - more
  • Economists React: Foreclosures Cloud Housing Picture - more
  • Why Has America’s Economic Recovery Stalled? - more

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:15 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.12/lb lower, with most other London traded base metals also trading lower. The Euro is trading lower by 3/10 of 1% against the US Dollar, showing its ability to steer base metals and commodities is still intact. NYMEX crude is down nearly 3/10 of 1% and trading at $82.29/barrel. Gold is 2/3 of 1% lower, while silver is down over 1.4%. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended flat, with China off over 4/10 of 1%. European markets are trading lower this morning, while US futures are also lower. Nickel inventories rose for the sixth straight session.
  • Bloomberg morning base metal news - more
  • LME Morning - Metal sentiment turns buoyant, but downside risks remain - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments - Metals pushed higher yesterday, as the impact of the weak dollar emanating from the G-20 meeting reverberated throughout the commodity complex. US stocks finished up as well, although they were well off earlier highs. The markets were also buoyed early on by a better-than-expected existing home sales report. In this regard, the National Association of Realtors said sales of previously occupied homes rose 10% last month, well ahead of estimates. The dollar did manage to pare its losses somewhat late in the day on Monday, and is slightly stronger right now, forcing some of yesterday's gains to be rolled back. Energy prices are lower, as are metals, with zinc being the notable exception US stocks are expected to open slightly lower as well. We suspect that markets may now go into a relative hibernation mode as we approach the key Fed meeting scheduled for Nov 2-3rd, at which point we should know how much money the Fed is planning to pump into the system. We still maintain our view that we could see a rather sharp correction in many markets "post-announcement", as the quantity involved will either disappoint, or more likely, is already discounted by the recent run we have had, resulting in a “sell-the-news” type of reaction. .... Nickel is at $23,260, down $315; charts still remain fairly neutral for the moment. (read Ed Meir's complete morning base metals report here)
  • (Yieh) China’s Taiyuan Iron & Steel Company (Tisco) has announced to remain the prices of stainless steel unchanged for week 44th.
  • (Dow Jones) DJ Oriental Peninsula Unit To Deliver First Nickel Shipment In December
  • (SBB) Stainless scrap availability up 20% worldwide in 2010
  • (CV) The prices of nonferrous metals increased in mid-October while steel prices declined in the same period, reports yicai.com, citing data from the National Bureau of Statistics.
  • (Bloomberg) The introduction of exchange-traded funds for base metals won’t have a long-term impact on prices, according to a report today from Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
  • US: Treasury Draws NEGATIVE YIELD For The First Time - more
  • Global food crisis forecast as prices reach record highs - more

  Murrin Murrin nickel plant resumes after planned shutdown - Minara Resources Ltd advised on October 25 the Murrin Murrin nickel plant is now operating near full capacity after the planned October triennial statutory shutdown. - more

  Mirabela says Santa Rita to reach full capacity in 2012 - ASX- and TSX-listed Mirabela Nickel on Tuesday reported that the ramp-up of its Santa Rita project, in Brazil, is expected to reach its full capacity by 2012. - more

  First nickel shipment eyed by December - The mining unit of publicly-listed Oriental Peninsula Resources Group Inc. (ORE) is scheduled to deliver its first shipment of high-grade nickel ore to Japan and Australia by December 2010. - more

  Quantities Of Ferro-Alloys And Nickel Produced By Xstrata In Jul. - Sep. 2010 = Productions Of Vanadium And Nickel Were Kept On Favorable Tone, Output Of FeCr Decreased For Winter Time - Xstrata plc released on the 19th of October the quantities of ferro-alloys and nickel produced by them in July - September quarter of 2010 and, according to this report, the contents are summarized as follows - more

  Beijing blocks Vale trading plan in China - Beijing has blocked the Brazilian miner’s plans to trade iron ore in China. - more

  Courtesy AISI - In the week ending October 23 2010, domestic raw steel production was 1,624,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 67.2 percent. Production was 1,491,000 tons in the week ending October 23, 2009, while the capability utilization then was 62.3 percent. The current week production represents a 9.0 percent increase from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending October 23, 2010 is down 0.3 percent from the previous week ending October 16, 2010 when production was 1,629,000 tons and the rate of capability utilization was 67.4 percent.

  Norilsk stalemate - Following the failure of Oleg Deripaska’s latest attempt to bring parity to the ­Norilsk Nickel board, Interros says the Rusal chief will have to work together with his rival oligarch, Vladimir Potanin. - more

  Guide to stainless steel - The excellent qualities of stainless steel make it an ideal choice for various demanding applications from cutlery to food and chemical processing plants and oil platforms. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Monday, October 25

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - plus 21 to 2,748. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) G-20 to Avoid `Competitive Devaluation,' Prod China // Shanghai Expo Breaks Record as 70 Million People Visit // China's Stocks Rise to Six-Month High on Profit Outlook, Materials Prices // Japan Export Growth Slows in Sign of Cooling Rebound // India Billionaires Go On Buying Spree in `Last Frontier' Africa // Pound Faces Pain as Cameron Cuts Send King to Printing Press // Only Europe's Largest, Smallest Economies Lift Competitiveness, Study Says // European Stocks Climb After G-20 Pledge on Currency; Mining Shares Advance // Employers Seek U.S. Health Law Exemption to Switch Plans Without Penalty // U.S. Existing Home Sales Rose 10% to 4.53 Million Rate // U.S. Stocks Climb as G-20 Meeting Fuels Fed Easing Speculation
  • While still higher against the US Dollar, the Euro is now less than 1/10 of 1% higher. NYMEX crude has followed and is trading 1/10 of 1% higher and trading at $81.78/barrel. Gold is still up over 1/2 of 1% and silver is higher by 2/3 of 1%. Base metals ended their London session all higher. Indicator charts show nickel opened much higher this morning, and spent the day in a slow decline. For the day, 3 month nickel ended at $10.68/lb , higher but not showing the resilience as some of the other base metals are. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME approved warehouses rose significantly on Friday, and now sit just under the 126,800 tonne level. Both Asian and for a change, a European port, saw large inbound shipments on Friday. Sucden's day old chart shows nickel traders getting nervous on Friday before the G-20 meeting (chart here), and today's rebound reflected the lack of any surprise to come out of the meeting. The Baltic Dry Index gained another 21 points today, after returning to the black on Friday. Another slow news day for the nickel and stainless market. Inventories now sit where they did back in late June. Cancelled warrants dipped below the 3% level for the first time since early September on Friday, but bounced back today. Nickel has stalled since last week, with the slightest hint of a declining trend. With only four days left in the month, the average price of nickel so far, remains higher than it did in September. Unless the market tanks, and tanks really hard this week, US stainless steel buyers can expect December surcharges to increase.

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • NABE: Business Conditions Improve, Boosting Hiring Hopes - more
  • Jobless Rates Remain Elevated - more
  • The Young, the Old, the Unemployed - more
  • 15 Inviolable Rules for Dealing with Wa
  • ll Street - more
  • Falling Into the Chasm - more
  • FDIC Bank Failures - graph here

  Universal Stainless Announces Stainless Bar Base Price Increases - Universal Stainless & Alloy Products, Inc. today announced a base price increase of 3% on all stainless bar products effective for all new orders placed shipping January 1, 2011 forward. - more

  Work resumes on Ramu Nickel mine's waste pipeline - The Chinese developer of Papua New Guinea's Ramu Nickel mine has been allowed to resume work on the construction of a deep sea tailings disposal pipeline. - more

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:15 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.24/lb , with all London traded base metals trading firmly higher this morning. The Euro is presently trading 6/10 of 1% higher against the US Dollar. NYMEX crude is up over 8/10 of 1% and trading at $82.37/barrel. Gold is up 1-1/4% and silver is higher by 2%. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended  higher, with China up 3%. European markets are trading higher this morning, and futures show Wall Street should open bullishly. Nickel inventories rose Friday and Dow Jones reported three month nickel ended last week at $10.52/lb .
  • Bloomberg morning base metal news - more
  • LME Morning - Metals hold dollar-fuelled gains, inventories mostly fall - more

  Reports

  • Daily Market Report - pdf here
  • Commodities Report - pdf here
  • Commodities Daily - pdf here
  • Morning Montra - pdf here
  • Daily Overview - pdf here
  • Metals Insight - pdf here
  • Weekly Scoreboard - pdf here
  • Robry Weekly Economic Assessment - more
  • SMM Nickel Price Forecast - more
  • NBS: China's Output of Base Metals in September - more
  • Public Policy Positions of the Specialty Steel Industry of North America - pdf here

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments - Metals firmed on Friday, but the gains were fairly modest as the dollar seesawed ahead of the G-20 meeting that got underway on Friday. Within the group, zinc and lead were the best performers, as constructive supply-side news out of China steadied both complexes. However, the dollar will be the key variable that will dominate sentiment over the week ahead, just as it did last week. The G-20 meeting--over on Saturday-- did not succeed in boosting the greenback's fortunes, as there was nothing meaningful that came out of the conference. Ministers sought to calm trade frictions by pledging to avoid weakening currencies in order to boost exports, while letting markets increasingly set foreign exchange values, but did not spell out how they would do so. Debate over a U.S. proposal to set up current account targets was delayed until next month’s Seoul summit. South Korean officials said there had been broad sympathy for monitoring imbalances in the current accounts, even from China, but an EU official disagreed, saying Chinese officials had lobbied German counterparts to put up resistance to the US and Korean proposal. In the meantime, the group did reach an agreement to shift power in the International Monetary Fund away from EU nations, who will now give up two seats on the executive board to emerging nations, but all in all, the meeting was more talk than substance. As we start the new week, the end of the G-20 meeting is giving ammunition to the dollar bears, who seemed to have been lying low for much of last week. The general dollar index is now again approaching fresh 10-month lows, while individually, the dollar hit another 15-year low versus the yen. Against the Euro, the dollar is trading at $1.4040 after having got to just under $1.41 at one point earlier in the day. Not surprisingly, commodities are on fire today, as they seemed to have held back for much of the last few days while waiting the weekend news to clear. Copper is leading the base metals group higher, and is now over $8500, with part of its surge attributable to a late Friday report from Dow Jones saying that J.P. Morgan has filed the necessary paperwork with the SEC to launch a physical copper exchange-traded product. A start date was not given, but J.P. Morgan cited industry statistician Brook Hunt to point to constraints in expanding global copper-mine supply and a revival in consumption as the main reasons to bring the product to market. (We should note, however, that two other previous attempts to launch copper ETP’s never got off the ground). The move follows a similar advance by ETF Securities, which said recently it plans to launch physically backed exchange-traded commodities for base metals. The key difference with the J.P. Morgan product is that the ETF Securities product will be backed by LME warrants, not off-warrant over-the-counter metal.  ....  Nickel is at $23,750, up $525; charts still remain fairly neutral for the moment, as nickel is not picking up the head of steam that many of the other metals are experiencing.(read Ed Meir's complete morning base metals report here)
  • (MF) The US imported 34,037.7 mt of high-carbon ferrochrome in August and 309,835.4 mt in the first eight months of 2010 vs. 42,496.8 mt and 103,676.9 mt, respectively, in the same 2009 periods.
  • (CD) China's power consumption in September fell 12 percent month-on-month to 349.8 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh), the National Energy Administration (NEA) said Monday.

  Allegheny Technologies Raising Prices on Nickel-Based Alloys and Specialty Alloys - pdf here

  A presentation by M. Genet (Laplace Conseil) and C. Orban (COMC) at the Stainless Steel World Conference in Beaune on 13 October 2010. - more

  RusAl rebuffs Norilsk Nickel sale offer and says stake undervalued - The world's largest aluminum maker, RusAl, has rebuffed an offer by rival shareholder Vladimir Potanin to sell its stake in Norilsk Nickel, and says it has no plans to sell its stake in the world's top nickel producer, RusAl said on Monday. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Friday, October 22

  The Baltic Dry Index rises 7 points to 2,727.

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:20 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around  $.05/lb lower, with most other London traded base metals trading higher. The Euro is trading over 2/10 of 1% higher against the US Dollar. Brent crude is up over 1.2% and trading at $82.82/barrel. Gold is down over 1/4 of 1% and silver is down nearly 4/10 of 1%. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended slightly higher, with China up over 1/10 of1%. European markets are trading higher this morning, while US futures show should open higher. Nickel inventories rose again yesterday and now sit just under the 125,700 tonne mark. We will be on the road today so there will be no afternoon update. We hope each of you has a safe and enjoyable weekend!!
  • Bloomberg morning base metal news - more
  • LME Morning - Lead, zinc surpass weak-kneed complex, hit 10-month highs - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments - Metals ended lower on Thursday in what has been an extremely choppy week thus far, best typified by the selling action we saw on Tuesday-- the day of the Chinese rate hike announcement-- followed by Wednesday's sharp reversal. Yesterday's sell-off in a number of commodity complexes (with crude faring the worst) is more difficult to explain, and somewhat surprising given that the markets should have capitalized on Wednesday’s gains. Instead, the sloppy action we saw suggests that investors are unsure about how much longer the short-dollar/long commodity trade will remain in vogue. In what could be a sign that the end-game may be near, at least over the short-term, we are seeing sizable price retreats in commodities whenever the dollar strengthens even modestly, with some complexes like gold, having trouble moving higher at all this week. Having said that, we still suspect the prevailing strategy of selling the dollar and buying commodity dips will remain in place, at least until the Fed meeting in early November is out of the way. At that time, the markets will know how much quantitative easing will actually be coming through, and if the amount is less than expected (which is what we expect will be the case) we could see a sizable dollar short-covering rally ensue. The dollar was strong again yesterday and is steady today, as investors are presumably trimming some short exposure ahead of the G-20 finance ministers meeting that is getting underway today and which will last through the weekend. At the G-20 meeting, the US will seek to convince reluctant finance leaders to cut their current account surpluses and allow their currencies to rise, with US Treasury Secretary Geithner urging countries “with persistent surpluses ….to undertake structural, fiscal and exchange rate policies to boost domestic sources of growth." In return, countries such as the US that are running big budget and trade deficits, would adopt "sustainable medium-term fiscal targets”. We suspect that there will not be much agreement made on this issue, and the final communiqué will likely paper over the differences, likely leading to a weaker dollar come Monday and another renewed push higher in the commodity space going into next week. The QE2 decision - coming up in early November - will likely be a more pivotal moment for the dollar, and likely the next time we could see a more substantial correction. Metals are higher as of this writing, with zinc and lead particularly strong (hitting six and three month highs respectively) on news out of China that more smelter production cutbacks are taking place on account of power restrictions and pollution concerns.  ....  Nickel is at $23,420, down $130, and sitting out the metals rally for a second day in a row. Charts remain neutral for the moment. (read Ed Meir's complete morning base metals report here)
  • (Interfax) China's demand for steel will continue to grow throughout the period of the twelfth Five-Year Plan (2011-2015), deputy director of the Economic Development Research Center of Metallurgical Industry, Zheng Yuchun, said at an Oct. 21 Mysteel conference in Hangzhou.
  • (Interfax) China's daily crude steel output stood at an average of around 1.6 million tons in September, a decrease of 4.19 percent month-on-month and the lowest level recorded so far in 2010, according to an Oct. 21 National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) report.
  • (SO) According to the preliminary data released by the World Steel Association (worldsteel) on October 21, in September this year global crude steel output amounted to 111.75 million metric tons, increasing by 0.9 percent year on year and down by one percent compared to the revised August output level. September was the fourth consecutive month in which world crude steel output saw a month-on-month decrease.
  • (Dow Jones) Stainless steel imports, largely from Asia, are more than double from last year and continue to tick higher each month and that will force European producers, already struggling with overcapacity, to become more cost competitive, Finnish stainless steel producer Outokumpu Oyj said Thursday. "Imports are increasing from month to month," an Outokumpu spokeswoman told Dow Jones Newswires. "U.S. dollar weakness makes Asian exports less expensive."
  • (MF) As Rand appreciation continually increases, exports quotation of South African chrome ore is expected to rise further. Currently, chrome ore transaction seems to be plain at Tianjin port partly due to capacity cut in Inner Mongolia.
  • (AP) Indonesian state-owned firm PT Aneka Tambang`s revenue grew above 10 per cent until September this year from Rp6.26 trillion (US$701.1 million) recorded in September 2009. "The revenue growth is driven by mining commodity price hikes in the market," the company`s president director Alwinsyah Loebis said on Thursday.
  • China's unemployment rate falls to 4.1% by Q3 - more
  • China metals output hit by power cuts, pollution - more
  • How Speculators Are Crippling the Copper Industry - more
  • America's Poor: Where Poverty Is Rising In America - more

  Domestic Productions Of Nickels In Japan In Aug. / 10 Increased Compared To Those In 2009 = Output Of Nickel Metal Increased By 27% And That Of Ferro-Nickel Also Increased by 22% - According to the monthly statistics concerning the quantities of steels and nonferrous metals produced in Japan in January - August of 2010 as well as in a single month of August, which were compiled and released in last week by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan produced <> nickel metal : 3,465 tons and <> ferro-nickel : 5,966 tons on Ni content base (28,871 tons on material base) in August of 2010. - more

  China steel output cuts to extend in Q4 - China's crude steel output dropped in September, with an industry official saying it may continue to fall over the fourth quarter as the world's biggest producer tries to meet pollution and energy efficiency targets. - more

    Preparing for next year’s Northern Sea Route season - The last convoys of vessels are soon ending this year’s season along the Northern Sea Route, but the different shipping companies have already started to prepare for next year. - more

  Oligarchs Fight Over Nickel Company - In a battle of Russian oligarchs, shareholders voted on Thursday to retain the current board at Norilsk Nickel, thwarting an effort by a minority owner to gain more seats and oust the management.  - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Thursday, October 21

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - minus 9 to 2,720. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) China's Economic Growth Cools as Inflation Accelerates // Rare Earth Prices Soar Even as China Pledges Supply // Zhou Wrestles With Dilemma Highlighting Inflow Risk for BRICs // Typhoon Megi Weakens on Way to South Coast of China, Center Says // China's Looming Cold Snap May Strain Energy Supplies, Hit Farms, Transport // Yuan Forwards Advance For First Time in Three Days on Weakness of Dollar // China Stocks Fall Most in Month as Economic Growth Slows; Banks Lead Drop // Most Asian Stocks Drop as China Growth Slows; India Advances on Earnings // G-20 Will Pledge Accord to Avoid Competing `Undervaluation' of Currencies // U.K. Retail Sales Unexpectedly Drop for Second Month // Euro Gains After Manufacturing Gauge Rises; Pound Drops on BOE Easing Bets // European Services, Manufacturing Growth Weakens // Germany Boosts Economic Growth Forecast to 3.4% for 2010, 1.8% for 2011 // European Stocks Rise to Six-Month High as Nokia, Danone Exceed Estimates // Larger Withdrawals From IRAs This Year May Help U.S. Savers With Taxes //  McDonald's Profit Rises 10% as Customers Snap Up Smoothies // Goldman Sachs Said to Mull Repaying Buffett's $5 Billion Stake // Philadelphia-Area Manufacturing Expanded in October // U.S. Stocks Rise on Earnings, Jobless Claims Data; EBay, Freeport Advance
  • The Euro is now trading 2/10 fo 1% lower against the US Dollar. NYMEX crude is off 2.4% and trading at $80.57/barrel. Gold is down nearly 1.6% and silver is lower by more than 2.7%. Base metals ended the session mixed, with lead and zinc the only winners. Indicator charts show nickel opened lower, struggled during most of the session to do something, and finally, losing ground late as the Dollar strengthened. Dow Jones reports three month nickel ended the day at $10.68/lb . Stockpiles of nickel stored worldwide in LME approved warehouses rose for a third consecutive days on Asian inflows. Total stockpile numbers exceed 124,800 tonnes.  Sucden's day old chart shows nickel trading thru yesterday (chart here). The RSI and SStoch technical signals showed a market opening this morning in overbought territory. The Baltic Dry Index dropped another 9 points overnight and appears to be stalled, rather than falling. Barry Sergeant posted an interesting article in Mine Web below, that is worth a read as abroad overview of the nickel market at present. Reports from Canada advise that Vale and the USW, who have been on strike for over 15 months now at the Voisey's Bay nickel mine, apparently couldn't make it a mere 15 hours before talks broke down again. The Voisey's Bay strike doesn't get nearly as much attention as the Sudbury strike did, primarily because it doesn't involve nearly as many workers. And based on their shipment schedule (here) Vale is using non unionized workers to continue mining and shipping. Striking a facility such as this must be difficult for the USW, as all site workers have to be flown in to the remote location, and thus media coverage, is next to nil.

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • (Dow Jones) Shareholders in Russian miner Norilsk Nickel have voted to keep the board that was elected in June, the company said Thursday, indicating a battle for control of the company will continue.
  • Home for the Holidays: A Preview of the 2010 Season - more
  • Beige Book: Where Are the Jobs? - more
  • Pledging Our Way to Fiscal Disaster - more
  • Judge: CFTC Corrupt, Wendy Gramm Criminal - more
  • A curious unemployment picture gets more curious - more
  • 18 Countries Where Women Have It Way Better Than In America - more

  Nickel's extraordinary comeback - Investors once again flock to the prince of base metals: are they like rabbits in the headlights? - more

  First nickel from Goro, 12 years after WA pioneers - Brazilian mining giant Vale, which acquired the New Caledonia-based Goro project after its acquisition of Inco in 2006, has announced first metal product from the high pressure acid leach (HPAL) project. - more

  The 4th New Caledonia Nickel Conference 15-19 November 2010 | Le Meridien, Noumea - more

  Chinese exporters are using Malaysia as an illegal transshipment hub to evade EU import duties on steel screws and bolts - more

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:20 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around  $.07/lb , with most other London traded base metals trading higher. The Euro is up 4/10 of 1% against the US Dollar currently. NYMEX crude is down nearly 4/10 of 1% and trading at $82.23/barrel. Gold is down 2/10 of 1% and silver is down 1/3 of 1%. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended higher, with China off 2/3 of 1%. European markets are trading higher this morning, and US futures show Wall Street should open higher. Nickel inventories rose again yesterday.  
  • Bloomberg morning base metal news - more
  • LME Morning - Metals push higher as dollar subsides, lead and zinc charge to multi-month peaks - more
  • Reuters - Copper steady on Chinese data, dollar weakness - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments - We were pleased to see that our analysis of the Chinese rate impact outlined in yesterday’s commentary turned out to be correct in that we argued that the rate increase was unlikely to keep commodity prices depressed or the dollar elevated for that long. However, we were rather stunned by the speed with which investors came to the same conclusion in that just a day after selling off sharply, markets recovered practically all of Tuesday's sharp losses. Crude was up by more than $2/br yesterday, recording its best daily point gain in more than a month, while base metals also had a very solid session, as did the precious metals. The US stock market recouped about 130 points of the 165 point loss it incurred on Tuesday, but the Euro's reversal was most impressive, as the greenback relinquished all of Tuesday's gains, falling back down to $1.39 from the $1.37 level reached on Tuesday. As of this writing, metal prices are up once again after opening lower in the Chinese session, and we expect the stronger tone to stay in place. Macro numbers out of China came in slightly on the weaker side, perhaps explaining the earlier softness in metals, but the complex has since regrouped given the weakness in the dollar, which is now back over the $1.40 mark against the Euro. With respect to the actual Chinese numbers, the government reported that China’s economy grew 9.6% in the third quarter, its smallest gain in a year, (but slightly ahead of estimates), while inflation accelerated in September to its fastest pace in some 23 months. Industrial output rose 13.3% in September from a year earlier compared with a 13.9% gain in August. ... In other news, China metals production data was released overnight, showing the country producing record volumes of refined lead and zinc in September. However, monthly production of primary aluminum fell by 8.4% to a 13-month low of 1.172 million tons on account of power cutbacks, and output is now down for four months in a row. China produced 505,000 tons of refined zinc in September, up 16.6% from August and 24.1% from a year ago. Lead output reached 421,000 tons in September, up 4.2% from August and up 19.3% from a year earlier. Domestic prices for lead and zinc have surpassed those on the LME, incentivizing producers to bring in more spot lead and zinc concentrate imports in the process. Refined copper production rose to 405,000 tons in September to reach its second-highest level this year, reversing two months of falls, while tin production rose 6.2% to a 3-month high of 13,600 tons in September. Monthly nickel production rose 12.5% to 17,629 tons in September after top producer Jinchuan Group restarted a 60,000-ton-a-year a month earlier than expected. The September production breakdowns are tabulated in our attachment. .... Nickel is at $23,769, down $176, and is sitting out the rally, although it did have good move yesterday. Charts are neutral for the moment, with a sideways trading pattern in place. (read Ed Meir's complete morning base metals report here)
  • (Interfax) China's molybdenum concentrate output will likely reach 83,000 tons by the end of 2010, up 14 percent year-on-year, Vice General Manager at Jinduicheng Molybdenum Marketing Corp., Nick Cao, said at the Oct. 20 Minor Metals and Rare Earths 2010 conference in Xiamen.
  • (MBN) Chinese nickel output up 16% in Sep
  • Outokumpu - There has been some pick-up in demand for stainless steel standard grades after the summer period in Europe. The increasing price of nickel has had a positive effect on mainly distributors' buying behaviour. Demand for special grades, however, continues to be softer and no clear recovery from investment-driven end-use segments has taken place. Outokumpu's deliveries increased by 29% to 307000 tonnes in the third quarter compared to the same quarter in 2009. Average base prices were 5% lower than a year ago. Main raw material prices continued to be clearly higher than in 2009. Average nickel price increased by 20% and ferrochrome price by 46%. As a result, Outokumpu's sales were significantly, 70%, higher than in 2009, at EUR 999 million.
  • Beige Book: Economy Continues Modest Expansion in September - more
  • China's GDP grows 9.6% in Q3, inflation picks up - more
  • China's industrial value-added output growth slows in Sept - more

  Voisey's Bay nickel mine negotiations break down as inquiry into strike looms - Talks aimed at ending a 15-month-long strike at the Voisey's Bay nickel mine in Labrador have broken off. - more

  Vale May Become Biggest Nickel Producer Next Year - Vale SA, the world’s biggest iron- ore miner, may become the largest nickel producer by next year as it begins output at new projects in Brazil and New Caledonia, Chief Executive Officer Roger Agnelli said. - more

  China’s Output of NPI in September down 27.70% MoM -  SMM conducted a survey on September’s NPI output at domestic NPI producers. - more

  China to raise nickel output - Anticipating a big price boom in Nickel, China has decided to step up production of nickel contained pig iron in the coming year. - more

  Market Tendency On Imports Of Ferro-Alloys At 15th October 2010 = After Long Holidays In China Were Over, Domestic Prices Of Bulk Ferro-Alloys Have Turned To Fall Somewhat - The market tendency by item on imports of ferro-alloys into Japan at the 15th October of 2010 is as follows  - more

  Ferrochrome major plugs into power - Indian Metals and Ferro Alloys Ltd (Imfa), the country’s biggest ferrochrome manufacturer, will soon diversify as an independent power producer. - more

  China Metal Demand to Remain `Robust' as Cities, Factories Grow, Rio Says - China’s growth in metals demand will be “robust,” even as economic expansion slows, as the country builds more cities, homes and factories, said Rio Tinto Group, the world’s third-largest mining company. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Wednesday, October 20

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - minus 15 to 2,729. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) China Rate Move May Lure Capital, Complicating Inflation Fight // Yuan Weakens Most in Four Months, Bonds Decline After China Raises Rates // China Reports Slowdown in Industrial Output Growth for First Nine Months // China's Stocks Rise After Rate Increase; Insurers Rally, Developers Plunge // BHP Potash Bid Sweetener Said Rejected by Saskatchewan // China Pledges Rare Earth Supplies, Signals Exports May Rebound // BOE Leans Toward More Purchases After October's Three-Way Split // Moscow May Sell Assets When Putin's Man Takes Charge of Capital // Dollar Weakens on Prospects Fed Officials to Signal Easing; Pound Drops // Osborne to Slash Jobs, Tax Banks in U.K. Budget Cuts // European Stocks Advance; Peugeot, BASF Gain as Home Retail, Vestas Slide // Delta Air Posts $363 Million Profit as Fares Increase in Travel Rebound // Stocks Rebound on Earnings as Dollar Slumps on Fed Speculation
  • The Euro is dishing out a pounding to the US Dollar today, trading 1.7% higher at the moment. With that kind of news, you just know commodities had a big day. NYMEX crude -  up 2.4% and trading at $81.40/Barrel. Gold - up over 8/10 of 1%. Silver - up over 2%. Base metals - solidly higher on the day. Indicator charts show nickel opened higher, meandered thru much of the early part of the session, but then rose sharply with the Euro in late trading. Dow Jones reports three month nickel ended the session at $10.86/lb . Worldwide stockpiles of nickel, stored in LME approved warehouses, rose for a second consecutive day yesterday, and now stand just over the 124,500 tonne level. As has been the case most of the month, inflows continue to register in Asian warehouses, while European warehouses primarily register outflows. Sucden failed to update their day old chart. The Baltic Dry Index slipped for a fourth consecutive day, down 15 points. So far the BDI has backtracked a total of 40 points in the last 4 days, after seeing a gain of 74 points over the three days prior. If you laid the nickel trading charts over the Euro/Dollar trading chart, you would swear they are almost the same lately. We know, this is sacrilege to those who remain faithful to the 'fundamental's guide all' faction, and we are sure it's no more than a mere coinkidink but sure makes a thinking person wonder. Great Britain announced budget cuts that will cost over half a million public workers their jobs over the next four years. France is running out of gas at the pumps as nationwide protests over the raising of the retirement age continues. And here in the US, the top news story of the day is a female spate between a Supreme Court justices wife and her husband's accuser from 19 years ago. We are so screwed!   

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • China Deviates From the Rule of Nine - more
  • Fed’s Fisher: Outcome of Coming Meeting Is Not Settled - more
  • Mortgage Applications Decrease in Latest MBA Weekly Survey - more
  • U.S. architecture billings highest since Jan '08 - more
  • Underwater Mortgages - more
  • Big Spender, Part II - more
  • Larson: Next stop, correction - more

  China steel output to remain sluggish in Q4 - China's crude steel output in the remaining months of 2010 is likely to remain relatively sluggish, with construction activity in northern regions starting to slow, Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing the country's steel industry association. - more

  Mitsubishi S.Africa unit Hernic reaches union deal - South Africa's Hernic Ferrochrome, a unit of Japan's Mitsubishi Corp, said on Wednesday it has reached an agreement with unions for a 9 percent across-the-board wage increase for 2010 to 2011. - more

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:15 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.14/lb higher, with all London traded base metals trading higher this morning. The Euro is giving some ammo to commodity traders and is currently trading over 9/10 of 1% higher against the US Dollar. NYMEX crud eis up nearly 1.1% and trading at $80.34/barrel. Gold is over 4/10 of 1% higher and silver is up 1-2/3%. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended slightly higher, with China up 2/3 of 1%. European markets are trading higher this morning, and US futures imply a bullish start for Wall Street. Nickel inventories rose yesterday.
  • Bloomberg morning base metal news - more
  • LME Morning - Bears, bargain-hunters fight out metals’ new direction - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments - Markets were blindsided by yesterday's announcement from China putting in place a 25 basis point increase in the country's benchmark one-year lending and deposit rates, the first such rate rise in some three years. The impact of the news was severe across commodity markets, with copper falling to a 10-day low, gold and silver both sinking, and crude shedding more than $3.50/brl. By the end of Tuesday's close, the Reuters-Jefferies CRB global benchmark posted its biggest one-day loss in 3-1/2 months. US stocks also fell, since they were quite overbought to begin with; the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed almost 170 points, this despite generally favorable earnings reports from a number of companies, as well as better than expected September housing starts and permits figures. The dollar was the sole winner, pushing to $1.37 against the Euro and also making good gains against both the yen and sterling. Upon closer examination, China’s rate announcement should not have come as a total surprise. We say this in view of the fact that for more than a year now, the Chinese authorities have shied away from raising rates, focusing instead on "controlling" individual sectors in the economy by imposing rules specific to that sector. This approach has not really worked, best evidenced by the lack of progress in cooling off real estate, which despite a plethora of new rules and down payment increases, has yet to experience any sort of meaningful price decline. This may be why the authorities are now trying their hand with the more nondiscriminatory method of raising rates, hoping that higher borrowing costs will finally induce the desired economic slowdown. Although the Chinese rate announcement is undoubtedly a new variable to contend with, we do not think it is a significant "game changer" for metals. If anything, the move highlights the widening chasm between emerging markets and the West when it comes to growth. As emerging markets hike interest rates to control runaway growth and fight off inflationary pressures, the dollar should come under renewed pressure (Tuesday's rally notwithstanding) and so should keep the commodity complex well bid. We should also note that the Chinese rate move is only the first such hike, and may be too insignificant to have a measurable impact on Chinese metal demand. However, its psychological significance should not be underestimated in that having raised rates once, the authorities could easily do so again. Of course, subsequent hikes would be much more problematic for the markets, but having said that, future increases are still some ways off. We therefore have to look at yesterday's setback as being temporary, and would not be surprised to see markets regroup heading into next week. We may be seeing some of this thinking settling in today, with crude oil prices already recouping about a third of yesterday’s losses, while metals are slightly higher as well, having recovered earlier losses. Most importantly, the dollar has weakened quite a bit, and is now off by a full Euro, trading at $1.3820 from a high of $1.37 yesterday. Finally, US stocks are called to open higher as well. ... Nickel is at $23,511, up $36. (read Ed Meir's complete morning base metals report here)
  • (Dow Jones) The global nickel market was in a 63,000-metric-ton deficit between January and August this year, the World Bureau of Metal Statistics said Wednesday. That compares with a 4,700-ton deficit in the same period 2009, and with a surplus of 28,100 tons in the whole of 2009, which includes substantial imports by China, some destined for re-stocking purposes.
  • (Yieh) Taiwan’s Yieh United Steel Corp. (Yusco) is expected to have 2.5 million tons of cold rolled stainless steel output in 2010, up by 50% compared to last year. The total output includes that from Yusco’s subsidiary, China’s Lianzhong Stainless Steel Corp. (Lisco).
  • (JMB) NSSC Ferrochrome Purchase Price to Stay in Oct-Dec
  • China steel demand growth to slow down from 2011 - more
  • Interest rate hike of 25 basis points announced - more

  Heat raised on Voisey's Bay talks - The Newfoundland and Labrador government increased the pressure Tuesday evening on both sides in the long-running strike at the Voisey's Bay nickel mine. - more

  Disappointing Chinese Deals For Japanese Stainless Exports - Japan's stainless steel manufacturers face a disappointing state of negotiations this week on their export deals of nickel-based CR sheets for shipments to China covering December through January next year. They admit few cases of a negotiated deal as local customers as a whole still favor continued purchases for immediate requirements alone. - more

  Supply And Demand Of Molybdenum In Japan In First Half 2010 = Imports Of Moly Oxide Increased, World Production Of Moly In 2011 Is Anticipated To Be Restrictive - The actual quantities of molybdenum imported, produced and consumed by Japan in the first half (January - June) of 2010 were traced. Since the output of steel products in Japan has revived, the consumption of molybdenum in Japan has increased and, as a matter of fact, Japan imported 15,888 tons in material of molybdenum ore (molybdenum oxide) in the first half of 2010, having had a considerable increase of 46.1% compared with that (10,871 tons) in the same period of 2009. - more

  Xstrata to spend $710 mln on ferrochrome expansion - Miner Xstrata will spend $710 million to boost capacity of ferrochrome production and cut costs with a more energy-efficient smelter in South Africa, which is struggling to meet power needs. - more

  Interros cancels Norilsk Nickel deal with Rusal - Vladimir Potanin's Interros (which holds 25 percent in Norilsk Nickel) has announced today its termination of the cooperation agreement entered into in November 2008 with the nickel producer's major shareholder - UC Rusal (which holds 25 percent in Norilsk Nickel). Back then, the sides agreed to form the mining company's board of directors on a parity basis, with four directors each from Interros and Rusal. - more

  PNG activists target Australian firm's dumping plans - Activists in Papua New Guinea are targeting an Australian mining company in a bid to stop mine waste being dumped into the sea. - more

  Norilsk-Nickel shipment arrived in Shanghai - The ice-classed vessel “Monchegorsk” is the first cargo vessel to sail the entire Northern Sea Route without icebreaker assistance. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Tuesday, October 19

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - minus 12 to 2,744. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) China Raises Lending, Deposit Rates as Inflation Accelerates // Asian Hedge Funds Struggle to Raise Cash Even Amid Boom // Xi Closer to Succeeding Hu With China Military Commission Post // China Key Stock Index Closes Above 3,000 Level For First Time Since April // Bank of Japan's `Sense of Crisis' Led to Latest Easing, Ex-Official Says // Posco's Planned $12 Billion Indian Steel Plant in Doubt After Panel Report // Typhoon Megi Kills 10 People in Philippines, Heads Toward Southern China // Italy Seen as Bigger Default Risk Than Indonesia, Philippines: Euro Credit // German Investor Confidence Fell to 21-Month Low in October // Mortgage Securities Show U.S. Foreclosure Crisis Overblown: Credit Markets // France Pension Protests Crimp Fuel Supply, Disrupt Transport // European Stocks Decline on China's Interest-Rate Increase, Apple Forecast // Bank of America Posts $7.3 Billion Loss on Cost of New Rules // Commercial Property Prices in U.S. Decline to Eight-Year Low, Moody's Says // U.S. Shoppers Plan to Increase Holiday Spending by 1%, NRF Says // Hurricane Threat to U.S. Gulf Rigs Fades to Almost Zero, Forecasters Say
  • The Euro is trading 9/10 of 1% lower against the US Dollar at the moment. NYMEX crude is down nearly 2-1/2% and trading at $81.02/barrel. Gold is off 2.1% and silver is down 2%. Base metals ended the session lower, as the Dollar strength and interest rate hike in China turned traders cautious. Indicator charts show nickel opened higher early, then spent the day in a gradual slide only to see some gains late. For the day, Dow Jones reports three month nickel ended at $10.65/lb . Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME warehouses rose yesterday and now sit just over the 124,100 tonne level. Both European and Asian warehouse saw inflows. Sucden's day old chart shows nickel trading thru yesterday (chart here). The Baltic Dry Index has hit a snag, down for a third day with a loss of 12 points. We still remain higher than we were this time a week ago though. On the news front, it was fairly quiet for our industry today. Vale and the USW from Voisey's Bay have been pushed back to the negotiation table by Canadian officials. Came across this blurb on a blog from last Wednesday "There are no happy dances going on at AK Steel, but all of the 1,200 laid off during the Great Recession are back to work. "At the depths of the recession, we had 1,000-1,200 on layoff. They are all back. That's good news. Orders are stronger than they were a year ago." That's from Alan McCoy, AK's government and public relations vice president, speaking today to the West Chester Liberty Chamber Alliance."

  Reports

  • Commodities Daily - pdf here
  • Reuters Metals Insider - pdf here
  • MF Global Fred Demler's LME Metals Presentation - pdf here

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • (Dow Jones) Brazilian miner Vale SA (will resume negotiations with officials from the United Steelworkers union Wednesday in a last-ditch attempt to end a 15-month strike at the company's Voisey's Bay operations in eastern Canada, a company spokesman said Tuesday.
  • (PPG) Allegheny Technologies said today it expects to report third quarter net income of approximately 1 cent per share, reflecting 25 cents in charges related to unexpected nickel price increases and recently approved federal small business legislation.
  • (MW) South African miner Merafe Resources on Tuesday reported a 7% drop in third quarter ferrochrome production, owing to reduced operating capacity.
  • CPC vows to restructure economy - more
  • China Plans to Reduce Its Exports of Minerals - more
  • Retirement Saving Is Important, Just Not Now - more
  • Fed’s Lockhart ‘Leaning In Favor’ of Action - more
  • Preventing a National Debt Explosion - more
  • China starts to develop new generation of high speed train - more
  • The New Tax Man: Big Banks and Hedge Funds - more
  • Inside the Illusory Empire of the Banking Commodity Con Game  - more
  • Deleveraging, Deceleration, and the Double Dip - more
  • 5 times we almost nuked ourselves by accident - more
  • Confidence conundrum - more

  Russia's Interros to support current board at EGM - Russian tycoon Vladimir Potanin's Interros private equity fund, which holds about 25 percent of Norilsk Nickel, said on Tuesday it will support the current board at the company's EGM on Thursday. - more

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:20 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.13/lb , with most London traded base metals lower this morning. The Euro is trading nearly 1/2 of 1% lower against the US Dollar. NYMEX crude is down 1-1/4% and trading at $82.03/barrel. Gold is down nearly 1.1% and silver is off over 1.8%. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended higher, with CHina up 2/1%. European markets are trading slightly lower this morning and US futures show Wall Street might open lower. Nickel inventories rose yesterday.   
  • Bloomberg morning base metal news - more
  • LME Morning - Metals consolidate and slow as dollar selling abates - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments - Metals pared earlier losses yesterday to finish sharply higher. The complex teed off a reversal seen in US stock index futures, where stocks perked up after Citibank came out with a strong quarterly earnings report. In addition, the dollar gave up its earlier gains, allowing a measure of buying to return to both the metals and energy. The macro news out of the US was mixed yesterday, but did not derail the advance we had in both metals and energy. The most disappointing release was the September industrial production number, which came out at -.2% versus the +.2% expected, its first decline in some six months. The weakness here also caused month-over-month capacity utilization to fall for the first time since June 2009. On the other hand, confidence among homebuilders rose in October to its highest level in four months, a sign that residential construction could be stabilizing. We were modestly higher in metals earlier in the day, with lead and zinc being particularly strong, hitting their highest levels since January and April, respectively. However, there has been a sharp fade over the last 30 minutes, with copper losing practically all of yesterday’s gains and now deeply in the red, while many other metals are also down. This weakness is attributable to the announcement made over the last 30 minutes or so whereby Chinese authorities have said that they will raise their benchmark one-year lending and deposit rate by 25 basis points. This is pushing the dollar higher, now trading below the $1.39 level against the Euro, and its strength is impacting a number of other commodity complexes, including oil and gold, both of which are off sharply.  ...  Nickel is at $23,650, down $160, but the uptrend seems to be intact, and we still seem to be on course to test next resistance at $25,710 providing nickel can safely navigate the current turbulence. (read Ed Meir's complete morning base metals report here)
  • (SMW) Mining group Xstrata reported strong momentum for coal, copper and nickel volumes in the third quarter compared with the previous quarter.
  • (Reuters) China's crude steel output in the remaining months of 2010 is likely to remain relatively sluggish, with construction activity in northern regions starting to slow, the country's steel industry association said on Tuesday.
  • (Yieh) China’s Lianzhong Stainless Steel Corp. (Lisco) has announced to adjust the price for October. Among them, the price of 300 series cold rolled stainless steel has been up by RMB400/ ton (US$45/ton); that of 300 series hot rolled stainless steel has increased by RMB500/ton (US$75/ton).
  • (SSI) ThyssenKrupp’s new stainless steel mill in the US state of Alabama has gone into operation. Production has begun with one cold rolling mill. Cold-rolled capacity is initially 100,000 metric tons a year and will increase over time to a maximum 140,000 tons a year.
  • (MP) Voisey's Bay strike talks to resume in response to government ultimatum

  First Quantum Minerals to restart Ravensthorpe by May - Canada's First Quantum Minerals plans to re-start the Ravensthorpe nickel operation by next May after $190 million in renovations. - more

  Little Change in Steel, Aluminum Shipment and Inventory Trend - Very little change occurred in North American metals service center shipment and inventory trends in September, the Metals Activity Report from the Metals Service Center Institute shows. Sequential steel inventories rose slightly in both the United States and Canada. - more

  After Nation Day Was Over, Domestic Prices Of Bulk Ferro-Alloys In China Have Weakened = As Countermeasures For Long Holidays, Purchases Made Round And Business Has Turned To Be Dull - Domestic prices of bulk ferro-alloys (ferro-silicon and silico-manganese) in China have fallen from the beginning of this week. After China had many holidays under the names of the Mid-Autumn Festival and the Nation Day in late September to early October, domestic prices of ferro-silicon and silico-manganese in China have started to fall somewhat from the 11th of October, reflecting the fact that the consumers concerned have already made the round of their purchases, and the market has become dull. - more

  Commodities to Rally on Fed’s ‘Game Changer,’ UBS Forecasts - Commodities will rally if the U.S. Federal Reserve eases monetary policy next month, according to UBS AG, which describes a likely second round of quantitative easing as a “game changer” for copper, gold and palladium. - more

  Courtesy AISI - In the week ending October 16 2010, domestic raw steel production was 1,629,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 67.4 percent. Production was 1,491,000 tons in the week ending October 16, 2009, while the capability utilization then was 62.3 percent. The current week production represents a 9.3 percent increase from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending October 16, 2010 is down 1.3 percent from the previous week ending October 9, 2010 when production was 1,651,000 tons and the rate of capability utilization was 68.3 percent.

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Monday, October 18

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - minus 6 to 2,756. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) China's Bond Prices Drop on Speculation Rising Stocks Will Attract Funds // China Stocks Drop 1st Time in 8 Days, Snapping Longest Rally in 11 Months // Man Found Drowned as Supertyphoon Megi Prompts Evacuations in Philippines // BHP, Rio Drop Iron Ore Venture as Regulators Oppose // European Stocks Advance to Highest Close Since April; BlueBay, Banks Climb // Crop Surge Drives U.S. Export Boom as Obama Channels Kansas Corn //  Citigroup Profit Beats Estimates on Decline in Loss Provisions // Production in U.S. Unexpectedly Falls for First Time in a Year // Treasuries, Stocks Advance on Speculation Fed Will Step Up Asset Purchases
  • The Euro is now trading slightly higher against the US Dollar. NYMEX crude is up 2% and trading at $82.87/barrel. Gold is up 2/10 of 1% and silver is higher by 4/10 of 1%. Base metals ended the day mixed but most, slightly higher. Indicator charts show nickel opened much lower this morning, but followed the Euro higher thru much of the session, until it fell back late. Dow Jones reports three month nickel ended the day at $10.80/lb . Inventories of nickel stored in LME approved warehouses slipped Friday and now sit just over the 123,800 tonne level. Sucden's day old chart shows nickel trading thru last week (chart here). The technical signals RSI and SStoch show a market with room to rise. The Baltic Dry Index edged lower for a second day, losing another 6 points. It was interesting reading Ed Meir comments on the LME Week this morning. It would appear the any concerns about the 'fundamentals of supply and demand' about nickel were apparently overshadowed by discussions of the impact of metals ETF's, the Dollar/Euro moves, and other 'external' factors that appear to have a more direct influence on nickel prices these days, than any actual mining or use of the metal. Typhoon MEGI is moving away from the Philippines, and is targeting Hong Kong next (chart here). The Federal Reserve reported industrial production slipped last month for the first time in six months, but the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo housing market index rose, so Wall Street is higher. These days, bad news means the market is betting the Fed will be forced to pump even more money into the economy when it meets in November, and good news is, well good news. The Fed lowering its concerns about inflation will most likely keep precious and base metals higher.

  Reports

  • Commodities Daily - pdf here
  • Reuters Metals Insider - pdf here
  • ABN Amron Metals Monthly - pdf here
  • Robry Weekly Economic Assessment - more

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • (Dow Jones) Brazilian mining giant Vale SA is aiming to corner 20% of the world nickel market, base metals executive director Tito Martins said Monday. The aim is to boost output to 400,000 metric tons a year, Martins said during a meeting with investors in New York. In 2008, before Vale suffered a year-long strike at some of its Canadian nickel operations, Vale's finished nickel output accounted for 17.4% of the world's total, compared with a 20.6% share held by the world's biggest nickel producer, Norilsk Nickel Mining & Metallurgical Co., Martins said.  
  • (SBB) Asian stainless prices edge higher in cautious market
  • (IF) Mr Dmitry Razumov withdrew his consent to stand for election to the board of directors of OJSC MMC Norilsk Nickel at the Extraordinary General Meeting of shareholders, which will be held on October 21st 2010.
  • China Uneasy with Quantitative Easing Prospect - more
  • Number of the Week: Slow Growth Adds to Deficit - more
  • Retirees Will Feel COLA Withdrawal - more
  • Banks Shared Clients’ Profits, but Not Losses - more
  • World's top 5 best leaders for 2010 - more
  • Hey, Big Spender - more
  • Rare and Foolish - more

  India rolls out first double-decker AC train - The Rail Coach Factory (RCF) in Kapurthala city of India's northern Punjab state rolled out Indian Railways' first air-conditioned double-decker train comprising 10 coaches that included eight double-deckers nd two power cars. The stainless steel coaches have been introduced to cater to heavy rush of travelers on high-density routes, offering air-conditioned travel at a lower cost. - more

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:20 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.14/lb with other base metals mostly lower. The Euro is trading 2/3 of 1% lower against the US Dollar this morning. NYMEX crude is trading flat to slightly lower. Gold is trading nearly 1/2 of 1% lower while silver is down more than 8/10 of 1%. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended lower, with China off 2/3 of 1%. European markets are slightly higher this morning and US futures show Wall Street may open lower. Nickel inventories fell Friday. 
  • Bloomberg morning base metal news - more
  • LME Morning - Base metals softened across the board during Monday morning LME trading, under pressure from a strong dollar and continued risk aversion sales, following on from Friday's savage and unexpected late sell-off. - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments - LME musings: Last week’s LME dinner was once again a very memorable affair, with the week starting off with a series of presentations at the LME seminar held Monday (including one by this writer) on the various base metals. The speeches are on the LME website, but the broad consensus calls for prices to move higher going into next year. The Goldman Sachs analyst qualified his copper forecast, pointing out that the firm’s controversial $11,000 target is a high for 2011, and that average prices would come in $9200 a ton. In addition, there was excellent overview by the keynote speaker (Dr. Philippa Malmgren) on the world’s current macro and geopolitical leanings, with particular focus on what the impact of the current trends would be on commodity prices (very bullish was her conclusion). It was somewhat ironic that the LME conference was held at the QE II conference center, where among other things, the other “QE2” was also discussed, namely, the quantitative easing being contemplated by the Fed. In fact, we suspect that this is the variable has largely been what has been behind the surge we have seen in the commodity complex of late, as investors are discounting the likelihood of such a move by selling the dollar, while bidding up prices for almost everything else. Indeed, despite a wobble session on Friday, the 19-commodity Reuters-Jefferies CRB index managed to rise for an eight straight week last week for its longest unbroken streak since the middle of 2008. Markets were also taken aback by talk of late that the Fed’s inflation targets may also be increased to 2%, as the central bank is signaling a willingness to accept slightly more inflation as a consequence of getting growth off the ground. So far, the excess liquidity generated thus far is simply accumulating on bank balance sheets, while consumer borrowing remains sluggish. There is no indication yet that another round of easing will fare any better, and we very well could see the consequence of the Fed’s action result in even higher commodity prices down the road. Our other unscientific gauge of sentiment at the LME dinner were the number of people assembled at the Triland affair at the Dorchester Hotel on the Monday night preceding the dinner. This year, the room was more packed than at any time in the past, but the serving tables managed to keep pace, rolling out the always excellent sushi. Talking to various people at the event inevitably brought out similar themes; most were negative on the dollar, positive on metal prices, and still very bullish on Chinese economic prospects. ETF’s were also talked about in great detail, but the consensus on the prices impact was mixed. We will outline our views on the subject in commentary out later this week. In addition, we will be sending out Fred Demler’s outlook on the various metals later this week, which he presented at an MF Global conference on Wednesday; this is in PowerPoint format, but contains a number of excellent slides. (Mr. Demler is head of commodities at MF Global). With that, we turn to the current action in the markets, where we are seeing metals selling off slightly following a decent run on Friday. Gold prices are lower, oil markets are flat, while the US stock market is called to open lower following a sloppy session on Friday. Although the dollar is slightly stronger today against the euro (now trading at $1.3900) it is down some 6% against a basket of currencies so far this month. As mentioned earlier, the greenback’s recent weakness is being triggered by growing expectations of a further Fed ease, thought to be around $500 billion and likely announced when the Fed next meets in early November. In a speech delivered Friday, Chairman Bernanke did little to debunk such estimates, so an ease seems to be a foregone conclusion. Interestingly, the fact that most markets sold off slightly after the Bernanke confirmation suggests that investors have already discounted this likelihood, and may now be considering selling into the actual news. We think this situation has yet to fully play itself out, and for this reason, we may be in store for somewhat sloppy sessions in most markets, at least for the early part of this week. Looking further ahead, the "short dollar/long everything else" trade still seems to govern the state of affairs in most markets, but if it were to be dislodged, we need to see headlines that could trigger more concerted selling. In fact, we thought we were going to get such a trigger from the upcoming Fed meeting in November, as we did not think the central bank would follow through with its ease given the weaker dollar, but Chairman Bernanke's forceful comments on Friday seems to have put to rest that line of thinking. Another source of market tension could emanate from the escalating US-China currency dispute, but even this seems to have come off the boil, with the US Treasury delaying (once again) its decision on whether or not to brand China a "currency manipulator". This leaves us with a final bearish trigger, that of a modest retreat in the US equity markets, perhaps building on the weakness we saw in a number of banking names. In this regard, the Bank of American, JP Morgan, and Wells Fargo, are all trading close to, or below, 52-week lows, as the suspension of home foreclosures is fueling concern that the banks will now have to take back a large number of non-performing loans sold off to others. The banks contend that the problem is merely an issue of reviewing paper-work, and expect to see the foreclosure cycle resume. However, the very weak performance of their underlying stocks suggests otherwise, and indicates that investors are bracing for a far more protracted impact on bank earnings. In fact, an analyst at FBR Capital Markets, estimates that for every month a foreclosure is delayed, banks must pay an additional $1,000 in upkeep of a home. Including legal fees, costs to the industry could total $10bn if foreclosures were delayed for more than a few weeks, he said. These are startling estimates and certainly could unhinge the markets if these numbers start to gain traction. ..... Nickel is at $23,675, down $365, but the uptrend seems to be intact, and we still seem to be on course to test the April high of $27,350. However, there is some resistance below that, namely at $25,710. (read Ed Meir's complete morning base metals report here)
  • (Yieh) Since Yieh United Steel Corp. (Yusco) has announced to raise domestic price of 300 series stainless steel NT$2,000/ton for the second half of October, it is expected that the stainless steel market might start a chain reaction to increase the price accordingly.
  • (AFPA) The American Forest & Paper Association released the September 2010 U. S. Containerboard Statistics Report today. For the eleventh straight month, containerboard production rose over same month a year ago. Total production saw an increase of 189,500 tons or 7.0% when compared to September 2009. Production fell 3.3% over August 2010 but the month over month average daily production was flat. Year-to-date 2010 production has increased 9.2% over 2009.
  • (MB) Sinosteel Zhongbao to start FeNi smelter in Nov
  • (JMB) Japan Stainless Steel Sheet Orders Increases by 19.1% in August
  • The challenge of millions on the move - more

  Steeply Risen LME Nickel Price Encourages To Produce More Ni-Contained Pig Iron In China = Aiming To Produce 180,000 Tons On Ni Content Base In Next Year, New Projects Are Commissioned Successively - There is a large probability that China will produce more than 180,000 tons per annum on Ni content base of nickel-contained pig iron in the next year of 2011. China is anticipated to produce nickel-contained pig iron on a scale of 150,000 - 160,000 tons on Ni content base in 2010 by an increase of 20,000 - 30,000 tons from that in 2009. - more

  Ferrochrome to test new highs on demand surge - Steel ingredient ferrochrome will test new highs within the next 12 months, as production fails to keep pace with a jump in global demand and current stockpiles are too low to fill the gap. - more

  The Southeast Sulawesi provincial government is planning to file a lawsuit with the local court against nickel mining company PT Inco on the grounds it has harmed the local people`s interests. "The international company now controls more than 62,000 hectares of nickel mining concession under a contract of work signed in 1968 but it does not contribute to the local people`s welfare whatsoever," Southeast Sulawesi governor Nur Alam said on Sunday. - more

  Ramu NiCo ruling set - A decision on whether Ramu NiCo Management (MCC) will be temporarily stopped from carrying out construction work and operation of the deep sea tailings placement (DSTP) facilities pending a substantive trial will be handed down this Friday. - more

  • Papua New Guinea NGO calls Australian mining company unethical - An Australian listed company is being targeted by a Papua New Guinea NGO over its involvement in the controversial Ramu nickel mine. - more

  Norilsk Nickel Plans $20 Billion Program to Boost Arctic Output - OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel’s polar division, the mining company’s biggest earner in the past decade, will spend $20 billion by 2030 to stop production from falling, according to its head Evgeny Muravyov. - more

  BHP, Rio scrap $116 bln iron ore joint venture - BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto ditched plans to form the world's biggest iron-ore joint venture, in a victory for steel makers and a move that could prompt both miners to step up competing expansion plans. - more

   Brazil's ruling party denies Vale jobs remark-report - Brazil's ruling Workers' Party (PT) has denied allegations that some of its officials pressured mining giant Vale for jobs, O Globo newspaper reported on Saturday. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Friday, October 15

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - minus 7 to 2,762. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) China's Communist Party Elite Meets to Discuss Leadership Changes, Poverty // Sony Sees `Strong' Europe Christmas Sales on PS3 Rise // Derivatives Trading in Asia Overtakes North American Level for First Time // China Sees 6.1% Gain in Foreign Direct Investment as Growth Lures Renault // China Rebuffs Japan's `Unreasonable' Yuan Exchange-Rate Policy Criticism // Asian Stocks Retreat on Recovery Concern as U.S. Jobless Claims Increase // China September Property Prices Rise, Defying Curbs // China's Trade Gap With U.S. Climbs to Record, Fueling Yuan Tension // China Stocks Rise for 7th Day, Capping Best Rally in 11 Months; Banks Gain // Big Banks May Escape Capital Surcharge as Global Talks Founder // OPEC Members Seek $100 Oil to Counter Dollar Weakness // French Police Unblock Fuel Depots as Labor Unrest Cuts Supplies // Most European Stocks Fall as U.S. Consumer Confidence Drops; Banks Decline // Bernanke Sees Case for `Further Action' on Economy With Too-Low Inflation // Bank of America Downgraded By Bond Market on Foreclosures: Credit Markets // Retail Sales in U.S. Climbed More Than Forecast in September // Consumer Prices in U.S. Rise 0.1% in September; Core Unchanged // U.S. Consumer Confidence Unexpectedly Decreases to 67.9 in Michigan Index
  • The Euro is currently trading over 1/2 of 1% lower against the US Dollar. NYMEX crude is off 1.4% and trading at $81.53/barrel. Gold is lower by nearly 8/10 of 1% and silver is off nearly 1.4%. Base metals ended the session mostly lower but mixed. Indicator charts show nickel opened higher yet again,  and spent the day in a protracted slide. Dow Jones reports three month nickel ended the day, and week, at $10.90/lb . After five consecutive gainers, inventories of nickel stored in LME approved warehouses slipped yesterday and now stand just over the 124,000 tonne level. Sucden's day old chart shows nickle trading within a trend (chart here), but for those who watch technical signals, the RSI and SStoch show a market entering oversold territory. The Baltic Dry Index slipped 7 points to 2,762. LME Week ends today and things should return to normal next week, i.e. more volatility. Will be curious to read Ed Meir's thoughts in his Monday report of the meeting, as many analysts coming away, seem to be pumped up about metals prices staying pumped up. US reports were a mixed bag today. Retail sales rose in September, consumer confidence feel, inflation remained in check and hopefully, in a sign of things to come, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's Empire State Manufacturing Survey reported New York manufacturing activity rose a shocking 15.73 versus 4.14 in last month's report. Let's hope that spreads like wild fire!
  • Have a safe and relaxing weekend!!

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • RBS analyst Nick Moore - "We forecast that improving market fundamentals will lead to sustained price strength across the base metals in 2011 and that real tightness will support further price gains out to 2014."
  • Barclays Capital - "While this price strength has been widely attributed to the weakness of the dollar, the underlying fundamentals have continued to improve, making these price moves justified, in our view"
  • (MB) 304 stainless steel prices in China's main market of Wuxi have fallen for the first time in eight weeks, as demand showed signs of weakening.
  • (SO) Shanxi Province-based Chinese steelmaker Shanxi Taigang Stainless Steel Corporation has announced that in the third quarter of the current year it recorded net profits of around RMB 175-192 million ($26.3-28.9 million), down 73.13-75.58 percent compared to the corresponding period of 2009....
  • Parsing Bernanke: Takeaways From Boston Speech - more
  • Lower- and Middle-Income Spending Lowest Since January '08 - more
  • Employment-Based Retirement Plan Participation - pdf here
  • Foreclosure Crisis Finally Hitting Banks Where it Hurts: Their Stock Prices - more
  • Unemployment Claim Numbers: What Do They Mean? - more
  • U.S. Manufacturing Growth Likely to Slow - more
  • The Mortgage Morass - more
  • Only the Weak Survive - more

  Nickel price hike to hurt Allegheny Technologies income - Allegheny Technologies said today it expects to report third quarter net income of approximately 1 cent per share, reflecting 25 cents in charges related to unexpected nickel price increases and recently approved federal small business legislation. - more

  Games fail to cheer steel makers - Beijing Olympics consumed 6-7 mt steel, while CWG demand was less than 1mt. - more

  Coastal Chromium Strip Mines Challenged - The Portland-based environmental group is contesting the permitting process for four different strip mines between the coastal towns of Bandon and Charleston. - more

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:20 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around no change , of earlier highs and just going slightly negative, with other base metals mixed and quiet. The Euro is trading slightly higher against the US Dollar at the moment. NYMEX crude is down nearly 1/2 of 1% and trading at $82.31/barrel. Gold is up 1/4 of 1% and silver is up 1/2 of 1%. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended slightly lower, with China up over 3%. European markets are trading lower this morning, and at the moment, US futures show Wall Street might open slightly lower. Nickel inventories slipped yesterday.    
  • Bloomberg morning base metal news - more
  • LME Morning - Dollar sinks, but fails to radically push base metals pendulum - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments - no report this week due to LME Week
  • (Yieh) Taiwan’s Yieh United Steel Corp. (Yusco) has announced a price rise of US$130/ton for stainless steel exports for the second half of October. Meanwhile, the company’s domestic prices for stainless steel will raise by NT$2,000/ton, while it was estimated at NT$4,000/ton.
  • (DJ) Carpenter Technology will increase base prices an average of 3% to 8% on stainless and specialty alloys in all product forms. The increases will be effective for orders placed on or after Oct. 15, 2010. Additionally, all applicable surcharges will remain in effect.
  • (SG) Talley Metals Technology Inc has announced that it will increase base prices by approximately 5% on all stainless products. The increase will be effective on orders shipped on or after November 1st 2010. Additionally, current monthly surcharges will remain in effect.
  • (Interfax) A China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association (CNMIA) Recycling Metal Branch announced at an Oct. 15 press conference that it expects China's secondary nonferrous metals output to exceed 7.2 million tons in 2010, an increase of 13.74 percent, or 1 million tons, from the previous year.
  • Allegheny Technologies - "Third quarter results were generally in-line with our expectations excluding the "catch up" for LIFO and the one-time tax charges," said L. Patrick Hassey, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "Demand from our key global markets, namely aerospace and defense, oil and gas/chemical process industry, electrical energy, and medical, remained on track during the third quarter for continuing growth. However, the volatility in the LME nickel market, which results in unstable raw materials surcharges, continued to influence customer buying behavior, especially for our standard stainless products.
  • (LCMI) Henan based Anyang Steel shuts down two blast furnaces It is reported that steel mills in China Henan Province were recently requested by central government authorities to cut production by 50% in the three months up to the end of the current year.
  • The Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) fell 0.6 percent in August from its July level, falling after two monthly increases, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported today (Table 1). - more
  • MAPI Outlook: Manufacturing Sector Will Expand, But at a Slow Pace - more
  • China Leading Economic Index Continues to Rise in August - more
  • Rio, BHP need Plan B to maximize Pilbara synergies - more

  World Average Stainless Steel Prices - Latest Forecast from MEPS - World Average transaction values were little changed during September. This was in line with our forecasts from August. Prices in Asia and the EU increased due to higher nickel and scrap costs. - more

  INSG Forecasts World Output Of Primary Nickel In CY 2011 As 1,610,000 Tons = An Estimation Released At General Conference Held In Last Week, With Increase Of 180,000 Tons From 2010 - INSG (International Nickel Study Group) held the General Conference for the two days of the 5th to 6th of October and estimated the world output of primary nickel in the next calender year (January - December) of 2011 as 1,610,000 tons, which will have an increase of 180,000 tons from that (1,430,000 tons) anticipated to be produced in this year of 2010. - more

  John Pollesel, Vale Canada COO and Director for Base Metal Operations North Atlantic, Speech to Sudbury Chamber of Commerce – October 13, 2010 – Sudbury, Ontario - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Thursday, October 14

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - plus 21 to 2,769. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) U.S. Steelmakers Move to Block Chinese Investments After Anshan's Venture // China's Leaders Prepare to Meet as Elders Slam Censorship of Wen // Tropical Storm Forms Over Pacific, Forecast to Reach Philippines's Luzon // Severstal, Evraz Beating China's Steel Giants as Putin Drives Investments // China's Stocks Rise for Sixth Day as Brokerages Advance; Drugmakers Slump // Asian Stocks Advance as Economic, Earnings Reports Boost Recovery Optimism // Spain's Santander Funds at Higher Rate to Inferior Banks // OPEC President Says Group Decided to Leave Output Unchanged in Vienna // French Strike Extended as Sarkozy, Unions See No Common Ground // European Stocks Decline From One-Month High; Barclays Leads Bank Retreat // Goldman No. 1 at Rating Financial Companies With 38% Right // U.S. Trade Gap Likely Widened in August on Stable Imports // U.S. Home Seizures Reach Record Amid Foreclosure Review // Roubini Expects 35-40% Chance of a Double Dip Recession in U.S // Bank of America, Financial Stocks Slide on Concern Over Foreclosure Probe // Initial Jobless Claims in U.S. Rose 13,000 Last Week to 462,000
  • The Euro is up 2/3 of 1% against the US Dollar at the moment, and off earlier highs. NYMEX crude is down 1/5 of 1% and trading at $82.84/barrel. Gold is up nearly 2/10 of 1% and silver is 1-2/3% higher. Base metals ended the session mixed. Indicator charts show nickel opened higher, slid much of the morning, made a big spike in late afternoon trading, only to see this crumble late. Dow Jones reports three month nickel ended the day at $11.02/lb . Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME warehouses rose only slight yesterday, making it a fifth consecutive day of gains, and now totaling just under the 123,200 tonne level. So far this month we have had four days where outflows exceeded inflows, with the other 6 working days showing a growth in the numbers. Sucden's day old chart shows nickel falling into a sideways trend, (chart here) with the falling US dollar offsetting any downward pressure. The Baltic Dry Index rose 21 points to 2,769. However skewed it might be, the BDI remains one of the more positive readings we see. We have never been one to jump on the double dip bandwagon, even back when it was cliche to do it, but we were really looking for better things to come out of October. So far, with half the month and one sixth of the fourth quarter behind us, we are becoming greatly concerned with what we are seeing - or maybe better stated - what we are not seeing. In our area, a new wave of lay-off's are taking places at larger area manufacturers, including those who seemingly escaped the deep cuts made during the depths of the recession. So many of the reports we are seeing, especially the positive ones, have a hidden story behind them, that kind of makes reading anything positive into them a joke. Year on year comparisons fail to tell us much when we are comparing to a period worse than any since the Great Depression. We are supposedly out, and have been out, of the so called Great Recession, for over a year now. So year on year comparison's should ALL be up. Except for unemployment figures, which should be falling, but aren't. Overall, business people we talk to appear to be positive, but when you ask some why, their answers range from "I still have my job" to "It's better than last year, but not doing much more than that." So are they positive because they have to be? Or do they really see something? In our case, our optimism is beginning to wain, and we are starting to shift back into that hopeful stage. In the man time, we can say "we still have our jobs!".    

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • (Reuters) "Money is trying to find a home," a Sydney-based trader said, adding: "Unless China falters, which seems unlikely, everyone loves the commodity story." ...... "Nickel's forward curve doesn't look that tight, but that may be because of the threat of nickel pig iron coming back onto the market," the Sydney trader said.
  • (Dow Jones) U.S. nickel exports fell 15.3% in August from the previous month, but was up 29.3% from the previous year, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.
  • (Dow Jones) U.S. nickel imports fell 21.9% in August from last month, but was up 49.6% from the previous year, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.
  • Exports Surge in China; Imports Hit Record Value - more
  • Did Fed Cause 2000s Bubble by Holding Rates Too Long Too Low? - more
  • New Normal: 7%-8% Unemployment? - more
  • Bankers Ignored Signs of Trouble on Foreclosures - more
  • 5 Myths about Federal Taxes - more
  • How Hank Paulson's inaction helped Goldman Sachs - more
  • Don’t get used to the new Fed - more

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:20 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.02/lb higher, with other London traded base metals  mostly higher. The Euro is trading nearly 1% higher against the US Dollar, adding momentum to commodity trading. NYMEX crude is trading higher by over 1/2 of 1% and trading at $83.45/barrel. Gold is also trading up over 1/2 of 1% and silver is higher by over 1.8%. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended higher, with China up 2/10 of 1%. European markets are trading slightly higher this morning and US futures show Wall Street may open timidly higher. Nickel inventories rose slightly yesterday.    
  • Bloomberg morning base metal news - more
  • LME Morning - Metals on the march again, set fresh multi-month highs as dollar depression sets in - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments - No report this week due to LME Week
  • (Dow Jones) Just less than 24 hours after the rescue operation began, Luis Urzua, the last of the 33 miners trapped for 70 days far underneath the Atacama desert in northern Chile, returned to breathe the open air Thursday evening.
  • (Yieh) South Korea’s steel mill to lift stainless steel output in October
  • (SO) According to preliminary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), trucking employment fell slightly in September. Ending a six-month growth streak, the number of workers employed by for-hire trucking companies fell just below 1 percent month-on-month.
  • (MW) Market research and analysis group Intierra Resource Intelligence sees global nickel consumption increasing to about 1.3 million tonnes in calendar 2010, reflecting an expected rapid recovery in consumption in Asia and forecast moderate growth in Europe and North and South America.
  • (FO) According to sources, HC ferrochrome price average increases by RMB100/bmt. Quotations from large-scale producers in Sichuan and Shanxi increase to RMB9,400-9,500/bmt and RMB9,200-9,400/bmt is from Zhejiang & Hunan-based producers.
  • (MW) Investment bank and advisory service Alto Capital has predicted that the $20 000/t nickel price was sustainable in the medium term, however foreign exchange currency movements could unbalance the price strength.
  • (Ceridian) The Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index™ (PCI) by UCLA Anderson School of Management, adjusted for season and for monthly workdays, fell 0.5% in September after falling 1.0% in August, which was the first time we have experienced a consecutive monthly decline since January 2009. August and September together this year have produced the worst combined two-month decline since the recessionary months of December 2009 and January 2010. - more
  • Consumers paying off debt? Not likely - more

  -Italy lobby seeks curb on funds' grip on metals - Italian non-ferrous metals body Assomet is asking financial regulators to rein in the power on the London Metal Exchange (LME) of financial institutions, such as pension and hedge funds and merchant banks. - more

  EU steel market recovery takes hold but uncertainties remain - EUROFER’s Q4-2010 steel market outlook shows a better than expected Q2, not only with respect to economic growth but especially to activity in the steel using sectors. Robust export activity and stock replenishment in the supply chain fuelled a robust rebound in the manufacturing sector in the EU. - more

  China steel output up on production restart: CISA - China's crude steel production recovered quickly in late September as some mills in northern Hebei province resumed output, Reuters reported on Thursday according to industry data. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Wednesday, October 13

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - plus 29 to 2,748. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) China Foreign-Exchange Reserves Jump to $2.65 Trillion // Chinese Party Elders Accuse `Black Hands' of Stifling Wen's Freedom Push // China Stocks Rise, Extending Bull Market Rally; Developers, Autos Advance // Japan's Machinery Orders Unexpectedly Gained in August // Asian Stocks Rise as Economic Reports Show Regional Recovery Gaining Pace // U.K. Jobless Benefit Claims Rise by the Most in Eight Months // IEA Raises Crude Demand Forecasts Amid Recent Strength in U.S., Germany // French Unions Extend Strike as Sarkozy Digs in on Pensions // Iceland Set to Present Bill to Wipe Out Personal Debt to Relieve Turmoil // European Stocks Climb Most in Six Weeks; ASML, Porsche Advance on Earnings // Fed Mulls Raising Inflation Expectations to Boost Economy // Buffett Says Euro Faces `Real Challenge' After Currency's Rally // Americans See Children's Future Dim in Poll as 50% Pessimistic // U.S. Stocks Rise as CSX Results, China Reserves Boost Optimism on Economy
  • The Euro is now trading nearly 2/10 of 1% higher against the US Dollar. NYMEX crude is over 1.7% higher and trading at $83.08/barrel. Gold is nearly 1-1/2% higher, and silver is up 2-1/2%. Base metals ended the day mostly higher, with only aluminum slipping. Indicator charts show nickel opened higher this morning, slipped thru much of the morning and early afternoon, then began to climb in late afternoon trading. Dow Jones reports three month nickel ended the day at $11.07/lb . Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME warehouses rose for a fourth consecutive day, and now sit just over the 124,100 tonne level. Interestingly, the primary warehouse to see large influx's has been quiet the last week, with the Singapore warehouse receiving all of the large inflows this week. Sucden's day old chart shows nickel trading thur yesterday (chart here) and RSI and SStoch signals showing the market had room to grow this morning. Nickel trading appears to be highly subject to the movement of the Euro and US dollar recently, without many other fundamental signals to offer guidance. Xstrata announced yesterday it was re-starting its Falcondo operation in the Dominican Republic. In London, traders of nickel continue their annual LME week get together, and on the other side of the planet, nickel miners are meeting in Perth, Australia at the annual Australian Nickel Conference. In Chile, miners who have ben trapped underground for over 2 months, are starting to be see sky again. Back in Papua New Guinea, RamuNico has been charged with "allegedly assaulting, threatening and intimidating landowners challenging its marine waste dumping plans." And the soap opera in Russia between the joint owners of Norilsk has apparently taken a momentary break. Watch the currency war reports as they get more press. As the US Dollar drops, nickel becomes less expensive to own and more attractive to buy.  

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • (BD) Nickel producer Mincor Resources NL has forecast at least another decade of strong profits from the Kambalda nickel region in Western Australia.
  • QE2 May Not Be Lifeboat for Economy or Jobs - more
  • MBA: Mortgage Purchase Activity decreases, Refinance Activity increases sharply - more
  • Gold Surges After Japan Says It Is Considering New QE And Geithner Guarantees Currency Wars - more
  • Open letter from Party elders calls for free speech - more
  • The Fed's New Plan To Save The Economy Could Lead To "Titanic Trouble", Says Westwood's Alpert - more
  • Investors blame US for currency woes - more
  • Pictures of Deflation - pdf here

  Martin Abbott's address to LME Week dinner - more

  Base metals ETFs subject to exchange guidance - LME - Large physical base-metals positions held by exchange traded products could be subject to the London Metal Exchange lending guidelines, LME Chief Executive Martin Abbott said on Tuesday. - more

  MP slams government over Ramu nickel mine - MP Beldon Namah has published full-page advertisements in both national newspapers in Papua New Guinea slamming the government over the Environment Act amendments and its preferential treatment of the Ramu nickel mine, which he says will deliver nothing in government revenues. - more

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:20 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.07/lb higher and slipping, with most base metals trading higher this morning. The Euro is trading 1/4 of 1% higher against the US Dollar. NYMEX crude is up 1-1/3% and trading at $82.76/barrel. Gold is up 1/2 of 1% and silver is trading 1% higher. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended higher with China up 1.4%.  European markets are higher this morning, and futures show US markets will open bullishly. Nickel inventories climbed for a third day yesterday.
  • Bloomberg morning base metal news - more
  • LME Morning - Metals spurred by sick dollar, near fresh multi-month highs - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments - no report this week due to LME week
  • (MW) The Ban Phuc underground nickel mine in Vietnam is progressing well with first production planned for late 2011
  • (Yieh) China’s Taiyuan Iron & Steel Company (Tisco) has released new price for the 42nd week. The price has increased by RMB200/ton (US$30/ton) for 304 series of hot rolled and cold rolled stainless steel coils. Meanwhile, the price of 430 series of stainless steel products has remained unchanged.
  • CR Index: Consumers see gains, but still cite stress, low confidence - more
  • MAPI Report: Halting, Uncertain Recovery Mutes Demand - more
  • The La Niña has strengthened - more

  More Chilean miners freed in 'miracle' rescue work - The first several of Chile's 33 trapped miners were hoisted to safety in a capsule barely wider than a man's shoulders on Wednesday, cheering, punching the air and hugging their families after two months deep underground. - more

  Nickel Prices Will Gain This Quarter, Next Year, SocGen Says - Nickel prices will rise this quarter and next year as demand improves from stainless steel mills and supply is constrained, Societe Generale said. - more

  Nickel price ‘sustainable’ at $20 000/t – Alto Capital - Investment bank and advisory service Alto Capital has predicted that the $20 000/t nickel price was sustainable in the medium term, however foreign exchange currency movements could unbalance the price strength. - more

  Metal Melt-up - Someone is going to be voted off the island in America. It will either be the bankers or the borrowers. Or maybe a giant debt default/amnesty is coming in which both negligent lender and delinquent borrower are let off the hook. Hmmm... - more

  Minara Cuts Full-Year Nickel Output Forecast After Power Failure at Plant - Minara Resources Ltd., a nickel producer controlled by Glencore International AG, cut its full-year output forecast because of a power failure at its plant in Australia. - more

  PNG Plaintiffs Ask Court To Stop Mine Intimidation - Principal plaintiff in the legal proceedings challenging the marine waste dumping plans by the Ramu NiCo Management, Louis Medaing has filed contempt proceedings against the mining company for allegedly assaulting, threatening and intimidating the members of the Tong and Ongeg clans that make up the plaintiffs to withdraw from or discontinue the proceedings against the company. - more

  Steel Imports Dip in August, But Up Over 50% for the Year - Imports of steel mill products declined in August compared to July by 11.2 percent, according to preliminary data released by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the American Institute for International Steel, McLean, Va. Total steel imports in August were 2.2 million tons, down from the 2.4 million tons in July, but up 121 percent from the same month in 2009. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Tuesday, October 12

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - plus 24 to 2,719. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) China Trade Surplus Poised to Cap Biggest Quarter Since Crisis // Chinese Yuan Weakens the Most in Almost Two Months as Dollar Rebounds // China Defense Policy Not Aimed at Threatening Anyone, Minister Liang Says // China's Stocks Enter Bull Market as Shanghai Index Rises 20% From July Low // Asian Stocks Fall on Lower Commodity Prices, Yen Concerns; Toyota Declines // Mortgage Bonds Fall in U.K. Amid Indigestion on Home-Price Drop // Regulators Could Seize Control of Failing Banks Under EU Plan // Euro to Retreat to $1.35 as Fed Easing Snaps Momentum: Technical Analysis // European Stocks Fall; ArcelorMittal Drops as Posco Cuts Forecast // Rice May Surge 30% as U.S. Harvest Facing a `Serious Problem,' Group Says // Stocks Decline on Concern About China, Earnings
  • The Euro is currently trading nearly 2/10 of 1% lower against the US Dollar. NYMEX crude down over 1/2 of 1% and trading at $81.74/barrel. Gold is down over 1/2 of 1% and silver is off 2/3 of 1%. Base metals ended the day mostly higher, except nickel. Indicator charts show nickel slumped early but rallied in the afternoon, only to cool late. Dow jones reports three month nickel ended the day at $10.89/lb . Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME approved warehouses rose for a third consecutive day and now total just over the 123,700 tonne level. Totals are now 7,764 tonnes more than on July 27, when a persistent decline bottomed out at 115,950 tonnes. Sucden's day old chart shows nickel trading thru yesterday (chart here).  After dipping into the negative yesterday, the Baltic Dry Index rebounded today with a positive reading of 24.

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • Fed’s Hoenig Again Attacks Asset Buying - more
  • Fed’s Yellen Acknowledges Risks To Low Rates - more
  • Two Top Economists Spar on Outlook for Economy, Policy - more
  • NABE Forecasters Cut Growth Outlooks - more
  • Auerback: You Can Thank Ben Bernanke for Higher Food Prices - more
  • Why Foreclosure Fraud Is So Dangerous to Property Rights - more

  DJ Xstrata Nickel Restarts Falcondo Ferronickel Operations - Xstrata PLC, a diversified mining company said today that it's Nickel Falcondo ferronickel complex, a nickel mining and processing operation in the Dominican Republic, is restarting operations to a planned 50% of installed capacity by March 2011. - more

  LME WEEK 2010 - Don't sell: metals are ready for another bull market: Credit Agricole - The global economy will not face a double-dip and strong metals prices are likely to persist, particularly for copper, tin and lead, Robin Bhar, Senior Metals Analyst at Credit Agricole, said on Monday. - more

  Courtesy AISI - In the week ending October 9, 2010, domestic raw steel production was 1,651,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 68.3 percent. Production was 1,491,000 tons in the week ending October 9, 2009, while the capability utilization then was 62.3 percent. The current week production represents a 10.7 percent increase from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending October 9, 2010 is down 1.4 percent from the previous week ending October 2, 2010 when production was 1,675,000 tons and the rate of capability utilization was 69.3 percent.

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:15 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.10/lb lower, but recovering, with other base metals mixed.  The Euro is trading nearly 3/10 of 1% lower against the US Dollar, adding pressure to commodity trading. NYMEX crude is down 1/3 of 1% and trading at $81.93/barrel. Gold is lower by more than 4/10 of 1% and silver is off nearly 1/2 of 1%. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended lower, with China up nearly 1.3%. European markets are lower this morning, and US futures show Wall Street may open bearishly. For the third straight session, nickel inventories rose yesterday.    
  • Bloomberg morning base metal news - more
  • LME Morning - Base metals correct lower, steadier dollar defuses uptrend - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments - No report this week - Ed at LME Week
  • (Bloomberg) PT Aneka Tambang’s ferronickel production climbed 62 percent in the first nine months of 2010 from last year, while gold output fell 3 percent, Corporate Secretary Bimo Budi Satriyo said.
  • (Reuters) China Steel Corp, Taiwan's top steel producer, said on Tuesday it will keep domestic prices of most of its steel products unchanged for December from October-November as a fragile world economy hurt demand.
  • (Xinhua) Refined Nickel Consumption down 10% in August
  • (Macquarie) At Macquarie's LME Week base metals summit, our annual survey highlighted that the base metal exposures favoured by most investors on a 12-month view are copper followed by tin, while nickel and aluminium are the favoured shorts over the same timeframe.
  • (MF) After Chinese National Day, chrome ore quotations show a small increase at Chinese ports with some certain kinds. Major quotations are listed as follows, 44% South African concentrates: RMB55/mtu; 37% South African lumpy: RMB60/mtu; 42% Turkish lumpy: RMB70/mtu; 42% Iran lumpy: RMB69/mtu.
  • (MP) Chinese chrome ore market picking up as demand revives
  • (SBB) Stainless imports into US drop
  • Commodity Boom Is Its Own Worst Enemy - more
  • Dry Bulk Shipping - New orders are still inked at high pace. 2012 is now set to be the biggest delivery year of them all at 88 million DWT - more
  • China Fastener Export Strategy Analysis - more

  DJ LME WEEK:Growing Nickel Output To Cap Price Gains In '11-Standard Bank - The nickel market will likely be in a small deficit in 2011 and 2012, giving a lift to nickel prices but preventing the metal from nearing its record high, South African bank Standard Bank Group Ltd. said Tuesday. - more

  Fundamentals favour molybdenum over cobalt -CPM Group - Production of molybdenum will fail to keep pace with robust demand, resulting in firmer prices in the coming years, while China's large stocks of cobalt will weigh on prices, commodities research firm CPM Group said. - more

  Gwangyang FeNi Plant / South Korea Decreased Considerably The Production In Q3 / 10 = Output In 2010 Is Estimated To Be About 70% Of The Capacity - The Gwangyang plant of South Korea, which was established as a joint venture company under the name of SNNC by SMSP of New Caledonia and Posco of South Korea to produce ferro-nickel, had a considerable decrease of the production in the third quarter (July - September) of 2010. - more

  Ramu NiCo faces contempt - Developer of the Ramu Nickel project, Ramu Nico Management (MCC) Ltd has been slapped with a contempt of court. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Monday, October 11

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - minus 1 to 2,695. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) China Currency Reserves May Hit $2.5 Trillion, Stoking Tensions // China Seeks to Add Emerging-Market Currencies to Its Exchange Reserves // China Raises Banks' Deposit-Reserve Ratio by Half a Point, Reuters Reports // China's Stocks Post Best Two-Day Gain in Year on Yuan, Fed Easing Outlook // Finance Chiefs Fail to Resolve Currency Spat as G-20 Splits // Asian Stocks Advance on Speculation U.S. Fed Will Act to Stimulate Growth // Germany Opposes Extending Greece's Bailout Repayment Schedule // Ireland Relies on Treasury Cash to Avoid Greece-Style Rescue // OPEC May Maintain Oil Output in Vienna on Uneven Economic Growth // European Stocks Climb on Optimism Fed Will Boost Economy; Ladbrokes Gains // Dollar Weakness Overstates Fed as IMF Sees G-3 Growth // Fed Easing No Long Term Fix for Structural Unemployment // Pimco's El-Erian Says Industrial Economies Risk `Lost Decade' // U.S. Stocks Fluctuate as Investors Await Earnings, Fed Signals
  • The Euro is trading over 1/3 of 1% lower against the US Dollar at the moment. NYMEX crude is down n early 3/10 of 1% and trading at $82.42/barrel. Gold is up over 1/2 of 1% and silver is up over 1/ 2of 1% as well. Base metals ended the day quiet and mixed, with most slumping. INdicator charts show nickel opened higher this morning, and spent the day on a slow but gradual slide. For the day, Dow Jones reports three month nickel closed at $11.03/lb . Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME approved worldwide warehouses rose Friday and now reads just shy of the 123,500 tonne level. Stockpile movements have remained basically flat for the last three months. Sucden's day old chart shows nickel trading thru last week (chart here). The Baltic Dry Index fell 1 point to 2,695. This week, traders and companies are meeting in London for the annual LME week get together. We like to watch the market closely during this week, for any signs of subtle changes in overall trends as rumors and gossip are exchanged. 60 Minutes did a story last night on high frequency trading that was rather interesting. It was nice to see someone finally acknowledge that the vast majority of equity trading in the US is done by computers that could care less about market fundamentals. And while those attending the LME Week meetings this week have, and will hear facts and figures that have to do with nothing but the market fundamentals. We must wonder though, how much nickel is bought and sold on the whim of an emotionless computer that is making trades based on technical signals alone. And since no two analysts can seem to agree on what the fundamentals tell us, maybe that is for the best.  We ask our readers to keep one important fact in mind. Traders don't make money if the market isn't moving one way or the other - so price stability is the death nail to quick profits.  

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • (Dow Jones) The market for molybdenum should continue to tighten in the coming years, falling into deficit in 2012 as demand grows due to the metal's rising number of end uses and supply constraints deepen, CPM Group's director of research said Monday.
  • Why Are China, India and Brazil Rebounding Faster Than the U.S.? - more
  • September Jobs Data Raises Odds of Fed Asset Buying - more
  • 2 Big 2 Foreclose--Is The Subprime End Game Approaching? - more
  • America Needs an Intervention - more
  • Monday Morning Grab Bag - more
  • Currency Tensions Rising - more
  • Hey, Small Spender - more

  Zinc Demand To Soar; Nickel To Be In Surplus-Goldman - Demand for zinc is set to outstrip supply next year driven largely by growth in China, the world's top metals consumer, a senior metals strategist at Goldman Sachs said Monday. - more

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:15 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.02/lb higher, with other London trade base metals quite and slightly higher. The Euro and US Dollar are trading nearly even this morning, with the Euro with a tiny edge at the moment. NYMEX crude oil is flat and trading at $82.65/barrel. Gold is trading slightly lower, while silver is up over 2/10 of 1%. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended higher with China up nearly 3%. European markets are higher this morning, and US futures show Wall Street may open on the positive side. Nickel inventories rose Friday. MF Global will not be doing a report this week.     
  • Bloomberg morning base metal news - more
  • LME Morning - Base metals consolidate gains, copper and aluminium below fresh highs - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments - no report this week due to LME Week
  • Base metals are more precious by the week - more
  • (Dow Jones) LME Week - Zinc Demand To Soar; Nickel To Be In Surplus-Goldman - Speaking at the London Metal Exchange industry week seminar in London, Joshua Crumb said he forecasts .... the picture for nickel was less tight, however, with supply to outstrip demand considerably in 2011. Supply will grow 11%, or 158,000 tons, next year--far surpassing a 5%, or 69,000 ton, increase in demand, he said. About 60,000 tons of the new nickel supply will come from Canada, Crumb said, with another 87,000 tons from new projects or expansions. In its outlook report last week, Goldman cautioned nickel would switch from a supply deficit to a surplus and kept its 2011 forecast largely unchanged at $19,500/ton.
  • (Dow Jones) French investment bank Natixis said Monday..... Nickel prices will average only slightly higher than current prices at $24,000/ton, as demand isn't likely to grow as quickly as supply, a reversal to this year's trend.
  • (Interfax) Baoshan Iron and Steel Co. Ltd. (Baosteel), the Shanghai Stock Exchange-listed subsidiary of Baosteel Group, announced Oct. 11 it will raise its November ex-works prices for several steel products by between RMB 100 ($14.99) and RMB 200 ($29.97) per ton, an analyst told Interfax.
  • U.S. Economy is Faltering, Inflationary Depression is in Progress - more

  LMEWEEK - London's venerable metal exchange - The London Metal Exchange (LME) was formed in the last quarter of the 19th century to serve industrial Britain's insatiable appetite for metals. - more

  • LME week review: little conviction, says Macquarie, but copper bulls are in the ascendency - Over the week to Friday October 16, the world’s base metal producers, consumers and traders converged on London for the annual LME dinner and surrounding events (including Macquarie’s own well-attended conference on the Monday). - more

  FastMarkets lifts 2010 metals price forecasts, mixed performance seen in 2011 - Base metals prices have rallied from their mid-year lows to significantly higher levels across the board, which will see much higher averages this year than previously thought, although the 2011 outlook is more mixed, FastMarkets analysts said on Monday.  - more

  Domestic Price Of Stainless Scrap In Japan For October Moves To Rise To Yen 200,000 Per Ton = Reflecting Active Exports For South Korea And Positive Purchases By Specialized Mills In Japan - The domestic price of nickel-based stainless steel scrap (new clippings) for deliveries in October of 2010 has started on a level of Yen 200,000 per metric ton, which has risen by Yen 10,000 - 15,000 per ton compared with that at the beginning of September.  - more

  Chinese steel mills stay cautious on prices - An unexpected price freeze by a top Chinese steel mill signals that other players in the world's biggest steel sector are likely to show similar caution for the rest of this year as oversupply continues to dog the market, analysts said on Monday. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Friday, October 8

  Dow Jones reports three month nickel ended the day and week at $11.06/lb

  US unemployment rate remains steady at 9.6% as more jobs are lost than forecast - 95,000. The Euro is positive and climbing and nickel has turned positive and trading sharply higher.

  The Baltic Dry Index gained 34 to 2,696

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:10 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.07/lb lower, with other base metals mixed and mostly higher. The Euro is trading nearly 3/10 of 1% lower against the US Dollar at the moment. NYMEX crude is nearly 1% lower and at $80.89/barrel. Gold is lower by nearly 3/10 of 1% and silver is slightly lower. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended slightly lower, with China returning with a greater than 3-1/2% increase. European markets are trading lower this morning and US futures are lower asa the market nervously awaits September payroll numbers. Inventories of nickel stored in LME warehouses rose yesterday, nearly replacing all of this weeks losses. Totals now stand just over the 123,200 tonne level. Sucden's day old chart shows nickel in trouble yesterday (chart here). There will be no afternoon update today as we are traveling, but we will update the BDI., MF Global's report and payroll numbers as soon as we receive them. Have a safe and relaxing weekend!
  • Bloomberg morning base metal news - more
  • LME Morning - Metals lose steam as currency wars take spotlight - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments - Metals tumbled on Thursday, with copper having one of its steepest corrections in several months. Oil prices also fell sharply, while gold saw its largest one-day slide in over a month, as a rally in the dollar led to a broad-based retreat. However, the greenback's upward move against the Euro was not that substantial, and was certainly not sparked by any "flight-to-safety" concerns, so the fact that it rose was used merely an excuse to blow off some of the recent froth that has been accumulating in a number of markets. Secondly, funds may also be pulling back ahead of the nonfarm payroll number that comes out later on Friday, (now expected at unchanged), but the veracity of this estimate is somewhat in doubt given the negative surprise we had in Wednesday's ADP data. Our guess here this is that while a sub-par nonfarm payroll number could trigger more weakness in the dollar and possibly return commodity markets to a steadier footing, a much larger negative surprise would revive slowdown fears, and hit most markets hard despite what the dollar ultimately does. We will just have to wait and see what happens here. In the meantime, things are very quiet today, with copper now almost unchanged, while the rest of the metals are mixed, Oil prices are off by another $1 a barrel, and the dollar has inched up slightly again, now trading at just under $1.39 on the Euro. Technically, most metals are still within their short-term upchannels, and the breakouts that some of them have seen earlier this week are more or less holding. Copper, for example, broke out above $8043, the previous 2010 high, got to a high of $8326, but is now hovering just above the original breakout point after testing it earlier in the day. .... Nickel is at $23,800, down $100, and fairly quiet. (read Ed Meir's complete morning base metals report here)
  • (Dow Jones) The nickel market is not as tight as many market participants assume, as production is rising from new and existing operations, says Commerzbank. "Market players are underestimating supply in our view.
  • (Dow Jones) China Jinchuan Ups Refined Nickel Prices 4.7% To CNY180,000/Ton
  • (RTT) JSW Steel Ltd. said its crude steel production during the first half of this fiscal grew by 8% to 3.14 million tonnes, compared to that of corresponding period of last fiscal year.
  • China's growing economy dangerous to Russia - more

  More presentations at the INSG Meetings, Lisbon, Portugal in 5 and 6 October 2010

  • Mr. Khayyam Jahangir , Manager Alloy Metals, Roskill Information Services - ”Nickel Supply and Demand in the Next Five Years” - pdf here
  • Mr. Denis Lencou-Bareme , Marketing & FeNi Product Manager of Eramet - "Differences between conventional FeNi products and nickel pig iron produced in China" - pdf here

  Domestic Price Of Stainless Scrap In Japan For October Moves To Rise To Yen 200,000 Per Ton = Reflecting Active Exports For South Korea And Positive Purchases By Specialized Mills In Japan - The domestic price of nickel-based stainless steel scrap (new clippings) for deliveries in October of 2010 has started on a level of Yen 200,000 per metric ton, which has risen by Yen 10,000 - 15,000 per ton compared with that at the beginning of September. - more

  Zimbabwe: Niger Uranium Eyes Nickel Exploration - AIM listed mining giant, Niger Uranium has joined the current scramble to exploit Zimbabwe's largely untapped nickel reserves after announcing that it would be investing US$3,6 billion in nickel exploration in Zimbabwe and South Africa. - more

  Compromise room shrinks as Norilsk EGM draws closer - The future of Russia's largest mining company is to be decided in an extraordinary general meeting being held in 2 weeks resolving a drawn out dispute between key Norilsk shareholders. - more

  4th New Caledonia Nickel Conference Date: 15-19 November 2010 - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Thursday, October 7

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index -  plus 23 to 2,662. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) Japan Says It Won't Join Currency Devaluation Race // Australian Economy Booms, Drives Currency Near Dollar Parity // China Tells EU to Back Off After Push for Rapid Yuan Gain // IMF Raises India's Economic Growth Outlook to 9.7% on Consumer Spending // Most Asian Stocks Decline as Samsung Drops on Earnings; BHP Billiton Gains // Trichet Opposes `Disorderly' Currency Moves as Euro Climbs // U.K. Home Prices Plunged Record 3.6% in September, Halifax Says // Greek Services Paralyzed as Public Workers Strike Over Austerity // BOE Stimulus on Hold for Now After Panel Standoff on Economy // European Stocks Close Little Changed; Volvo, Kazakhmys Drop, Renault Gains // Jobless Claims in U.S. Hit Three-Month Low // Fed's $2 Trillion May Buy Little Improvement in Jobs //
  • The Euro is currently trading over 4/10 of 1% lower against the US Dollar, and the turnaround in the Dollar's strength put heavy pressure on commodity trading. Dow Jones reports three month nickel fell below the $11/lb mark and closed at $10.84/lb .

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:15am CST show 3 month nickel trading with no change , with other base metals mixed and quiet. The Euro is trading 4/10 of 1% higher against the US Dollar. NYMEX crude is up nearly 1/2 of 1% and trading at $83.63/barrel. Gold is up 1/2 of 1% and silver is up over 3/4 of 1%. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended quiet and slightly lower, with Hong Kong slightly higher. European markets are trading higher this morning, with US futures also slightly higher. Nickel inventories slipped yesterday and now stand just shy of the 123,000 tonne level. Markets appear to be reluctant to make a major move today, thanks to the unexpected bad news from the ADP employment numbers yesterday, and the official employment numbers due tomorrow. Our afternoon update may be delayed in posting.
  • Bloomberg morning base metal news - more
  • LME Morning - Metals prices edge higher in sentiment-, currency-driven rally - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments - Metals pushed higher again yesterday, with copper powering to 26-month highs, although unlike Tuesday's session, its strength could not pull the rest of the group higher. Ali, for example, finished down on the day, although not before cracking the $2400 mark. Zinc, lead and nickel all touched new five-month highs, but the closing gains were modest. In general, it seemed that most commodity and stock markets did not push up as strongly as they did on Tuesday when news of the Bank of Japan's quantitative ease first broke. No doubt, many sectors are overbought and so the upside response is looking more sluggish, but we think the more likely variable has to do with nervousness ahead of the non-farm payroll number out on Friday. If the ADP numbers released on Thursday are an indication of what Friday's number can bring, we could be in for a big disappointment. In this regard, ADP revealed that the economy lost about 39,000 jobs this past month, much worse than the 18,000 gain expected. Of course, should a sub-par nonfarm number now follow, this could in theory lead to more dollar weakness and another upward run in commodity prices. However, we suspect that if the number is really poor, the more likely reaction would be that double-dip fears get revived, forcing a modest retreat in what are already quite overbought markets. Metals are mixed today in quiet trading; oil markets are up, while US stocks are expected to open slightly lower. Alcoa reports earnings after the close today. On the US macro side, we get weekly initial claims data, (expected at 455,000), as well as August consumer credit (expected at -$3.0 billion).  .... We are not running our individual metal commentary and news today because of time issues.  (read Ed Meir's complete morning base metals report here)
  • (Ros) The Russian Federal Financial Markets Service has completed its review of the annual general meeting of shareholders of Norilsk Nickel and did not find any major law violations. At the same time, however, the regulator's chief, Vladimir Milovidov, stressed that the service had questions on 'certain matters,' the RBC Daily newspaper reported today.
  • (Macquarie) Data from the Japan Iron and Steel Federation (JISF) showed that the country exported 89,480t of stainless steel products in August, down 18.6% MoM and 22.4% YoY. This figure was the lowest recorded in six months, as the stronger yen impacted competitiveness. Exports to South Korea were hit particularly hard, down 23% MoM to 16,397t. However, the average price received for exports rose to a fifteen month high of $3,668/t FOB amid rising nickel prices.
  • (JMB) Japan Stainless Scrap Price Rises by 5,000 yen/t
  • (JMB) Taiyuan Plans 25% Higher Stainless Output in 2010
  • (JMB) Acerinox to Follow Asian Stainless Demand at Malaysia Base
  • (UBS) Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's verdict on Norilsk Nickel's dividends -- that they were already high enough -- has discouraged discussion of an interim dividend this year, Norilsk's CEO said on Wednesday.
  • Commodity boom to continue as demand outweighs supply, says IMF - more
  • Magnet removes stainless steel particles from waste streams - more
  • Output of Taiwan’s Fastener Industry Expanded Strongly in Q2 - more
  • (MarketWatch) There is a 40% probability of a double-dip recession, but you don't need one for the global economy to feel like it is in a deep, continuing recession, said Nouriel Roubini, the famous pessimist and economics professor at New York University on Wednesday. He said external shocks, such as another Greek credit crisis, perhaps with problems in Spain, Portugal or Ireland, could trigger the shock needed for a double-dip recession.

  INSG sees world nickel market in 80k T surplus in 2011 - The International Nickel Study Group (INSG) expects the global nickel market to be in a surplus of around 80,000 tonnes next year after being in broad balance this year. - more

  Stainless steel production starts at ThyssenKrupp Stainless USA in Alabama - ThyssenKrupp's new stainless steel mill in the US state of Alabama has gone into operation. Production has begun with one cold rolling mill.- more

  Norilsk Seeks to Double Share of China's Nickel Market, Sell Metal to ETFs - OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel, the world’s biggest supplier of the metal, plans to double its share of the Chinese market as profit from sales to Asia’s largest economy outstrips earnings in Europe. - more

  Courtesy AIIS - - Imports of steel mill products declined in August compared to July by 11.2% according to preliminary data released by the Department of Commerce. "The decline in month on month imports was lead by a 21% decrease in imports of semifinished steel products from July to August, as domestic mills reduced their purchases of overseas semifinished materials in advance of many mills restarting their US melt shops during the period that these products were ordered in late spring/early summer," said David Phelps, president, AIIS. "Total imports for the year to date period of 2010 compared to 2009 were up by 53.8%, reflecting improved market conditions over 2009. Tonnages remain at moderate levels however, with the steel market's recovery spotty largely due to the weak and still declining non-residential construction market. This remains a significant negative on the overall health of the American steel market," concluded Phelps.

  Commodity Shipping Costs Surge 20% in Three Days on Rising Iron-Ore Demand - The cost of hiring a capesize, ships three times the length of a football field, jumped 20 percent this week on strengthening demand for iron ore. - more

  Miners may be freed by weekend - Chilean rescue workers are drilling into the last 100 metres of rock to reach miners trapped a half-mile underground and may begin pulling them out by the end of the weekend. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Wednesday, October 6

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - plus 70 to 2,639. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) Global Central Bank Action May Follow BOJ Moves on Rates // Bank of Japan's Surprise May Fail to Strengthen Economic Growth // China's Market Worth $150 Billion to U.S. Companies, Business Group Says // G-7 Stakes Increase as Global Divide on Policy Raises `Pressure' for Unity // Chinese Premier Wen Warns of `Disaster' in Rapid Appreciation of the Yuan // Asian Stocks Climb to Two-Year High on Outlook for More Central Bank Moves // Spanish Industrial Production Increases in August After July's Contraction // Spain Trails Italy After Biggest Rally Since Lehman Collapse: Euro Credit // Rio Tinto Says Regulators May Block BHP Iron Ore Deal // German August Factory Orders Surge on Investment Goods Demand // German Bonds Rise on Speculation World's Central Banks Prepared to Ease // Wheat May Rise on Speculation Dollar's Slump to Fuel Demand for U.S. Crops // Announced U.S. Job Cuts Fall 44% From Year Ago, Challenger Says // Goldman Sachs Says U.S. Economy May Be `Fairly Bad' // U.S. Retailers' Holiday Sales to Rise Most in 4 Years, NRF Says // Wall Street Says Women Worth Less as Disparity Over Pay Widens // Obama's Tax Pitch: Income Gap That Millionaires Should Fill // Stiglitz Says Fed's Rates Causing Liquidity `Flood,' Currency Misalignment // IMF Says Public Debt, Fragile Banks Pose Risks to Global Economic Growth // U.S. Apartment Vacancies Decline for the First Time Since 2007Restaurant Sales Signal `Resiliency' of Consumer Spending // ADP Estimates U.S. Companies Cut 39,000 Jobs in September
  • The Euro continues  to climb against the US Dollar, up another 2/3 of 1%. NYMEX crude is up over 9/10 of 1% nd trading at $83.58/barrel. Gold is up 4/10 of a percent and silver is up 7/10 of 1%. Except for aluminum, base metals ended higher for the day. Indicator charts show nickel opened much higher, then spent the day in a slow backtrack. Dow Jones reports that three month nickel ended the day at $11.25/lb . Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME approved warehouses slipped yesterday and now stand just over the 123,100 tonne level. Sucden's day old chart shows nickel's bull run thru yesterday (chart here). The Baltic Dry Index rose for a 4th consecutive day by 70 points and now stands at 2,639. US markets were thrown a curve ball early when the ADP reported US companies cut 39,000 jobs last month, instead of the 20,000 gained that the market was expecting. This is the first loss the ADP has shown since January, and this report is watched for clues as the market awaits the important official employment numbers for September to be released on Friday. The consensus appears to be for no change from August at the moment. This uncertainty could help keep nickel's enthusiasm in check for at least tomorrow.  

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • (Prime Tass) CEO says Norilsk Nickel wont increase dividend payments
  • Treasury Sees ‘Substantial’ Offset to Fannie, Freddie Losses - more
  • Middle Class Cuts Back on Booze - more
  • Tomgram: Andy Kroll, The Face of An American Lost Generation - more
  • Cuts threaten to knock recovery as jobs 'flatline' - more
  • Dinosaur origins pushed further back in time - more
  • The Incidence of Unemployment and Underemployment, by Income - more
  • Everything's Going Up? Not Quite - more
  • Currency War Threats Escalating - more
  • The Crucial Role of Insurance Mandates - more
  • American's buying guns at record pace - more
  • Oz Locust Plague 'Of Biblical Proportions' - more
  • Copper Prices Go Up, So Does Copper Theft - more

  Markets Soaring "But the World Is Worse Off," Jimmy Rogers Says - Stocks, gold, energy and other commodities soared Tuesday after the Bank of Japan announced plans to dramatically expand its quantitative easing program. - more

  Ivory Coast to open iron, nickel mines in 2014 - Ivory Coast will start extracting iron ore and nickel from proven deposits in its west and exporting them via a planned rail link to the port of San Pedro by 2014, the state mining company said on Tuesday. - more

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:10 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around  $.08/lb higher, although its presently fading, with other London traded base metals mostly higher. The Euro is trading 1/10 of 1% higher against the US Dollar. NYMEX crude oil is lower by 1/3 of 1% and trading at $82.54/barrel. Gold is up 4/10 of 1% and silver is higher by 2/10 of 1%. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended higher with Hong Kong markets up over 1%. European markets are presently just slightly higher, and US futures show Wall Street could continue its bull run with the Dow eyeing the 11,000 mark. Nickel inventories fell again yesterday.
  • Bloomberg morning base metal news - more
  • LME Morning - Metals take breather after setting fresh highs on weak dollar - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments - Metal prices finished sharply higher on Tuesday, with copper hitting two-year highs, while tin hit a record high. In addition, zinc, lead, nickel, and aluminum all reached five month peaks. In fact, most other commodity markets threw caution to the wind as well, and pushed higher on the back of surging US equity prices (now at five-month high) and a crumbling dollar (now at a five-month low against the Euro). The US stock market's dramatic 193-point gain was largely attributable to the surprising news out earlier in the day that the Bank of Japan had eased, prompting speculation that the Federal Reserve will also follow suit in what could be become a massive central bank induced “asset reflation” play going into the fourth quarter and into next year. Better-than-expected ISM services data for August insured that the gains in the equity markets stuck. The upside advances continue as we head into Wednesday trading; metals are up across the board, and there are additional gains in crude oil and precious metals. Palladium has just hit a nine-year high as well. The dollar continues to sink against the Euro, which is now at $1.3860, while the yen is also up, now at 83 despite yesterday’s BOJ move. It is hard to make a case against the up move we are seeing in most commodity markets these days, as the combination of a sinking dollar and higher US equity prices are a lethal combination that will steam-roll the bears. Having said that, a reversal in the dollar could unleash a round of heavy selling in many complexes, as quite a few are overbought. We could possibly see this happen on Friday if the September US non-farm payroll number comes in on the positive side. Although such an outcome would be welcome from a macro point of view, it could prompt the Fed to hold off expanding its balance sheet, thus leading to a surge in the greenback..... Nickel is at $25,050, up $300, with $26,500 now likely as the next upside target. (read Ed Meir's complete morning base metals report here)
  • (IR) New Delhi -  Nickel futures rose by over one per cent to Rs 1,122.30 per kg today, supported by a firming trend overseas and pick-up in domestic demand.Analysts said the trading sentiment was boosted by gains recorded by base metals in global markets on expectations that the dollar will weaken further as the Federal Reserve will take measures to bolster economy. Besides, strong demand from alloy makers in the spot market also influenced the nickel prices in futures trade here, they said.
  • (MFG) The president of Anshan Iron and Steel, one of China’s major largest steel companies expects the country’s steel consumption to level off towards the end of next year, marking the end of 10 years of dramatic increases. He added that he expects the country’s steel production to remain stable for at least a decade.
  • (Macquarie Research) China Commodity Call  Oct 4 - We judge the outlook for the nickel market for the next 3–6 months to still be positive given the slow ramp-up of new nickel projects coming next year and the strong recovery of stainless steel production worldwide, especially in the Asia market. However, there are serious concerns about the substantial rise in nickel supply from the western world from 2H11 onwards. Global stainless steel producers are raising production with large mills running at over 95% capacity utilization at present compared with less than 85% during the summer. Chinese mills we spoke to report full order books for 4Q10, with strong sequential growth from the machinery, construction and the appliance industries. There was wide discussion at the conference about the government effort to shut down nickel pig iron (NPI) producers especially. It is believed that 70–80% of small-scale blast furnace operations (less than 300 cubic meters) in Shanxi have been closed off, while more than 50% of the “inefficient” NPI producers in Shandong have been phased out as required by the central government policy. It was widely agreed that current NPI production costs currently range from US$$8.1 to US$8.7/lb, with blast furnace producers standing at the higher end of the cost curve due to rising nickel ore and nickel prices and higher freight rates. However, there are growing concerns over increases in the western world nickel supply in 2011. The return of production from Vale's Sudbury and Voisey Bay operations in Canada after the year-long strikes and the gradual ramp-up of production from new projects will add at least a further 170–180kt of additional supply in 2011 compared to 2010. When combined with the estimated 30kt rise in Chinese NPI production next year, it appears there will be at least 200kt of incremental supply coming into the global market in 2011.
  • (JMB) World major stainless steel maker, Outokumpu increases ferrite stainless products rate to around 15% at the major plant of Tornio in Finland in 3 years, which is almost double of current level, to follow growing demand for automobile and appliances. The firm doubles the ferrochrome production to annual 520,000 tonnes at Tornio.
  • (Kitco) Unresolved contract talks between Vale and workers at the 70,000-metric-ton-per-year Voisey’s Bay mine in Canada means further supply pressure in the nickel market, says Barclays Capital.
  • (Dow Jones) Russia exported 152,900 metric tons of nickel in January to August, 0.7% more than in the same months of 2009, the federal customs service reported late Tuesday.
  • Commodities Headed for 'Significant Correction': Strategist - more
  • NC judge bars ads claiming harm from water bottles - more
  • (Reuters) Tin prices roared to a record of $26,790 a tonne on Wednesday as the potential impact of rain on shipments from top exporter Indonesia exacerbated supply concerns in a market already struggling to meet demand this year.
  • (ABA) Consumer loan delinquencies generally improved in the second quarter of 2010, as bank card, home equity loans, and auto loans all showed improvement according to the American Bankers Association's Consumer Credit Delinquency Bulletin. The results were not as broadbased as the previous two quarters and, as a result, the composite ratio, which tracks delinquencies in eight closed-end installment loan categories, was virtually flat, rising just 2 basis points from the first quarter to 3.00 percent of all accounts in the second quarter. Bank card delinquencies fell 26 basis points to 3.62 percent of all accounts which remains well below the 15-year average (3.93 percent). This is the lowest that bank card delinquencies have fallen since the first quarter of 2001. The ABA report defines a delinquency as a late payment that is 30 days or more overdue.
  • Fear and Favor - more
  • SNAP Monthly Data - more
  • U.S. Unemployment In The Aftermath Of The Great Recession - pdf here
  • Who Owns Congress? A Campaign Cash Seating Chart - more
  • Wayback Machine -  (July 30, 2009) The stainless steel market has suffered the worst half year of its history due to the world economic crisis and the industrial activity plunge according to Acerinox. As a reference, the world steel production has dropped by 21.3%. In Europe it has been 43.2% lower and plunging by 51.8% in the United States. Now - (October 5, 2010) Steel consulting major MEPS has reported that global crude stainless steel production during the first half of 2010 turned out at a preliminary figure of approximately 15.6 million tonnes, which equates to YOY increase of 44%, which must still be viewed within the context of the 2009 global financial crisis.

  Presentations made at the INSG Meetings, which were held in Lisbon, Portugal in 5 and 6 October 2010

  • Mr. Kevin Bradley , Director for EU Affairs, Nickel Institute, made a presentation on REACH, Regulatory and Other Issues Affecting Nickel - pdf here
  • Mr. Yasuhiro Suzuki , Fellow at the International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF), made a presentation on Stainless Steel and CO2 - pdf here

  Voisey's Bay strikers to vote on offer - The union representing workers who have been on strike at a northern Labrador mine for 14 months said Tuesday it will let its members vote on the latest offer from mining giant Vale. - more

  Japanese Stainless Offer To China At $3,400 C&F For Ni-Based CR Sheets - Japan's stainless steel manufacturers are poised to offer nickel-based CR sheets to China at US$3,400/ton C&F in what they negotiate for November-December shipments after China's Anniversary of its Foundation (Oct 1) and the subsequent holidays (Oct 2-7). - more

  Market Tendency On Imports Of Ferro-Alloys At 30th September 2010 = Problem Of Ferro-Silicon In China Will Be Focused After The Nation Day - The market tendency by item on imports of ferro-alloys into Japan at the 30th September of 2010 is as follows  - more

  JSL Stainless trades in green on plans to increase its production capacity - JSL Stainless is planning to increase its production capacity to 1 million tonnes per annum (MTA). - more

  China grabs spotlight at meeting of World Steel Association - Hajime Bada, president of the Japanese steelmaker JFE Holdings Inc., was elected chairman of the World Steel Association at a meeting in Tokyo which attested to China's growing might in the global steel market. - more

  Stainless Steel Plate in Coils From Belgium, Italy, South Africa, South Korea, and Taiwan: Final Results of the Expedited Sunset Reviews  of the Antidumping Duty Orders - more

  Rothschild Is In Line for the Russian Nickel Giant's Board - The Russian metals oligarch seeking control of Norilsk Nickel is proposing financier Nat Rothschild joins its board. - more 

  Rio Tinto seen poised to scrap iron ore jv with BHP - Global miner Rio Tinto looked set to abandon its $116 billion iron-ore joint venture with rival BHP Billiton, a deal unpopular with customers, regulators and many of Rio Tinto's own investors. - more

  • BHP, Rio tipped to see WA iron ore deal through to deadline - BHP Billiton plans to support the regulatory process of its iron ore JV with Rio Tinto, despite talk Rio plans to terminate the deal. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Tuesday, October 5

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - plus 91 to 2,569. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) Hong Kong Sales of Homes Decline 41% in September After Government Curbs // BOJ Steps Up Asset Purchases, Lowers Benchmark Interest Rate // Australia Unexpectedly Keeps Rates Unchanged; Currency Drops // Taiwan's Consumer Prices Increase 0.29% in September From Year Earlier // Asian Stocks Advance, Reversing Declines After Bank of Japan Reduces Rate // Europe Services, Manufacturing Cool as Retail Sales Decline // German 10-Year Yield Near One-Month Low as Moody's Puts Ireland on Review // Soros Says Germany Threatens Europe With `Deflationary Spiral' // European Stocks Gain for First Time in Seven Days; Greek Banks, TUI Climb // Fed Action Likely as U.S. Growth Slows, Pimco Says // U.S. Office Rent Decline Slowed in Third Quarter, Reis Says // Service Industries in U.S. Expanded at Faster Pace // Treasury Sees 2010 Deficit at Nearly 10% of U.S. GDP // U.S. Stocks Gain on BOJ Rate Cut, ISM Services Gauge; Apple, Chevron Rise
  • The Euro is now trading nearly 1.1% higher against the US Dollar. NYMEX crude oil is up over 1-1/2% and trading at $82.70/barrel. Gold is up nearly 2% and silver is nearly 4% higher. Base metals was not to be left out of today's dash for commodities and all ended the session higher. Indicator charts show nickel began climbing early and never looked back. Dow Jones reports three month nickel ended the days trading at $11.21/lb , its first close above $11/lb since May 4th. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME warehouses fell yesterday and now show a reading just over the 123,250 tonne level. Inbound and outbound activity appears to have slowed steeply in the last few weeks, base don the number of shipments recorded. Sucden's day old chart shows nickel trading thru yesterday (chart here).  Nickel got hit with a double whammy today, with technicals pointing north after two consecutive closes above major resistance, and the falling Dollar, making nickel less expensive to own. The Baltic Dry Index is coming back with a vengeance, up 91 points to 2,569. AK Steel announced their November surcharges for stainless steel Monday afternoon, and show the following averages for September. Chrome at $1.263/lb, up from $1.2088 in August. Nickel at $10.2709/lb, up from $9.71/lb in August. Molybdenum at $15.505/lb, up from $15.44/lb in August. And iron at 435/GT, up from $420/GT in August. Based on these numbers, it would appear stainless steel prices will continue to rise, and with nickel on another bullish run, they don't appear to be dropping anytime soon.

  Reports

  • Commodities Daily - pdf here
  • Commodities Daily - pdf here
  • Reuters Metals Insider - pdf here
  • November Surcharges - Allegheny - more
  • November surcharges - AK Steel - pdf here
  • November surcharges - North American Stainless - more
  • November surcharges - Universal Stainless - pdf here
  • ICDA Weekly News - more

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • Q&A: Chicago Fed’s Evans Elaborates on His Call for Aggressive Fed Action - more
  • Bernanke: Additional Asset Purchases Could Ease Financial Conditions - more
  • Personal Bankruptcy Filings Jump - more
  • Retraining workers won't work - more
  • Reis: Office Vacancy Rate at 17 Year High - more
  • What are the risks to a long period of economic stagnation? - more
  • Current Data Survey Points To Stagnation - more
  • Court overturns US tycoon's will that left fortune to Panama's poor - more

  Allegheny Stainless price charts - (good price reference graphs) Nickel since Jan 06 here // Molybdenum since Jan 06 here // Ferrochrome since Jan 06 here // Iron since Jan 06 here

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:20 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around  $.09/lb higher, with all London traded base metals higher this morning. The Euro is trading higher against the US Dollar, up 6/10 of 1%. NYMEX crude oil is up nearly 1/2 of 1% and trading at $81.86/barrel. Gold is up nearly a full percent and silver is up 2.15%. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended slightly lower, with Hong Kong markets up nearly 1/10 of 1% (Shanghai markets closed this week). European markets are slightly higher this morning, with US futures also slightly higher. Nickel inventories fell yesterday. AK Steel and Allegheny Technologies announced their November surcharges for stainless steel yesterday. For AK, 304 stainless steel went from $1.1059/lb to $1.086/lb in 304 stainless steel, and from 1.4766/lb to $1.5601/lb for 316 stainless steel.
  • Bloomberg morning base metal news - more
  • LME Morning - Metals revert higher as dollar reels once more - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments - Metal prices eased yesterday in a rather quiet session, as a combination of overbought conditions, wobbly US equity markets, and a slightly stronger dollar, all combined to reverse some of the recent gains. The dollar was steadier on account of renewed jitters out of Europe. In this regard, the Irish central bank said Ireland's economy will slow to a virtual halt this year, while investors were also unnerved about the implementation of austerity measures in Portugal. In addition, Swiss banks were told that they would have to raise more capital going forward. US stocks, on the other hand, lost ground on account of a rating cut on Microsoft and nervousness about Alcoa's earnings (out later this week). Treasury securities rose, sending the yield on the benchmark 10-year note down to 2.48%.....Whatever misgivings the markets had yesterday seem to be erased today; metals are modestly higher, as are energy prices, and the dollar has resumed its decline, now trading at just under $1.38 against the Euro. The yen is pretty much unchanged, at 83.36. US equities are called to open higher on news that the Bank of Japan said that it would pump more funds into its struggling economy and keep interest rates close to zero, surprising the markets, and perhaps trumping a similar announcement coming out of the Fed early next month. Australia's central bank left its rates steady for a fifth month today, confounding expectations for a hike, although it did say that an upward move would be needed in due course. For now, it seems the metal markets remain in “buy-the=dip” mode, and despite somewhat overbought conditions, there does not seem to be a serious enough trigger to induce a more long-lived round of selling. We suspect the short-term trend is higher still, although given the extent of the gains, we would suggest that the markets are rather overextended. ...Nickel is at $24,325, up $185; we got two days of closes above $23,670, suggesting a further more higher, with $26,500 now likely being the next upside target.  (read Ed Meir's complete morning base metals report here)
  • (Dow Jones) Goldman ....  cautioned nickel would switch from a supply deficit to a surplus, and kept its forecasts for nickel and aluminum largely unchanged at $19,500/ton and $2,200/ton respectively.
  • (Yieh) The upstream stainless steel mills such as Yieh United Steel Corp. (Yusco) and Tang Eng Iron Works Co has hiked the price for October. The domestic price of 300 series increased to NT$3,000/ton (US$96.7/ton).
  • (JMB) LME nickel market prices/ Highest in 5 months, close to 11 dollars
  • (MP) LCH.Clearnet cuts margins for cobalt, molybdenum
  • (MW) U.S. consumer bankruptcy filings rose 11% in the first nine months of this year, versus the same period in 2009, the American Bankruptcy Institute said Monday, citing data from the National Bankruptcy Research Center.

  AK Steel Announces November 2010 Surcharges for Electrical and Stainless Steels - AK Steel has advised its customers that a $350 per ton surcharge will be added to invoices for electrical steel products shipped in November 2010. - more (November surcharge sheet here)

  Voisey’s Bay talks off, again - Talks to end the 14-month-old Voisey’s Bay strike ended Sunday the same way every other round of talks have stalled — with the company and union blaming each other for the stalemate. - more

  Miner Vale says gets $1 billion loan from Canada bank - Brazil's Vale, the world's largest iron ore miner, said on Monday it received a $1 billion loan from Canadian development bank Export Development Canada, for its operations there. - more

  Nornickel Investors Concerned That Rusal Lawsuits May Impact Miners Operations - OAO Norilsk Nickel, the world’s largest producer of nickel, faces a series of lawsuits in different jurisdictions from UC Rusal Plc, an aluminium giant which owns 25 percent stake in miner. - more

  All Products Carbon Steel Price Forecast - The MEPS – Global All Products Composite selling figure was virtually unchanged in September. - more 

  Base metals labour contract expires in 2010/2011 - (excerpt) The expiry at Vale's Thompson nickel operations in Canada will be watched more closely than those at aluminium and zinc operations. - more

  Courtesy AISI - In the week ending October 2, 2010, domestic raw steel production was 1,675,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 69.3 percent. Production was 1,487,000 tons in the week ending October 2, 2009, while the capability utilization then was 62.2 percent. The current week production represents a 12.7 percent increase from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending October 2, 2010 is down 2.2 percent from the previous week ending September 25, 2010 when production was 1,712,000 tons and the rate of capability utilization was 70.8 percent.

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Monday, October 4

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - plus 26 to 2,478. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) China Supports Stable Euro, Won't Reduce European Bond Holdings, Wen Says // Sinopec Group Pays `Very High' Premium for Brazil Oil Reserves // Steel Demand Growth to Slow on China's Property Curbs, World Steel Says // China Non-Manufacturing Purchasing Index Rises on Demand for Construction // Indian Stocks Approach Record High on Earnings Optimism, Led by ICICI Bank // European Producer-Price Inflation Slows as Stronger Euro Offsets Oil Costs // Osborne Says Spending Review Will Put U.K. Finances on `Sustainable Path' // European Stocks Decline for Sixth Day; Volkswagen, Daimler Drop // Wall Street Sees World Economy Decoupling From U.S. // Asset-Backed Bond Sales Fall to Lowest in 15 Years as Consumers Cut Back // S&P 500 Profits Cut for First Time in Year in Analyst Forecasts // U.S. Capital Goods Orders Climb More Than Previously Estimated // Pending U.S. Sales of Existing Homes Increased 4.3% in August // IIF Warns of `Disturbing' Trend in Countries's Unilateral Currency Moves // U.S. Stocks Fluctuate as Microsoft, Alcoa Drop, Banks Advance
  • The Euro continues to trade lower against the US Dollar, down 7/10 of 1%. NYMEX crude is back to trading even and at $81.59/barrel. Gold and silver are both down in the 3/10 of 1% area. Base metals ended the day mostly lower, due mostly to the higher Dollar. Indicator charts for nickel show a textbook case of technical trading. Nickel opened higher and then began a slow slide, pressured by the higher Dollar, making a pronouonced bounce right before hitting the $23,670 resistance line. It then bounced and began edging down again ashortly thereafter. Then in the last hour, as soon as the trading price dipped below the aforementioned resistance line, it made a near $400 tonne bounce, before closing off its session high. Dow Jones reports three month nickel ended the day at $10.95/lb . Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME approved warehouses remain over the 123,500 tonne mark, after a slight decline was registered for Friday. Sucden's day old nickel chart shows nickel trading thru last Friday (chart here). The Baltic Dry Index gained 26 points to read 2,478.

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • (Dow Jones) Russian miner OAO Norilsk Nickel said Monday its first-half 2010 net profit increased more than fivefold as prices for nickel and copper recovered from a sharp decline in the year-ago period.
  • (MW) U.S. factory orders fell by 0.5% in August, the Commerce Department reported Monday. Analysts surveyed by MarketWatch were expecting orders to drop by 0.5%.
  • 2011 Outlook: Deflation and Dow 4200 Followed by "Wave of Refinancings" - more
  • Bankruptcy "Only Way Out" for Struggling State and Local Govts, Bond Fund Manager Says - more
  • And Then There Were Three… Women on the Fed Board - more
  • Number of the Week: 41.7 Million Spend Too Much on Housing - more
  • World-Wide Factory Activity by Country - more
  • Can I Please Go Back to My Home Timeline Now? - more
  • How The Other Half Thinks - more
  • Fear and Favor - more

  WORLD STAINLESS STEEL OUTPUT SLOWS BUT 2010 WILL BE AN “ALL-TIME HIGH” - Global crude stainless steel production during the first half of 2010 turned out at a preliminary figure of approximately 15.6 million tonnes, which equates to a year-on-year increase of 44 percent. - more

  • THE MEPS NORTH-AMERICAN AVERAGE STEEL PRICE RISES 3.3 PERCENT IN SEPTEMBER - more

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:15 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.01/lb lower, with other base metals mostly lower, but only slightly. The Euro is trading nearly 6/10 of 1% lower against the US Dollar, adding pressure to metals trading. NYMEX crude oil is down 2/10 of 1% and trading at $81.42/barrel. Gold is trading 1/3 of 1% lower while silver is also 1/3 of 1 % lower. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended higher, with China up 1-1/2%. Asian indexes are now as high as they were in June of 2008. European marekts are trading lower this morning, and US futures show Wall Street may open lower as well. Nickel inventories dipped slightly on Friday.    
  • Bloomberg morning base metal news - more
  • LME Morning - Base metals firm in early trade, though equities suffer - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments - Metal ended last week on a sharply higher note, led primarily by copper, which has now managed to scale two-year highs. The rest of the metals (apart from tin) have yet to take out their 2010 highs, as their fundamentals are somewhat less compelling. More broadly, we are continuing to see strong gains spread out into other markets as well, with energy, gold, the Euro, and US equities, all moving higher last week. The exception was in the grains and tropical commodity complexes, where steep corrections set in last week, but this took place only after phenomenal upside moves over the August/September time frame.  ..... Right now, metals are mixed in quiet trading, with trading ranges quite tight. Although most short-term upchannels remain intact, several metals are quite overbought (particularly in copper and aluminum) and could be due for a modest retrenchment from here. In addition, we are particularly interested to see how the US equity market fares in October; equities had their best September since 1939, likely discounting good earnings reports and a possible Republican capture of the House. However, a repeat of September's advance looks unlikely, potentially removing a source of support for commodities. In Asia, equity markets were quite strong overnight, with most pushing to five-month highs, but the US markets are expected to open lower. In other markets, oil prices are down slightly, but still look very strong on the charts. The dollar is flat against the Euro, trading at $1.3700, while losing some ground against the yen. Chinese markets will be closed for all of this week, but there was an important development when Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao told Greek lawmakers in a visit to the country over the weekend that China supports a stable Euro and will not reduce its holdings of European bonds. The Chinese premier also announced the creation of a $5 billion fund to help Greek shipping companies buy Chinese ships. .....Nickel is at $23,800, down $45; another close above $23,670 resistance today could set the stage for a more sustained advance, with $26,500 likely being the next upside target.  (read Ed Meir's complete morning base metals report here)
  • (Yieh) The upstream stainless steel mills such as Yieh United Steel Corp. (Yusco) and Tang Eng Iron Works Co has hiked the price for October. The domestic price of 300 series increased to NT$3,000/ton (US$96.7/ton).
  • (Yieh) According to the statistics from the International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF), the global stainless steel output raised from 7.62 million tons to 8.02 million tons in Q2.
  • (SBB) Chinese buyers reject higher Asian stainless prices
  • worldsteel Short Range Outlook - more

  Liberty Mines says processed ore up 69 pct q-o-q - Liberty Mines Inc said its Redstone nickel mill processed 69 percent more tonnes sequentially and it sees a further increase over the next quarter, sending shares of the Canadian nickel producer up nearly 20 percent. - more

  Production halted at Bucko Lake nickel mine - For the second time in less than a year, production has been shut down at Crowflight Minerals' Bucko Lake nickel mine near Wabowden. - more

  Dani Commodities turns bullish on base metals - In an interview with CNBC-TV18’s Udayan Mukherjee, Kaushal Jaini of Dani Commodities spoke about his strategy on how to trade copper and nickel. - more

  Papua New Guinea: Anti-mine campaign defies government - The fight against the dumping of toxic waste off the coast of Madang in Papua New Guinea suffered a setback when a court injunction against the Ramu nickel mine, which is building a pipe to dump its waste into the ocean, was reversed. - more

  Global steel production may plateau in 5 years - Worldwide steel production may plateau over the next five years as a result of environmental pressures and smaller demand increases, one of the world?s top steelmakers said in a report Monday. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Friday, October 1

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Baltic Dry Index - plus 6 to 2,452. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) Chinese Manufacturing Growth Accelerates, Survey Shows // Copper Climbs to Two-Year High on Chinese Manufacturing, Weakening Dollar // Asian Currencies Strengthen for Fifth Week on China Growth, Fund Inflows // China's Revised State-Secrets Law Comes Into Effect Today, Xinhua Reports // Taiwan Raises Key Rate, Seeks to Prevent Property Speculation // Kan Says Will Sell Yen If Needed, Urges BOJ to Fight Deflation // Asian Stocks Climb, Set for Fifth Weekly Gain, on China Manufacturing Data // Dollar Drops to Six-Month Low Against Euro Before Report on Manufacturing // Merkel Straddles Fences After Euro's Near-Death Experience // Swiss Tax Treaty With Germany May Finish Bank Secrecy in Europe // EU to Pursue Plans to Set Up a European Credit Rating Agency // Geithner Says No Threat of China Trade War or Currency Wars // Roubini Says 2008 Bank Mergers Created `Too Bigger to Fail' Risk for U.S. // Foreclosure Errors Cloud Homeownership With `Blighted Titles' // Fed's Dudley Says Further Easing Probably Warranted // ISM U.S. Manufacturing Index Decreased to 54.4 in September // Stocks in U.S. Advance as Personal Spending Data Overshadow Factory Index
  • The Euro is currently trading over 8/10 of 1% higher against the US Dollar. NYMEX crude is up over 1-1/2% and trading at $81.20/barrel. Gold is up nearly 1/2 of 1% and silver is higher by more than 1-1/2%. Base metals ended the session higher. Indicator charts show nickel opened higher and except for a slight dip in the afternoon, that it soon recovered from, it did little movement today. Dow Jones reports three month nickel ended the week and started the month at $10.82/lb , it's highest close since May 4th. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME approved warehouses soared yet again overnight, after taking a day off from gains, and now sit just shy of the 123,600 tonne level. This will be the 7th recorded gainer in the last 8 sessions, and inventories are as high as they have been since July 1st of this year. Sucden's day old chart shows nickel traders so far are using the stronger Euro to keep nickel on the upswing, irregardless of the inventory build (chart here).  The Baltic Dry Index appears to be somewhat erratic this week, now up 6 points. As Ed Meir of MF Global noted this morning, technically speaking, nickel has now closed above resistance for three straight days, and based on that, should move higher in the coming days. While the manufacturing PMI numbers fell in 3 of the 4 areas we track (here), markets are encouraged by the move up in China. With China's heavy import dependency on metals, the news helped give nickel a boost as well. Inventory numbers will add a sense of uncertainty to the market, as does the overall pace of recovery, but for this week, nickel traders successfully drove nickel higher, and made it stick.
  • Have a safe and relaxing weekend!!

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • Hedge funds catch new wave in commodities - more
  • China’s not a superpower in the commodities markets - more
  • Which Cities Face Biggest Housing Risks? - more
  • Bernanke on Fed Disagreements, Group Decision Making - more
  • What is the government interest in bankruptcy cases? - more
  • America’s Deepening Moral Crisis - more
  • Taking On China - more

  Morning Briefing (8:00 AM CST is 1PM in London)

  • Indicators at 7:20 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.19/lb higher, with all London traded base metals higher on strong Chinese manufacturing data. The Euro is trading over 7/10 of 1% higher against the US Dollar, also boosting commodities. NYMEX crude oil is up nearly 1.3% and trading at $80.99/barrel. Gold is trading over 1/2 of 1% higher this morning, while silver is up nearly 1%. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended higher, with China up over 2%. European markets are trading higher this morning and US futures show Wall Street will welcome the Chinese manufacturing data. Nickel inventories climbed yesterday.
  • Bloomberg morning base metal news - more
  • Reuters metals morning - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Edward Meir of MF Global Morning Comments - Copper finished slightly lower yesterday in quite choppy trading, as we continued to see turbulence around the $8000 mark. However, the complex nevertheless finished September with a hefty 18.5% gain for the month, while closing out the third quarter with its biggest advance since late 2009. The quarterly gains in the rest of the metals were not as dramatic (except for tin) but the group nevertheless finished with a far better showing compared to Q2, where we saw a wholesale collapse in the commodity asset class. Whatever wobbliness we had in metals yesterday, has been completely erased today, with the group sharply higher. Copper is at $8141, and in the midst of breaking out on the charts now that it is likely going to close solidly above the $8043 mark for two consecutive days. Where the current run will take us is anyone's guess, but charts seems to indicate that we could get to $8500. Other metals are also higher, with tin hitting a new record, while nickel is revisiting the highs seen this past spring.  ... Nickel is at $23,925, up $525; we are looking at two closes above $23,670 resistance for a breakout to set in. (read Ed Meir's complete morning base metals report here)
  • (SSY) According to data from the China Iron & Steel Association quoted in the Chinese media, national daily crude steel output fell by 9% from the first ten days in September to 1.55 Mt during the following ten days. Although the statistics are not comprehensive in their coverage of the Chinese steel sector, they do provide some indication of the impact of recent energy saving measures.
  • China's PMI of manufacturing sector jumps to 53.8% in Sept - more
  • European Manufacturing Slows Down, Citing Cool Global Demand - more
  • Tracking the Recent Performance of Base Metals - more
  • EU targets commodity speculation - more

  Nickel Will Probably Slip Next Year as Supply Swells, Merrill Lynch Says - Nickel prices will likely slip next year as increased production brings supply and demand into balance, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch.  - more

  Norilsk to Restart Australia Nickel Mine, Review Others Amid Price Rebound - OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel, the world’s biggest producer, aims to restart one of its mines in Australia early next year and is reviewing four other mothballed as prices rebound for the metal used to rustproof steel. - more

  Ramu Nickel Mine To Wait On Waste Disposal - The operator of Papua New Guinea’s Ramu nickel project has assured landowners it won’t construct its marine tailings pipeline until a new legal application for an injunction on the project is heard. - more

  ISS calls for early termination of Norilsk Nickel board says RusAl - ISS Proxy Advisory Services, an independent institutional proxy advisory service, has recommended that shareholders of Russia's mining giant Norilsk Nickel vote for an early termination of powers of the company's board and two independent director nominees at the forthcoming extraordinary shareholders' meeting, aluminum producer and Norilsk Nickel shareholder RusAl said on Friday. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • London Metal Exchange inventory figures/changes - (for today's figures see MF Global report above)
  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here (chart)
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

September Archives


Chart Info Delayed 1 Day

Chart temporarily down

Chart temporarily down


Translate this page to French | German | Spanish | Italian | Portuguese | Chinese | Japanese | Korean | Russian


All prices shown on this page are indications only. "A Guide To LME Trading"...pdf here "The ABCs of a Metals Exchange" ...pdf here (Molybdenum prices are for molybdenum oxide, an ingredient and major price factor in 316 stainless) (all ton listings are metric tons = 2204.622 pounds ) Updated daily before 8 am CST and before 1 pm CST weekdays - Disclaimer Candlestick Pattern Dictionary here / Intro to Candlesticks here Original content and opinions copyright www.estainlesssteel.com. Note - For real time and official LME prices, LME requires a user subscribe to be an authorized LME vendor.

Site Sponsors

Advertise your company on this site

Your banner here

Daily Reports

UBS Daily
MF Global
Macquarie Bank
Commonwealth Bank

9/6 Market Prices
not official prices

ferrochrome and chromium prices

Moly Oxide (>51%)
$16.03/lb
 
Source

Ferrochrome(60-65%)(HC)
$1.25/lb
 

9/6 Scrap Price

Stainless Steel (LTL/ton)
$.99/lb
 ferrochrome prices and molybdenum prices

Smaller Quantities
$.65/lb
 chromium prices and nickel prices

MEPS Stainless Steel Price Index

Global 304 SS Index

nickel prices

North America 304 Index

price of stainless steel

304 SS Index

price of nickel

Asia 304 SS Index

MEPS Composite Steel Price Index

Global Composite

North America Composite

Media

Bloomberg TV
Bloomberg Asia
CNBC Metals
CNN News
Resource Radio
BNN Reports

Other Sites

Baltic Dry Bulk Index
Nickel Mining Stock
Stainless Steel Videos
USGS Mineral Reports
Industrial Metals Index
Nonferrous Metals Index
Global Steel Production
World Disaster Info
Investor Guide
Recession Recovery
Rasmussen Reports

Today's Market

USA Economic Calendar
USA Economic Calendar
World Economic Calendar
World Economic Calendar
Live Commodity Prices
World Stock Markets
North/South America
Europe Markets
Asia/Pacific
TED Spread
LMEX Index
VIX Index
US Futures

Other Sites

Nickel Mine Closures
China Financial
EconMagic
US Debt Clock
Worldwide PMI
NOAA El Nino Updates


LME Margins
LME Calendar
LME Ring Times
Metals MSDS
Nickel Toxicology
Stainless Steel MSDS
USGS Molybdenum Info
USGS Nickel Information
USGS Chromium Information
Tariff Codes (many countries)
Metric Stainless Steel Fasteners


Price of Nickel

Nickel Graph Temporarily Down

1 and 5 year nickel chart

Sempra Delayed Price
Daily Commodity Prices

Sucden's Evening Base Metals Report

Site Pages

Nickel Price Charts/Forecasts
Stainless Steel Graph/Charts
Stainless Steel Surcharge
Nickel/Stainless Research
Stainless Steel Literature
Make your own charts
Nickel Price Archives
Ferrochrome Facts

Prices/Analysis

china stainless steel news
Shanghai
Shida Morning Post

india stainless steel and nickel news
India MCX

Central Japan

Archives

2018
January February March
April May June July August
September October
November December

2017
January February March
April May June July August
September October
November December

2016
January February March
April May June July August
September October
November December

2015 and prior






Stainless Steel MSDS
USGS Nickel Information
USGS Chromium Information
USGS Molybdenum Info
Tariff Codes (many countries)

Nickel Publications at Amazon

Contact author  /   EStainlessSteel Home Page

Your free daily news source for nickel, molybdenum, ferrochrome, chromium, iron ore and stainless steel market prices and news.

Any reproduction in whole, or in part, without permission from the author is prohibited.
© 2003-2018