This page is archived news covering the period of October 2019
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Stainless Steel News and Nickel Prices

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Thursday, October 31

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing (7:00 AM CST is 12 PM in London)

  • Nickel closed yesterday's trading session at $7.61/lb ($16,780/tonne). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.06/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell yesterday, and for only the fourth time this month, fell by less than 1000 tonnes. And on two of those days, stockpile numbers actually grew. Inventories opened the last day of October just under the 67,000 tonne level. Nickel traders apparently feel a deep need to take nickel places lower, regardless of the inventory situation. After a bump that was helped by news that Indonesia miners were halting nickel shipments immediately, prices have resumed a  negative and/or sideways trend. This has been helped by news that much of the news out of Indonesia is initially only partially true. Indonesia miner shipments have been halted 'temporarily' while Indonesia checks exports for illegal shipments. LME Week is over, and according to a poll taken, nickel and copper were favored by investors to see price growth in 2020. 
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $7.77/lb
  • Average price of LME traded nickel in first half of 2019 - $5.59/lb / 2018 - $5.95/lb / 2017 - $4.73/lb / 2016 - $4.36/lb /

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper steady as weak Chinese data counters supply concern - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here  
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Outokumpu interim statement Q3 2019 - pdf here
  • RBC Commodity Monitor - pdf here

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • China Stainless Steel Scrap Market News / Price - more
  • Scotiabank Reports - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - (chart)
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • China Doubts Long-Term Trade Deal Possible With Trump - more
  • EU Steel Rout Deepens as Demand Seen Dropping Most in 7 Years - more

     Yesterday's market review - Copper slips as U.S. official warns of trade deal delay - Copper prices fell on Wednesday after a U.S. official dampened hopes that a trade deal with China will soon be announced and a big delivery into London Metal Exchange (LME) warehouses pointed to ample supply. - more

      LME investors favor copper, nickel; shun lead and zinc: survey - Copper and nickel are the preferred London Metals Exchange metals, while lead and zinc are the least popular among investors, according to a survey of the metals community undertaken by BMO Capital Markets during the current LME Week. - more

      Indonesia's Export of Stainless Steel Semi-products in August 2019 = Ingot is 17,000 tons and flat roll is 212,000 tons = Indonesia's foreign trade statistics shows the export volume of stainless steel semi-products in August 2019 was 17,322 tons of ingot (slab/HS: 7218), drastically down by 40.2% from the prior month.  - more

      Solomon Islands turfs out Aussie miner in favour of China company - The Solomon Islands is forcing an Australian miner out of the country as it moves to hand a world-class nickel resource and access to a strategic deepwater harbour to a controversial Chinese company. - more

      Ramu nickel mine: Scientists set to study pollution - The governor of Papua New Guinea's Madang province has invited the government to join a team of European scientists set to study pollution around the Ramu nickel mine. - more

      Indonesia to probe illegal exports of nickel ore - Indonesia is probing a sudden surge in nickel ore exports and has told miners to suspend them. - more

  • Government digs deeper into alleged nickel export violations - more

      PolyMet and Twin Metals say they’ll create thousands of Iron Range jobs. Does Minnesota have the workers to fill them? - The promise of thousands of jobs from a boom in copper-nickel mining has won the new industry broad political support on the Iron Range. - more

  Morning Nickel Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here or here (updated)
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more  more
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - online 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 news and information free of charge. Contact us
Wednesday, October 30

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing (7:00 AM CST is 12 PM in London)

  • Nickel closed Tuesday's trading session at $7.63/lb ($16,830/tonne). Indicators at 6:25 am CST today show nickel trading around $.02/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Tuesday and started today's session just above the 67,900 tonne level. News from Indonesia yesterday changed, yet again, and now the immediate suspension of exports of nickel ore is possibly only a temporary two week situation. If true, this means nickel ore exports would resume in mid-November, only to once again stop at the end of December, and unless they change their minds .... again ....  this December stoppage will be permanent. News on the trade talks between China and the U.S. are mixed, with some reporting an agreement on 'phase one' will be announced soon, with others suggesting new difficulties have cropped up. Nickel has trended higher since Monday, and so far today, that trend continues. Only two working days left in October.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $7.77/lb
  • Average price of LME traded nickel in first half of 2019 - $5.59/lb / 2018 - $5.95/lb / 2017 - $4.73/lb / 2016 - $4.36/lb /

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - LME copper falls on possible U.S.-China trade deal delay - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here  
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • China Stainless Steel Scrap Market News / Price - more
  • Scotiabank Reports - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - (chart)
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • Spotlight on possible new Glencore CEO - more
  • China Steelmaker Default Sparks Debt Contagion Fear - more
  • Stocks Struggle Before Fed Rate Decision, Powell: Markets Wrap - more

     Tuesday's market review - Nickel climbs after Indonesia blocks exports - Nickel prices rose on Tuesday as top producer Indonesia said it would temporarily stop ore exports ahead of a ban due to come into force next year. - more

      Even a Lifelong Copper Bull Isn’t Sure Next Move Will Be Up - As head of sales for copper-mining giant Freeport-McMoRan Inc., Javier Targhetta overflows with arguments for why the metal’s prospects are bright. - more

      Indonesia Shelves Early Nickel Export Ban for Tighter Inspection - Indonesia, one of the world’s top supplier of nickel ore, will allow miners to continue exports until a ban takes effect on Jan. 1 and ordered greater scrutiny of cargoes meant for shipments. - more

      Noront raising $2.5 million for Ring of Fire - Noront Resources Ltd. said Monday it has arranged a $2.5 million non-brokered private placement. It said proceeds with be used for exploration and development of the company’s Eagle’s Nest Project and chromite deposits in the Ring of Fire mineral district in northern Ontario - more

      China Macro and Metals: Steel exporters target China amid warmer economic signals - Chinese commodity prices softened over September and into the first half of October, while economic data was mixed over the same period. - more

  Morning Nickel Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here or here (updated)
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more  more
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - online 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 news and information free of charge. Contact us
Tuesday, October 29
      For the final week of October only, our morning posting time may be delayed - no later than 8 a.m. CST.

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing (7:00 AM CST is 12 PM in London)

  • Nickel closed Monday's trading session at $7.55/lb ($16,640/tonne). Indicators at 6:20 am CST today show nickel trading around $.05/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Monday and started today's session just under the 69,200 tonne level. Nickel is trading choppy this morning and resembles a funky mountain range already. For technical traders, we quote from Reuters this morning "...commodities technicals analyst Wang Tao.
    “Nickel failed to break resistance at $17,993 in September. It is expected to retrace further to $14,533,” he said." That technical forecast puts nickel trading back to $6.59/lb. In light of LME stockpile numbers, we find that forecast rather incredible. However, we also are scratching our heads along with many others, on why the decision by Indonesia to stop exports of nickel ore on December 31st caused the market to spike, as well it should have, but a decision to move that action up to October 31st, sees the market price fall. LME Week continues, and so far, we aren't seeing any change in market sentiment.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $7.78/lb
  • Average price of LME traded nickel in first half of 2019 - $5.59/lb / 2018 - $5.95/lb / 2017 - $4.73/lb / 2016 - $4.36/lb /

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Nickel pares early gains; investors see metal as overpriced - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here  
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • China Stainless Steel Scrap Market News / Price - more
  • Scotiabank Reports - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - (chart)
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • Biggest Private Coal Miner Goes Bust After Trump Rescue Fails - more
  • U.S. rejects sanctions sought by China in tariffs case, going to arbitration - trade official - more
  • U.S. Futures Dip, Europe Stocks Drop as Bonds Rise: Markets Wrap - more

     Monday's market review - Zinc rises towards 4-month high as stocks fall - Zinc prices climbed towards 4-month peaks on Monday as slumping stocks fuelled fears of shortages, while copper hovered near five-week highs on hopes of progress in trade talks between the United States and China. - more

      Miner Seeks Answers Amid Indonesia Nickel Shock: LME Week Update - LME Week, the biggest annual event of the London metals world, kicks off Monday. - more

      LME WEEK 2019: Nickel ore shortage to take its toll H2 2020 after Indonesian export ban - Tightness in nickel ore supply may unlikely to materialise until the second half of next year, as top producer Indonesia announced the export ban four months in advance of its effective date on January 1, 2020, said Jim Lennon, senior commodities consultant at Macquarie. - more

      Global manufacturing 'recession' casts shadow over metals outlook: LME seminar  - The global manufacturing sector is in recession, which does not bode well for the outlook for metals, speakers at a London Metals Exchange seminar said Monday. - more

      Toxic spill from PNG mine a threat to health, locals say - People living on Papua New Guinea's Rai Coast say a toxic spill from the Ramu nickel mine has killed marine life, destroyed livelihoods and endangered their health.They also say the mining company has done nothing for the community apart from pollute it. - more

  • PNG Madang Locals call for Third Independent investigation in Ramu Mine Spill  - more
      Indonesia launches AD investigation on CR stainless steel from China & Malaysia - On October 23rd, the Indonesian Anti-Dumping Committee (KADI) had issued a notice announcing the initiation of an anti-dumping investigation on imported cold-rolled stainless steel products from China and Malaysia. - more

      Courtesy AISI - In the week ending on October 26, 2019, domestic raw steel production was 1,866,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 80.7 percent. Production was 1,877,000 net tons in the week ending October 26, 2018 while the capability utilization then was 80.1 percent. The current week production represents a 0.6 percent decrease from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending October 26, 2019 is up 1.4 percent from the previous week ending October 19, 2019 when production was 1,841,000 net tons and the rate of capability utilization was 79.6 percent. - more

  Morning Nickel Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here or here (updated)
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more  more
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - online 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 news and information free of charge. Contact us
Monday, October 28

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing (7:00 AM CST is 12 PM in London)

  • Nickel closed Friday's trading session at $7.61/lb ($16,775/tonne). Indicators at 6:30 am CST today show nickel trading around $.09/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell sharply on Friday and started the day just around the 70,650 tonne level. Today has a couple "WTH" news items. After the government announced Indonesia nickel miners could no longer export nickel ore after December 21st of this year, the local media is announcing nickel miners in that country have agreed to halt all exports immediately. And in neighbor Papua New Guinea, after announcing the government had indefinitely suspended production at the Ramu nickel mine last week, the mine announced it had reopened Saturday. Do you think nickel just jumped back to topic number 1 at LME Week? Considering LME nickel stockpiles fell by 8% on Friday alone, it probably should be.  It will be interesting to see if the LME meetings have any effect on nickel trading. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. Only four days of October left - have a great week.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $7.80/lb
  • Average price of LME traded nickel in first half of 2019 - $5.59/lb / 2018 - $5.95/lb / 2017 - $4.73/lb / 2016 - $4.36/lb /

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - London zinc climbs for 4th day as inventories slide - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here  
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • U.S. Imports of Stainless Steel Mill Products - more
  • Steel Industry Executive Summary: September 2019 - pdf here
  • September Monthly Steel Factsheet - pdf here

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • China Stainless Steel Scrap Market News / Price - more
  • Scotiabank Reports - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - (chart)
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • U.S. Futures Rise as Fed Meeting Nears; Bonds Fall: Markets Wrap - more

     Friday's market review - Zinc gains as inventories fall, shrugs off hidden stock - Zinc prices rose on Friday as London Metal Exchange inventories touched the lowest level in 12 years, though analysts said the higher prices failed to reflect large amounts of hidden stock. - more

      What a Difference a Year Makes: Gloom and Doom at Metals Week - The metals world is descending on London for the biggest annual bash in the industry’s calendar, but there’s not much to celebrate. - more

      The Big Question in Metals Is What Happens Next to Nickel - While the fog of the trade war clouds the outlook for most commodities, battle lines are being drawn in the nickel market. - more

      Indonesian nickel miners agree to stop ore exports immediately: investment chief - Indonesia’s nickel miners agreed on Monday to stop nickel ore exports immediately, the country’s investment agency chief Bahlil Lahadalia said, after Jakarta last month brought forward a ban on shipments to January 2020 from 2022. - more

      PNG's Ramu Nickel Mine reopens - Ramu Nico’s controversial Basamuk Refinery Plant in Madang Province, Papua New Guinea is said to be back in full operation. - more

  • China's MCC restarts Ramu nickel plant in Papua New Guinea - more
      China Sept nickel ore imports hit highest since at least 2016 as Indonesia ban looms - China’s nickel ore imports in September rose 24.6% from the previous month to their highest since at least 2016, customs data showed on Friday, as stockpiling accelerated ahead of a ban on shipments from top miner Indonesia from January 2020. - more

      US stainless: Surcharges nudge lower - US stainless steel producers' monthly alloy surcharges for austenitic grades of stainless steel flat-rolled products dropped narrowly for November shipments. - more (our readers got this information earlier this week - we follow two of the mfg's and a distributor monthly here)

      September 2019 crude steel production - World crude steel production for the 64 countries reporting to the World Steel Association (worldsteel) was 151.5 million tonnes (Mt) in September 2019, a 0.3% decrease compared to September 2018. - more

      New membership structure set for stainless steel sector - The Southern Africa Stainless Steel Development Association (Sassda) is at a turning point in its history as it gears up for the future with the introduction of a new tiered membership model that will launch in March 2020, says Sassda acting executive director Michel Basson. - more

      The Effect of Workhardening and Residual Stresses Due to Cold Work of Forming on the Strength of Cold-formed Stainless Steel Lipped Channel Sections - pdf here

  Morning Nickel Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here or here (updated)
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more  more
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - online 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 news and information free of charge. Contact us
Friday, October 25
      For the final week of October only, our morning posting time may be delayed - no later than 8 a.m. CST.

LME nickel prices  Friday's Abbreviated Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing (7:00 AM CST is 12 PM in London)

  • Nickel closed Thursday's trading session at $7.65/lb  ($16,860/tonne). Indicators at 7:20 am CST today show nickel trading around  $.01/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses took another hit yesterday and opened the day just under the 76,800 tonne level. After turning bullish late Tuesday, LME nickel has been quiet so far today. No earth shaking news to report this morning so we leave you with our hope you have a safe and relaxing weekend.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $7.80/lb
  • Average price of LME traded nickel in first half of 2019 - $5.59/lb / 2018 - $5.95/lb / 2017 - $4.73/lb / 2016 - $4.36/lb /

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Zinc gains as inventories fall, shrugs off hidden stock - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here  
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • ING - Can nickel avoid a crash? - more

     Thursday's market review - Nickel firms as plant closure amplifies supply fears - Nickel touched a one-week high on Thursday after Papua New Guinea ordered the closure of a nickel processing plant over its failure to take remedial action after a slurry spill, intensifying supply concerns. - more

      Indonesia to revise domestic nickel ore rule to put floor on price - Indonesia’s mining ministry is revising a rule that governs the domestic price of nickel ore to ensure smelters follow government benchmark prices, a ministry official told Reuters. - more

      Local community welcomes Ramu nickel processing plant's temporary closure, but want compensation from spill - Local fishermen who have been impacted by a recent slurry spill on Papua New Guinea's north coast, are calling for the government to slap heavy penalties on the Chinese operators of the multi-million-dollar nickel mine responsible. - more

      Noront still committed to Sault ferrochrome plant - After more than five hours of consultations with sometimes-hostile Saultites, Noront Resources Ltd. says it still prefers Sault Ste. Marie as the future site of its billion-dollar ferrochrome facility. - more

      Court of Appeals extends stay of PolyMet permits - A court-ordered stay on two key permits for PolyMet Mining’s proposed NorthMet copper-nickel mine near Hoyt Lakes, will continue, at least until sometime in early 2020. - more

      Vale turns to artificial intelligence for exploration at Coleman nickel mine - Brazil’s Vale will begin applying artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to identify new drilling targets at its Coleman nickel mine, which is part of base metals operations in Ontario, Canada. - more

      China could kick off deep-sea mining before others: UN body - China is likely to become the first country in the world to start mining seabed minerals if the international rules for exploitation are approved next year, according to the International Seabed Authority (ISA). - more

Thursday, October 24

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing (7:00 AM CST is 12 PM in London)

  • Nickel closed Wednesday's trading session at $7.53/lb ($16,595/tonne). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.14/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell sharply again yesterday and started today around the 79.800 tonne level. Cancelled warrants remain over 62%. Traders are reacting to the ordered suspension of the Ramu nickel mine in Papua New Guinea. That mine spilled about 52,000 gallons of toxic slurry into the ocean back in August and from the media reports we have seen since, the mine has been on a PR campaign ever since. There may have been apologies offered, but it appears from Papau media, that the mine's campaign gravitated more around 'here is what we have done for you', instead, we are sorry and here is what we are going to do to fix this'. This campaign has proven ineffective, at least for now, and an 'indefinite' suspension has been ordered. With LME stockpiles approaching dangerously low levels, this closure could not come at a worse time. Markets, which have been in a correction for the last two weeks, are suddenly bullish again. Whoever bought earlier this week, and a jump in cancelled warrants from Friday's 41% to 54% on Monday and 66% on Tuesday proves some were buying, have made some very smart buys. Unless the market tanks for some reason. There is absolutely no reason to believe that might happen, but nickel has proven to be a 'fickle b---h before'.  Lot of news today, so we  leave you with it.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $7.81/lb
  • Average price of LME traded nickel in first half of 2019 - $5.59/lb / 2018 - $5.95/lb / 2017 - $4.73/lb / 2016 - $4.36/lb /

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Nickel rises on Ramu nickel project shutdown in Papua New Guinea - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here  
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • China Stainless Steel Scrap Market News / Price - more
  • Scotiabank Reports - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - (chart)
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • Japan July-Sept crude steel output falls to lowest in 10 yrs - more
  • Tim Treadgold: Rare earths could be another ‘buy the sector’ situation, just like nickel - more
  • Stocks Rise on Earnings; Bonds Mixed Before ECB: Markets Wrap - more

     Wednesday's market review - Zinc gains as deficit pushes inventories to new lows - Zinc prices rose on Wednesday as available stocks in London Metal Exchange (LME) warehouses slipped to their lowest levels in more than two decades despite expectations of increased supply. - more

      Papua New Guinea shutters polluting Chinese plant  - Papua New Guinea said Thursday it had ordered the indefinite closure of a multi-billion dollar Chinese-owned nickel facility that spewed potentially toxic red slurry into the sea. - more

      AK Steel's stainless steel & electrical steel shipments drop in Q2 2019 y-o-y - According to the sales performance report released by AK Steel, a leading steel producer in the US, the firm’s shipments of flat-rolled steel products totaled around 1.39 million tons in the second quarter of this year, decreasing by nearly 3.4% compared to the same period a year ago, while slightly up by 0.2% from the previous quarter. - more

      LME nickel inventory plunge sparks supply crunch fears, but was the drawdown manipulation or demand? - With nickel stockpiles suddenly plunging below 90,000t on the London Metal Exchange this month, industry participants are fearing the much-awaited supply crunch has arrived, but is it a result of the genuine physical market conditions or unsavoury manipulation tactics? - more

      Vale's Production Volumes of Mn Ore, FA, Ni and Co in Jul-Sept = Production of Mn ore, Mn-containing alloy, Ni and Co is down from year-earlier period =
On October 14, Vale S. A., a major resource company in Brazil announced its production volumes of manganese ore, ferroalloys, nickel and cobalt in the period from July to September in 2019 (Production volume by division is as per the table below).  - more

      New Caledonia growth to remain subdued - report - Last year's economic growth in New Caledonia was minimal and there is no chance of a rebound this year, a French report says. - more

      Eramet's nickel plant in Indonesia to start ahead of schedule in H1 2020 - French miner and metals producer Eramet said on Wednesday its Weda Bay Nickel plant in Indonesia would start operation ahead of schedule in the first half of 2020, and it reiterated production targets for this year. - more

      Trump canceled a federal study about the impacts of mining near the Boundary Waters. Rep. Betty McCollum is trying to bring it back - After President Donald Trump took office in 2017, his administration ended a study that could have led to a 20-year ban on copper-nickel mining near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. - more

  Morning Nickel Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here or here (updated)
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more  more
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - online 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 news and information free of charge. Contact us
Wednesday, October 23

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing (7:00 AM CST is 12 PM in London)

  • Nickel closed Tuesday's trading session at $7.27/lb ($16,030/tonne). Indicators at 6:10 am CST today show nickel trading around $.18/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell sharply and started today's session just under the 83,700 tonne level. LME announced it was investigating why stockpile numbers were falling at record levels, but if anyone is up to some funny business, they don't seem to be too concerned, as stockpiles fell nearly 3500 tonnes yesterday, and cancelled warrants ended the day over the 64% level. It will be interesting to see if anyone is gaming the system, as we suspect they aren't breaking any rules. Nickel rebounded in overnight trading on the Shanghai market, and this may be a case of LME traders following SMM traders. We said we would follow the new stainless steel trading in China and let you know if it was worth posting. Not yet. On Oct 1st, their stainless steel future was trading at 15,700, today it is at 14,975. We suspect traders are still jockeying for positions of a new trading future and the price does not reflect the industry yet.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $7.83/lb
  • Average price of LME traded nickel in first half of 2019 - $5.59/lb / 2018 - $5.95/lb / 2017 - $4.73/lb / 2016 - $4.36/lb /

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Shanghai nickel rises on low stockpiles, Nornickel accident - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here  
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Sucden Quarterly Metals Report - pdf here
  • The Commodities Feed: Nickel spreads weaken - more

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • China Stainless Steel Scrap Market News / Price - more
  • Scotiabank Reports - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - (chart)
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • Brexit’s Risk to the Union Is Becoming Clearer - more
  • Global steel industry groups call for urgent action on excess steel capacity - more
  • Tech Sell-Off Weighs on Stocks Amid Mixed Earnings: Markets Wrap - more

     Tuesday's market review - Copper flat as traders gauge supply concerns from Chile protests - Copper prices were flat on Tuesday, as traders gauged the impact of intensifying protests in top producer Chile on supplies. - more

      LME Starts Inquiry Into Nickel Trading as Inventories Plunge -  The London Metal Exchange is reviewing recent trading in the nickel market following the biggest-ever decline in inventories. - more

      Three dead in underground mine accident at Russia's Nornickel - Three people were killed on Tuesday in an accident at Norilsk Nickel’s Taimyr underground mine in Siberia, the Russian mining giant said. - more

      Indonesian villagers fighting planned mine garner national support - A conflict between residents of a remote Indonesian island and a nickel-mining company trying to operate there has gained national attention. - more

  Morning Nickel Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here or here (updated)
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more  more
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - online 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 news and information free of charge. Contact us
Tuesday, October 22

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing (7:00 AM CST is 12 PM in London)

  • Nickel closed Monday's trading session at $7.30/lb  ($16,100/tonne). Indicators at 6:10 am CST today show nickel trading around $.02/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Monday and started today's session just over the 87,100 tonne level. Cancelled warrants soared to over 66%. At one time, that meant parties had purchased 2/3 of that 87,100 tonnes to use. Now it could mean much of what is sold will merely move from an LME warehouse to a non LME warehouses, giving the impression demand is stronger than it really is. Nickel prices continue to slide, albeit much slower this week than last. Support was beat yesterday, and another close below today, could send a technically negative signal. The disparity between stockpile numbers and the trading price continues.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $7.87/lb
  • Average price of LME traded nickel in first half of 2019 - $5.59/lb / 2018 - $5.95/lb / 2017 - $4.73/lb / 2016 - $4.36/lb /

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper flat as traders gauge supply concerns from Chile protests - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here  
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Mirae Weekly Commodity Alert - pdf here
  • Poseidon Nickel Annual Report - pdf here

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • China Stainless Steel Scrap Market News / Price - more
  • Scotiabank Reports - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - (chart)
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • Australian Mines becoming major nickel-cobalt producer - more
  • Stocks Fluctuate as Earnings Roll In; Bonds Climb: Markets Wrap - more

     Monday's market review - Copper hits one-month high on Chile unrest and easing trade tensions - Copper prices rose to one-month highs on Monday as protests in major producer Chile fuelled concern about supplies and the prospect of easing trade tensions between China and the United States boosted sentiment. - more

      Indonesia: current account deficit expected to shrink after nickel ore export ban – UOB - Economist at UOB Group E.Tanuwidjaja assessed the implications of the nickel ore exports ban on the Indonesian current account. - more

      Merafe reports lower production in Q3 in line with cutbacks - JSE-listed Merafe Resources' attributable ferrochrome production from the Glencore-Merafe Chrome Venture for the third quarter ended September 30 was 60 000 t, 29% lower than the 84 000 t produced in the third quarter of 2018. - more

      Independence exceeds Nova production guidance - Independence Group’s (IGO) Nova nickel copper operation has snuck above its production guidance for the September quarter, producing 7724 tonnes of nickel and 3490 tonnes of copper. - more

      Courtesy AISI - In the week ending on October 19, 2019, domestic raw steel production was 1,841,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 79.6 percent. Production was 1,877,000 net tons in the week ending October 19, 2018 while the capability utilization then was 80.1 percent. The current week production represents a 1.9 percent decrease from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending October 19, 2019 is up 1.1 percent from the previous week ending October 12, 2019 when production was 1,821,000 net tons and the rate of capability utilization was 78.7 percent. - more

  Morning Nickel Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here or here (updated)
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more  more
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - online 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 news and information free of charge. Contact us
Monday, October 21

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing (7:00 AM CST is 12 PM in London)

  • Nickel closed Friday's trading session at $7.36/lb ($16,230/tonne). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.01/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose nearly as much as they fell on Thursday and started the week just over the 88,100 tonne level. Cancelled warrants also bounced from nearly 41% on Thursday to nearly 54% on Friday. Somebody is buying, whether for stock or investment purposes remains to be seen. Nickel fell from a high of nearly $17,300, to around $16,200 today. We are back to trading where we were before nickel spiked on September 1st to over $18,400/tonne. We show support at $7.33/lb, if you believe in technical trading. It was tested earlier this morning, but with a slight recovery, this support level has held. At least for now. ISSF reported on Friday it projects stainless steel consumption to grow only 2.4% in 2019, down from 4.85% in 2018. It's a new week, and you have 9 business days left to accomplish any personal goal you might have set for yourself. Have a pleasant week!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $7.90/lb
  • Average price of LME traded nickel in first half of 2019 - $5.59/lb / 2018 - $5.95/lb / 2017 - $4.73/lb / 2016 - $4.36/lb /

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper hits 1-month high as Chile unrest fans supply worries - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here  
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • US National Economic Indicators - pdf here
  • USGS Molybdenum in July 2019 - pdf here
  • USGS Chromium in July 2019 - pdf here
  • U.S. Imports of Stainless Steel Mill Products - more
  • US Exports of Stainless Steel Mill Products - more

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • China Stainless Steel Scrap Market News / Price - more
  • Scotiabank Reports - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - (chart)
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • China's growth weakens further to 6.0% in third quarter - more
  • Merafe identifies community unrest as factor in 29% slide in third quarter chrome output - more
  • Nickel price surges on demand for electric cars and Indonesia export ban - more
  • Stocks Rise With U.S. Equity Futures as Bonds Sink: Markets Wrap - more

     Friday's market review - Copper climbs on Chinese property and infrastructure data - Copper prices rose on Friday after positive Chinese data on property and infrastructure growth, while zinc and lead hit multi-month highs as investors worried about shortages. - more

      Stainless Steel Consumption Figures – The International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF) has released stainless steel consumption figures for all products (cold rolled flat, hot rolled flat and long products). Year-on-year changes are forecast at +2.4% for 2019 and at +4.4% for 2020. - more
  • Global stainless steel consumption growth to slow to 2.4% in 2019: ISSF - more

      Toxic spill from PNG nickel mine having long lasting effects - On one stretch of Papua New Guinea's coastline, the sea water turned bright red earlier this year. - more

      US issues final AD ruling on imported stainless steel rod from India - The US Commerce Department had issued a final anti-dumping ruling against imports of stainless steel rods from India after some Indian producers and exporters sold below normal amounts in the US during the period under review. - more

      Potanin says smelter in Nikel will be closed - Nornickel and regional authorities in Murmansk have signed agreement on how to collaborate on retraining and restructuring for the 800 employees of the smelter in Nikel. -  more

  • On ‘Island’ in Russian Arctic, Arrival of Fast Internet Shakes Political Calm - more

      Open Letter From Doctors On Ferrochrome Smelter - Should Sault Ste. Marie have a ferrochrome smelter built in the city? This is a critical question facing our community. - more

  • Timmins expects to get ferrochrome plant - more

  Morning Nickel Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here or here (updated)
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more  more
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - online 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 news and information free of charge. Contact us
Friday, October 18

LME nickel prices  Abbreviated Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing (7:00 AM CST is 12 PM in London)

  • Nickel closed Thursday's trading session at $7.38/lb ($16,270/tonne). Indicators at 6:20 am CST today show nickel trading around $.01/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Thursday and started today's session just under the 86,600 tonne level. Nickel is trading ever so slightly higher this morning, but showing no real enthusiasm, and for the moment, appears to be trading in a narrow band started yesterday. A very interesting article below hinting that some of the massive decline in stockpile numbers this month has been market manipulation - moving inventory from a LME warehouse to a non LME warehouse, making the demand appear to be higher than it really is. It wouldn't surprise us if the article is based on fact, as this type of activity has happened before, and since it is legal, it will continue. It will remain one of the many ways for the big guy to stick it to the little guy. If the large trading houses are convinced this has all been a case of market manipulation, it could explain the sudden retreat in price. However, last month, when we saw stockpile numbers for the entire month remain fairly stable, nickel was trading much higher than it is currently. At present, we are back to trading where we were in August. It's been one of those head scratcher weeks, when trying to make sense of the senseless can give one a headache. We hope the weekend is less confusing for you, and that it is a safe and enjoyable one. Drop by next week and visit us as we bring you our daily market update.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $7.94/lb
  • Average price of LME traded nickel in first half of 2019 - $5.59/lb / 2018 - $5.95/lb / 2017 - $4.73/lb / 2016 - $4.36/lb /

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper dips on bleak China data - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here  
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here

     Thursday's market review - Copper prices gain as trade negotiators firm up U.S.-China deal - Copper inched higher on Thursday as negotiators from the United States and China worked on firming up the first phase of a trade deal as part of efforts to end a protracted dispute. - more

      Traders Are Rushing Nickel Out of China to Capture LME Profits - Traders are moving nickel stockpiles from China to other Asian warehouses to capture hefty profits by delivering to the London Metal Exchange. - more

      Ring of Fire developer faces tide of opposition to Sault ferrochrome plant - Erin Brockovich might be the most watched movie in Sault Ste. Marie these days. - more

      DeepGreen makes run at seafloor mining  - DeepGreen Metals intends to be the world’s first zero tailings miner by retrieving polymetallic base metal nodules from the seafloor. - more

      China's steel industry fragmentation worsening: official - China’s steel sector fragmentation is worsening, an industry official said on Tuesday, citing unplanned new capacity at small mills undermining government efforts to restructure and merge companies in the huge industry. - more

       For The First Time Ever, Scientists Discover Fractal Patterns in a Quantum Material - From tiny snowflakes to the jagged fork of a lightning bolt, it's not hard to find examples of fractals in the natural world. - more

Thursday, October 17

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing (7:00 AM CST is 12 PM in London)

  • Nickel closed Wednesday's trading session at $7.45/lb ($16,420/tonne). Indicators at 6:10 am CST today show nickel trading around $.08/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Wednesday and started the day just over the 88,300 tonne level. Nickel continues to fall and Reuters quoted Citi analysts last night "The disconnect between physical nickel market weakness and exchange tightness "presents a major downside risk to prices, alongside the global growth risks, and we continue to see nickel price risks as skewed to the downside", said analysts at Citi." In other words, since what is happening does not make any sense, the analysts assumes the market will continue not to make sense. Come to think about it, it does makes sense, pun intended. The last time nickel stockpiles tracked by the LME were under 90,000 tonnes, was reported on January 9, 2012. On that day, stockpiles were reported at 89,838 and the cancelled warrants was given as 2.75%. Current cancelled warrants are at 43.15%. Is the large stainless steel producers aren't responsible for the large egress of nickel so far this month, they should have their fingers ready to pull the trigger when the current price correction finds a bottom.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $7.99/lb
  • Average price of LME traded nickel in first half of 2019 - $5.59/lb / 2018 - $5.95/lb / 2017 - $4.73/lb / 2016 - $4.36/lb /

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper falls on concerns slowing economic growth to dent demand - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here  
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • China Stainless Steel Scrap Market News / Price - more
  • Scotiabank Reports - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - (chart)
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • Corroded pipe elbow linked to Philly refinery blast, fire - more
  • We're One Mistake Away From a Global Recession - more
  • Platts China Steel Sentiment Index weakens in October; Q4 outlook bearish  - more
  • Horizonte Minerals confirms Vermelho as a critical nickel source for the EV industry with strong PFS results - more
  • Stocks Jump With Pound on Brexit Deal; Bonds Slump: Markets Wrap - more

     Wednesday's market review - Copper dips as U.S.-China trade battle seen harming global growth - Copper fell to a one-week low on Wednesday on rising concerns about the health of the global economy as the U.S.-China trade row showed no signs of abating,weighing on demand for metals. - more

      Demand Forecast for Special Steel in Oct-Dec 2019 = Down by 12% from year-earlier period = On October 9, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry made clear the demand forecast for special steel products in the period from October to December in 2019 in the lecture given in the special steel club. - more

      BHP's output drops in September quarter - Planned maintenance work and natural field decline have resulted in mining major BHP reporting decreased production volumes across its portfolio for the quarter ended June. - more

      Millions Injected Into PNG Economy, Says Ramu Nico - More than K250 million kina was injected into PNG’s economy by Ramu Nickel/Cobalt mine in 2018. - more

      Fate of Black Swan nickel project to be decided before year-end - Poseidon Nickel’s interim CEO, David Riekie, announced this week that a final investment decision can be expected in the current quarter on the proposed A$30-million restart of the Black Swan nickel mine in Western Australia. - more

      Sault Tribe opposes ferrochrome processing facility - The following ferrochrome resolution was passed Tuesday night by Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians, at a meeting at Kewadin Casino in the Michigan Sault. - more

  Morning Nickel Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here or here (updated)
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more  more
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - online 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 news and information free of charge. Contact us
Wednesday, October 16

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing (7:00 AM CST is 12 PM in London)

  • Nickel closed Tuesday's trading session at $7.71/lb ($16,995/tonne). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.10/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Tuesday and started today's session just under the 91,100 tonne level. For the first half of October 2019, the average rate of withdrawal has been approximately 5,577 tonnes per day. During the month of September, stockpiles actually grew 5,502 tonnes - that was the grand total for the entire month. Had the withdrawal rate not slowed in the last few days, at 5,577 tonnes per day, mid November could have started a very bleak holiday season for stainless steel producers. And it still could. We suspect some of the nickel shipments are to stainless steel producers who have decided the bull is here to stay for awhile, and are investing in inventory. And while the bull is here to stay, the correction in the trading price enters its third trading day. October has been known to throw the market a curve ball in years past, but we still feel this is little more than a technical correction and the big trading houses making moves on their competitors. The shorts are making some money this week, but we doubt it lasts. McKinsey has an interesting report below  about the Asian nickel value chain. Other than that, after a busy news day yesterday, it is quieter today.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $8.01/lb
  • Average price of LME traded nickel in first half of 2019 - $5.59/lb / 2018 - $5.95/lb / 2017 - $4.73/lb / 2016 - $4.36/lb /

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper dips after Chilean miner Antofagasta averts labour strike - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here  
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • BBVA Research - pdf here
  • Intermodal Research & Valuations - pdf here
  • U.S. Imports of Stainless Steel Mill Products - more

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • China Stainless Steel Scrap Market News / Price - more
  • Scotiabank Reports - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - (chart)
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • IMF warns world growth slowest since financial crisis - more
  • Stocks Slip Before Earnings; Pound Drops on Brexit: Markets Wrap - more

     Tuesday's market review - Nickel bounces after heavy selling; copper in doldrums - Nickel prices rebounded on Tuesday after heavy losses a day earlier, while copper was weighed down by worries about weak economic growth.  - more

      Has Southeast Asia taken a firm grip on the nickel value chain? - A closer look at the future of the nickel market considers the role of ore exports from Southeast Asia. - more

      Nickel market records deficit in January to August 2019 -The nickel market was in deficit during January to August 2019 with apparent demand exceeding production by 77.1 kt. In the whole of 2018 the calculated deficit was 102.9 kt.. - more

      Opportunity to grow nickel back in the market - The Australian nickel industry has been encouraged to take the opportunity for growth in the face of market challenges the metal faces. - more

      Noront announces time and place for first ferrochrome open house - Noront Resources today announced the venue and time for an introductory open house about its proposed $1 billion ferrochrome smelter in Sault Ste. Marie. - more

  Morning Nickel Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here or here (updated)
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more  more
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - online 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 news and information free of charge. Contact us
Tuesday, October 15

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing (7:00 AM CST is 12 PM in London)

  • Nickel closed Monday's trading session at $7.81/lb ($17,220/tonne). Indicators at 6:20 am CST today show nickel trading around $.14/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses pulled of a rarity for the month and rose slightly on Monday. It started today's session just under the 94,700 tonne level. Not sure what they are talking about down there at the Perth Nickel Conference in Perth, Australia, but every since they started meeting, the trading price of nickel has taken a hit. Considering the condition of the physical market, it is hard to explain such a drop in price, unless a big player is manipulating the short term price to take advantage of their fellow traders. Whatever is happening, we suspect it is only a temporary respite. Looks like the huge dip in stockpiles has come to an end, and we might even see stockpile numbers grow over the next few weeks. Then again, maybe we won't and this is only a temporary change. One of the  reasons this industry remains 'interesting' is very few know what will happen from day to day.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $8.04/lb
  • Average price of LME traded nickel in first half of 2019 - $5.59/lb / 2018 - $5.95/lb / 2017 - $4.73/lb / 2016 - $4.36/lb /

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - LME nickel recovers on tight stockpiles - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here  
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Weekly commodity alerts - pdf here

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • China Stainless Steel Scrap Market News / Price - more
  • Scotiabank Reports - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - (chart)
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • US treasury chief Mnuchin in China tariff warning - more
  • worldsteel Short Range Outlook October 2019 - more
  • Stocks Rise Before U.S. Earnings; Treasuries Climb: Markets Wrap - more

     Monday's market review - Copper drops as China trade data reinforces negative mood - Copper prices fell on Monday as trade data from top consumer China reinforced concerns about demand for industrial metals while signs of progress on U.S.-China trade talks elicited a cautious response. - more

      Ni SUS Scrap Price in Early October JPY130,000 = Price is in lull after going up during September and remains unchanged = As of October 7, the stainless steel mills in the Kanto area purchase nickel-containing stainless steel scraps (SABOT) at around JPY130,000 per ton (delivered at plant). - more

      Brazil's Vale, Sumitomo to reduce stake in Indonesian nickel miner- filing - Brazilian miner Vale SA said in a filing on Monday it has signed an agreement with Japan’s Sumitomo Metal Mining Co and Indonesia’s Asahan Aluminium to reduce its stake in nickel mining company Vale Indonesia. - more

  • Vale Indonesia's nine-month nickel matte output down 7% year/year - more
      The EV Metal Miners' Downturn Looks To Have Bottomed Or Will Likely Bottom In 2019 Or Early 2020 - Cobalt and nickel prices are rising again. Lithium is probably stabilizing and graphite remains a bit weak. - more

      The Trump Administration Has Surrendered Entirely to Industry - On Saturday, when we moved the shebeen into Joy Reid's studio, I wore a T-shirt that honored the late Frank LaMere, a remarkable man and a Native activist who was central to the defense of the land and the water in Nebraska, and also central to the fight against our old friend, the Keystone XL pipeline, the continent-spanning death funnel and perennial conservative fetish object. - more

      Courtesy AISI - In the week ending on October 12, 2019, domestic raw steel production was 1,821,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 78.7 percent. Production was 1,877,000 net tons in the week ending October 12, 2018 while the capability utilization then was 80.1 percent. The current week production represents a 3.0 percent decrease from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending October 12, 2019 is up 0.9 percent from the previous week ending October 5, 2019 when production was 1,804,000 net tons and the rate of capability utilization was 78.0 percent. - more

  Morning Nickel Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here or here (updated)
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more  more
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - online 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 news and information free of charge. Contact us
Monday, October 14

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing (7:00 AM CST is 12 PM in London)

  • Nickel closed Friday's trading session at $8.02/lb ($17,690/tonne).Indicators at 6:20 am CST today show nickel trading around $.21/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Friday and started the week just over the 94,100 tonne level. One year ago, these stockpile numbers were at 222,102, and in 2017, 385,788 tonnes. One does not need to  wonder long where they will stand next October if demand does not fall ... or supply not start increasing. As far as that goes, we have two large news stories for 2019 that forecast neither of those may apply in the coming year. First, the anticipated increase in nickel usage based on the popularity of electronic vehicles and their need for nickel consuming batteries. And on the other end, the decision by Indonesia to ban exports of nickel ore beginning on January 1 of next year. Markets are generally lower today, as traders realize the 'agreement' between China and the US turned out to be a whole lot less than it was sold as. China agreed to buy a whole lot of farm goods, that they would have already purchased had the tariff's not been attached, and the US agreed not to increase the current tariff's for a month or so. News coming from China is they haven't even agreed to "Phase 1" as the President claims. So markets are now worried that whatever happened on Friday, may not last. Have a great week - looks to be another interesting one.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $8.05/lb
  • Average price of LME traded nickel in first half of 2019 - $5.59/lb / 2018 - $5.95/lb / 2017 - $4.73/lb / 2016 - $4.36/lb /

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper drops as China trade data reinforces negative mood - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here  
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Mining Zimbabwe October 2019 - pdf here
  • Scotiabank Base Metals Monthly - pdf here

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • China Stainless Steel Scrap Market News / Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - (chart)
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • US postpones next tariff hike after China trade talks - more
  • Lead-Acid Batteries Are On A Path To Extinction - more
  • Steelmaker Severstal's output stable in Q3 despite weak demand outside Russia  - more
  • Oil Drops After Biggest Gain in a Month as Trade Optimism Ebbs - more

     Friday's market review - Copper touches two-week high on hopes of partial trade deal - Copper rose to its highest in more than two weeks on Friday as the market awaited further news on U.S.-Sino trade talks amid optimism that a partial deal can be reached. - more

      Indonesia plans to build 31 nickel smelters by 2022 - The Indonesian Government aims to build 31 nickel smelters by 2022, with 20 projected to open next year to help the production of electric car components. - more

     China refined nickel production grows 5% in Sep – China’s production of refined nickel grew 4.97% from August to 13,300 mt in September, showed an SMM survey, as a smelter in Gansu recovered from maintenance and also a smelter in Shandong moved up a gear to chase higher margins after refined nickel turned more profitable than nickel sulphate. - more

      Indonesia state miner agrees to buy 20% stake in Vale Indonesia - Mining Industry Indonesia, the state miner formerly known as PT Inalum, said on Monday it has signed an initial agreement to buy a 20% stake in nickel miner PT Vale Indonesia for an undisclosed sum. - more

      Brazil makes ruling of first AD review on stainless steel cold-rolled sheet from China & Taiwan - On April 13th, 2012, Brazil initiated anti-dumping investigations on stainless steel cold-rolled sheets originating in China, Taiwan, South Africa, Germany, South Korea, the US, Finland and Vietnam. - more

  Morning Nickel Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here or here (updated)
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more  more
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - online 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 news and information free of charge. Contact us
Friday, October 11

LME nickel prices  Abridged Friday Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing (7:00 AM CST is 12 PM in London)

  • Nickel closed Thursday's trading session at $7.99/lb ($17,625/tonne). Indicators at 8:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.02/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Thursday and start the day under the 100,000 tonne for the first time since 2012. Stockpiles opened just under the 98,600 tonne level. President Trump is reportedly meeting Chinese head negotiator later today, raising hopes for a possible end to the trade war. Have a safe and relaxing weekend!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - 
  • Average price of LME traded nickel in first half of 2019 - $5.59/lb / 2018 - $5.95/lb / 2017 - $4.73/lb / 2016 - $4.36/lb /

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper touches 2-week high on hopes of partial trade deal - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here  
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • World Mining Magazine Oct 2019 - here
  • Canadian Mining Journal Oct 2019 - here

     Thursday's market review - Industrial metals rise as U.S.-China trade talks begin - Copper prices rose on Thursday amid signs that U.S.-China trade talks in Washington could de-escalate a dispute that has weighed on economic growth and metals prices. - more

      Prices of Cr-base SST HRC in Asia May Bottom Out at $1,000 - According to a source, the prices of chromium (Cr) -base stainless steel (SST) hot-rolled coil (HRC) seem to have bottomed out at about $1,000 FOB in Asia. - more

      PNG's Ramu nickel mine mismanaged waste - probe - The Ramu nickel mine in Papua New Guinea's Madang province has been found to have mismanaged toxic waste it dumps into the sea. - more
  • Expert says lab results from PNG Ramu nickel spill 'alarming' - report
  • How do miners dispose of their waste in the sea? - more

      Niagara steel production gets major boost - After a tumultuous period of uncertainty in Canada's steel industry, a recent announcement by ASW Steel in Welland has provided encouraging signs of growth and prosperity in the Niagara area. - more

Thursday, October 10

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing (7:00 AM CST is 12 PM in London)

  • Nickel closed Wednesday's trading session at $7.87/lb ($17,360/tonne). Indicators at 6:20 am CST today show nickel trading around $.13/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Wednesday and started today just under the 102,700 tonne level. Cancelled warrants have fallen from a recent high of 65% to just over 50% yesterday. Nickel opened sharply higher this morning, while SMM nickel hardly moved overnight. Some of nickel's bounce this morning can be credited to a rebounding Euro. According to China, lower level talks between China and the US deputies has accomplished little over the past few days, but higher level trade negotiations begin today. While everyone hopes an end can be found to the 15 month long trade war, higher tariff's are scheduled to be implemented next week if no agreement is reached. In sports, not since St Louis, Missouri resident William T Sherman visited Atlanta in 1864, and burned much of it to the ground, has St Louis inflicted so much damage on this Georgia city.  Cardinals 13 Braves 1. Brutal 1st inning! 
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $8.04/lb
  • Average price of LME traded nickel in first half of 2019 - $5.59/lb / 2018 - $5.95/lb / 2017 - $4.73/lb / 2016 - $4.36/lb /

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper advances despite mixed U.S.-China trade expectations - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here  
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • China Stainless Steel Scrap Market News / Price - more
  • Scotiabank Reports - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - (chart)
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • Trump lost leverage on China and North Korea: former Obama aide - more
  • St George confirms nickel discovery at Radar Prospect in Western Australia - more
  • Stocks Whipsawed Before Trade Talks; Dollar Slumps: Markets Wrap - more

     Wednesday's market review - Copper stabilises, focus on U.S.-China trade talks - Copper held steady on Wednesday before high-level talks between China and the United States but low expectations for a swift end to the prolonged trade dispute kept prices in a tight range. - more

      LME stocks grab feeds nickel's raging bull fires: Andy Home - Where is all the nickel going? London Metal Exchange (LME) stocks of nickel are falling at an unprecedented rate. - more

      Philippines lifts suspension on nickel-miner Zambales Diversified -  The Philippines’ Department of Environment and Natural Resources has lifted the suspension of nickel-miner Zambales Diversified Metals Corp, DMCI Holdings Inc said in a regulatory filing on Thursday - more

      Case AS660 - Stainless steel hot-rolled flat products from China Trade Investigation Initiated - more

  Morning Nickel Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here or here (updated)
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more  more
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - online 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 news and information free of charge. Contact us
Wednesday, October 9

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing (7:00 AM CST is 12 PM in London)

  • Nickel closed Tuesday's trading session at $7.92/lb  ($17,470/tonne). Indicators at 6:20 am CST today show nickel trading around $.05/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell at its greatest rate yet this month, and started today just over the 108,600 tonne level. Just to give you an idea of how big a dent these stockpiles reductions are having, we started this month with 157,986 tonnes. If we have the same volume of withdrawals today, as we did yesterday, we will fall below 100,000 tonnes. 'That' is a huge hit, no matter one twists it.  World stocks are higher this morning as markets eagerly await the meeting tomorrow between China and US  trade negotiators. US traders will be watching the release of the minutes to the last Fed meeting later this afternoon.  Not sure if you missed this tweet from the President on Monday, but we suspect it is a line he borrowed in part, from the Wizard of Oz "As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I’ve done before!)." Sounds like something the guy behind the curtain would say about the Wicked Witch of the North. Nothing like taking credit for wrecking an allies economy as "I've done before." We have come to a point in our history where there is so much bizarre behavior coming out of D.C., that, what would have once make headlines, merely causes the world to roll it's eyes. With that, we return you to your previously scheduled program.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $8.03/lb
  • Average price of LME traded nickel in first half of 2019 - $5.59/lb / 2018 - $5.95/lb / 2017 - $4.73/lb / 2016 - $4.36/lb /

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper buoyed, focus on U.S.-China trade talks - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here  
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • U.S. Imports of Stainless Steel Mill Products - more
  • NAB Minerals & Energy Outlook: October 2019 - pdf here
  • Metal AM Magazine Autumn 2019 - pdf here

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • China Stainless Steel Scrap Market News / Price - more
  • Scotiabank Reports - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - (chart)
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • IMF boss Kristalina Georgieva warns of 'painful' Brexit - more
  • China steel extends losses on demand worries, inventory pick-up - more
  • Stocks Jump on Fresh Trade-Deal Hopes; Dollar Dips: Markets Wrap - more

     Tuesday's market review - Copper slips on U.S.-China concerns, but vulnerable to squeeze - Copper prices slipped on Tuesday as investors feared that U.S.-Chinese trade talks would make little progress, but the metal was vulnerable to a squeeze higher due to heavy bearish positions, an analyst said. - more

      China’s Tsingshan Helped Drive Record Drop in Nickel Inventories - China’s Tsingshan Holding Group Co. was one of the main forces behind a record draw down in London Metal Exchange nickel inventories last week, according to people familiar with the matter. - more

      Russia's aluminum and nickel exports fall from January to August copper exports increase - The following Russian export data for January-August 2019 are provided by the Federal Customs Service: - more

      Can microwaving rocks cut a mining company's power bill? - A University of Toronto professor who began her environmental engineering career in Sudbury several years ago is currently working on a project to capture carbon from the atmosphere with nickel ore and mine tailings. - more

      Chromium: Outokumpu considers new slag furnace in Tornio - Outokumpu is assessing options to build a new slag furnace in Tornio, Finland, on which a decision will be made in 2020.  - more

      Courtesy AISI - In the week ending on October 5, 2019, domestic raw steel production was 1,804,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 78.0 percent. Production was 1,877,000 net tons in the week ending October 5, 2018 while the capability utilization then was 80.1 percent. The current week production represents a 3.9 percent decrease from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending October 5, 2019 is down 1.2 percent from the previous week ending September 28, 2019 when production was 1,825,000 net tons and the rate of capability utilization was 78.4 percent. - more

      Wilderness wars: 'There's an assault on public lands' - At 91, Walter Mondale endured a seven-hour drive and a short flight in June to go fishing on Canada's Elsie Lake, deep in Ontario's wilderness. - more

  Morning Nickel Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here or here (updated)
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more  more
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - online 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 news and information free of charge. Contact us
Tuesday, October 8

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing (7:00 AM CST is 12 PM in London)

  • Nickel closed Monday's trading session at $8.07/lb   ($17,800/tonne). Indicators at 6:20 am CST today show nickel trading around $.14/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses continue to dive and started today just over the 117,500 tonne level. In the month of October alone, LME nickel stockpiles have fallen by over 25% and the daily average of the last six sessions stands at an average withdrawal of 6,744 tonnes per day. At that rate, we would only have 17 more days of inventory. No one expects this rate of daily decrease to continue much longer, but it as rather concerning hypothetical thought. Shanghai Metals Market reopened after a week long holiday, and instead of following LME's lead, it decided to buck the trend and fall its first day. LME markets appear to be following their lead, a rather rare switch in who leads and who follows. Thus ends the fourth little bull mountain the trading chart reveals for the past 30 days of trading. Look to $17,000/tonne for support if the bear takes over.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $8.05/lb
  • Average price of LME traded nickel in first half of 2019 - $5.59/lb / 2018 - $5.95/lb / 2017 - $4.73/lb / 2016 - $4.36/lb /

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Most base metals fall on cloudy U.S.-China trade deal prospect - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here  
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Weekly commodity alerts - pdf here
  • Scotiabank Metals Quarterly - pdf here
  • The Commodities Feed: Nickel stocks decline - more
  • US Exports of Stainless Steel Mill Products - more

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • China Stainless Steel Scrap Market News / Price - more
  • Scotiabank Reports - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - (chart)
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • U.S. Stock Futures Decline as Blacklist Sours Mood: Markets Wrap - more

     Monday's market review - Copper firms as U.S.-China trade talks move into focus - Copper edged higher on Monday ahead of a fresh U.S-China trade talks this week but reports that China was reluctant to agree to a wide-ranging deal tempered hopes for a speedy resolution.  - more

      United States races to build critical minerals alliances: Andy Home - President Donald Trump’s offer to buy Greenland didn’t go down well with either the inhabitants of the world’s largest island or with Denmark, which administers it as an autonomous territory.  - more

       Nickel Asia to boost production at Cagdianao mine next year - Nickel Asia Corp. (NAC) is increasing production at its Cagdianao mine site by 10% next year, as it anticipates an improvement in nickel prices as Indonesia begins implementing a nickel export ban. - more

      Japan's Purchase Price of HC FeCr in Oct-Dec Down by US Cents 2 = US Cents 110 per lb, which is as result of no big difference being between demand and supply = Japanese stainless steel mills have continued negotiation with multiple overseas ferro-chrome producers to fix the purchase price of high-carbon ferro-chrome for the period from October to December in 2019 and have this time come to an agreement on the price to be down by US Cents 2 from the prior period. - more

      August and September U.S. EV Sales Recap: BEV Sales Dominate -  Due to the sales reporting issues, we've combined the last two months into one report.
Sad but true, folks, it seems monthly EV sales and eventual year-over-year estimates may not surpass 2018's record numbers. Unfortunately, it all comes down to one automaker ... Tesla. - more

  Morning Nickel Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here or here (updated)
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more  more
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - online 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 news and information free of charge. Contact us
Monday, October 7

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing (7:00 AM CST is 12 PM in London)

  • Nickel closed yesterday's trading session at $8.07/lb ($17,790/tonne). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.06/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses ended the week much like they started, and fell again sharply on Friday. They started this week just under the 125,700 tonne level. The last time LME nickel inventory registered this level was back in mid November 2012. At that time, we were in an inventory growth cycle, and on that day, nickel was trading for $7.21/lb cash. Cancelled warrants are falling steadily as the physical nickel leaves the warehouses, so the rate of decrease we witnessed the past week, should start tapering down .... eventually. In the mean time, it is causing concern in the trading world. SMM forecasters are not expecting nickel to spike when traders in China return tomorrow (tonight). They feel the lack of demand for stainless steel will keep nickel fairly stable.  If their prediction proves correct, we could see their hesitance bleed over to LME traders and at the very least, calm the market down some. We are trading about $700/tonne shy of September 2nd's high, and after that, we are trading in territory not seen since 2014. With China returning to work, and China and US negotiators meeting later, it looks to be potentially an interesting week. We hope its a good one for you!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $8.03/lb
  • Average price of LME traded nickel in first half of 2019 - $5.59/lb / 2018 - $5.95/lb / 2017 - $4.73/lb / 2016 - $4.36/lb /

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper picks up on U.S. job data; trade talks in focus - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here  
  • SMM Evening Comments - closed, reopens tomorrow
  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • U.S. Imports of Stainless Steel Mill Products - more

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • China Stainless Steel Scrap Market News / Price - more
  • Scotiabank Reports - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - (chart)
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • A New Era for the International Stainless Steel Forum - more
  • U.S. Futures Drop With Yuan as Trade Roils Outlook: Markets Wrap - more

     Yesterday's market review - Copper falls on worries about possible global recession - Copper prices drifted lower on Friday on concerns about weak global growth even though the U.S. unemployment rate dropped to near a 50-year low, while tight supply cushioned the fall. - more

      Anxiety Grips Nickel Market as Inventories Fall by Record Again - The nickel market is being roiled by Indonesia’s impending ban on ore exports and traders are rushing to withdraw as much metal as possible. - more

      Stainless steel market demand remains weak - Stainless steel price had risen for four consecutive months, plus the peak season was coming, the price and demand should increase in theory, but the demand remained weak. - more

      Indonesia govt appoints Inalum to buy stake in Vale Indonesia -official - The Indonesian government has appointed state miner PT Inalum to purchase a stake that PT Vale Indonesia aims to divest, mining ministry’s Director General of Coal and Minerals Bambang Gatot Ariyono told reporters on Monday. - more

      Meet the Russian Oligarch Launching a Metal-Backed Crypto Token - Vladimir Potanin is used to dealing in hard realities. The billionaire oligarch started his business empire in the Wild East days of the 1990s, when the assets of the old Soviet Union were up for grabs and opportunistic entrepreneurs could make mega-roubles if they were in the right place at the right time. - more

      Export of metals grows by 35pc - The exports of base metals and articles from the country grew by 35.62 percent during the first two months of current financial year (2019-20) as compared to the corresponding months of last year. - more

  Morning Nickel Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here or here (updated)
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more  more
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - online 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 news and information free of charge. Contact us
Friday, October 4

LME nickel prices  Abridged Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing (7:00 AM CST is 12 PM in London)

  • Nickel closed Thursday's trading session at $7.99/lb   ($17,610/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.07/lb  higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses continue to attract traders attention by falling by  huge amount yesterday, and start the day just over the 133,128 tonne level. Stockpiles have fallen by 24,858 tonnes the last four sessions. That is nearly 20%. Almost 1/5 of LME stockpiles have disappeared over the last four days. Are these Chinese replenishment orders, shipping to arrive when they reopen next week? Are these replenishment orders by others, timed to ship after the 1st of October? Or are these merely purchases shipping from one warehouse to another non LME warehouse, in the hopes of making 'demand' look more than it really is? It's hard to know the exact truth, but whatever is going on, we can't really afford to see a whole lot more weeks like this one. It's a wake up call to the bears, who might have relaxed over the past few months, which saw stockpile totals grow. Enjoy your week, may it be a safe one, and we invite you to join us next week as we see what China's return from holiday on Tuesday has on the market.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $7.99/lb
  • Average price of LME traded nickel in first half of 2019 - $5.59/lb / 2018 - $5.95/lb / 2017 - $4.73/lb / 2016 - $4.36/lb /

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper slips as demand outlook stays weak; metal down for 3rd week - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here  
  • SMM Evening Comments - closed, no report
  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • USGS Mineral Industry Surveys - Molybdenum June 2019 - pdf

     Thursday's market review - Rising trade fears drag copper to 4th day of losses - Copper prices slipped for a fourth day on Thursday after the United States announced tariffs on some European goods, adding to fears that a global economic slowdown will deepen, weakening demand for metal. - more

       Stainless steel melt shop production increased for the first half year of 2019 - Brussels 03 October 2019 – The International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF) has released figures for the first half year of 2019 showing that stainless steel melt shop production increased by 1.9% year–on–year to 26.1 million metric tons. - more

      India launches review of stainless steel tariffs from China, Malaysia, South Korea - India has started a sunset review of its antidumping duties on flat hot-rolled stainless steel products from China, Malaysia and South Korea, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said late Thursday. - more

      Vale updates 2019 forecasts, announces Onça Puma restart - Brazilian mining giant Vale has updated its projections for economic and financial indicators, and on investments for the remainder of the year, including disbursements related to the Brumadinho dam tragedy. - more

      Shareholders of the Company are advised that the European benchmark ferrochrome price has been settled at USD102 cents per pound for the fourth quarter of 2019, down 1,9% from the USD104 cents per pound in the previous quarter. This price is also lower than the benchmark for quarter four 2018 which stood at USD124 cents per pound.  - source

      Fatal mine accident avoidable, Sudbury inquest hears - Development work was carried out on the 6,500-foot level of First Nickel Inc.’s Lockerby Mine in early 2013, wrapping up in March of that year. - more

      Palmer's Queensland Nickel trial wraps up evidence - The Queensland Nickel liquidation trial to hear a $200 million claim against billionaire businessman Clive Palmer has moved a step closer to completion. - more

Thursday, October 3

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing (7:00 AM CST is 12 PM in London)

  • Nickel closed yesterday's trading session at $7.93/lb ($17,485/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.05/lb  lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses feel by another large amount (Its 3rd consecutive large decline) yesterday and started today's session just over the 140,900 tonne level. That's the lowest they have been since December 31, 2012. The last three days have seen stockpile numbers fall by over 10% .... that's in only three days folks. On Tuesday, the traded price of nickel came dangerously close to testing the $17,000/tonne level for the third time in the last three weeks. Now we are in the third bump in that same period and this one has already surpassed the last peak.... which was last week.  LME traders are watching the stockpile numbers, but with cancelled warrants falling under 60%, some are apparently betting these large declines are a temporary situation. We hope they are right because we can't average a drop in LME stockpiles of 5,000 tonnes a day for very long. Lot of news below so we leave you with it.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $7.96/lb
  • Average price of LME traded nickel in first half of 2019 - $5.59/lb / 2018 - $5.95/lb / 2017 - $4.73/lb / 2016 - $4.36/lb /

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - LME metals scramble off recent lows in holiday-thinned trade - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here  
  • SMM Evening Comments - closed, no report
  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • China Stainless Steel Scrap Market News / Price - more
  • Scotiabank Reports - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - (chart)
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • Ex-RNC CEO to lead new Canada nickel company - more
  • Why should we use stainless steel pipes in Arizona? - more
  • China waste policy could make or break the global scrap market - more
  • Stocks Mixed, Bonds Advance Before Key U.S. Data: Markets Wrap  - more

     Yesterday's market review - Bleak factory data sends copper prices lower - Copper prices fell on Wednesday after data showed manufacturing output contracted in the United States and Europe, suggesting metals demand will remain weak. - more

      Judge orders Marex to pay most of $32 million metals fraud bill - Glencore warehouse unit Access World was mostly to blame for $32 million (£26.12 million) of losses from a complex metals fraud, but broker Marex Spectron will have pay most of the bill to French bank Natixis, a UK judge ruled on Wednesday. - more

      Indonesia's Export of Stainless Steel Semi-products in July 2019 = Ingot is 29,000 tons and flat roll is 169,000 tons = Indonesia's foreign trade statistics shows the export volume of stainless steel semi-products in July 2019 was 28,952 tons of ingot (slab/HS: 7218), drastically up by 67.2% from the prior month. - more

       Rising Nickel Costs Squeeze Stainless Steel Producers’ Margins - Rising nickel prices have lifted the input costs for most stainless steel producers, significantly, in recent months. - more

      Noront ferrochrome plant definitely not a sure thing, city clarifies - The City of Sault Ste. Marie and Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation (SSMEDC) would like to address some of the concerns and misinformation regarding the proposed ferrochrome production facility project (FPF) by Noront Resources Ltd.  - more

      Report: Bulk Carrier Nur Allya Found - The bulk carrier that has been missing since August is reported to have been found near North Sea Buru Island, Indonesia. - more

      Axiom sues Tovosia and mining board - AXIOM Mining Limited says it has initiated legal proceedings at the High Court over the government’s handling of its export permit application. - more

      Two-year copper-nickel mining study could get new life -  The two-year study of the impacts of copper-nickel mining on the edge of the Boundary Waters could have new life if the U.S. House and a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators have their way. - more

  Morning Nickel Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here or here (updated)
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more  more
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - online 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 news and information free of charge. Contact us
Wednesday, October 2

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing (7:00 AM CST is 12 PM in London)

  • Nickel closed yesterday's trading session at $7.82/lb ($17,220 tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.12/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses have fallen sharply over the past two days and started todays sessions just under the 147,700 tonne level. Today's large withdrawal pushed nickel stockpiles back below the 150,000 tonne level for the first time since August. With stockpiles falling by over 10,000 tonnes since Monday, and canceled warrants remaining over the 64% level, inventory concerns have apparently moved back into the forefront of traders minds. The $8/lb level has been putting up some resistance, albeit psychological, so we will have to see if these concerns are enough to turn the trend from weakening or sideways to positive again.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $7.90/lb
  • Average price of LME traded nickel in first half of 2019 - $5.59/lb / 2018 - $5.95/lb / 2017 - $4.73/lb / 2016 - $4.36/lb /

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - London copper recovers from 1-month low - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here  
  • SMM Evening Comments - closed, no report
  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Special Metals Raw Material Monthly Averages - more
  • U.S. Imports of Stainless Steel Mill Products - more

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • China Stainless Steel Scrap Market News / Price - more
  • Scotiabank Reports - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - (chart)
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • US-China trade talks set for Oct. 10 as clock ticks on tariffs - more
  • Europe Stocks Drop With U.S. Futures; Dollar Rises: Markets Wrap - more

     Yesterday's market review - Copper hits 1-month low, dollar reinforces negative mood - Copper prices hit one-month lows on Tuesday as worries about demand in top consumer China, coupled with a strong dollar, triggered a fresh bout of selling amid low liquidity. - more

      Base Metals And Industrial Commodities: Q3 2019 Evaluation And Outlook For This fall 2019 – Invesco DB Base Metals ETF - Base metallic costs fell by 23.43% in 2015, however in 2016 they appreciated by 26.77%. - more

      Japanese stainless steel exports slide in Aug m-o-m - According to the statistics from the Japan Iron and Steel Federation (JISF), Japan exported around 75,000 tons in August, falling by 12.8% from 86,000 tons in the previous month. The total export value was about US$288,000. - more

      Australia cuts 2019 aluminum price forecast by 5% on US-China trade tensions - However, copper prices were forecast to rise to $6,328/mt by 2021 from $6,668/mt in 2018 and nickel to $15,784/m from $13,420/mt over that same period due to growing consumption, the department said. - more

      Sumitomo Corp to book Y70 bln loss on nickel unit in FY19/20 on parent basis - Japanese trading house Sumitomo Corp said on Tuesday it will book an appraisal loss of about 70 billion yen ($647 million) related to the Ambatovy nickel project in the year to March 2020 on a parent-only basis due to slow output at the Madagascar project. - more

      Papua New Guinean man dies after eating fish caught near nickel mine spill - A man dies in Papua New Guinea after eating a fish caught near the site of a massive nickel refinery spill, however the mine's Chinese operator denies the accident caused his death. - more

      Natixis claim succeeds against Marex in metals fraud case - A high court judge ruled on Wednesday in favor of French bank Natixis in a claim against commodities broker Marex Spectron concerning fraudulent receipts in connection with nickel stored at warehouses in Asia. - more

      Inquest examines 2014 deaths at Lockerby Mine - The inquest into the 2014 deaths of miners Norm Bisaillon and Marc Methé began Sept. 30 with two witnesses taking the stand in front of a five-person jury. - more

      Federal judge rejects challenges to PolyMet land swap - A federal judge has rejected challenges by several environmental groups to a land swap needed for the planned PolyMet copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota. - more

  Morning Nickel Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here or here (updated)
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more  more
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - online 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 news and information free of charge. Contact us
Tuesday, October 1

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing (7:00 AM CST is 12 PM in London)

  • Nickel closed yesterday's trading session at $7.73/lb  ($17,050/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.02/lb  lower. None of our multiple sources for nickel stockpile numbers have reported this morning, so we will have to update tomorrow. Traders are fighting to hold onto the psychological line of $17,000/tonne this morning, with the trade in general, being sideways. The average price of cash LME nickel for the month of September was able to hold onto the $8/lb level, but just barely. The last three months produced nickel's best quarter in nearly a decade, and we start a new month and the final quarter of 2019 today. China is reportedly buying soybeans heavily before they meet with the US again. Soybeans are free to any tariff's at the moment, so the purchases tend to make us think the Chinese are skeptical about future negotiations and are buying before any potential tariff is attached.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $8.01/lb (September average)
  • Average price of LME traded nickel in first half of 2019 - $5.59/lb / 2018 - $5.95/lb / 2017 - $4.73/lb / 2016 - $4.36/lb /

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper hits 1-month low, dollar reinforces negative mood - more
  • Reuters Daily Inside Metals - pdf here  
  • SMM Evening Comments - closed, no report
  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Scotiabank Commodity Price Index - pdf here
  • The Copper Journal - pdf here
  • Metals & Manufacturing Outlook for September 2019 - more

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • China Stainless Steel Scrap Market News / Price - more
  • Scotiabank Reports - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - (chart)
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • U.S. Futures Rise as Bad Data Hits European Stocks: Markets Wrap - more

     Yesterday's market review - Copper slips, weak demand prospects dominate mood - Copper slipped on Monday as worries about weak demand due to the prolonged U.S.-China trade war weighed on sentiment, but above-consensus industrial activity data from top consumer China provided price support. - more

      Nickel Monthly News For The Month Of September 2019 - Nickel spot prices were significantly higher in September, and the LME inventory was slightly higher but remains near a 7-year low. - more

      Taiwan's Tang Eng announces to increase stainless steel price for Oct - According to the strong nickel price in global, Tang Eng Iron Works Co., one of the leading stainless steelmakers in Taiwan, announced to increase its stainless steel price for October by NTD$1500/ton for 304 series, and US$30/ton on 300 series for export, and kept flat for 316L series. - more

       Rising Nickel Costs Squeeze Stainless Steel Producers’ Margins - Rising nickel prices have lifted the input costs for most stainless steel producers, significantly, in recent months. - more

      Environment ministry to exempt nickel slag from 'hazardous' status - The Environment and Forestry Ministry is preparing a regulation to exclude nickel slag produced by local mineral smelters from the list of  hazardous and toxic waste ( B3 ) so that it can be used, such as for the construction of roads. - more

      PolyMet: Questions remain as project faces hurdles with the courts, independent watchdogs - It wasn’t inevitable that PolyMet Mining’s proposed copper-nickel mine near Hoyt Lakes would face growing skepticism by the courts and by independent government watchdogs. - more

      Courtesy AISI - In the week ending on September 28, 2019, domestic raw steel production was 1,825,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 78.4 percent. Production was 1,866,000 net tons in the week ending September 28, 2018 while the capability utilization then was 79.6 percent. The current week production represents a 2.2 percent decrease from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending September 28, 2019 is up 0.9 percent from the previous week ending September 21, 2019 when production was 1,809,000 net tons and the rate of capability utilization was 77.7 percent. - more

  Morning Nickel Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here or here (updated)
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more  more
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - online 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 news and information free of charge. Contact us

September Archives


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"A Guide To LME Trading"...pdf here (all ton listings are metric tons = 2204.622 pounds ) Updated Monday thru Thursday before 7 am CST - Disclaimer Original content and opinions copyright www.estainlesssteel.com. All prices shown on this page are indications only. Note - For real time and official LME prices, LME requires a user subscribe to an authorized LME vendor.



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