This page is archived news covering the period of December 2011
If you are looking for current daily market news, please visit here.

LME nickel prices and news

Stainless Steel News and Nickel Prices

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


Daily Nickel Market News & Stainless Steel Prices

Kiva - loans that change lives

Nickel Prices

Friday, December 30

Our next update will come on 1/3 with the London Metal Exchange closed on Monday for the holiday. We wish each of you a healthy 2012 and a year that leaves many pleasurable memories.

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

  • Indicators at 6:45 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.06/lb higher, with other London traded base metals higher as well. The Euro is currently trading over 1/10 of 1% lower against the US Dollar. NYMEX crude futures are down nearly 3/10 of 1% and at $99.37/barrel. Gold is up 1.4% and silver is higher by over 8/10 of 1%. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended lower, with China up 1.5%. European markets are trading higher this morning, while US futures show Wall Street may open slightly higher this morning. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME approved warehouses fell on Thursday and now total just under 90,050 tonnes.    
  • Bloomberg morning - Copper Rises as U.S. Economic Expansion May Make Up for Slowdown in China - more
  • LME Morning - Metals range routinely at mixed levels, watch currency markets - more
  • Reuters - Copper heads for first drop in three years on demand fears - more

  Reports

  • Reuters Inside Metals - next report on 1/3
  • Commonwealth Daily Alert- pdf here
  • Daily Market Report - pdf here
  • Commodities Report - pdf here
  • Metals Insight - pdf here

  Ed Meir of INTL FC Stone Daily Metals Commentary

  • Metals ended mixed yesterday, but were well off earlier lows, as a better tone in the US equity markets, coupled with decent macro numbers, helped steady the complex. On the US macro front, it was reported that sales of existing homes jumped to a 1-1/2 year high in November, further evidence of a budding recovery in housing. We are also reading that some equity funds are positioning themselves into the much-battered housing space going into 2012 and indeed, if the strengthening they are betting on is real and just not another head-fake, we could have a potential game-changer on our hands for the US economy going into 2012. On the labor side, US weekly initial claims came in slightly higher than expected, climbing by 15,000 to 381,000, but the four-week moving average for claims dropped to its lowest level since June 2008. Right now, we are seeing metals pushing higher, with both energy and gold in tow. The commodity group seems to be ignoring a slightly firmer dollar (now at $1.2930 against the Euro) and lingering debt concerns over Europe and seems to be moving higher on its own accord in thin trading. Sluggish Chinese macro numbers released earlier in the day have not had much of an impact either. In this regard, the HSBC Purchasing Manager's Index, (a precursor to the official data scheduled to be published Sunday), inched up to 48.7 in December from a 32-month low of 47.7 in November, but remains mired in contraction territory. The sub-index for overall new orders edged up to 46.9 in December from November's 45, but also shows falling demand. New export orders dipped, reflecting waning demand from the US and Europe, but input costs incurred by Chinese manufacturers continue to moderate, as expected. .... Nickel is at $18,250, up $55. (complete report here)

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • (Yieh) It’s reported that the major stainless steel producers have remained alloy surcharge unchanged for 304 grade cold rolled (CR) stainless steel sheet with thickness of 2mm for next January. The average alloy surcharge for CR stainless steel sheets in the European stainless steel mills including Acerinox, Aperam, Outokumpu and ThyssenKrupp remained flat at €1,339/ton for next January.

  CaNickel to cut production at Bucko Lake Mine - Canadian miner CaNickel Mining Ltd said it will cut production at its flagship Bucko Lake Mine by nearly a third due to unfavorable nickel prices and to preserve capital. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Thursday, December 29

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Sucden's day old nickel chart - (here).
  • Baltic Dry Index - (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) China Stops Encouraging Investment in Auto Manufacturing After Sales Slow // China’s Stocks Rise, Capping Index’s First Back-to-Back Gains in a Month // China-Japan Currency Deal Points Way to a New World Monetary Order: View // Euro Drops to 10-Year Low Versus Yen After Italian Debt Sale; Futures Rise // Italian Borrowing Costs Below 7% as Bond Sale Falls Short of Maximum Goal // ECB Has Scope to Lower Rates as Debt Crisis Eases Price Pressures: Economy // European Stocks Climb as U.S. Business Activity Expands More Than Forecast // Cutting Buffett Helps Sequoia Top Value Investor Rankings in Fourth Decade // Business Activity, Pending U.S. Home Sales Point to Growth Pickup: Economy // Stocks Rally on U.S. Economic Data as Euro Erases Decline Against Dollar
  • The Euro is now trading higher against the US Dollar, but just slightly. NYMEX crude is down 4/10 of 1% and trading at $98.95/barrel. Gold is down nearly 1.4% and silver is off slightly. Base metals ended their session mostly higher. Indicator charts show nickel was trading quietly early, and then bounced sharply when it fell below the $17,800 tonne resistance line. For the day, Dow jones reports three month nickel closed at $8.25/lb . Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME approved warehouses retreated on Wednesday and now total 90,300 tonnes. On this day last year, one day before the end of 2010, stockpiles totaled 135,444 tonnes. On that day nickel trading ended at $11.02/lb. No update on the fate of the Vinalines Queen or her 23 crew members. The ship was carrying 54,400 tons of nickel ore from Indonesia to China when it  went missing last Sunday. It's been a slow news day, and tomorrow will probably be more so as the world prepares to welcome in 2012 with high hopes.

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • What Is Money and How Do You Destroy It? - more
  • Liquidity Returns To Flood The ECB Basement - more
  • Occupy Wall Street: How Cash Has Corrupted Congress - more
  • Congress ends corn ethanol subsidy - more

  Still time for Vale - After completing what it calls an in-depth technical review, the Ministry of the Environment has approved Vale Ltd.'s application for more time -- 10 years -- to comply with new standards for nickel emissions that go into effect in 2016. - more

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

  • Indicators at 7:00 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.01/lb lower, but recovering, with other London traded base metals mixed and quiet. The Euro is trading 4/10 of 1% lower against the US Dollar. NYMEX crude futures are up 3/10 of 1% and trading at $99.65/barrel. Gold is down 1-3/4% and silver is off 2-3/4%. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended lower, with China up slightly. European markets are trading slightly higher, while US futures show Wall Street may open slightly higher. Nickel stockpiles fell on Wednesday.
  • LME Morning - Metals range routinely at mixed levels, watch currency markets - more
  • Reuters - Copper falls on firmer dollar, euro nerves - more

  Reports

  • US Imports of Stainless Steel Mill Products - more
  • Reuters Inside Metals - next issue Jan 3rd
  • Commonwealth Daily Alert- pdf here
  • Daily Market Report - pdf here
  • Commodities Report - pdf here
  • Metals Insight - pdf here

  Ed Meir of INTL FC Stone Daily Metals Commentary

  • We had a surprisingly sloppy session on Wednesday, as a modestly lower start to the day morphed into a more substantial selloff. The decline was unusual given that earlier, markets seemed to have been impressed by the results of a favorable short-term Italian auction. However, as the day wore on, it seemed investors were unnerved by Italian rates backing up and by continued reports of a wall of money being accumulated at the ECB on behalf of European banks still reluctant to lend to one another. The ECB’s balance sheet now stands at a record $3.55 trillion (eclipsing that of the Fed's, we should add) after massive amounts of money were lent in recent weeks.  .... We are seeing uneven activity in most markets right now. The tone is mixed in base metals, with copper lower, although the rest of the group is sporting modest gains. The Euro is again under attack, now trading at $1.2860 and close to one year lows against the dollar, while being at a 10-year low against the yen. Oil prices are slightly higher, and US equities are expected to open up as well, but gold is off, down by some 2%, while platinum is languishing at a two-year lows. ..... Nickel is at $18,130, up $225. (complete report here)

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • (Yieh) The prices of nickel based cold rolled (CR) stainless steel plate are expected back to the level of US$3,000/ton C&F in Asia.
  • Banks 'must prepare' for eurozone changes - more

  Ramu NiCo’s road to destiny - Ramu NiCo – the developer of Ramu Nickel project – has built a metaphoric road to a great destiny and it invited all stakeholders to walk on that road to “reach our destiny”. - more

  New tech to make nickel laterites a viable option - A game-changing technology now in development could make nickel laterites a much more economically viable option. - more

  Norilsk board approves $3 bln investment plan - Russian metals group Norilsk Nickel said on Thursday its board had approved its budget for 2012, which envisages investing over $3 billion in its development. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Wednesday, December 28

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Sucden's day old nickel chart - (here).
  • Baltic Dry Index - (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) China Central Bank May Suspend Sale of 3-Month Bills Tomorrow, Traders Say // BRIC Decade Ends With Record Stock Outflows as Goldman Says Growth Peaked // Most Chinese Stocks Fall as Money-Market Rates Raise Cash Crunch Concern // Giant Vale Iron-Ore Ship Reaches China After Six-Month Delay by Officials // Deflation’s Grip Returns in Japan as Factory Production Declines: Economy // Italy Bonds Rise as Borrowing Cost Falls at Auction; Stocks, Futures Gain // Spanish Mortgages Decline for the 18th Straight Month as Bad Loans Surged // European Stocks Retreat After Italian Bill Sale; Carmakers, Banks Decline // Facebook Poised to Lead Biggest U.S. Internet IPO Year Since 1999 Bubble // Sears as Lampert’s ‘Mismanaged Asset’ Forfeits Shoppers Flowing to Macy’s // Retail Sales in U.S. Advance 4.5% in Week Before Christmas, ICSC Reports // Euro, Stocks Retreat as ECB’s Balance Sheet Expands to Record Amid Crisis
  • The Euro took a dive when Wall Street opened and is now trading over 1% lower against the US Dollar. This move bit commodity trading hard. NYMEX crude is down 1-2/3% and trading at $99.68/barrel. Gold is down 1.9% and silver is off 4.7%. Base metals got whacked as well, all ending lower. Indicator charts show nickel was trending lower before US markets opened but as the Euro fell, nickel's fall accelerated. For the day, Dow Jones reports three month nickel ended the day at $8.12/lb . Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME approved warehouses rose for a third consecutive session last Friday and now totals 90,600 tonnes. Nickel fell over 3.3% today with copper off 2.3%. While still showing weakness, the short term future for nickel may actually be helped by today's sell off, with the market moving into oversold territory and a high possibility of a rebounding Euro. Then again, we could be very wrong and nickel start to threaten support at $8.12/lb before the New Year begins. A Vietnamese newspaper is reporting search and rescue personnel have spotted an oil slick, but still have not found the Vinalines Queen with 23 souls and 54,000 tonnes of laterite nickel ore aboard. Our thoughts are with the families of those missing.

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • Rare Instances of Reaching Across the Aisle to Fill Fed Seats - more
  • Treasury Sees U.S. Debt Near Limit By End Of Friday - more
  • Economists React: China-Japan Currency Pact - more
  • Unemployment Extension Passed but Eligibility for Full 99 Weeks May Decline - more

  Oil streak found, Vietnam missing ship’s fate still unknown - An oil streak has been detected near the site where a Vietnamese ship with 23 crewmen went missing off the Philippines on Sunday, but the ship and its crew are nowhere to be found. - more

  EU starts antidumping probe on some Chinese steel - The European Commission has opened an anti-dumping investigation on some Chinese organic coated steel products and imposed definitive antidumping duty on imports of Chinese stainless steel seamless pipes and tubes - more

  Norilsk Nickel to modernize Nadezhda Metallurgical Plant - Norilsk Nickel announces the start of Nadezhda Metallurgical Plant (NMP) modernization program, which will be implemented as part of the Group’s 2025 production and technical development strategy (approved by the Board of Directors on October 27). - more

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

  • Indicators at 7:00 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.05/lb lower, with other London traded base metals also lower. The Euro is currently trading slightly lower against the US Dollar. NYMEX crude futures are down over 1/2 of 1% and at $100.81/barrel. Gold is down nearly 1/2 of 1% and silver is down nearly 3/4 of 1%. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended lower, with China up over 1/10 of 1%. European markets are trading higher this morning, and US futures are higher as well.
  • Reuters morning - Copper down on euro zone and China slowdown worries - more
  • LME Morning - Metals drift in lacklustre trade, slow conditions set to prevail - more

  Reports

  Ed Meir of INTL FC Stone Daily Metals Commentary

  • Metals prices pushed higher in thin conditions on Friday, the last day of trading in the run-up to the Christmas holidays. The LME was closed on Monday and Tuesday of this week, but as we start another holiday-shortened week, the group is broadly lower, giving up a good portion of Friday's gains in quiet trading.  ..... On the currency front, the Euro has not done much over the past few days, trading just above $1.30 in very quiet conditions, but its restrained tone belies tensions that continue to percolate underneath. In this regard, the ECB reported yesterday that it received record cash deposits of some E412bln from various European institutions as of last Friday, reflecting lingering nervousness among the region’s banks about the prospect of lending money to one another. Bloomberg reports that when markets are functioning normally, banks use the ECB facility to the tune of a few hundred million Euros overnight, so the E400 billion figure is staggering to say the least. The markets also have to contend with massive amounts of sovereign debt that needs to be rolled over in Q1 of 2012, including more than 91 billion Euros of Italian bonds maturing in the first four months of 2012. In other macro news, Japan’s industrial production declined in November as the strong yen and slowing overseas demand hampered the recovery from the twin March disasters. The government reported overnight that that factory output fell 2.6% from October, much worse than the -0.8% decline expected. The flooding in Thailand may have contributed to the decrease in production, crippling the supply chain for a number of Japanese companies such as Sony and Honda Motor. Expect quiet trading for the balance of the week, but certainly, the Italian short-term auction should be considered an important development and will likely prevent more concerted selling from setting in. Next week could be an entirely different story, as markets will be returning to more normal conditions towards the latter part of the week, while the issues that have been troubling investors for much of the last few months will be waiting, still very much unresolved. ..... Nickel is at $18,435, down $70. (complete report here)

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • (Yieh) According to report of Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Japanese demand for crude steel is predicted to decline to 26 million tons in next Q1, down by 2% year on year, touching the two-year low.
  • (MBN) Taigang raises January nickel pig iron bid price as nickel prices lift
  • US Steel Import Monitor - more
  • Giant Vale ship unloads maiden iron ore cargo in China - more
  • CPA - TransCore’s North American Freight Index climbed 36% last month compared to November 2010, making it the consecutive month with the highest same-month volume since 2005.

  Stakeholder in New Caledonia nickel plant keen to sell its share - The French nuclear energy giant Areva says it’s in exclusive talks with state investment fund FSI on selling its stake in the Eramet mining company, a major player in a massive nickel plant in New Caledonia. - more

  Ethnic conflict flares over Chinese nickel mine pollution - The refinery next door is set to produce huge quantities of nickel and cobalt, and generate jobs - more

  Rising Nickel Demand in the Aerospace Industry - According to our latest research report, “Global Nickel Market Analysis”, the global nickel industry is witnessing a positive growth owing to the rise in production and increased demand for nickel across the world. - more

  Courtesy AISI - In the week ending December 24, 2011, domestic raw steel production was 1,900,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 76.7 percent. Production was 1,655,000 tons in the week ending December 24, 2010, while the capability utilization then was 68.4 percent. The current week production represents a 14.8 percent increase from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending December 24, 2011 is down 2.3 percent from the previous week ending December 17, 2011 when production was 1,945,000 tons and the rate of capability utilization was 78.5 percent.

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Tuesday, December 27

  Vietnam's Vinalines Queen Ship Missing at Sea - Vietnam's Vinalines Queen Ship was still missing as of 9 a.m. local time on Tuesday, after more than 48 hours of disconnection and despite international joint search and rescue efforts, Vietnam News Agency reported on Tuesday quoting latest news from the Vietnam Maritime Rescue Cooperation Center. - more
  • Vinalines Queen Ship - about
  • Risk of nickel ore liquefication - more (this is background material only and may not have anything to do with this missing ship)

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

  • London Metal Exchange trading closed today for holiday. The Euro is trading slightly higher against the US Dollar. NYMEX crude futures are up nearly 1/10 of 1% and trading at $99.76/barrel. Gold and silver are down over 8/10 of 1%. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended lower, with China down 1.3%. European markets that are open are quiet and slightly lower, while US futures are also showing slightly lower. China stock markets are trading at a 33 month low, and nickel began to show weakness late last week. While other base metals gained, nickel fell back from the technical line of resistance that it was unable to beat for two consecutive days. There will be no afternoon update today. 
  • Bloomberg morning - more
  • LME Morning -

  Reports

  Ed Meir of INTL FC Stone Daily Metals Commentary

  • no report today

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • (PR) Mitsubishi Corporation (“MC”) has agreed to sell a 3.4% ownership interest from its 33.4% stake in Strand Minerals (the owner of 90% of PT Weda Bay Nickel) to Pacific Metals Co. Ltd. (“Pamco”) of Japan for 3 billion Japanese yen. ERAMET’s ownership in Strand Minerals remains unchanged at 66.6%. This transaction gives an indicative value of approximately 944 million Euros or 1.263 billion US Dollars for 100% of the Project, and valorises ERAMET’s ownership of the Project at around 566 million Euros or 757 million US Dollars. The shareholders’ agreement existing between ERAMET and MC has been amended to include Pamco.
  • (Yieh) Taiyuan Iron & Steel Group (Tisco), the largest stainless steel maker in Taiwan planned to start the maintenance schedule in late December, after its stainless steel output hit 3 million tons this year.
  • (Reuters) China's daily crude steel output fell to 1.666 million tonnes in the second ten days of December, down 0.44 percent from the preceding ten days, data from the China Iron & Steel Association showed on Tuesday.
  • Hedge Funds Cut Bets as Raw Materials Rally Most in 10 Weeks: Commodities - more
  • China’s Metal Fasteners Output for Jan-Nov - more
  • (China) Economic growth set to fall - more

  Japan Molybdenum Supply/Demand January - September 2011 = Imports of molybdenum oxide and ferromolybdenum increased year-on-year = Production of crude special steel in which molybdenum is mainly consumed during the first 9 months (January through September) of 2011 was 17.99 million tons a little less, by 0.8%, than 18.13 million tons in the same period of 2010, but imports of molybdenum oxide and ferromolybdenum increased year-on-year. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Friday, December 23

  London Metal Exchange markets are closed Monday and Tuesday for a holiday break. The happiest of holidays to our readers!!

  Dow Jones reports three month nickel ended the days session at $8.39/lb.

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

  • Indicators at 6:55 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.05/lb higher, with other London traded base metals trading higher as well. The Euro is trading over 1/10 of 1% against the US Dollar. NYMEX crude futures are up 1/4 of 1% and at $99.76/barrel. Gold is up more than 1/10 of 1% while silver is higher by less than 1/10 of 1%. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended higher, with China up 3/4 of 1%. European markets are trading higher this morning, and US futures show Wall Street should open higher. Nickel inventories rose for a second consecutive day on Thursday and now total just over 90,000 tonnes.
  • LME Morning - Base metals make further gains on pre-Christmas short-covering - more
  • Reuters - Copper up in thin trade on growth hopes, data eyed - more

  Reports

  Ed Meir of INTL FC Stone Daily Metals Commentary

  • Metals advanced in thin trading on Thursday, as a relatively stable credit market in Europe, coupled with upbeat macro data from the US helped improve sentiment. In the energy markets, oil prices advanced, with WTI now bumping against the $100 mark, while US equities also rose for a third day in a row. However, the gains did not extend to the Euro or gold, both of which closed relatively flat on the day. .... We think the markets held up well on Thursday considering that signals coming out of Europe could have derailed the advance. For one thing, there was some nervous rhetoric coming out of the European System Risk Board (ESRB), which is a policy watch-dog of sorts, who said that European governments needed to get their rescue fund up and running and that the lack of confidence in Europe's banks had made the risks facing the region more acute. "Overall conditions have worsened as a result of the intensification of negative interlinkages between sovereign risks and the uncertainty about the resilience of the financial system, and on account of deteriorating growth prospects," the ESRB said in a statement. "Dependence on central banks has risen and signs are intensifying that stressed financial conditions are passing through to the real economy”. It went on to say that capital levels need to be increased, and urged leaders to finalize agreements agreed to earlier this month at a crisis summit taking place shortly in Brussels. "The swift and coordinated implementation of those decisions is now of utmost importance."  ..... In corporate news, both Bloomberg and Reuters are reporting that there have been losses incurred by Barclays Capital, forcing the departure of the head of metals trading at the company, as well as one other person. Barclays would not specify the size of the loss, other than to say they were not "big" and that there was no "abnormal" trading, meaning no foul play was suspected. Apparently, the metals desk was quite long copper and aluminum as well as a number of spreads going into the summer months and got stung by the subsequent price collapse. In addition, the Barclays research team had been bullish on metals, calling for the copper, for example, to hit $12,000 by the fourth quarter. ..... Finally, there is a very good article in this month’s Vanity Fair on what is ailing the US economy and the parallels the author (Nobel-prize winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz) sees between what is going on now and what happened during the Great Depression. Stiglitz's ideas to get us out of the slump are certainly not in vogue given the current political situation, but he makes an interesting case based on the parallels he sees. The piece can be accessed in this link. ... Nickel is at $18,700, up $5. (complete report here)

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • (Interfax) China's imports of nickel ores grew in November, up 37.55 percent on monthly basis to 6,304,568 tons as low prices stimulated buying among steel mills, according to customs data released on Dec. 21. - more
  • (MBN) NSSC cuts 300-series stainless wire rod prices for Q1 2012
  • Copper Traders Most Bullish in Two Months on Demand Outlook: Commodities - more
  • Toledo Mining confirms latest shipment of nickel ready to depart - more
  • (China) New fall in economic outlook: bank poll - more

  Cuba says nickel venture to top 37,700 tonnes - A Cuban nickel venture with Canadian mining company Sherritt International is headed toward a record output of unrefined nickel plus cobalt, state media in eastern Holguin province, said on Wednesday. - more

  An 80,000-ton Ferro-nickel Project Settled in Jingzhou - An 80000-ton ferro-nickel project invested by Hubei Changjiang Nickel High Tech Co.,.... - more

  PNG Appeal Court Approves Mine Dumping Into Sea - A move to block the deep sea dumping of waste from the Ramu nickel mine on Papua New Guinea’s north coast has been rejected in an appeals court, ending a lengthy legal battle delaying the Chinese-backed project. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Thursday, December 22

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Sucden's day old nickel chart - (here).
  • Baltic Dry Index - minus 69 to 1,787. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) More Bankers Predict Monetary Policy Easing as Economy Cools, PBOC Says // China’s Stocks Decline for Fourth Day on Cash Crunch, Europe Debt Concern // Komatsu Sees Record Year for Mining Equipment Sales on China, India Demand // Overseas Investors Jump Back Into South Korean Stocks After Death of Kim // Toyota Says 2012 Vehicle Sales May Rise 20% on Recovery From Quake, Floods // Greece’s Creditors Said to Resist Pressure From IMF to Take On More Losses // U.K. Grew 0.6% in Third Quarter, Faster Than Originally Estimated: Economy // London’s Oldest Stockbrokers Fall Victim to Europe’s Sovereign Debt Crisis // Decline in U.S. Home Values to Be Smallest in Four Years, Zillow Reports // House Republicans Left With Few Options to Resolve Fight Over Payroll Tax // Growth Gets Boost Heading Into 2012 as U.S. Jobless Claims Drop: Economy // Stocks in U.S., Europe Gain as Dollar Rallies
  • The Euro is still trading higher against the US Dollar, but just barely at the moment. NYMEX crude is up 1.1% and trading at $99.75/barrel. Gold is down 1/2 of 1% while silver is off 3/4 of 1%. Base metals ended their session mostly higher. Indicator charts show nickel fell early and was unable to recover, trending lower much of the day. For the day, Dow Jones reports three month nickel ended the session at $8.48/lb . Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME approved warehouses took a big jump on Wednesday, gaining back nearly all of the last four days of withdrawals. Totals now sit just over the 89,500 tonne level, about the same as the numbers reported last Thursday. The large gain appears to have taken the market by surprise, as nickel did not show the strength it has recently. While Dr Copper ended over 1% higher today, nickel broke ranks with the other London traded base metals, and fell 1-1/2%. From a technical perspective, the inability to close above resistance for a second straight day, could mean nickel's recent upward trend might be coming to an end. We have one more day of trading before the LME begins a 4 day Christmas break.

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • (Dow Jones) Barclays Capital makes huge losses in base metals trading, sources say
  • Charting 2011?s Top Story: Inside the Euro Zone Crisis - more
  • IMF Chief Economist’s Four Lessons From 2011 - more
  • Realtors Lower 2007-2010 Home-Sales Estimates by 14% - more
  • White House’s Krueger: Lack of Demand Holding Back Economy - more
  • GOP Candidates Seek to Pin Crisis on Govt - more

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

  • Indicators at 7:00 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.01/lb lower, but moving higher, with other London traded base metals mixed and quiet. The Euro is trading nearly 1/10 of 1% higher against the US Dollar. NYMEX crude futures are nearly 3/10 of 1% higher and trading at $98.95/barrel. Gold is trading 2/10 of 1% lower while silver is down 1/10 of 1%. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended lower, with China down 1/10 of 1%. European markets are trading higher this morning, while US futures are trading higher as well. Nickel stockpiles jumped on Wednesday.
  • LME Morning - Base metals steadier, volatility lessens in wider markets - more
  • Reuters - Copper up with euro in ECB tender reaction - more

  Reports

  Ed Meir of INTL FC Stone Daily Metals Commentary

  • Metals finished mixed in very quiet trading yesterday, as a fade in the Euro offset decent macro numbers coming out of the US. In other markets, oil prices finished higher after US crude oil inventories posted their largest one-week fall in a decade. US stocks finished flat on the day after being all over the place, but there was weakness in tech names after Oracle disappointed Wall Street with an earnings report that was only its second quarterly “miss” in the past 26 quarters. On the currency front, the Euro slipped to $1.3040 yesterday on growing doubts that the ECB’s easy-money program would do anything to ameliorate the more burdensome debt situation. In fact, one can make the case that the ECB and the markets are talking past each other--the markets are fixated on the ECB buying an infinite amount of Eurozone bonds as the only logical solution to the crisis, while the central bank is vehemently opposed going down that route. Instead, it is buying bonds in relatively modest amounts and on its own timetable, although it is far more willing to put out generous swap lines and loans in order to tide the banks over, such as the E498 billion it lent out this week. It also frequently takes European governments to task about getting their fiscal houses in order, leaving unclear how governments will manage their debt loads if they are not given some help by the ECB. All in all, the important point to be made here, is that the ECB policy measures are not the ones the markets seem to be demanding, so it remains to be seen how this standoff will eventually be resolved. As long as the two sides continue to butt heads, it will be very difficult to escape the erratic price behavior and uncertain tone that is now clearly evident in a number of markets. ..... Right now, markets are steadier, with metals generally mixed, while crude oil markets are up a tad. The Euro is a touch higher, now trading at $1.3070. US stocks are expected to open up in light of calm conditions in the European debt markets. In this regard, Italian 10-year bond yields were about 3 basis points lower at 6.79% on light ECB buying, while Spanish paper was yielding 5.36%, about 5 basis points higher on the day. The cost of insuring Hungary's debt against default, however, jumped sharply after Standard & Poor's cut the country's rating to junk on Wednesday, following a similar move by Moody's last month. We do not expect much to happen for the balance of the week in most markets, as participants thin out and refrain from taking major positions ahead of the year and quarter end. If anything, a steadier tone should remain in place given the vigilance of the central banks guarding against any liquidity squeezes heading into year-end. ..... Nickel is at $18,875, down $100 and still bumping against resistance levels evident around $18,900. ..... The Pedro Soto Alba plant, a joint-venture between Cuban state monopoly Cubaniquel and Canadian mining company Sherritt, has reached its production target of nickel-plus-cobalt for the year and expects to hit a new record of over 37,700 tons by December 31, state media said. (complete report here)

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Outokumpu divests rights to royalties from Forrestania resources - more
  • (TI) Truck tonnage rose 0.3% in November after rising a revised 0.4% in October, according to the American Trucking Associations' advance seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index. Compared with November 2010, seasonally adjusted tonnage was up 6%, the largest year-over-year gain since a 6.5% increase in June 2011.

  Chinese producers key to 2012 nickel prices - High-cost nickel producers in China will limit price moves in either direction next year, even while the market accelerates a move into over-supply as several new projects start up and demand falters. - more

  Japan Hot-Rolled SUS Production 248,790 tons; October 2011 = Slightly down by 1.2% from September; larger down in Ni-alloyed than the up in Cr-alloyed = According to the data released by Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry on December 14, output of hot-rolled stainless steel during October 2011 was as per the table attached hereto. - more

  PNG rejects appeal to block Ramu nickel ocean dumping-Highlands - A move to block deep sea dumping of waste from the Ramu nickel mine in Papua Guinea has been rejected in an appeals court, ending a lengthy legal battle delaying the Chinese-backed project, junior partner Highlands Pacific said on Thursday. - more

  • PNG court allows company to dump waste in ocean - A move to block deep sea dumping of waste from the Ramu nickel mine in Papua Guinea has been rejected in an appeals court, ending a lengthy legal battle delaying the Chinese-backed project, junior partner Highlands Pacific said. - more

  DJ Zambia Albidon Starts Talks Over Munali Nickel Mine - Australia-based Albidon Ltd. has started talks with a potential partner for its Munali Nickel Mine in Zambia as it continues efforts to resume production at its troubled facility, the company announced Thursday.  - more

  Metal Corp mum on nickel start - Metal Corp of China – the developer of the Ramu Nickel mine in Madang province – yesterday shied away from commenting on reports the mine was working toward commissioning the project soon. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Wednesday, December 21

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Sucden's day old nickel chart - (here).
  • Baltic Dry Index - minus 22 to 1,856. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) Wen Says China’s Slowing Growth, Elevated Prices Add to Policy Challenge // China Stocks Drop for Third Day on Cash Crunch, Ping An’s Fundraising Plan // Taiwan Stocks Surge Most in Asia as Government Pledges Support to Markets // Japan Exports Fall a Second Month as BOJ Sees Weakness on Europe: Economy // ECB to Lend Greater-Than-Forecast $645 Billion as Banks Line Up for Funds // EU Leaders to Hold Jan. 30 Summit to Discuss Jobs, Growth, Van Rompuy Says // Drachma Threat Confronts Greeks as Country Teeters on Edge of Losing Euro // Stocks Decline in Europe as ECB Funding Fails to Ease Debt-Crisis Concern // Bernanke Prods Savers to Become Consumers // Wall Street Trading Revenue to Decline as ‘Year to Forget’ Comes to an End // Existing Homes Sold Since ’07 Revised Down // Sales of Existing U.S. Homes at 10-Month High a Sign of Recovery: Economy // Stocks, Euro Fall as Optimism Fades Over ECB Loan Program; Oracle Tumbles
  • The Euro is trading slightly lower against the US Dollar at the moment. NYMEX crude is trading 1.3% higher and at $98.49/barrel. Gold is even at the moment while silver is off 6/10 of 1%. Base metals ended their session mixed and mostly higher. Indicator charts show nickel opened higher, but then fell sharply as the Euro fell and European equity markets fell. Afternoon trading saw nickel recover while equity markets did not. For the day, Dow Jones reports three month nickel ended the session at $8.61/lb . Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME approved warehouses fell for a seventh consecutive session and now totals over 87,850 tonnes. Data released by Chinese customs today show China has been quietly importing a lot more nickel than many thought they were. There is a lot of speculation on why this is happening, considering their stainless steel output has slowed. And while some of these thoughts may have merit, in our opinion, they are simply taking advantage of nickel's low price while it lasts. A drop in cancelled warrants recently could mean that these purchases are starting to fall off. Nickel looked very strong today, breaking thru resistance without much fanfare. A second close above $8.57/lb could give technical legs to nickel.  

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • Billionaire Buffoons Hoisted On Their Own Petards - more
  • Housing Market’s Foundation Looking More Stable - more
  • Debate Heats Up on Travails of Baby Boomers - more
  • Jobless Rates Fall in 43 States - more
  • Fed’s Kocherlakota: ‘A Little More Optimistic’ About Economy - more

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

  • Indicators at 7:00 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.11/lb lower, with other London traded base metals higher at the moment, but following nickel lower. The Euro is presently trading nearly 1/10 of 1% lower against the US Dollar. NYMEX crude futures are off more than 1/10 of 1% and trading at $97.10/barrel. Gold is up more than 1/10 of 1% while silver is down by about the same. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended higher, while China fell 1.6%. European markets are trading slightly lower at the moment, while US futures is hesitating, after a big bullish run yesterday. Nickel inventories fell on Tuesday.
  • Reuters morning - Copper rises to week-high on economy hopes, ECB lending - more
  • LME Morning - Base metals spike on large ECB fund take-up but effect short-lived - more

  Reports

  Ed Meir of INTL FC Stone Daily Metals Commentary

  • Metals were boosted by a much more constructive tone in the equity and European credit markets yesterday, with copper rising to a one-week high, while others in the group also notched up sizable gains. Better-than-expected German business sentiment numbers, referenced in yesterday’s note, helped set the stage for the early advance, while later in the day, the US Commerce Department said that builders broke ground on 685,000 new homes last month, a 9.3% jump from October and the highest level since April 2010. Building permits, a gauge of future construction, increased 5.7%, led higher by a jump in apartment permits.  ..... Moving on to China, if things are slowing down in that country, we are certainly not seeing it yet in the copper import demand numbers. Figures released by Reuters overnight show solid growth in import demand, with imports up a whopping 50% year-on-year and up 16.5% in November to just under 344,000 tons, the second-highest level on record. (See our table in our attachment). Reuters calculates that daily apparent consumption for refined copper was up almost 30% from a year earlier, and was up 7% month on month in November. There was a good month-over-month gain in aluminum as well. These numbers do not necessarily “sit well” with the overall outlook of a slowdown, so either things in China are not as bad as the macro numbers suggest, or metal (in this case copper) is being imported as a means of getting extra credit lines from the banks and is not necessarily being consumed. Whatever the case, the copper market remains unimpressed with the figures, as an earlier sprint in copper all the way to $7573 has now completely fizzled. .... Very short-term, we have to favor the long side for the moment in most markets, as central bank action to flood the market with liquidity heading into tricky year-end period should keep credit markets calmer. However, easing moves are not effective solutions per se, as lending money to crippled European banks is not going to do much to solve underlying structural issues. We reckon markets will revisit this stark reality once again, likely by early next year when the holiday fog lifts and trading positions become more concentrated. .... Nickel is at $18,600, down $265 and backing off resistance apparent between $18,700-$18,900. (complete report here)

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • (Yieh) According to data released by the US Department of Commerce, the US stainless steel exports totaled 45,732 tons in October, increased by 7.8% from 42,422 tons in September.
  • (Interfax) China's share of global crude steel output fell to 43.19 percent in November from 44.1 percent the previous month in line with slowing growth in the world's second largest economy, according to monthly figures released by the World Steel Association (WSA) Dec. 21.
  • (Reuters) [Chinese] Imports of refined nickel and alloy fell 24.3 percent to 18,629 tonnes in November after posting a rise of 25 percent in October. Arrivals surged 54.7 percent from November 2010. In the first eleven months, imports rose 18.7 percent on the year to 198,472 tonnes. Traders said high imports in recent months had increased supply in the domestic market but local demand had fallen due to reduced production at stainless steel mills, the top users of nickel in China. - more
  • (Merafe) Shareholders of the Company are advised that the European benchmark ferrochrome price has been settled at $1.15 per pound for the first quarter of 2012, a decrease of 4% from the $1.20 per pound price in the fourth quarter of 2011.
  • (SKRIN) Russia’s nickel production up 0.2% over 11 months
  • (MBN) China's nickel ore imports surge 37% in November
  • (MBN) China's ferro-chrome imports up 41% in November
  • SSINA Selects New Leaders - pdf here
  • US court concludes tariffs on Chinese goods illegal - more
  • Wen calls for confidence in economy - more
  • Two cyclones expected to form off Australia this week - more
  • (SM) According to the November 2011 Recovered Paper Monthly Report published today by the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA), total U.S. industry consumption of recovered paper was 2.4 million tons, 5% lower than November of last year, and 5% lower than October 2011.
  • La Niña continues over the Pacific Basin - more

  November Growth Off Slightly from October Rates - November service center shipments grew at slightly slower rates for both steel and aluminum in the U.S. and Canada. Steel inventory levels declined in the U.S. and Canada from last month. - more

  Stainless Imports Up 30 Percent Through Three Quarters - Stainless steel imports into the United States through the first nine months of the year were up 30.9 percent compared to 2010, according to the latest data from the Specialty Steel Industry of North America, Washington, D.C. Imports of stainless steel, including electrical and alloy tool steel, totaled 606,917 tons through the first three quarters of 2011. - more

  Chinese crude steel production in reverse gear signals great danger - According to the latest release of crude steel production, Chinese crude steel production in November posted YoY slip, probably for the first time in last 10-12 years - more

  World Bank invests in first I.Coast nickel project - The International Finance Corp, the World Bank's private-sector lender, said on Tuesday it will invest in a nickel and copper exploration project in Ivory Coast, its first mining investment in the war-scarred West African country. - more

  Japan Imported Ferroalloy Market Report; December 15, 2011 = Softened market in China affecting exports prices; cheap sales for cash before year-end = Market outlook in Japan of the imported ferroalloys as of December 15, 2011 is as follows: - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Tuesday, December 20

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Sucden's day old nickel chart - (here).
  • Baltic Dry Index - minus 7 to 1,878. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) Japan in Talks With China About Purchasing Government Debt to Diversify // China Stocks Fall for 2nd Day as Profit Concerns Outweigh Easing Prospects // North Korea Transition Risk May Hurt South’s Confidence as Exports Falter // Australia Weathering European Debt Crisis Recalls 2009 Resilience: Economy // India May Join U.S.-China Trade Dispute to Prevent Solar Energy ‘Disaster’// German Business Confidence Rises as Nation Set to Avoid Recession: Economy // France Reduces Planned Debt Sales for 2012 to $233 Billion Amid Tightening // Euro Gains Versus Dollar on German Sentiment Increase, Spain’s Bill Sale // European Stocks Rise on German Business Confidence; UniCredit, BNP Advance // Keystone Pipeline Deadline Leaves Too Little Time for Review, Carney Says // Hedge-Fund Refuge Sought by Traders as Banks Cut 233,000 Jobs: Commodities // Payrolls Rose in 29 States in November, Led by New York; Michigan Has Gain // Builders in U.S. Start Construction on Most Houses in 19 Months: Economy // Stocks Jump as Treasuries Fall on U.S. Housing Data, German Business Index
  • The Euro is trading nearly 7/10 of 1% higher against the US Dollar at the moment. NYMEX crude is higher by nearly 3-1/2% and trading at $97.11/barrel. Gold is up 1-1/3% while silver is 2-2/3% higher. Base metals ended the session higher as economic good news caused world equity and commodity markets to jump. Indicator chart show nickel trended higher for most of the session before settling down toward the end of the day. For the day, Dow Jones reports three month nickel closed at $8.56/lb , its best close since November 4th. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME approved warehouses fell again on Monday, and now total just under 88,100 tonnes. German investor confidence rose, Spanish borrowing costs fell, and US housing starts rose higher than expected, to concoct a trifacto of positive news that traders jumped at. The Dow is up nearly 3% at the moment. Nickel, not to be left behind, made a strong showing as well. What will tomorrow bring? 

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • Vital Signs: Food-Price Inflation Slows Slightly - more
  • Will China Break? - more
  • China's epic hangover begins - more
  • The Most Important Market Day of 2011 - more
  • The Astonishing Collapse of MF Global (9 part series) - more

  Courtesy AISI - In the week ending December 17, 2011, domestic raw steel production was 1,945,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 78.5 percent. Production was 1,655,000 tons in the week ending December 17, 2010, while the capability utilization then was 68.4 percent. The current week production represents a 17.5 percent increase from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending December 17, 2011 is up 5.7 percent from the previous week ending December 10, 2011 when production was 1,840,000 tons and the rate of capability utilization was 74.3 percent.

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

  • Indicators at 7:00 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.08/lb higher, with all London traded base metals higher this morning. The Euro is trading over 6/10 of 1% higher against the US Dollar. NYMEX crude futures are up over 1/7% and trading at $95.49/barrel. Gold is up over 8/10 of 1% and silver is trading over 1.6% higher. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended higher, with China down 3/10 of 1%. European markets are trading higher this morning and US futures show Wall Street wants to erase yesterday's fall. Nickel inventories continues to fall on Monday.
  • LME Morning - Prices tick up but market slows towards year-end - more
  • Reuters - Copper rises on upbeat German data, weak dollar - more

  Reports

  Ed Meir of INTL FC Stone Daily Metals Commentary

  • Despite clawing their way back to unchanged levels at one point yesterday, metals ultimately finished lower, unable to shake off weakness emanating from the US equity markets. The negative tone in the US stock market did not stem from the usual worries over European banks, but instead on concerns over US institutions. In this regard, the Wall Street Journal reported that an upcoming Fed proposal will call for higher capital levels at American banks, a story that helped send the broader KBW Bank Index down almost 3%. The stand-out decliner was Bank of America, whose shares fell below $5 for the first time in nearly three years, bringing its capitalization down to a paltry $50 billion in the process. ..... Right now, we are seeing decent gains in metals, energy, and the Euro. European stocks are trading higher as well, setting up a firmer opening for Wall Street. The Euro is now trading at $1.3075 after briefly breaching $1,30 again today. The positive tone in the markets is attributable to the release of the German Ifo institute’s business climate index, which increased to 107.2 from 106.6 in November. (Economists had expected a drop to 106). Conditions are also thankfully quiet in the European debt markets, with Italian and Spanish yields both lower on the day. Spain also sold about 5.64 billion Euros of three-month and six- month bills in an auction that was stronger than expected. We suspect that the calmer conditions in the European credit markets we are seeing may be partly attributable to the ECB offering banks unlimited three-year loans starting today, not to mention the flood of year-end money that is also being flushed into the system in order to prevent year-end liquidity squeezes. .... In LME news, the exchange said it will create its own clearing service called LMEClear designed to enhance the exchange’s appeal ahead of a possible sale in the coming year. In addition, the exchange will implement a new user fee of 50 pence per lot from March for members in an effort to boost profits. "The introduction of the Exchange User Fee will allow the LME to operate commercially and to provide a commercial return to its shareholders while still operating a low-cost service," The LME’s chief executive said. We don’t have much to add to what we have been writing in previous commentary-- trading conditions both this week and next should thin out, leading to rather sharp moves in the commodities we follow. However, many off the issues that have weighed on the markets of late have not gone away and will be back in 2012 when conditions turn more normal. If there is a silver lining for the bulls in all this, it is the extraordinary degree of pessimism surrounding the Euro and the prospects for stabilizing the European debt crisis. Should the politicians indeed pull multiple rabbits out of their hats, the markets could be in for a sizable relief rally, but a lot more time needs to pass without further convulsions before investors begin to come around to such a possibility. Of course, Euro-skeptics would rather believe in Santa first....... Nickel is at $18,557, up $177, and approaching resistance between $18,700-$18,900. (complete report here)

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • (Yieh) According to statistics, the inventory of stainless steel totaled 132,834 tons in Chinese Foshan market in early December, up by 11.13% from half month earlier.
  • (Reuters subscription) Easing credit may cut China copper, nickel imports
  • Chinese Steelmakers May Continue to Struggle with Waning Profits Next Year - more
  • (China) Economic growth seen slowing down in 2012 - more

  PNG's Ramu nickel mine in full swing in 2013-Highlands - The $1.5 billion Ramu nickel project, China's single-largest mining investment in Papua New Guinea, should be operating close to maximum capacity by mid- to late-2013, Australian minority partner Highlands Pacific said on Tuesday. - more

  Signs of Life in the Metals World - After two years of clawing out from under the recession and its aftermath, the metals industry began to show signs of its old self, with service centers resuming M&A and other growth initiatives. - more

  Japan Crude SUS Production By Mill Up; October 2011 = Year-on-year comparison during the 10 months shows increase by 2.2% = Crude stainless steel production in October 2011 by the 7 major Japanese stainless steel mills was 308,978 tons, up 6.3% from 290,487 tons recorded in September 2011. The increase compensated the lower output in September, down 8.8% from the preceding month, as a kind of counteraction to it. - more

  Drilling for nickel OKed inside town - Town council voted without debate Monday night to approve a plan to drill for nickel inside St. Stephen's municipal limits. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Monday, December 19

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Sucden's day old nickel chart - (here).
  • Baltic Dry Index - minus 3 to 1,885. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) China’s November Home Prices Post Worst Performance This Year Amid Curbs // China Local Debts Dwarf Official Data Prompting Too-Big-to-Complete Alarms // Currency Data Shows Unprecedented Second Month of China Capital Outflows // China Stocks Fall, Extends Loss to 7th Week on Home Price Slump, Kim Death // Kim Jong Il Death Sparks North Korea Succession as South Braces for Impact // Washi Kills 652 in Worst Philippine Storm of 2011 as Hundreds More Missing // India Inflation Persisting as Deficient Roads Conspire With Power Shortage // Asian Stocks Decline on Reports Kim Jong Il Has Died, Europe Debt Concerns // Italy Sells Debt at Record Yields as Monti Rushes to Get Budget Approved // U.K. Unemployment Rises as Officials See Global Outlook Darkening: Economy // Norway Cuts Rate More-Than-Forecast Half Point as Euro Crisis Hurts Growth // European Stocks Drop as Fed Refrains From Further Stimulus; Logica Plunges // S&P Downgrade Proves Absurd as Global Investors Make U.S. Assets Preferred // Cash Punished as S&P 500 Spenders Beat Savers by 21% Amid Rising Buybacks // Payroll-Tax Cut in Limbo as U.S. Lawmakers Brace for Fiscal-Policy Fight // U.S. Homebuilder Confidence Rises a Third Month to Highest Level This Year // Stocks Slide as Treasuries, Dollar Gain After Draghi’s Remarks on Crisis
  • The Euro is presently trading nearly 1/4 of 1% lower against the US Dollar. NYMEX crude futures are up over 1/10 of 1% and trading at $93.68/barrel. Gold is down nearly 2/10 of 1% and silver is off 2.3%. Base metals ended the session lower, but quietly. Indicator charts show nickel opened lower and did little during the session. For the day, Dow Jones reports three month nickel closed at $8.34/lb . Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME approved warehouses  fell every day last week and now total just under the 88,350 tonne level. Typhoon Washi devastated Mindanao Island in the Philippines Islands, with recent reports showing over 650 dead and many more missing. (more). No reports yet on whether the storm has had any effects on nickel mining on the island. Robry reports natural gas flows signal the US economy is strengthening going into the last weeks of 2011. But US markets are currently trading lower on European debt crisis concerns, and the political impasse in Washington, that now seriously threatens to take millions out of the U.S. economy in January.

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • Robry Monday Morning Economic Assessment - more
  • Number of the Week: The Upside of Companies Sitting on Cash - more
  • Politics Hang Like Sword Over 2012 Outlook - more
  • Study Links Expiring Unemployment Benefits to Disability Applications - more
  • The systemic risk revealed by MF Global’s collapse - more

  London Metal Exchange to introduce user fee - The London Metal Exchange is to introduce a new user fee as it gears to make its business operate on a commercial model and prepares to decide whether or not to sell the exchange. - more

  Steel markets in developing nations continue to be weighed down by economic uncertainty - The Brazilian steel industry outlook for production and consumption in 2012 is unchanged. Distributors contend that any price growth in January is likely to be moderate. - more

  St. Stephen votes on allowing new nickel tests - St. Stephen council will be voting on Monday night on whether to allow Continental Nickel Ltd. to go forward with exploratory drilling in the southwestern town. - more

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

  • Indicators at 7:00 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.05/lb lower, with all London traded base metals lower at the moment. The Euro is trading nearly 2/10 of 1% lower against the US Dollar. NYMEX crude futures are up 3/10 of 1% and trading at $93.82/barrel. Gold is down nearly 2/10 of 1% and silver is down 2-1/2%. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended lower, with China off 1/4 of 1%. European markets are trading higher this morning, and US futures show Wall Street wants to start the week on a bullish note. Nickel stockpiles continues to fall last Friday.  
  • LME Morning - Base metals lower, volumes thin as holiday period nears - more
  • Reuters - Copper slips on China housing data, dollar - more

  Reports

  Ed Meir of INTL FC Stone Daily Metals Commentary

  • Metals rose on Friday (with the exception of lead) as did most other commodity complexes. The firmer tone was attributable to both the Euro holding its ground and to no new signs of stress emerging in the European bond markets, as French and Spanish yields both fell slightly on the day. In addition, the three-month cross-currency basis swap, (which is the rate banks pay to convert Euros to dollars and is being watched closely as we head into year-end), was at 122 basis points, unchanged from last week’s rate and well below the three-year high of 162 level reached in late November. .... Right now, base metals are lower in quiet trading, but off earlier lows. Oil prices are slightly higher, and the Euro is roughly unchanged, still defending the $1.30 mark. Gold is off by about $10/ounce, and should remain in the spotlight over the short-term given that it broke its 200-day moving average last week (at $1616) and is on track for its first losing quarter since 2008. News that Korean leader Kim Jong Il has died of a heart attack overnight has not generated much of a upside reaction. Another commodity breaking its 200-day moving average last week is oil, and it will be interesting to see whether we see further selling in energy in the weeks ahead given the deterioration in the charts and a noticeable slowing in demand in key markets. Finally, US stocks are expected to open higher ahead of a better tone coming out of the European equity markets.  ...... Out of the LME, initial bids from potential buyers for the exchange are due before the end of February, an LME spokeswoman said on Friday. In September, the LME revealed that at least 10 parties had expressed interest in buying the exchange in a deal that could be worth around $1.55 billion. The London Stock Exchange, the CME Group and the Singapore Exchange have all been named as potential bidders. As we head into the year-end holiday season, trading conditions both this week and next should thin out considerably, leading to rather exaggerated movements in many of the commodities we follow. Most funds will be cleaning up positions ahead of uninspiring quarterly and year-end performances, and although they will start 2012 with a clean slate, they will not have any better visibility when it comes to navigating their way through a thicket of formidable global macro and political uncertainties that 2012 will have in store for the markets. .... Nickel is at $18,400, down $150, and has been looking much stronger than the rest of the metals over the last week, as it is now trading at the higher end of its range. Nevertheless, we expect it run into more formidable resistance between $18,700-$18,900 (red line in our chart). (complete report here)

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • (Yieh) Taiyuan Iron & Steel Group (Tisco), the largest stainless steel maker in China decided to cut the export prices of 304 grade stainless steel offers for next February deliveries due to sluggish demand before the Christmas, dipping for consecutive four months.
  • (JMD) Market price of cold-rolled Ni stainless steel sheet/ Drops by 10 thou yen in Kanto
  • (Interfax) China's steel industry is at risk of slipping into the red, with almost one-third of major steelmakers incurring losses in October and profit margins among large and medium-sized players during the month averaging an annual low of 0.47 percent, Zhang Changfu, vice chairman of the China Iron and Steel Association (CISA), told an industry conference in Shanghai Dec. 17.
  • (CEN) Fixed asset investment into China's steel industry in the first 10 months grew 18.9 percent year-on-year, 17.3 percentage points higher than growth in the same period of 2010, according to statistics released at an industry conference in Shanghai Saturday.
  • Investors in 'Fetal Position' as Goldman Sees Rally: Commodities - more
  • Interest Rates: 1831-2011 - more
  • Selenium, Nickel may cut cancer - more
  • Team develops technique for removing metals from water - more
  • China Economy By the Numbers - November - more
  • (SM) The American Forest & Paper Association released its November 2011 U. S. Containerboard Statistics Report today. Containerboard production was down, decreasing 1.8% when compared to October 2011, however, the month over month average daily production increased 1.4%. The containerboard operating rate for November 2011 rose slightly from November 2010 to 96.5% from 96.0%.

  Platts weekly dealer molybdenum oxide assessed at $13.20-$13.50/lb - The Platts weekly dealer molybdenum oxide price was assessed Thursday at $13.20-13.50/lb, down from $13.30-$13.50/lb a week earlier. - more

  Western World Mo Production; Jan.- Sep. 2011 = Production up by 18% in North America and up by 8% in South America = Production details of molybdenum concentrates in the western world during the nine months (January through September) of 2011 is as per the table attached hereto, which shows that, on molybdenum content basis, North America produced 119.27 million pounds (up by 18.7% from the same period of 2010), South America produced 84.94 million pounds (up by 8.3%), making a total western world production 204.21 million pounds (up by 14.2%). - more

  A smelter takes shape: Vale's nickel refinery in Newfoundland - As a $3-billion smelter rises on the shores of Placentia Bay, Vale SA scours the country for skilled workers to finish the job. - more

  Ore unit exceeds mining target - By yearend, the mining unit of publicly listed Oriental Peninsula Resources Group Inc. (ORE) will have produced about twice its target ore tonnage for 2011, chairperson and president Caroline Tanchay said. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Friday, December 16

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Sucden's day old nickel chart - (here).
  • Baltic Dry Index - minus 1 to 1,888. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) China’s Yuan Strengthens Most in Two Months on Signs Credit Curbs Easing // China Is ‘Not Too Optimistic’ About Exports Next Year, Chen Deming Says // China’s Stocks Snap Six-Day Slid on Policy Easing Outlook, New China Life // India Leaves Benchmark Rate Unchanged as Record Increases Threaten Growth // Asian Stocks Snap Three-Day Losing Streak on Stronger U.S. Economic Data // Gold Market Rout Leaves Traders Least Bullish in Four Months: Commodities // Switzerland Joins Global Suffering as Europe Debt Crisis Ripples: Economy // Spain, Italy Notes Rise on ECB-Driven Demand //  U.S. Consumer Prices Stagnate as Fuel Costs Show Inflation Tamed: Economy // Congress Getting Failing Marks on Economy in Year of Gridlock // Stocks in U.S. Erase Rally as Treasuries Advance, Euro’s Gains Wiped Out
  • The Euro has given up its morning gains and is now trading nearly 1/10 of 1% lower against the US Dollar. NYMEX crude is down 1.2% and trading at $92.75/barrel. Gold is up nearly 1-1/2% and silver is up 8/10 of 1%. Base metals ended the session mostly high, with only lead losing ground today. Indicator charts show nickel fell early, then began a charge that quieted late in the session. For the day, Dow Jones reports three month nickel ended the week at $8.41/lb . That's $.10/lb higher than it ended last week, but $.03/lb shy of last Thursday's high close. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME approved warehouses fell for the seventh time in the last eight days and now totals just over 88,700 tonnes. Nickel ended the week looking as strong as it ended last week, and the Euro falling today did little more than put a halt to the rally nickel was in. The European debt crisis is overhanging all trading markets, but nickel is faring much better lately than equities.
  • Have a safe and restful weekend!

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • Fire Bernanke? Not So Fast, Mr. Gingrich - more
  • Fragile and Unbalanced in 2012 - more
  • Is 400,000 Still The Magic Number for Jobless Claims? - more
  • Amid the Gloom, U.S. Economy Quietly Improves - more

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

  • Indicators at 7:00 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.09/lb higher, with all London traded base metals higher as well. The Euro is trading nearly 1/2 of 1% higher against the US Dollar. NYMEX crude futures are up over 1/2 of 1% and trading at $94.38/barrel. Gold and silver are both higher by over 1-1/2%. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended higher, with China up over 2.1%. European markets are trading higher this morning and US futures are higher as well. Nickel stockpiles continued to fall on Thursday.
  • LME Morning - Metals firmer on relief rally, consolidate below highs - more
  • Reuters - Copper rises after surprise U.S. data, dollar softens - more

  Reports

  Ed Meir of INTL FC Stone Daily Metals Commentary

  • Metals finished flat on the day on Thursday, with copper closing almost unchanged, as investors were presumably left drained after Wednesday's sharp sell-off. The rest of the metals finished uneventfully as well, and there were similarly restrained performances in energy, the Euro, and the US stock market. One commodity that continues to fare poorly, however, is gold, which was down again yesterday and is still reeling after being the commodity darling for much of 2011. Some technicians are now calling for stunning downside targets of $1,000-$1,200/ounce given the chart damage, but most analysts, such as prominent investor Dennis Gartman who turned bearish on the precious metal last week, have targets of between $1400-$1500.  .... Right now, markets are generally higher in quiet trading. Base metals are up slightly, energy prices are mixed, and the Euro is holding steady at $1.3020. There is no major news to speak of, but we suspect that the relative stability in the European debt markets and the Euro is leading to some modest buying setting in. In this regard, Spain saw solid demand for its bonds on Thursday, and although yields were still near euro-era highs, the fact that a large chunk of paper moved out was taken as a good sign. Attention remains on Italy, where the premium investors are demanding over Spanish debt rose to a new record on Thursday. There will be a confidence vote later today in Italy’s parliament to speed approval of a 33-billion euro austerity package and that could further improve sentiment going into early next week. In the meantime, ECB head Mario Draghi said Thursday that euro zone governments are on the right track to restore market confidence, but reminded them that an emergency program to buy their bonds was "neither eternal nor infinite" and that politicians had to "speak unambiguously" then "deliver".  ...... Nickel is at $17,917, up $22. .... complete report here

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • (Yieh) Reportedly, the prices of ferro-chrome hiked in China for the first time since this September, driven by the stainless steel mills’ higher bids.
  • (Yieh) It’s reported that Finnish Outokumpu is mulling raising the base prices of stainless steel coils and plates by 5% in Europe, which will become effective for all deliveries from January 1st, 2012.
  • False chemical alarms trigger fire response - more
  • Mechel's CEO Discusses Q3 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript - more
  • Top Exporters of Fasteners to US for Jan-Jun. 2011 - more

  China's nickel demand to stay weak, supply abundant - trade - China's nickel demand may stay weak for some months as stainless steel mills, the top users of the metal, cut production, but supply will be abundant on greater imports by investors and higher output of nickel pig iron, traders said on Friday. - more

  Local view: Dangers of sulfide mining being swept under the rug - According to Friends of the Boundary Waters, sulfide mining has “caused environmental and financial problems all over the world.” - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Thursday, December 15

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Sucden's day old nickel chart - (here).
  • Baltic Dry Index - minus 23 to 1,889. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) China’s Foreign Direct Investment Falls With Manufacturing Set to Contract // China’s Manufacturing May Contract a Second Month, Preliminary PMI Shows // Asian Stocks Fall on Drop in Japan Manufacturer Confidence, Europe Concern // Euro-Area Manufacturing, Services Contract // Spain Sells 6B Euros of Bonds, Beats Target // Europe to Face Run on Banks: Kyle Bass // IMF’s Lagarde: Europe Crisis ‘Escalating’ // European Stocks Advance on Economic Data; Old Mutual, Commerzbank Gain // Bernanke: Fed Has No Plans to Aid EU Banks // NJ’s Richest County Leads Food Stamp Rise // Dollar Falls as Stronger Economic Data, Spain Auction Crimp Haven Demand // Senate Leaders Say Deal Possible on Payroll Tax // Jobless Claims in U.S. Drop to Three-Year Low in Sign of Healing: Economy // Stocks Climb as U.S. Data Show Stronger Economy; Commodities Erase Gains
  • The Euro is trading 1/5 of 1% higher against the US Dollar at the moment. NYMEX crude is down nearly 1% and trading at $94.03/barrel. Gold is down 1/3 of 1% while silver is now up over 6/10 of 1%. Base metals ended the session mostly higher, and for the most part, quietly. Indicator charts show nickel gained early, gave up its gains later, but made another charge into the closing. For the day, Dow Jones reports three month nickel closed at $8.12/lb . Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME approved warehouses continue to fall and now total just over 89,500 tonnes. After gaining nearly 4400 tonnes last month, stockpiles are down over 1,250 tonnes so far this month. While it struggled to do so, nickel was able to hold onto Edward Meir's $17,800 tonne support line, and did not fall below it a second consecutive day. But Ed has already lowered his support line to $7.85/lb, and Sucden has major support at $7.62/lb. The headlines out of Europe are a mixed bag of some signals from Germany of stronger than expected economic news, tempered by remarks that make the debt crisis appear much more dire and dangerous than the general media is reporting. Economic news from the US remains positive, while a census report reveals that nearly 1 in 2 American's are living in poverty or could be classified as living under the low income level.

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • Census shows 1 in 2 people are poor or low-income - more
  • Economists Debate Financial Crisis Causes, Cures - more
  • S&P: Sovereign Debt Issues Expected to Weigh on 2012 View - more
  • Vital Signs: Four Unemployed People for Every Job Opening - more
  • Americans: Undecided About God? - more
  • Bernanke Joins Bargain Hunters Who Refinance - more

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

  • Indicators at 7:00 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.20/lb higher, with other London traded base metals also trading higher. The Euro is trading over 1/4 of 1% higher against the US Dollar. NYMEX crude futures are up 2/3 of 1% and trading at $95.57/barrel. Gold is up over 9/10 of 1% while silver is down slightly. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended lower, with China down 2-1/3%. European markets are trading higher this morning and US futures are higher as well. Nickel inventories continue to slide on Wednesday.
  • Bloomberg morning - more
  • LME Morning - Metals check back as corrective bounce hits buffers, wider backdrop negative - more
  • Reuters - Copper rebounds from 3-week trough; losses eyed -  more

  Reports

  Ed Meir of INTL FC Stone Daily Metals Commentary

  • There were no signs of Christmas cheer in the markets yesterday -or any other kind of cheer for that matter -- after a brutal sell-off set in, the likes of which we have not seen in some time. Apart from strong gains in the dollar and the US bond market, practically everything was down on Wednesday, with base metals, precious metals, energy, and ags all getting hammered. US equities also stumbled and have now given up about half the gains generated since they rallied late last month on news that global central banks were expanding their swap lines.  .... Right now, markets are steadier, as they seem to be coming up for air after yesterday’s bloodbath. Base metals are higher, as are gold and oil. The Euro has also recovered a bit, now trading over the psychologically important $1.30 mark and firming the equity markets in the process. Dow futures are pointing to a 70-point opening gain.  .... There is not much we see over the short-term that suggests the generally downward bias in commodity prices will end anytime soon. With European leaders addressing their debt crisis in their unique way and at a much less urgent pace than what is being demanded by the markets, we think long-side portfolios will continue to be buffeted by growing apprehension about the ability of European sovereigns to roll over their debt at sustainable levels. Macro numbers also seem to be getting worse, not better, with the US being an exception, but even here, we wonder how long the spate of better-than-expected numbers we have been seeing will hold out given the weakness seen globally. As a result, we would not be surprised to see continued selloffs in commodities that will wash away gains that have been painstakingly stitched together over the course of days and weeks, very similar to what we saw take place yesterday. ... Nickel is at $17,940, up $540, and recovering a good deal of yesterday’s decline, but the short-term chart picture still looks negative. There is some support at $17,300 for now, but nothing below that until the mid-$16,000 mark. .... The global nickel market was in supply surplus by 5,600 tons in the first ten months of 2011, the latest bulletin from the International Nickel Study Group showed. In January through to September though, the market was in deficit by 6,400 tons. Latest figures show world primary nickel consumption coming in at 1,307,000 tons in January to October 2011, with global primary nickel output at 1,312,600 tons in early October, the INSG said it expected the nickel market to record a 30,000-tonne surplus this year, compared with a deficit of 30,000 tonnes in 2010. It is forecasting a 70,000-ton surplus for next year. (complete report here)

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • (Dow Jones) China will cut tariffs on 730 imported products in 2012, as part of efforts to boost imports and domestic consumption, the Ministry of Finance said in a statement Thursday. .... According to the statement, the reduced import tariffs take effect Jan. 1 and cover ....nickel, .....
  • (Reuters) Nickel market in 5,600 T surplus in Jan-Oct'11-INSG
  • (MB) Jinchuan cuts nickel prices by 3% as LME nickel prices drop
  • (Interfax) China's steel product output slipped 4.06 percent month-on-month in November to 70.1 million tons on soft domestic demand and elevated iron ore prices, reflecting an ongoing slowdown in the world's number two economy, according to figures released by Shanghai-based Mysteel Information Dec 13.
  • (ATI) Effective with shipments beginning February 1, 2012, a surcharge of $453 per ton ($22.65/cwt) is being added to grain-oriented electrical steel invoices. This surcharge is subject to monthly adjustment.
  • Russia billionaire Prokhorov: I am ready to marry to become president - more
  • CEOs of big companies foresee no pickup in hiring - more
  • U.S. Industrial Outlook: Growth to Outperform Overall GDP Growth - more
  • Freight Shipments Fell 0.2% in October from September - more
  • (China) China's Nov FDI down 9.76% - more

  Nickel Open Interest to Gain From Rebalancing, SocGen Says - Nickel and zinc traded on the London Metal Exchange and wheat traded on the Chicago Board of Trade should benefit the most from the rebalancing of benchmark commodity indexes in January, Societe Generale said. - more

  China HCFeCr Market; Demand Weakness Continues = Major mill's announced price for December dipped below the market level = Market in December continued to weaken following the two previous months, and is unlikely to recover lively atmosphere this month either. - more

  Share of Stainless Steel Imports to Russia Keep Growing - Russia actively increases imports of stainless steel which for the first nine month of 2011, if compared to the equal period of 2012, rose 20.7% to more than 276.3 th. tons. An appraisal given by SpetsStal Association, indicates the share of STS imports has grown up to 64.7%. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Wednesday, December 14

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Sucden's day old nickel chart - (here).
  • Baltic Dry Index - minus 10 to 1,912. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) China Money-Supply Growth at Weakest Pace in Decade Shows Slowdown Risks // China to Impose Dumping Duties on Some U.S. Vehicles Made by GM, Chrysler // China-Based Hacking of 760 Companies Reflects an Undeclared Cyber Cold War // China Affirms Property Curbs Amid ‘Grim’ Outlook // Singh Sees India Climbing to 9% Growth Rate With Market-Opening Measures // India Inflation Slows to Lowest in One Year, Easing Interest-Rate Pressure // Asian Stocks Fall For Second Day as Fed Refrains From Additional Stimulus // Euro Tumult Shows Netherlands Converging With Germany at Expense of France // German Government Bonds Advance on Concern Europe’s Debt Crisis Worsening // Irish Referendum on EU Accord May Become Vote on Keeping Euro, Noonan Says // Italy Sells Debt at Record Yields as Monti Rushes to Get Budget Approved // European Stocks Drop as Fed Refrains From Further Stimulus; Logica Plunges // Bernanke Signals Risks From Europe Crisis Keep Fed Ready for More Easing // Commodities Drop Most in 11 Weeks as Concern Over Debt Crisis Intensifies // Stocks, Euro, Commodities Fall on Concern Europe Struggling to Stem Crisis
  • The Euro is currently trading 1/3 of 1% lower against the US Dollar, and below $3. NYMEX crude is down over 4.2% and trading at $95.90/barrel. Gold is down 2/9% and silver is lower by 5.7%. Base metals ended their session much lower as well, as Euro debt fear spread thru world markets. Indicator charts show nickel slumped early, and fought for much of the session to hold onto the 17,800 tonne support line, but was unable to do so. For the day, Dow Jones reports three month nickel ended the session at $7.89/lb . Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME approved warehouses fell again on Tuesday and now total just over the 89,800 tonne level. Nickel showed some weakness in today's trading, falling thru support early on.
  • We feel the media has the market's reaction to the Fed's 'non-movement' yesterday wrong. They are blaming yesterday's late afternoon fall as a knee jerk reaction to the Fed's unwillingness to hand the markets more financial presents, ie economic stimulus. Maybe we missed something, but the news reports 'before' the meeting that we ssw were talking about how the Fed might back off its promise to keep interest rates down thru 2013 because the economy was picking up better than expected. With that in mind, when Bernanke's bunch started talking about the potential need for more stimulus to combat the possible upcoming slowdown due to the European debt crisis, we feel the market panicked, and once again, began to wonder what the government 'isn't' telling us. We are probably wrong but that is our take on what happened yesterday afternoon. Nickel finally showed some weakness in the face of a commodity sell off today. It fell below support and if it does this again tomorrow, we could see technicals drive the price even lower. Nickel ended down 5.2% on the day, and has seen three consecutive days of price drop.

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • (Dow Jones) The global nickel market was in surplus by 13,000 metric tons in the first ten months of the year, the World Bureau of Metal Statistics said Wednesday.
  • Fed Statement Following December Meeting - more
  • Retail Inventories Flat Ahead of Holiday Season - more
  • Vital Signs: Gas Prices Move Lower - more
  • Who Counts as ‘Rich’? Continued - more
  • Mikhail Prokhorov, the President that will never be - more

  Nickel premiums eye Chinese demand next year - Nickel premiums in Europe could see a recovery early next year say some traders and producers who expect recently eased bank reserve requirements in China to help spur demand for raw materials. - more

  Ferrochrome producer helps bring water to Jericho residents - Borehole equipment donated last week brought Christmas early for the community in Jericho near Brits. - more

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

  • Indicators at 7:10 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.21/lb lower, but recovering at the moment, with other London traded base metals lower as well. The Euro is trading over 1/3 of 1% lower against the US Dollar. NYMEX crude futures are trading over 1-1/2% lower at the moment and at $98.57/barrel. Gold is down over 1/10 of 1% while silver is over 2-1.4% lower. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended lower, with China down 1%. European markets are trading lower this morning, and US futures put the Dow opening slightly lower. Nickel stockpiles fell on Tuesday.
  • LME Morning - Base metals slump further into negative territory as euro struggles - Base metals took another beating during Wednesday morning LME trading, when the market tracked a softening euro on doubts about the ability of the eurozone to emerge from the debt crisis. - more
  • Bloomberg morning - Copper Slumps to Two-Week Low as Fed Refrains From New Stimulus - more

  Reports

  Ed Meir of INTL FC Stone Daily Metals Commentary

  • Copper prices fell for a second straight session on Tuesday to a two-week low, pressured by lingering unease over the European debt crisis, a stronger dollar, and weaker than expected macro data coming out of the US. Sentiment continued to deteriorate late in the US session following the Fed’s policy statement highlighting repercussions from the debt crisis in Europe and its potential impact on growth in the US. The Fed pointed out that "strains in global financial markets continue to pose significant downside risks to the economic outlook” and given its guarded tone, some investors were disappointed not to have seen a more aggressive statement come out, perhaps one signaling that another "QE" program could be in the works. The Fed demurred from providing any such hint, and rightfully so in our view...... Right now, the markets are sharply lower across the board as we are seeing more of the same “macro malaise” at work. Energy prices are down, but still hanging on to most of yesterday’s robust gains, as are gold prices, which have just turned slightly lower. However, base metals have been very weak since the inception of the Chinese session and now closing in on their intraday lows. Most markets are taking their cue from the struggling Euro, which just broke below $1.30 in the last hour after investors were left unimpressed by the poor results of an Italian auction. Reuters reports that 3 billion Euros of five-year Italian debt was sold earlier in the day, and although the offering drew decent demand, it was relatively small and managed to move out at rates close to a Euro-era high of around 6.5%. Germany also sold 4.18 billion Euros of two-year bonds, drawing stronger demand than a previous sale, but here too, the offering was small. ..... Nickel is at $17,837, down $468 and close to support at $17,800. ..... Full report here

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • (Yieh) According to statistics released by the Specialty Steel Industry of North America (SSINA), the US’s imports of stainless steel totaled 606,917 tons in the first nine months of this year, surged by 30.9% in comparison of that in the same period of last year.
  • (Interfax) China's crude steel output fell nine percent in November to touch a 13-month low of 49.88 million tons, hinting at an ongoing slowdown in the world's second largest economy, according to figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) Dec. 12.
  • (MBN) Acerinox starts production at Bahru Stainless in Malaysia
  • (PR) On 20 October 2011, Outokumpu announced plans to streamline its organization in its transition towards sustainable profitability, improved cash flow and building a solid platform for future growth. The employee negotiations initiated in Finland in October have been concluded, resulting in some 200 job reductions. Outokumpu plans additional cost efficiency improvement measures in support functions during 2012 as part of the on-going cost cutting programme of EUR 100 million. Negotiations in other countries are on-going and are expected to be finalised during the first quarter of 2012.
  • ENK is attracting some heavyweight interest - more
  • China Iron Ore Import Prices Down 8% In Nov. - more
  • Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index - pdf here
  • Oryx Stainless Group Plea For Solidarity - pdf here

  Miner offers to buy Areva's Eramet stake -report - Areva has received an offer from a New Caledonian mining group for its 26 percent stake Eramet, according to a French paper, setting up a competition with France's strategic investment fund, which also wants the stake. - more

  (Part 2) South African FeCr Producers To Polarize = Some difficult problems to be solved about the planned ore export restrictions = (v) A report was given recently by McKinsey, a consulting/research company worldwide, to the major South African ferrochrome producers with regard to the possible restrictive measures against chrome ore exports from South Africa. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Tuesday, December 13

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Sucden's day old nickel chart - (here).
  • Baltic Dry Index - minus 8 to 1,922. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) Fitch Sees China Home Slowdown as Officials Hold Planning Session: Economy // China May Resume Approving Nuclear Projects After New Draft Safety Rules // China’s Stocks Drop for Fourth Day on Housing Sales Slump, Europe Outlook // Asian Stocks Fall on Concern Europe Solution Distant, Intel Forecast Cut // Finland Threatens Europe Debt Crisis Rescue Fix as Cabinet Split on Policy // German Investor Confidence Unexpectedly Rises // EU Banks Selling ‘Crown Jewels’ for Cash // Euro Weakens to 11-Month Low Versus Dollar // European Stocks Advance on German Investor Confidence, Spanish Debt Sale // U.S. Retail Sales Probably Rose in November // Fed May Revise Zero-Rate Vow as Bond-Buying Need Fades // Retail Sales in U.S. Climbed Less Than Forecast // Fed Moves Toward Greater Transparency as Congress Pushes, Bernanke Pulls // Stocks, Oil Gain Before Fed Policy Statement; Euro Weakens to 11-Month Low
  • The Euro is trading 8/10 of 1% lower against the US Dollar, after German Chancellor Angela Merkel rejected increasing the size of Europe’s permanent bailout fund. NYMEX crude is up nearly 2.1% and trading at $99.81/barrel. Gold and silver are both lower by just over 6/10 of 1%. Base metals ended their session lower as the Euro traded at an eleven month low. Indicator chart show nickel opened lower, but was trending into positive territory, where it finally succumbed to the diving Euro. For the day, Dow Jones reports three month nickel ended at $8.30/lb . Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME approved warehouses resumed their fall on Monday, and now total just shy of the 90,000 tonne level. While the Global Dow is lower at the moment, the US Dow is trading higher, as it rebounds from yesterday's near sub 12,000 close. Nickel looked strong again today, as cancelled warrants register over the 6% level for a second consecutive day, and nickel trades where it did last Thursday, when the Euro was trading about 3% higher than it is today.

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • U.S. IBD/TIPP economic optimism rises more-than-expected - more
  • Realtors to Revise 2007-2011 Sales Data Lower - more
  • CFOs Less Optimistic About 2012 Growth - more
  • Congress's Phony Insider-Trading Reform - more
  • Italy Works 20% More Hours Than Germany or France - more
  • Our decade from hell will get worse in 2012 - more (is it just us or does this guy 'ever' have anything positive to say?)

  Damstahl: Weak and sluggish markets in Germany and the UK - Market for stainless steel flat products commodities has weakened, whilst the order intake for long products remains unchanged on a satisfactory level. - more

  London Metal Exchange to launch non-ferrous swaps in January 2012 - The London Metal Exchange will introduce financially settled swaps for all non-ferrous contracts January 23, 2012, the LME said Tuesday. - more

  Courtesy AISI - In the week ending December 10, 2011, domestic raw steel production was 1,840,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 74.3 percent. Production was 1,655,000 tons in the week ending December 10, 2010, while the capability utilization then was 68.4 percent. The current week production represents a 11.2 percent increase from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending December 10, 2011 is down 0.9 percent from the previous week ending December 3, 2011 when production was 1,857,000 tons and the rate of capability utilization was 74.9 percent.

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

  • Indicators at 7:10 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.02/lb lower, but trending higher, with other London traded base metals mixed. The Euro is currently trading over 1/10 of 1% higher against the US Dollar. NYMEX crude futures are up 3/4 of 1% and trading at $98.49/barrel. Gold is trading up slightly and silver is unchanged at the moment. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended lower, with China off 2-1/4%. European markets are trading higher this morning, while US futures show Wall Street could open higher as well. Nickel stockpiles fell on Monday.
  • LME Morning - Metals attempt to stabilise after sell-off but remain mired in uncertainty - more
  • Reuters - Copper gains on weak dollar, euro zone fears persist - more

  Reports

  Ed Meir of INTL FC Stone Daily Metals Commentary

  • Synchronized selling was again evident yesterday, as growing doubts about Friday's Euro-plan, (whose many shortcomings we outlined in yesterday's note), coupled with fears about an imminent slowdown in China, combined to hit the markets hard. In individual sectors, metals were pummeled, with copper sinking to a two-week low and triggering a sizable retreat in the rest of the group. In addition, gold, energy, and the Euro all retreated, with the latter crashing to an eight-week low of $1.3164 against the dollar. US stocks also fared poorly-- the Dow Jones Industrial average was off by more than 220 points at one stage before paring its losses slightly by the close. (Intel was the Dow's biggest decliner, falling almost 5% after the company cut its fourth-quarter revenue forecast due to supply shortages of hard disk drives). .... Right now, metals are slightly firmer. Copper is up on the day despite the fact that workers at Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold in Indonesia say that they expect to sign an agreement with the company over the next few days to end a three-month strike. Just as the strike had limited impact in driving prices higher when it was on, its resolution is not exerting much downside pressure either, as given the current state of affairs, copper supply variables seem to have receded in importance vs. ongoing concern about demand. Other markets are quietly mixed; gold is off again and now at 7-week lows, with energy prices modestly higher. The Euro continues to struggle, now barely changed on the day and trading at $1.3190. stocks are expected to open higher following a slightly firmer session in , where equities rose on a better-than-expected German expectations survey put out by ZEW..... In LME news, LCH.Clearnet plans to start swap contracts for eight metals on Jan. 23, the clearing company said in a notice on its website. ..... Nickel is at $18,390, down $60. We still seem to be in a fairly tight trading range; support is around $17,800, with the top side of the range just below $19,000. (FC is experiencing technical difficulties and is unable to send complete report)

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • (Yieh) It’s reported that Illinois based RathGibson announced to raise the base prices of stainless steel pipes by 5%~8% average from next January in response to higher raw material costs.
  • (MBN) Nickel ore price at 17-month low after demand shrinks
  • (CV) Shanxi Taigang Stainless Steel (000825) intends to inject 559 million yuan into subsidiary, Tianjin Taigang Stainless Steel, raising its stake in the Tianjin subsidiary from 50 percent to 65 percent, reports Shanghai Securities News, citing a company filing
  • (Interfax) Baoshan Iron & Steel Co. Ltd. (Baosteel), the listed unit of China's leading steelmaker Baosteel Group, has raised January ex-works prices for certain steel products by between RMB 100 ($15.78) and RMB 200 ($31.57) per ton, the firm announced Dec. 12.
  • (SO) According to the data provided by the Turkish Statistical Institute, in October this year Turkey's stainless flat steel imports fell 28.8 percent compared to the previous month, decreasing to 27,552 metric tons. The value of these imports amounted to $79.7 million, decreasing by 32.4 percent as compared to September this year.
  • Profile: Mikhail Prokhorov, Russian billionaire - more
  • Small Business Confidence Rises for 3rd Consecutive Month Is Hope for the Economy on the Horizon? - more
  • (China) Slice of export pie may shrink - more
  • (China) US bill proposes visas for realty - more

  French strategic fund says wants Areva's Eramet stake - France's strategic investment fund wants to buy the 26 percent stake in mining company Eramet held by state-owned nuclear group Areva , a director of the fund told Reuters on Monday. - more

  Bindura Nickel Corporation Heads for Liquidation - Bindura Nickel Corporation, still sweating to restart production, says "uncertainty" over the country's indigenisation laws have cast doubt over the group's capability to continue operations. - more

  (Part 1) South African FeCr Producers To Polarize = Operational rates will be far lower in the winter-half (April - September) to avoid the quite high power costs = Sustainability of world stainless steel production is undoubtedly based on stable supplies of ferrochrome of the South African producers. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Monday, December 12

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Sucden's day old nickel chart - (here).
  • Baltic Dry Index - plus 8 to 1,930. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) China’s Weakest Export Growth Since 2009 Raises Odds of More Easing by Wen // Russian Billionaire Prokhorov to Challenge Putin in Presidential Election // European Banks Taking Cash From Governments Seen Sparking ‘Vicious Cycle’ // India’s First Industrial Output Drop Since 2009 Sends Rupee Lower: Economy // Asian Stocks Pare U.S. Data-Driven Advance as Moody’s Plans Europe Reviews // Euro Undermined as Draghi Undoes Trichet Rates // Luck May Be Key Ingredient for EU Leaders’ Latest Blueprint to Save Euro // EU Failure on Unanimous Agreement May Consign Top-Rated Bonds to History // Stocks in Europe Retreat on Moody’s Review of Region; ENRC, LSE Lead Drop // U.S. Growth Decouples From Debt as JPMorgan Sees Lower Yield // Forecasters of U.S. Miss by Most in 9 Months // No One Telling Who Took $586B in Fed Swaps // Stocks, Euro, Commodities Fall as Rating Companies Assess European Summit
  • The Euro is getting pounded today, now trading 1-1/3% lower against the US Dollar. NYMEX crude is down 1.3% and trading at $98.12/barrel. Gold is down 2-3/4% and silver is lower by 3-3/4%. Base metals ended the session lower as well, unable to take the pressure of a lower Euro. Indicator charts show nickel opened lower, but as the Euro sank further, nickel actually recovered somewhat. For the day, Dow Jones reports three month nickel ended at $8.37/lb . Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME warehouses rose for the first time in four session and only the third time this month. Totals now exceed 90,300 tonnes. Nickel continues to perform strongly. While copper ended down 2-3/4% today, nickel didn't even drop a full point. The continuing saga of the Norilsk Nickel circus took a new twist today, when a former disgraced owner, and billionaire bad boy Mikhail Prokhorov, announced he would run for the presidency of Russia against Vladimir Putin. Should be interesting.

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • Number of the Week: Finance’s Share of Economy Continues to Grow - more
  • Difficulties in Defining ‘Rich’: Is It $150,000 a Year? - more
  • Searching for Clues of European Woes in U.S. Trade Data - more
  • Consumers in the mood to splurge, electronics leads gains - more

   Billionaire Prokhorov to Challenge Putin for Russian Presidency - Billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov said he’ll run for president against Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in March elections after the biggest anti-government demonstrations in a decade emboldened Russia’s opposition. - more

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

  • Indicators at 7:05 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.10/lb lower, with other London traded base metals lower as well. The Euro is trading nearly 9/10 of 1% lower against the US Dollar. NYMEX crude futures are down 1% and trading at $98.42/barrel. Gold is down over 1/8% and silver is off over 2.9%. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended lower, with China down 1%. European markets are trading lower this morning, and US futures are lower as well.
  • Bloomberg morning - Copper Drops on Rising China Stockpiles; Europe Crisis Concern - more
  • LME Morning - Metals retreat as eurozone jitters return to spook sentiment - more

  Reports

  • Robry Monday Morning Economic Assessment - more
  • SMM Nickel Price Forecast (Dec. 12-16) - more
  • Weekly Scoreboard - pdf here
  • US Imports of Stainless Steel Mill Products - more
  • Reuters Inside Metals - pdf here
  • Daily Market Report - pdf here
  • Commodities Report - pdf here
  • Commodities Daily - pdf here
  • Metals Insight - pdf here

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • (Reuters) China's production .... nickel dropped to 26,925 tonnes in November after posting a monthly record of 30,248 tonnes in October. "The output fall was mainly because of lower production of nickel pig iron," Fan Runze, analyst at state-backed research firm Antaike, said. He added that about a half of NPI producers in China had cut or shut production because of low prices and startups had been delayed to next year.
  • Japan’s Fastener Industry Part of “Great Relocation” - more
  • China Steel Output Drops as Property Sector Remains Weak  - more
  • (China) European gloom causes credit squeeze - more

  Ed Meir of INTL FC Stone Daily Metals Commentary

  • Despite the lack of unanimity that characterized the European agreement out Friday, markets held their ground or moved slightly higher mainly because investors were relieved that something was agreed to, especially in light of German misgivings expressed earlier in the week about whether a deal would even be struck. However, although base metals moved higher on Friday, as did energy markets, key “response” markets did not impress us -- European bonds ended the day mostly flat on Friday, while the Euro did not do much of anything either, closing pretty much unchanged.  ..... There are wide-spread losses seen in a host of other commodity markets as well. Energy markets are off about $1/brl, gold is down by about $19/ounce, while base metals are faring the worst in light of soft trade numbers coming out of China over the weekend. In this respect, we had reports that export growth slowed to its weakest pace since 2009, rising by 13.8% in November from a year earlier. Exports to the EU, China’s biggest market, rose 5% from a year earlier, down sharply from the 25% readings seen earlier over the summer months. Import growth slowed to 22.1% year-over-year, bringing the overall trade surplus to $14.5 billion from $17 billion recorded last month.  .... Nickel is at $18,255, down $345 and holding up fairly well for the time being. There is good support at $18,900 on a two-day closing basis. (pdf report not sent with original email)

  Japan FeCr Consumption Review; Jan. - Sep. 2011 = Fine until September; but overcast from Q4 due to the curtailment, then? = Review of ferrochrome consumption in Japan during the first nine months of 2011, details of which are as per the table attached hereto shows that production of crude special steel during the period was 17.99 million tons, down 0.8% year-on-year, while production of stainless steel in the same period was 2.274 million tons, down 1.5% year-on-year. - more

  Nihao’s nickel smelting plant up in 2 years - Nihao Mineral Resources Corp. plans to have a nickel smelting plant up and running in two years. - more

  • The truth about mining - Mining in the province of Palawan is a divisive issue. Each side – both pro-mining and anti-mining – is trying to win over supporters from among the residents of the province. - more

  Baosteel raises some main steel product prices for Jan - China's Baoshan Iron & Steel said on Monday it would raise prices for some main steel products for January bookings, signalling that steel demand may improve at the start of 2012. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Friday, December 9

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Sucden's day old nickel chart - (here).
  • Baltic Dry Index - plus 40 to 1,922. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) China Passenger-Car Sales Rise at Slowest Pace in 6 Months as Demand Wanes // China Inflation Cooling to 4.2% May Presage More Monetary Easing: Economy // China’s Politburo Affirms ‘Prudent’ Monetary Policy Next Year, Xinhua Says // IMF Says Crisis May Force HK to Back Banks // Gold Traders Most Bullish in Month on Debt Crisis: Commodities // Japan’s Economy Expands Less Than Initial Estimate as Investment Declines // Euro Leaders Agree Budget Rigor, Leave Next Step to ECB // EU Leaders Drop Demands for Investor Write-Offs // EU Loans to IMF May Open Door to Funds From Brazil, China // Biggest French Banks’ Ratings Cut by Moody’s // Texas Instruments Sees Sales Below Estimates // U.S. Consumer Sentiment Up, Beats Forecast // Stocks Rise on Euro Debt Plan, U.S. Confidence
  • The Euro is currently trading over 2/10 of 1% higher against the US Dollar. NYMEX crude is up over 1/10 of 1% and trading at $98.46/barrel. Gold is up just shy of 1/2 of 1% and silver is higher by 1-2/3%. Base metals closed higher. Indicator charts show nickel opened lower, rose on news of an EU agreement, then stalled as if to wait and see how US markets would take the news. When US markets opened broadly higher, nickel began another climb. For the day, Dow Jones reports three month nickel ended the day and week at $8.44/lb . Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME warehouse fell for a third consecutive session and now total just over the 90,000 tonne level. So far this month nickel has only recorded gains on two of the seven reporting days. European leaders were unable to reach the treaty agreement they were seeking, but apparently the agreement they hashed out has markets feeling somewhat better today. European markets ended higher and the US Dow is up over 150 points at the moment. Nickel looked strong for another trading session, and going into next week.
  • Have a safe and restful weekend.

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • (Dow Jones) U.S. nickel exports fell 11.7% in October from the previous month, but was up 1.6% from the previous year, the Commerce Department reported Friday.
  • (Dow Jones) U.S. nickel imports rose 3.1% in October from last month, and/but was up 4.1% from the previous year, the Commerce Department reported Friday. 
  • China data point to cooling, likely rate cuts - more
  • Bernanke's Obfuscation continues: The Fed's $29 TRILLION Bail-out of Wall Street - more
  • Unrealized Assumptions Could Alter 2012 Forecasts - more
  • Wholesale Inventories Rose 1.6% in October - more
  • Draghi Statement: ECB Announces New Measures in Addition to Rate Cut - more
  • Vital Signs: Student, Car Loans Lead Rise in Borrowing - more

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

  • Indicators at 7:00 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.03/lb higher, with other London traded base metals slightly higher as well. The Euro is helping commodity trading this morning, up over 3/10 of 1% against the US Dollar. NYMEX crude futures are up over 1/10 of 1% and trading at $98.48/barrel. Gold is up 6/10 of 1% and silver is up 3/4 of 1%. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended lower, with China down over 8/10 of 1%. European markets are trading higher this morning, and US futures are higher as well. Nickel stockpiles fell on Thursday. The Europeans failed to get the trade agreement they were hoping for but the changes they have made have given traders some confidence. .... for now.
  • LME Morning - Base metals flat in light volumes, copper tracks euro - more
  • Bloomberg - Copper Extends Weekly Fall as China Industrial Output Slows - more

  Reports

  Ed Meir of INTL FC Stone Daily Metals Commentary

  • Posted when received

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • (Interfax) Construction has started on China's third stainless steel exchange in Sichuan Province's Leshan City, state media reported Dec. 8.
  • (SKRIN) Russia stainless steel imports rose 16.2% in October
  • (FAN) Slump in stainless steel industry is looming up, much closer. Major mills are operating at less than 70% of their capacity.
  • CR Index: Cheery prospect for holiday sales - more
  • 2012 Economic Outlook: Risks Rising from European Crisis - more
  • China's Nov CPI up 4.2%, PPI up 2.7% - more

  China Nov copper output falls 4.5 pct on month - China's production of most base metals fell in November due to reduced demand and low domestic prices, with refined copper hitting its lowest level in six months. - more

  Metal production rises 15%; sales of gold drop 76% in Q3 - The value of the country’s metal production rose 15% in the nine months to September from the previous year amid higher metal prices in the world market. - more

  Philippine mining industry: Boon or bane? - On Thursday, mining industry leaders and anti-mining groups including the Save Palawan Movement faced off as the Senate Committees on Agriculture and Food, and Environment and Natural Resources opened an inquiry to discuss legislation that will affect the mining industry. - more

  Concerns raised about Ring of Fire foreign ownership - At a Parliament study hearing on northern resources Wednesday, Nickel Belt MP Claude Gravelle used the appearance of a Northeastern Ontario group to raise the “good and bad” of foreign ownership and takeovers of mining companies and the giant chromite Ring of Fire project. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Thursday, December 8

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Sucden's day old nickel chart - (here).
  • Baltic Dry Index - plus 33 to 1,882. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) Poll: Investors Predict China Bank Crisis // Hong Kong to Loosen Grip on Property if Prices Extend Decline, Tsang Says // Vale Negotiating Cuts in Iron-Ore Prices With China Steel, ArcelorMittal // U.S. Citizen Jailed for 2 1/2 Years for Insulting Thailand’s King Bhumibol // Euro Region Central Banks May Agree on $201 Billion of Loans Through IMF // BOE Maintains QE Amid Europe’s Debt Crisis // Stocks in Europe Pare Gains After ECB Cuts Benchmark Interest Rate to 1% // Euro Slides After Draghi Says Didn’t Signal More Bond Purchases; Yen Gains // Stocks, Euro, Italian Bonds Retreat as ECB Damps Debt-Buying Speculation // Falling U.S. Mortgage Debt Erodes Consumer Spending as Wealth Effect Fades // Costco First-Quarter Profit Trails Estimates // U.S. Mortgage Debt Falls to Five-Year Low as Consumer Wealth Effect Fades // Household Wealth in U.S. Falls for Second Straight Quarter // Jobless Claims in U.S. at Lowest in Nine Months
  • The Euro is now trading nearly 6/10 of 1% lower against the US Dollar. NYMEX crude is down 1.7% and trading at $98.79/barrel. Gold is down over 2% and silver is off over 3.1%. If it weren't for one particular metal, precious and base metals trading would have been solidly lower today. Except for nickel. Indicator charts show nickel opened higher, climbed early, fell over $500/ tonne, then recovered some. For the day, Dow Jones reports three month nickel closed at $8.30/lb . Stockpiles of nickel fell for a second consecutive day and now total just under the 90,350 tonne level. After four days of losses and two off gains so far this month, stockpiles have so far fallen over 500 tonnes this month. They do however, remain about 7000 tonnes higher than their recent low point in November. Nickel trading continues to look strong, even on days like yesterday, when it falters. While the rest of the London traded base metals fell back on a weaker Euro, nickel took a hit, but then regained itself and finished higher. The European summit is upon us and the US market is sending a strong signal that it wants to be impressed. The ECB started things off today by cutting interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point and stating it would back banks with unlimited cash for the next three years, but then European Central Bank President Mario Draghi switched from Santa to the Grinch when he advised reporters the ECB would not boost its purchases of the debt of European nations. On this news the Euro fell, and world equity markets took a dive. This caused metals, which had been for the most part, trading quietly, to fall, which helped commodity markets to slump. Of the base metals, only nickel, recovered. The Dow is currently down 175 points and showing no signs of stopping its retreat yet. Nickel appears to be trading strictly on technicals, and if it remains that way for the foreseeable future, then the uptrend channel remains undamaged.

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • Dr. Copper Flashes a Warning - more
  • U.S. Consumers Take on More Debt - more
  • Vital Signs: Demand for Temp Help Cools - more
  • Bloomberg News Responds to Bernanke Criticism of U.S. Bank-Rescue Coverage - more
  • Winning the European Confidence Game - more
  • The Long Shadow of German Hyperinflation: Echoes - more

  Riozim faces possible liquidation - RIOZIM faces the threat of liquidation after its shareholders rejected the proposed rights issue and debt equity swap at an extraordinary meeting on Monday. - more

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

  • Indicators at 7:00 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.11/lb higher, with other London traded base metals mostly lower, but very quiet. The Euro is presently trading just slightly lower against the US Dollar. NYMEX crude futures are up nearly 4/10 of 1% and trading at $100.88/barrel. Gold is up only slightly, while silver is  higher by over 8/10 of 1%. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended lower, with China off over 1/10 of 1%. European markets are trading higher this morning and US futures are waiting for some news to give ti a direction. Nickel inventories fell again yesterday.
  • LME Morning - Base metals mostly tick up, volumes light and prices capped by impending ECB announcement - more
  • Reuters - Copper edges higher; EU summit, ECB rate cut eyed - more

  Reports

  Ed Meir of INTL FC Stone Daily Metals Commentary

  • Copper fell very slightly for a second straight day on Wednesday, leading the rest of the group lower as investors continue to sift through the tea leaves in order to try and get a handle on what European leaders could possibly concoct as they start their meetings in Brussels today. At this stage, one can make the case that the leaders themselves do not exactly know either; on Wednesday, for example, the French were arguing that the summit would generate a "powerful" program, a view echoed by US Treasury Geithner who stated that he was very encouraged the Europeans were on the right track. However, later in the day, the Germans expressed serious misgivings, with one senior official saying that he was much less optimistic than was the case a week ago. His remarks caused a modest rollback in some of the earlier gains we saw in a number of markets, leaving investors unsure of exactly what will unfold over the next 48 hours. .... Despite the cloudy picture, we suspect that the Europeans will come together and provide the markets with “something” in the days ahead. Failure is not an option at this stage, as it could lead to a serious market sell-off and a possible run on the Euro and in sovereign debt markets. We therefore continue to believe that the markets will likely work higher over the next 48 hours in anticipation of an agreement particularly if the ECB is drawn in as an interim confidence-building partner at least until the stabilization fund is up and running. However, the upside will likely lose momentum heading into the latter part of next week as focus shifts to the implementation and possible backtracking by some on key parts of the accord. ..... Right now, metals are modestly higher in very quiet trading. Energy prices are up, and US equities are called to open slightly higher as well following mixed showing's in Europe and Asia. Chinese stocks continue to suffer, with the leading index there hitting a one-year low on increased talk of a growing slowdown. Recent evidence of this has come our way from manufacturing data showing the weakest performance in more than two years, alongside fears of an impending slump in exports when that data is released on Saturday. In fact, a wide-ranging Bloomberg poll out today shows that a plurality of investors (some 46%) describe the Chinese economy as “deteriorating” -- up from 38% in September. Most are also looking at much lower growth rates going forward compared to the projections coming out of Wall Street and key lending institutions like the IMF. A majority is also expecting a major banking crisis over the next five years as well, but we suspect investors will want to focus on one crisis at a time, with Europe providing more than its fair share of heart burn for now. .... Nickel is at $18,300, up $250; we look for the next upside target to be around $18,900. (complete report here)

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • (Yieh) According to statistics, Japan exported 100,295 tons of stainless steel in October, down by 6.53% in comparison of 107,297 tons in September and dropped by 3.96% from 104,435 tons in last October.
  • (Interfax) China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) on Dec. 7 released further details of the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) for the iron and steel sector that focus on the downstream areas of the industry. Steelmakers will be encouraged to establish mills abroad and conduct overseas mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in another move intended to reduce the country's dependence on iron ore imports.
  • Severstal sees improved Q1 after year-end slip - more
  • (China) Difficult year ahead for export companies - more

  Nickel Surplus to Soar - The global market for nickel may swing to a surplus this year and see a greater glut next year as supply outpaces demand, according to Eramet SA, operator of the world's largest ferronickel smelter. - more

  BHP job changes, CEO comments, fan talk of asset sales - Management changes at BHP Billiton and comments by CEO Marius Kloppers have fanned speculation the world's biggest miner will try to sell less profitable assets to better exploit its crown jewels -- iron ore, coal, copper, gas and potash. - more

  • BHP to stick with aluminium and nickel … and the CEO - BHP BILLITON has declared that its capital investment boom will not be extended to its struggling aluminium and nickel operations in Western Australia, southern Africa and Latin America. - more

  Norilsk Nickel to spend $10.9 bln on resource base growth by 2025 - Russia's largest nickel maker Norilsk Nickel plans to spend $10.9 billion on developing its mineral resource base in the country under its long-term strategy to 2025, Norilsk said on Thursday. - more

  Palawan tribes go cyber to keep out nickel miner - When big global mining companies set their sights on the Philippine island of Palawan, one of the world's remaining ecological hotspots and home to many traditional tribes, little did they suspect their China-backed, billion-dollar extraction plans would be met by social media-fueled resistance. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Wednesday, December 7

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Sucden's day old nickel chart - (here).
  • Baltic Dry Index - plus 1 to 1,849. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) China Sees Growing Challenges as Declining Demand Weakens Exports: Economy // Cesium in Baby Milk Powder Shows Lingering Threat of Radiation in Japan // China’s Stocks Climb From Six-Week Low on Easing Europe Debt Speculation // New Zealand May Join Asia Rate Holdouts as Europe Spurs Australian Easing // China’s Flight-Canceling Smog Lifts as Cold Front Clears Beijing Pollution // Australia’s Economy Expands More Than Forecast on Consumers, Mining Growth // Germany Won’t Agree to Combine Euro Rescue Funds, Government Official Says // UniCredit to Reduce European Offices by Half as Italian Bank Slashes Costs // India Suspends Plan to Allow Foreign Retailers
  • India Halts Wal-Mart Entry Amid Protests // German Industrial Output Rose in October // Libyan Leaders Impose Lockdown in Tripoli // ECB to Consider More Measures to Stimulate Bank Lending // European Stocks Decline After Germany Rejects Combining Euro Bailout Funds // Global Poll Predicts U.S. Economy Rebounding // Citigroup to Cut 4,500 Jobs on Slumping Revenue // Tyson to Gain as 15-Year Low Hen Flock Signals Costly Chicken: Commodities // Tax Inflow Suggests U.S. Consumer Lift // U.S. Stocks Pare Losses as Banks Offset Europe
  • The Euro reversed itself and is now trading over 1/10 of 1% higher against the Euro. NYMEX crude is also trading slightly higher and at $101.34/barrel. Gold is up 1/2 of 1% while silver is down 1/2 of 1%. Base metals ended the session mostly lower and for the most part, quietly. Indicator charts show nickel fell with the Euro early, but was unable to catch any positive momentum when the Euro gained. For the day, Dow Jones reports three month nickel closed at $8.19/lb . Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME approved warehouses fell nearly as much as they gained the day prior and now total just over the 90,500 tonne level. Although down for a second day, nickel appears to be holding its own. With very little else to go on and the market in a n apparent holding pattern until the 'all important' European meetings later this week (how many times have we heard that), nickel seems to be doing little more than taking its cue from the Euro. Couple of interesting tidbits out there for our industry today. Xstrata said yesterday it hopes to double its nickel production by 2017, and BHP hinted today it might be willing to get out of the nickel business for the right price. Sends a rather confusing signal to the nickel market.

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • (TA) BHP Billiton CEO Marius Kloppers has flagged the potential sale of the company's lacklustre aluminium and nickel business.
  • Risk of minerals, metals scarcity seen set to rise significantly: PwC - more
  • Food Stamp Use on the Rise - more
  • Fed Shoots Back in Defense of Crisis Lending - more
  • Vital Signs: Slowing Service-Sector Growth - more

  BHP cuts into metals - BHP Billiton says its capital investment boom will not be extended to its struggling aluminium and nickel operations in Western Australia, southern Africa and Latin America. - more

  EU Steel Price Rises Expected in Q1/2012 - MEPS (International) Ltd predicts that prices for carbon steel products will increase early next year. Customers’ stocks have been dwindling in recent months as buyers have resisted purchasing significant volumes in the current economic climate. - more

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

  • Indicators at 7:00 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.03/lb higher, with other London traded base metals quietly higher as well. Nickel is currently trading off earlier highs. The Euro is trading nearly 2/10 of 1% lower against the US Dollar. NYMEX crude futures are down nearly 3/10 of 1% and trading at $101.00/barrel. Gold is down over 4/10 of 1% while silver is down 1-2/3%. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended higher, with China up nearly 1/2 of 1%. European markets are trading slightly lower at the moment, and US futures are higher for now. Nickel stockpiles fell yesterday.
  • LME Morning - Base metals continue to drift, volatility expected towards latter half of week - more
  • Reuters - Copper up on EU summit, ECB interest rate cut hopes - more

  Reports

  Ed Meir of INTL FC Stone Daily Metals Commentary

  • Metals retreated modestly on Tuesday in very quiet trading, as Monday’s Standard and Poor's warning of a likely debt downgrade for Eurozone countries continued to weigh on the complex. Copper finished lower for the first time in three days, shedding $105 on the day. Volume was on the light side, with a little more than 40,000 lots trading on COMEX, about 30% less than the usual average. Other markets finished modestly higher, with the dollar, energy, and US equities all up for the day. The subdued tone is continuing today. Metals are slightly lower as of this writing, with energy prices more or less flat. The Euro is trading at $1.3380, down slightly, while US stocks are expected to open higher on the back of a firmer tone seen out of Europe. All in all, we are in a holding pattern ahead of the European leadership summit meeting that will take place on Thursday and Friday. The ECB has its policy meeting on Thursday as well, and is widely expected to cut interest rates in the face of slowing growth; most economists expect the bank to cut rates by 25 basis points, with a minority looking for a 50 basis point move.  ....  Reports out of Brazil are also taking a turn for the worst, proving that no country can shield itself from the growing global slow-down no matter how impressive its prior track record has been. In this regard, it was reported that Brazil’s GDP grew a scant 2.1% in the third quarter compared with a year earlier, its lowest reading since the third quarter of 2009. The country’s economy is expected to see annual growth in 2011 of just 3%, increasing to 3.2% next year. Things do not look that inspiring politically either, with a sixth cabinet minister resigning this week amid a growing corruption scandal.  .... None of this makes a particularly favorable case for commodities over the short-term. However, macro prospects are clearly taking a back seat for the moment, as investors wait to see what happens with the upcoming European meetings. We suspect that we could be in for another substantial upside move after the leadership meeting wraps up, as the usual "feel-good" reaction will likely set in following an ebullient communiqué. However, the glow may fade going into the latter part of next week, as investors focus on the implementation phase -- always the sticky part for the Europeans, typified by the fact that we are almost 2 years into this crisis, with hardly much to show for it. ..... Nickel is at $18,291, down $134, but looking better on the charts, as the downturn that has been in place since mid-October seems to have been taken out, as has $18,100 resistance. We look for the next upside target to be $18,900 . ..... The global market for nickel may swing to a surplus this year and next, this according to Eramet. The company projects that supply may outstrip demand by some 3,300 metric tons this year and by about 48,900 tons next year on a real-consumption basis, compared with a deficit of 46,200 tons last year. Real consumption of primary nickel in China should advance by about 6.2% next year, with stainless-steel output expected to grow by 8% to 14 million tons, down from 16% this year. Global stainless-steel production should climb by 3.4% to 33.4 million tons in 2012. * Xstrata will double its nickel production to almost 200,000 tons of nickel and ferro-nickel by 2017, Xstrata Nickel CEO Ian Pearce told an investor seminar this week. - full report here

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • (Yieh) It’s reported that the prices of 304 grade cold rolled (CR) stainless steel sheet softened in Europe due to buyers’ cut in inventory. At present, the transaction prices have dropped to €1,030~€1,080/ton from €1,050~€1,100/ton in November.
  • (Interfax) Baoshan Iron & Steel Co. Ltd. (Baosteel), the listed unit of state-owned Baosteel Group, suspended its shares from trading on the Shanghai Stock Exchange Dec. 6 in preparation for a major restructuring after a poor performance this year from its stainless and special steel businesses.
  • (LGMI) Beijing Times quoted the China Iron and Steel Association said twenty five out of a total of 77 large and medium-sized steelmakers incurred total losses of CNY 2.13 billion in October while the average profit margin of the steel industry fell to 0.47% on high iron ore prices and falling steel prices.
  • Workers strike at ArcelorMittal European sites - more
  • Smelter director in Sudbury one of Canada's most powerful women - more
  • Anglo American names new Iron Ore Brazil boss - more
  • China's trade growth shores up world economy - more
  • La Niña continues across the Pacific Basin - more

  Metals Outlook 2012 - Iron ore is now one of Australia’s top earners, and despite global economic uncertainty its good fortunes look set to continue. - more

  Shipping chromite to China 'a non-starter,' MPP says - Less than a month ago, Nickel Belt MPP France Gélinas attended an open house in Capreol hosted by Cliffs Natural Resources. - more

  Key facts and figures on Philippine mining - The Philippines wants to craft a new mining policy as it seeks to address thorny issues facing an industry with a $1 trillion potential but is hampered by inconsistent investment and exploration policies and delays in the review of mining permits. - more

  Nickel Study: Turnagain mine to cost $1.3-B without refinery - Hard Creek Nickel of Vancouver has updated the preliminary economic assessment for its Turnagain nickel project, dropping the inclusion of a nickel refinery. - more

  Norilsk: repo averted need for gov't OK on buyback- Russian polar miner OAO Norilsk Nickel said Wednesday it has used the repurchase agreements with banks to avoid the need to get the Russian government's approval for its $4.5-billion share buyback. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Tuesday, December 6

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Sucden's day old nickel chart - (here).
  • Baltic Dry Index - minus 8 to 1,848. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) GM Sales in China Accelerate as Demand Shrinks for Ford, Honda // Chinese General Heads to India for Talks After Border Setback in Kashmir // Economy Avoiding ‘Death Spiral’ Increases Bullish Fund Wagers: Commodities // China Stocks Slump to Lowest in 6 Weeks on Slowing Growth, Europe Concerns // Bank of Japan’s Dollar-Loan Demand Surges 25 Times as Borrowing Costs Cut // European Retreat Squeezes Asia Trade Finance as ADB Sees Loan Demand Climb // Schaeuble Says S&P Warning ‘Best Encouragement’ for Euro Leaders // S&P Jumps Into Politics Again With EU Outlook Warning // German Bonds Decline After S&P Warning on Euro Ratings // European Stocks Drop as S&P Puts 15 Euro-Area Nations on Review // Fed Said to Use ‘Dollar Rolls’ in Mortgage-Bond Program Shift // Birinyi Says Buy Iconic Brands to Beat Market // Drop in U.S. Unemployment Rate Early Sign of Coming Labor Shift: Economy // New York Fed Said to Employ ‘Dollar Rolls’ in Mortgage-Bond Program Shift
  • The Euro continues to trade just slightly lower against the US Dollar. NYMEX crude is trading slightly lower as well, and at $100.94/barrel. Gold is trading slightly higher, while silver is up 1-1/3%. Base metals ended the session mostly lower. INdicator charts show nickel opened lower on the S & P ratings warning, and did very little all day until Germany announced factory orders bounced 5.2% in October from the previous month, and nickel jumped. For the day, Dow Jones reports three month nickel closed at $8.35/lb , down $.04 from yesterday's close. Stockpiles of nickel store din LME approved warehouses bounced higher yesterday, and now total just over 91,000 tonnes for the first time since mid October. Markets are uneasy today after Standard & Poor’s said it might cut the sovereign credit rating of 15 euro-zone nations late yesterday. While down today, nickel still looks strong.

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • Gauging Holiday Sales’ Impact on GDP Is Tricky - more
  • OECD Suggests Raising Taxes to Combat Inequality - more
  • “Flip This House”: Investor Speculation and the Housing Bubble - more
  • Gasoline: The new big U.S. export - more
  • Vermont, New Hampshire top list of healthiest states - more

  LME upgrades electronic trading platform - The world's premier base metal market and one of the most prominent commodity marketplaces, the London Metal Exchange (LME), has gone live with a new version of the electronic trading platform LMESelect. - more

  Nickel company sees P1-B income - Marcventures Holdings Inc. whose operating unit Marcventures Mining and Development Corporation signed a sales contract with Dunfeng International (Philippines) Inc. for the supply of nickel laterite ore, expects its net income to hit almost P1 billion in 2012, about 150 percent over its forecast profit of P384 million this year, as it enters its first full year of production. - more

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

  • Indicators at 7:05 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.16/lb lower, with other London traded base metals lower as well. The Euro is trading slightly lower against the US Dollar this morning. NYMEX crude futures are up over 1/10 of 1% and trading at $101.14/barrel. Gold is down 3/10 of 1% and silver is off 8/10 of 1%. In overnight trading Asian markets ended lower, with China down 1/5 of 1%. European markets are trading quietly lower this morning and US futures are down just slightly at the moment. Nickel inventories jumped on Monday.
  • LME Morning - Base metals drift lower, further consolidation expected in PM sessions - more
  • Reuters - Copper falls on firm dollar, S&P warning - more

  Reports

  Ed Meir of INTL FC Stone Daily Metals Commentary

  • Metals posted two days of solid gains both on Friday and on Monday, as sentiment turned more positive ahead of the key December 9th European leadership summit. The most dramatic gain came from copper, which managed to poke above the $8,000 mark at one point on Friday. A number of other markets were also fairly buoyant for much of last week in the aftermath of last week’s moves made by six central banks to both increase multi-currency swap lines, while decreasing their costs. Positive labor data from the US on Friday and signs that China's monetary policy has shifted into an easier mode in the wake of a 50 basis point reserve requirement cut, also helped the general advance. We are seeing a wholly different tone to the markets right now after reports surfaced late in the day on Monday that S&P may move to downgrade the debt of several European countries. Shortly after 4pm yesterday, S&P indeed did confirm that it placed 15 out of 17 Eurozone members on review. The agency said that “continuing disagreements among European policy makers on how to tackle” the region’s debt crisis prompted it to move and that “The upcoming European summit provides an opportunity for policy makers to break the pattern of what we consider to have been defensive and piecemeal measures to date, overcome individual national interests and preferences, and advance a credible response to the crisis that would go far towards restoring investor confidence. Policy makers appear to have acted only in response to mounting market pressures,” S&P added, declining to comment beyond the statement. .... Right now, metals are weaker across the board, with copper giving up most of the gains of the last two days and now trading around $7820. In other markets, energy prices are flat on continued Iranian tensions after opening lower earlier in the day. The Euro has come back after selling of to $1.3330 earlier in the day, and is now at $1.3410 on reports that German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy said that they “took note” of the move by S&P, while saying that they would “reinforce their conviction” for closer fiscal union in the European Union. Sentiment is also being helped slightly by news (out Monday) that Italy had unveiled a 30-billion-euro package of austerity steps, while Ireland detailed 2.2 billion Euros of further cuts. In the European debt market, bond yields rose for most paper, but top-rated German and French bonds did somewhat better than the debt of peripheral countries. US stocks are called to open slightly higher following uneventful trading in Europe and Asia. ..... Nickel is at $18,145, down $360, with another close above resistance at $18,100 today confirming a modest upside breakout is in place. - complete report here

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • (PR) Effective with shipments on Monday, January 2, 2012 North American Stainless is increasing prices by 5 % for all wire rod grades. All applicable surcharges will remain in effect as outlined on our company website. This increase is necessary to support further investment in our business.
  • (WSJ) Market Focus: Beleaguered Nickel Loses Its Currency - subscription to WSJ required - more
  • (Interfax) Stated-owned Shougang Group has secured a 40 percent stake in a steelmaking and iron ore joint venture (JV) in Malaysia with leading local steel producer Hiap Teck Venture Berhad, a Shougang investor relations representative confirmed Dec. 6.
  • China Steel, Vale agree 23 pct iron ore price cut-source - more
  • Swiss town cuts taxes after Glencore CEO windfall - more
  • (China) Govt looks to bring in more imports, keep exports stable - more

  Nickel Price Bottoming Out ? /Inquiries Of Cold Stainless Upsurging - This week, the LME nickel price reached $7.60 per pound which recorded the lowest price same as the level on December 15, 2009 when the Lehman's shock happened in that year. - more

  Nickel Market in a State of Rapid Change - What a difference a quarter makes. Back in September we wrote a piece entitled “The Role of Nickel Pig Iron in Refined Nickel Demand and Stainless Production Costs,” exploring the role of nickel pig iron (NPI) in the growth of Chinese stainless production. - more

  Japan Imported Ferroalloys Market Report; November 30, 2011 = Hard days ahead for stainless steel industry; currently in operation at below 70% of capacity = Market outlook in Japan of the imported ferroalloys as of November 30, 2011 is as follows: - more

  Courtesy AISI - In the week ending December 3, 2011, domestic raw steel production was 1,857,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 74.9 percent. Production was 1,651,000 tons in the week ending December 3, 2010, while the capability utilization then was 68.3 percent. The current week production represents a 12.5 percent increase from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending December 3, 2011 is up 2.3 percent from the previous week ending November 26, 2011 when production was 1,815,000 tons and the rate of capability utilization was 73.3 percent.

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Monday, December 5

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Sucden's day old nickel chart - (here).
  • Baltic Dry Index - minus 10 to 1,856. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) Emerging-Market Stocks Advance for a Sixth Day as Italy Plans Budget Cuts // China’s Stocks Decline, Extending Fourth Weekly Loss, on Property Concerns // Putin’s Hold on Russian Parliament Weakens as Opposition Parties Advance // Builders Shrink ‘Great Australian Dream’ as Priciest Home Market Falters // India Signals Readiness to Defend Slumping Rupee as Growth Slows: Economy // Economy Avoiding ‘Death Spiral’ Boosting Bullish Fund Wagers: Commodities // U.K. Growth Outlook Cut on Manufacturing // Merkel Heads to Paris as EU Seeks Debt Strategy // Italian Bonds Gain Most in Four Months on Austerity Plan; Bunds Decline // Italian Shoppers in Worst Christmas Since WWII // Euro Advances as France, Germany Call for Updated Regional Policy Treaty // European Stocks Climb as Italy Seeks to Cut Debt; UniCredit, Intesa Gain // Treasury Welcomes Bond Losses With U.S. Seeking $1 Trillion // U.S. Exports Led by Caterpillar May Rise in 2012 // ISM Services Expands at Slower Pace // U.S. Stocks Rise as Banks Gain on Europe’s Moves to Fight Crisis
  • The Euro is now trading just shy of 1/2 of 1% higher against the US Dollar, and off earlier highs. NYMEX crude is trading 1% higher and at $101.97/barrel. Gold is down 2/3 of 1% and silver is off more than 1/2 of 1%. Base metals ended the session mostly higher, with nickle the clear winner for a second consecutive session. Indicator charts show that while most of the base metals lagged early, nickel traded in a narrow climbing trend for most of the session. For the day, Dow Jones reports three month nickle closed at $8.38/lb . That is its highest close in nearly a month. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME approved warehouses slipped for a second consecutive day on Friday and now total just under 90,500 tonnes. Nothing changed in Europe over the weekend, but traders like to hear those who have the ability to really change things, acknowledge that something drastic needs to be done. And Germany and France have been doing just that in recent days. While the long term prospects for nickel do not look exactly encouraging, it has seen the biggest bounce over the last two LME trading sessions, rebounding nearly $.80/lb. Only time will tell if this sudden reversal is sustainable and something more than a dead cat bounce.

  Reports

  • Robry Monday Morning Economic Assessment - more

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • S&P500: Lots of Action, But No Progress - more
  • Factory orders fall 0.4% in October - more
  • Number of the Week: The Economics of Obesity - more
  • Did Economy Create Nearly 500,000 Jobs in November? - more
  • Why Did the Unemployment Rate Drop? - more
  • American Citizens on U.S. Soil May be Indefinitely Detained, Sent to Guantanamo or Assassinated - more
  • Did Black Friday save the season? Beware the retail hype. - more
  • Credit card use is on the rise - more

  Commodities at early stage of "super cycle" - The global economy is only in the early stages of the current super cycle and elevated commodity prices are likely to remain as developing nations industrialize, new research suggests. - more

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

  • Indicators at 7:00 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.09/lb higher, with other London traded base metals lower. The Euro is trading over 4/10 of 1% higher against the US Dollar at the moment. NYMEX crude futures are up 3/4 of 1% and trading at $101.74/barrel. Gold is down over 8/10 of 1% and silver is lower by over 1/10 of 1%. In overnight futures, Asian markets ended higher, with China off 1.4%. European markets are trading higher this morning, and US futures are higher on hopes Europe will figure out a way to fix their debt crisis. Nickel stockpiles fell for a second day.
  • LME Morning - Metals range amid steady undertone, eye EU debt developments - more
  • Reuters - Copper steady, market nervous but hopeful on Europe - more

  Reports

  Ed Meir of INTL FC Stone Daily Metals Commentary

  • There will be no Daily Commentary for Monday Dec 5 since Edward Meir is travelling today.

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • (Yieh) According to statistics, Japan’s Q3 production of nickel metal totaled 10,549 tons, up by 0.5%; that of ferro-nickel was 17,764 tons, down by 0.4%, both compared to that in the same period of last year.
  • (Interfax) Difficulties will continue for China's steel industry in the coming year as downstream demand weakens in line with the ongoing slowdown in the wider economy, Luo Bingsheng, deputy chairman the China Iron and Steel Association (CISA), told an industry conference in Beijing Dec. 3.
  • Non-manufacturing sector less active in Nov - more
  • China's steel industry's profit down 82.6% in Oct - more
  • UK's scrap metal firms oppose bill to ban cash buys - more
  • Is a U.S. Mining Company Funding a Violent Crackdown in Indonesia? - more

  PH miner to boost nickel exports to China - Marcventures Holdings Inc., a listed nickel miner, on Monday said its subsidiary signed an agreement to sell 3 million wet metric tons of nickel laterite ore to Dunfeng International Inc. for export to China.  - more

  Seabed Mining Won’t Benefit PNG People: Women’s Rep - A representative of coastal communities bordering a planned deep sea mining operation in Papua New Guinea says local people stand to gain little from the gold that’s extracted. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Friday, December 2

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Sucden's day old nickel chart - (here).
  • Baltic Dry Index - plus 4 to 1,866. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) Goldman Joins HSBC in Forecasting China Rate Cut as Rivals Demur: Economy // China Central Bank Says Property Prices About to Reach a ‘Turning Point’ // China ‘Hardest Hit’ as Global Funds Report More Outflows, Citigroup Says // Most Stocks Decline After Manufacturing Slows: China Overnight // Euro Central Banks May Provide $270B Through IMF to Fight Debt Crisis // Italian, Spanish Bonds Advance on Optimism Sarkozy, Merkel in Agreement // Sweden Is Safest as Crisis Upends Bond Market // European Stocks Rise, Extending Biggest Weekly Jump Since 2008 // JPMorgan Follows UBS Cutting Carbon Jobs // U.S. Jobless Rate Unexpectedly Declines to 8.6% // Treasuries Advance Amid Concern Europe’s Debt Crisis Is Unresolved
  • The Euro is now trading 1/2 of 1% lower against the US Dollar. NYMEX crude is trading at $100.25/barrel and up only slightly. Gold is also up slightly, while silver is down 1/4 of 1%. Base metals ended the day mixed and mostly higher, with only nickle breaking out. Indicator charts show nickel opened higher on a stronger Euro, and remained rangebound for nearly the entire session, until late when it suddenly spiked around $600/tonne. For the day and week, Dow Jones reports three month nickel closed at $8.05/lb , its first close above $8/lb since the 22nd of last month. For only the second time in the last two weeks, stockpiles of nickel stored in LME approved warehouses fell and now total just over the 90,800 tonne level. US markets got a jump this morning when the Labor Department reported the jobless rate for November fell to 8.6% from 9%. The Dow initially jumped on the news, but as traders went thru the report, the news wasn't as good as hoped. Around 315,000 people simply gave up looking for work in November, thus falling off the official jobless roles, and the Dow has since fallen off early morning highs. Still the jobless rate is at its lowest in 2-1/2 years so the psychological boost to business will hopefully inspire more to hire. We are unable to find any news that could explain the $600/tonne jump nickel took late in today's session. There was a glitch in the system earlier in the day, and erratic trades recorded during that 15 minute or so period were later nullified. It could be that computer buys at the end of the day were triggered off highs made during that period. And it could be that we are looking for a reason when it was no more than a buy made on a bullish bet. Either way, we will find out next week if it pays off.
  • Have a safe and restful weekend!

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • (NAS) North American Stainless will increase the fuel surcharge to 34% for stainless flat and long products shipping in the month of December 2011. The surcharge rate is considered a maximum level for December; and will be reviewed monthly.
  • Withholding-Tax Collections Look Solid - more
  • Vital Signs: Easing Inflation Expectations - more
  • Soros: World Financial System on Brink of Collapse - more
  • World-Wide Factory Activity, by Country - more
  • Consumer Moods Improve a Bit, RBC Survey Finds - more

  ThyssenKrupp reports huge loss on stainless steel - German industrial giant ThyssenKrupp said on Friday it booked heavy losses in its business year just ended owing to massive 2.9 billion euros ($3.9 billion) in writedowns on its US and stainless steel businesses. - more

  • Brazil steel mill losses push ThyssenKrupp into red - ThyssenKrupp AG , Germany's biggest steelmaker, swung to a 1.8 billion euro ($2.4 billion) net loss this year due to cost overruns at its Brazil plant and parted company with the head of its Americas unit. - more

  Nunavik Nickel mine sticks to 2012 start-up - Nunavik’s second nickel mine says its plans to be in operation by 2012 remain unchanged. - more

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

  • Indicators at 7:00 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.20/lb higher, with other London traded base metals mixed and quieter. The Euro is trading nearly 1/2 of 1% higher against the US Dollar. NYMEX crude futures are up 1.1% and trading at $101.30/barrel. Gold is up 2/3 of 1% and silver is up 2-1/3%. In overnight trading Asian markets ended lower, with China off 1%. European markets are trading higher this morning, and US futures are showing a very bullish open is possible - unless the jobs report come out in a half an hour worse than expected. Nickel inventories slipped for only the second time in the last eleven sessions.
  • LME Morning - Metals consolidate run-up, mood perks up ahead of US jobs data - more
  • Reuters - Copper on track for first weekly gain in five weeks - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Metals retreated slightly yesterday, while most other markets finished quietly mixed — not particularly surprising given Wednesday’s super-charged gains. Weaker-than-expected Chinese factory data (referenced in Wednesday's note) contributed to the easier tone early on, as did softer manufacturing readings coming out elsewhere from Asia. In this regard, PMI readings showed signs of slowing in South Korea and Australia, while growth in India is also decelerating. Manufacturing data out of the US and Europe were mixed. The US index was perhaps the strongest of the lot, increasing to 52.7 in November from 50.8 in October and coming in ahead of consensus. A few sub-components of the index were notably strong; production increased by a healthy 6.5 points from 50.1 in October to 56.6, while the new orders index increased from 52.4 in October to 56.7. However, unfilled orders contracted for the sixth consecutive month. Global manufacturing readings from Europe were particularly grim, with the November reading coming in at 46.4, its weakest level in more than two years. UK manufacturing slumped to 47.6, its lowest level since June of 2009, while British manufacturing-related job cuts were the steepest since October of 2009. All in all, this is not a pretty picture in global manufacturing, causing even the normally upbeat Chinese to sound worried. In this regard, Zhu Guangyao, China's coordinator to the G-20 talks and also a vice finance minister, was quoted as saying that indebted countries in Europe had limited scope to act, making it all the more difficult to jumpstart global growth. "The current crisis, to some extent, is more serious and challenging than the international financial crisis following the fall of Lehman Brothers," Zhu said. He is likely right in this regard; in 2008-09, it was companies that were on the brink of failing (and many did), but now, it is countries — and even currency systems — that are imperiled. Right now, metals are mostly higher, with copper off earlier lows and back over $7900; there are modest advances in the rest of the group. Energy prices are up by about $1/brl as tensions with Iran continue to escalate. In this regard, and in what potentially could be a major escalation of the standoff, the US Under Secretary of Treasury is proposing to freeze all assets held by the Iranian Central Bank and is encouraging US allies to follow suit. The Euro is helping the firmer tone in both metals and energy, as it has strengthened to back over $1.35. .... Nickel is at $17,200, up $450, and managing to hold $16,800 support on a two-day closing basis
  • Timmins mine on hiring spree as it reopens - more
  • (Interfax) The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has recommended that the country stop building stockpiles of nonferrous metals now that the markets for such materials have returned to relative stability, the state-controlled Securities Times reported Dec. 1.
  • Copper Traders Turn Bullish For the First Time Since October: Commodities - more

  Japan Q3 Nickel Production = Ferronickel production recovers pre-earthquake level = Details of Japan's nickel production during the third quarter (July - September) of 2011 are as per the tables attached hereto.  - more

  Rusal Seeks Norilsk Shareholder Vote on Paying Board Directors - United Co. Rusal, holder of 25 percent of OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel, asked the nickel producer’s board to call a shareholder meeting to approve compensation for independent directors. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

Thursday, December 1

  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Wrap-up
  • Sucden's day old nickel chart - (here).
  • Baltic Dry Index - plus 16 to 1,862. (chart)
  • Dollar graph in lower right corner of this page - (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Headlines & leaders - (Bloomberg) China’s Manufacturing at Weakest Since 2009 Augurs Further Easing: Economy // China Home Prices Drop for Third Month in November Amid Curbs, SouFun Says // China Stocks Rally, Rate Swaps Slide on Reserve Requirement Cut // China PMI Falls for First Time Since 2009 // Australia’s Top Four Banks Downgraded by S&P on New Criteria // Spain, France Take on Crisis With EU8.1B Debt Sale // Merkel Shuns ECB Role in Favor of Budget Limits // EU Bank Writedown Plan Is Said to Exclude Forcing Losses on Pre-2013 Debt // European Stocks Snap Four-Day Rally as China Slowdown Adds to Debt Concern // Fed’s Discount Rate Among Tools to Offset European Sovereign-Debt Crisis // Majority of Economists Still See Deflation Gloom // ISM Index of U.S. Manufacturing Increases // U.S. Stocks Fall as Massachusetts Sues Lenders
  • The Euro, which was trading much higher against the US Dollar this morning, is now trading slightly lower. NYMEX crude is down over 1.1% and trading at $99.21/barrel. Gold is down 8/10 of 1% while silver is off 1/4 of 1%. Base metals, except for aluminum, ended lower. Indicator charts show nickel spent its entire session in a decline, and closed at its lowest this year. For the day, Dow Jones reports three month nickel closed at $7.60/lb . Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses continue to grow, and now total just over 91,000 tonnes. This now puts nickel in the plus column for nine of the last ten business days. Before that, you would have to count back to the end of September to find the nine prior days that recorded gains. Nickel trading was hurt by the Euro gradually giving up early morning gains, but more importantly, the China PMI going negative for November sent a shudder thru the market. The euphoria from yesterday's surprise Fed move has waned as investors realize the actions taken only addressed one symptom of the European flu, and the disease was far from being cured. French President Nicolas Sarkozy just warned that using austerity measures alone to solve the economic crisis afflicting Europe would lead to recession and possibly even a depression. European markets closed lower today, and the US Dow is currently trading in negative territory.

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Articles and Comments

  • Ed Meir of FC Stone - Spectacular advances washed over most markets on Wednesday, breaking the monotony of rather quiet conditions and tight trading ranges. Two hours after an unexpected Chinese reserve requirement decrease of 50 basis points, six central banks -- led by the Federal Reserve -- announced coordinated global moves to increase liquidity in what they perceived to be an increasingly clogged financial system. The swaps put in place were also discounted and lines were extended to February 2013 from August 2012. Why did the banks move? For some time now, there has been an acute scarcity of dollars in Europe given the strong preference by banks and investors to seek safety of the greenback. Wednesday’s liquidity injections were designed to cut through the knot, by basically increasing the volume of “dollar offers” and “Euro bids” on a massive scale. In fact, the Fed projects that the premium banks will pay to borrow dollars overnight from central banks will fall by half a percentage point to 50 basis points. The central banks also said they would be prepared to enter similar swap arrangements in other currencies where pockets of tightness were also developing. ... With respect to the latter, the Chinese reported overnight that the country’s manufacturing sector contracted for the first time since February 2009. In this regard, the purchasing managers’ index fell to 49.0 in November from 50.4 in October, and came in below the 49.8 expected. A gauge of new orders contracted for the first time since January 2009, while new export orders fell below 50 for a second straight month. (The index is based on a survey of purchasing managers in more than 820 companies in 20 industries). ..... We will have to see what happens on December 9 at the next European leadership meeting, but the gravity of the situation – temporarily relieved by Wednesday’s central bank bailout – demands urgent measures. In the meantime, we view Wednesday's massive liquidity injection as a one-shot event whose staying power will increasingly fade over time. In fact, markets seem to be in the midst of a modest pullback, with mild losses seen in base metals, energy, and the Euro. US stocks are also called to open lower as well. Conditions in the European debt markets are stable; Spain and France sold almost $11 billion of bonds today. Yields were slightly higher than previous auctions in the Spanish case and lower in the French one, but both issues were in strong demand. ..... Nickel is at $17,150, down $350, but apart from yesterday’s spike, the down channel is still very much entrenched.
  • Commodities on the ‘Edge of Gory’ - more
  • Ten Years Later, Enron Pales in Comparison - more
  • Congress Wrestles With 2012 Unemployment Benefits Extension - more
  • Economists on ADP Report: Won’t Get Fooled Again - more
  • Seniors Have Fastest-Growing Population - more
  • Outlook Appears a Bit Better — Emphasis on ‘a Bit’ - more
  • What Are Fed Swap Lines and What Do They Do? - more
  • The Sovereign Debt Train Wreck - more

  Nickel prices still scarred by Ravensthorpe - While some sectors of the Australian mining industry are booming, a key commodity responsible for more than 8000 West Australian jobs edges closer to the price-low it hit during the GFC when a spate of mines folded. - more

  U.S. mining giant looks to Asia to process Ring of Fire chromite - A U.S. international mining firm may seek permission from the Ontario government to process some of the precious ore it hauls out of the Ring of Fire to Asia. - more

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

  • Indicators at 7:00 am CST show 3 month nickel trading around $.16/lb lower, with most London traded base metals lower as well. The Euro is trading 1/3 of 1% higher against the US Dollar at the moment. NYMEX crude futures are down slightly and trading at $100.29/barrel. Gold is down slightly as well, while silver is up 1%. In overnight trading, Asian markets ended higher, with China up nearly 2-1/2% on China's after market close announcement yesterday to drop interest rates. European markets are up slightly, while US futures have yet to give signal on market opening direction. Nickel stockpiles continue to increase.
  • LME Morning - Base metals drift lower, further consolidation expected in PM sessions - more
  • Reuters - Copper falls after China, euro zone factory data - more

  Reports

  Commodity/Economic Comments

  • Goldman Says Commodities to Rally in 2012 in Challenge to JPMorgan Chase - more
  • (SSY) According to the latest SteelBenchmarker produced by World Steel Dynamics, the world export price for Hot Rolled Band (HRB) has fallen to a new year-to-date low of $612/t, down by $23/t from two weeks ago.
  • China's official PMI falls to 49% in Nov - more

  DJ Vale: Goro Nickel Plant Set To Produce 22,000 Tons/Year Nickel Products - Brazilian mining company Vale SA's New Caledonia Goro nickel plant is now "100% ready" to produce after suffering technical problems, Vale Chief Financial Officer Tito Martins said Monday. - more

  Construction Of East Halmahera Ferronickel Project Begins - PT ANTAM Tbk is pleased to announce it has started the construction of its US$1.6 billion East Halmahera Ferronickel Project (FeNi Haltim). - more

  BHP May Review Nickel, Aluminum Operations, Deutsche Bank Says - BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s biggest mining company, may study its nickel, aluminum and alumina businesses after announcing a review of diamond operations, Deutsche Bank AG analysts said. - more

  China May Halt Metals Stockpiling, Start Sales, Securities Says - China may suspend stockpiling nonferrous metals and may start to sell existing inventories to tame prices, the Chinese-language Securities Times reported without saying where it got the information. - more

  Nunavik Nickel mine hits another stumbling block - The strained relationship between Goldbrook Ventures and Jilin Jien Nickel Industry Co., Ltd., majority owner of the Canadian Royalties’ Nunavik Nickel mine project in Nunavik, took another turn Nov. 30 when Goldbrook advised its shareholders not to accept a buy-out from the Chinese company. - more

  Morning Nickel Inventory and Price Statistics & Figures

  • Today's almost official prices here  /  Yesterday's actual LME official prices here or here
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price - available here  
  • Please let us know if any of these links stop working, stop carrying info, or become available to subscriber's only. We encourage our readers to use the services of those companies who supply reports and information free of charge. Contact us

November Archives


Chart Info Delayed 1 Day

Chart temporarily down

Chart temporarily down


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


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

Site Sponsors

Advertise your company on this site

Your banner here

Daily Reports


Commonwealth Bank

11/15 Market Prices
not official prices

ferrochrome and chromium prices

Moly Oxide (>51%)
$13.25/lb
 
Source

Ferrochrome(60-65%)(HC)
$1.21lb
 

11/15 Scrap Price

Stainless Steel (LTL/ton)
$.83/lb
 ferrochrome prices and molybdenum prices

Smaller Quantities
$.55/lb
 chromium prices and nickel prices

MEPS Stainless Steel Price Index

Global 304 SS Index

nickel prices

North America 304 Index

price of stainless steel

304 SS Index

price of nickel

Asia 304 SS Index

MEPS Composite Steel Price Index

Global Composite

North America Composite

Media

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

Other Sites

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

Today's Market

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

Other Sites

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


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


Price of Nickel

Nickel Graph Temporarily Down

1 and 5 year nickel chart

JP Morgan Delayed Price
Daily Commodity Prices

Sucden's Evening Base Metals Report

Site Pages

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

Prices/Analysis

china stainless steel news
Shanghai
Shida Morning Post

india stainless steel and nickel news
India MCX

Archives

2020
January February

2019
January February March
April May June July August
September October
November December

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

2017 and prior






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

Nickel Publications at Amazon

Contact author  /   EStainlessSteel Home Page

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

Any reproduction in whole, or in part, without permission from the author is prohibited.
© 2003-2019