This page is archived news covering the period from March 1, 2005 to March 31, 2005.
If you are looking for current daily market news, please visit this page.

Daily Nickel Market Prices

March  2005

(Nickel prices are followed here daily as they are responsible for up to 60% of the cost of stainless steel)
(Molybdenum prices are for molybdenum oxide)

(all ton listings are metric tons = 2204.6 pounds)


3-31

LME nickel closed the day at $7.21/lb
*    Nickel inventories on the LME slipped by 42 tons to start the day at 10,002 tons.

3-30

Fund liquidation took nickel down to 5 week lows, but rebounded and closed at $7.10/lb.
*    LME nickel inventories fell by 234 tons Monday to total 10,044 tons.

3-29

Nickel closed down at $7.04/lb.
*    Scrap magazine reports French investment bank Societe Generale, known as SG, has revised its latest forecast for 2005 average price of nickel to $6.55/lb. So far this year, nickel has averaged $6.93/lb compared to the $6.28/lb average of 2004.
*    International Nickel Study Group is predicting China will be the world's largest consumer of nickel by 2008, replacing Japan for the top spot.
*    Yieh is reporting the steel industry was stunned last week to learn BHP is asking for a 100% price increase in iron ore priced starting in April. In February, other iron ore producers in Brazil and Australia negotiated 71% price increases.
*    Fortune Magazine names POSCO of Korea as the world's most admired steelmaker
*    LME nickel inventories begin the week with 10,278 tons, down 324 tons from Thursday.

3-25

London Metal Exchange closed until Tuesday, March 29th.

3-24

LME nickel closes at $7.14/lb and traders see more downward pressure in the coming days.
*   LME nickel inventories fell again yesterday, retreating by another 168 tons to total 10,602 tons.

3-23

A stronger dollar pulled metals down today, with LME nickel ending the day at $7.19/lb.
*    LME nickel inventories slipped yesterday by 72 tons to total 10,770 tons.

3-22

LME nickel closed at $7.35/lb.
*    US Fed raises interest rate 1/4 point to 2-3/4%.
*    Molybdenum drops a nickel a pound.
*    Yieh is reporting stainless steel scrap is being bought by Asian stainless mills for $1576/metric ton to $1630/metric ton this month.
*    Nickel inventories continue on the gaining side, adding 156 tons yesterday to total 10,842 tons.

3-21

Dollar strengthened and nickel slipped to close at $7.28/lb.
*    Interesting article about China. Although written with some anti-American prejudice evident, the article does include some interesting information about Chinese-US relations.  Article Here
*    With the addition of 24 tons on Friday, LME nickel inventories stand at 10,686 tons.

3-18

LME nickel closed the week on a gain day, closing at $7.37/lb.
*    LME nickel inventory gained 132 tons yesterday to begin Friday with a total of 10,662 tons.

3-17

Fund selling hit metals today as oil rose to over $57 barrel and the dollar strengthened. Nickel held up well though, and closed at $7.17/lb.
*    LME nickel inventories, after 3 days of gains, lost 60 tons Wednesday, now totaling 10,530 tons.

3-16

LME nickel closed the day at $16,000/ton or $7.26/lb. Copper and oil hit a new record high.
*    Another 474 tons added to LME nickel inventories yesterday pushed the total to 10,590 tons.

3-15

LME nickel ended the day at $7.25/lb.
*    Molybdenum took a huge jump yesterday, selling at $35.50/lb. Bad news for 316 stainless users.
*    LME nickel inventories jumped over the psychological 10M ton mark yesterday, gaining 450 tons to total 10,116 tons. More profit taking is likely.

3-14

LME nickel ends the trading day at $7.20/lb.
*    Scrap magazine is reporting the average price for LME nickel so far this year has been $6.77/lb.
*    LME nickel inventories continued to gain ground on Friday, adding 378 tons to total 9,666 tons. With trade figures released Friday showing US trade deficit growing, along with inventories, this is expected to put some potential downward pressure on the price of nickel.

3-11

LME nickel closed the week at $7.29/lb.
*    Financial Express - Canaccord Capital Inc analyst Greg Barnes raises his forecasted average nickel price for 2005 to $6.63/lb, an increase of 8-1/2% than his prediciton in January. 
*    Molybdenum increased to $29.50/lb yesterday. Interesting article about molybdenum here
*    LME nickel inventories gained for the 3rd day in a  row, adding 114 tons to total 9288 tons.

3-10

Nickel closes at $7.24/lb as traders are spooked by gain in LME inventories.
*    Reuters is reporting China could potentially become a net steel exporter as early as this year. China became the world's largest importer of steel in 2002.
*    Noranda announces it has terminated talks with China's MinMetals about an acquistion but will discuss a "strategic alliance".
*    LME nickel inventories gained for the second day in a row by 204 tons to total 9,174 tons.

3-9

LME nickel closed at $7.30/lb.
*    Aluminum hits 10 year high today.
*    Noranda has reached an agreement with Falconbridge to acquire the remaining 41% stake in Falconbridge.
*    BHP Billiton raised the offer for WMC to $7.85/share last night, trumping Xstrata's hostile takeover bid.
*    Copper hit a 16 year high in yesterday's trading.
*    LME nickel inventories gained a little ground Tuesday with an addition of 462 tons. This puts the total at 8,970 tons.

3-8

LME nickel closed the day at $7.36/lb.
*    Japan retained the honor as the world's largest producer of stainless steel in 2004, followed by China, Korea, the US, and Germany.
*    LME nickel inventory took a big hit yesterday, falling 786 tons to total 8,508 tons.

3-7

LME nickel ended the day at $7.28/lb.
*    Sherrit of Canada has announced it has reached agreement with Cuba to expand its mining operation in that country, which promises to increase production by 2006. Nickel is Cuba's largest export and Sherrit's relationship  with the Castro regime is a thorn to the US government.
*   Yieh reports South Korean steelmakers produced 1 million tons of cold rolled stainless steel for the first time in their history last year. They also are reporting cold roll stainless sheet prices are being raised in all Far Eastern countries due to nickel prices.
*   LME nickel inventories continue to slip, falling 120 tons Friday to total 9,294 tons.

3-4

LME nickel ended the day and week at $7.32/lb.
*    Buy your gas on the way home tonight - it's possible you may be in for a shock Monday morning. USA Today is reporting sources who say prices could be a quarter higher at the pumps next week.
*    Scrap Magazine is quoting Australian Bureau of Agricultural & Resource Economics as predicting nickel will peak out early in 2005 and then slide backwards throught the remainder of 2005 and 2006. They predict the price will average $6.37/lb for the year, and fall to $5.79/lb in 2006.
*    Xinhua Online is stating  for the "short term", the 71% increase in iron ore will mean an increase in steel prices of 8-10%. The long range effect will depend on demand.
*    Nickel inventories on the LME fell by 168 tons Thursday to start Friday with 9,414 tons.

3-3

Nickel rebounded with a vengeance today, closing at $7.34/lb.
*    Yieh reports the increase in iron ore negotiated for April is already affecting steel prices in the Far East, as steel makers start to raise prices on hit and cold roll steel.
*    Nickel inventories stored in LME warehouses slipped again Wednesday, falling 198 tons to 9,726 tons.

3-2

Nickel retreated for a second day as the dollar rose. Ended the day at $7.03/lb.
*    Inco advised today their nickel production will fall in 2005, from 2004's 522-million lbs to 490/500- million lbs. This sounds much more dramatic than the 10M metric tons it will equal.
*    Xinhua reporting China's MinMetals still in negotiation with Noranda about a possible purchase.
*    Japanese Stainless Steel Association released figures for 2004 giving evidence that nickel's continuing high price is forcing some to look at lower cost alternatives. Japanese demand for stainless steel in the nickel bearing 300 series stainless fell by 4.4%, while orders for 400 series stainless (no nickel) rose by over 20%. According to MEPS, Japan accounts for 10% of the world's stainless steel demand, and the drop above would account for 3,900 tonnes of nickel.  
*    LME nickel inventories continue to retreat, falling another 198 tons to total 9,726 tons.

3-1

Profit taking lead the LME trading day, with nickel slipping to end the day at $7.12/lb.
*    LME nickel inventories fell Monday by 78 tons, breaking thru the psychological 10M ton barrier to stand at 9,924 tons.



Nickel (average annual price) Molybdenum (average annual price)
2001 $2.70/lb $2.36/lb
2002 $3.07/lb $3.59/lb
2003 $4.37/lb $5.21/lb
2004 $6.28/lb $18.00/lb (approx)
Today $7.27/lb $28.50/lb


[Most Recent Exchange Rate from www.kitco.com]


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