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

Daily Nickel Market Prices

May 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 - what we use to determine closing - see bottom of page)


5-31

LME nickel ended the day at $7.37/lb.
*    Chinese and Japanese mills announce they are cutting back on stainless steel production to stabilize price.
*    Minara's Murrin plant announces full production resumes after a fire last week.
*    Dollar is expected to gain on the Euro after France's referendum vote defeating the EU constitution. If so, this could cause a negative factor on nickel prices today.
*    LME nickel inventories gained Friday by 258 tons, now standing at 7,878 tons.

5-27

LME nickel ended the day at $7.37/lb. Markets will be closed Monday as the US and UK celebrate holiday's.
*    LME nickel inventories gained 276 tons Thursday to total 7,620 tons.

5-26

Personal Note - A friend and co-worker, whom I have worked with for many years, went into the hospital Monday for a cat scan for some severe headaches she was having, and learned that she has terminal cancer with only a 50% chance to live another year. While we who know and love her, are shocked and saddened by this stunning news, and praying for her and her 14 year old daughter, let us all remember how precious our short time on this earth really is - and how in a minute it can be over. Take full advantage of the time you have, my friends.....time is your truest enemy. We love you RW.  
LME nickel ended the day at $7.44/lb.
*    Nickel inventories on the LME rose by 36 tons yesterday to toal 7,344 tons.

5-25

LME nickel ended the day at $7.38/lb.
*    Nickel inventory on the LME took a gain yesterday with an additional 126 tons added. Now stands at 7,308 tons.

5-24

Nickel prices climb on the LME and end at $7.34/lb.
*    316 stainless steel prices continue to increase as molybdenum has yet to find its peak.
*    Stocks of LME nickel fell by 66 tons yesterday, to total 7,182 tons.

5-23

LME nickel ended the day at $7.25/lb.
*    Yieh is reporting that a steep drop in steel prices over the last week are causing bottlenecks at Chinese and Taiwanese ports as buyers cancel prior orders in hopes prices will drop further.
*    Friday, nickel stocks on the LME stepped back, loosing 168 tons to total 7,248 tons. Nickel ended Friday at $7.20/lb.

5-19

Next update 5/23
Nickel closes at $7.23/lb.
*    LME nickel inventory gained again yesterday, with an additional 780 tons bringing their on hand total to 7,176 tons.

5-18

LME nickel traders shrugged off the increase in inventory and ended trading at $7.35/lb.
*   Nickel stocks on the LME jumped with a major addition of 1314 tons yesterday, to now total 6,396 tons.

5-17

LME ended the day at $7.25/lb.
*    Yesterday, fund selling on copper dragged nickel prices lower, but a dip in the US dollar late helped prices regain some of their earlier loss.
*    Nickel inventories stocked by the LME jumped up 156 tons yesterday to close at 5,082 tons.

5-16

LME nickel ends the day at $7.33/lb.
*    LME nickel inventories slipped 18 tons Friday to stand at 4,926 tons.

5-13

LME nickel closes at $7.46/lb.
*    Norilsk Nickel scheduled to stop shipping due to annual springs floods May 19th or 20th.
*    LME nickel inventory lowest since 1991.
*    US dollar hits 7 month high against Euro - metals feeling the pinch.
*    It may be trash, but stealing it could put you in jail. So says the Minneapolis, Minnesota Director of Solid Waste and Recycling as she advises residents to call 911 if they see scavengers stealing aluminum cans from recycling bins. With prices of aluminum scrap up, the city has taken a hit in its recycling budget from pilferage.
*    Inventories of nickel in LME warehouses fell below 5M tons yesterday, when a 84 ton withdrawal drove levels to 4,944 tons.

5-12

LME nickel ends at $7.62/lb.
*    Yieh is reporting the Chinese government has decided to impose import tax on some raw materials used in the domestic steel industry. Iron ore, pig iron, scrap, steel ingots, billets and slabs will be have an 8 percent import tax levied starting May 19.
*    LME nickel inventories near the 5M ton mark, dropping 204 tons yesterday to total 5,028 tons.

5-11

LME nickel closed the day at $7.58/lb.
*     Inventories on the LME fell again yesterday, losing 270 tons to now total 5,232 tons.

5-10

Nickel on the London Metal Exchange soared today, hitting a 7 month high and closing at $7.60/lb.
*     LME nickel inventories slipped yesterday, falling 162 tons to total 5,502 tons.

5-9

LME nickel ended the day at $7.35/lb.
*    Scrap Magazine is quoting SG as admitting their forecasted nickel price for 2005 at $6.55/lb is looking  low, but stick to their prediction of $5.25/lb for 2006. Also quoting Barclays Capital as forecasting $7.17/lb as the 2005 average for nickel.
*    Prices are softening in the global flat rolled stainless steel market, as oversupply causes surplus in some areas. This is putting a strain on stainless steel producers as hot roll continues to rise in price, but cold roll pricing is becoming more competitive.
*    Macquarie tells Australasian Investment Review that it believes metals prices will remain strong thru 2006.
*    LME nickel added to their warehouses Friday, gaining 54 tons to total 5,664 tons.

5-6

LME nickel closed the week at $7.21/lb.
*    Norilsk Nickel announced it produced 3.3% less nickel in the first quarter of 2005 than in the same period in 2004.
*    Inco's UAW union is threatening war over Inco's consideration of closing the copper refinery in Sudbury and getting their metal processed elsewhere. While the union contract at Sudbury does not expire for another year, Inco does have a contract expiring in September with the UAW at a nearby Thompson, Mantoba operation. Any potential disruption in the supply of nickel could put further pressure on record high prices.
*    LME nickel inventories returned to their pattern of falling yesterday,  dropping another 168 tons to total 5,610 tons.

5-5

LME nickel moved higher today, closing at $7.25/lb.
*     Molybdenum continues to see saw... now back up to $34.00/lb.
*    While it was trivial, LME nickel inventories actually gained 6 tons yesterday to total 5,778 tons.

5-4

LME nickel closes the day flat, at $7.08/lb.
*    Nickel demand is up in anticipation of Inco's scheduled maintenance shutdown, which is timed to correspond this year with the month when Norilsk can not typically ship due to river flooding. With #1 and #2 potentially down at this same time, nickel traders and consumers are nervous.
*    US Fed raised interest rates another 1/4 of 1% yesterday, to 3%.
*    Nickel inventories stocked by the LME fell below 6M tons yesterday, with a withdrawal of 252 tons, leaving 5,772 tons.

5-3

Nickel prices on the LME slipped to $7.08/lb on reports US economic growth slowing.
*     LME nickel inventories near the 6M ton mark when it falls 216 tons to 6,024 tons yesterday.

5-2

LME was closed today for the May Day holiday.
*    Scrap Magazine quoting Man Financial as forecating average price of nickel to be $6.69/lb in 2005.
*    From recent testimony to the International Trade Commission in hearings called "Stainless Steel Sheet and Strip from 8 countries". Reference a 5 year review on anti-dumping dities on certain stainless steel products against 8 countries. Precision Metalforming Association member Bill McKibben ""We want to use domestic stainless steel for our products, but it is nearly impossible to rely solely on sources here. A particular concern for our company is with splits and cracks. We can’t have pinholes in an automotive exhaust system. For quality and timing purposes, access to foreign stainless steel is crucial for our company to be competitive." Also, a statement filed on the behalf of steel producer Nucor "information shows that prices for hot-rolled steel in the United States in the last quarter of 2004 were 28 percent higher than in the Brazilian home market, and 29 percent higher than in the Russian home market. Indeed U.S. prices were higher than those in any other major market... significantly, U.S. prices were 41 percent higher than home market prices in China."
*    Norilsk Nickel is reporting a dip in net profits of 11% in the first quarter of 2005, compared to the same period in 2004
*    Rumors that Inco and Rio Tinto may team up to take on BHP's takeover bid for WMC.
*    Inco CEO Scott Hand told reporters in Melbourne, Australia that "Nickel will go up before it goes down".
*    LME nickel inventories continued to slump Friday, falling 348 tons to total 6,240 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



Closing price - you may notice different sites giving different "closing" costs. We use the price LME uses, which Joanna James at the Global FX Desk graciously explained, is the settlement price after the 2nd ring close offer. LME shows on their site the closing price taken after the last kerb.

Every effort is made to provide factual information in a timely manner as a convenience to the reader. Any opinion given on this web site is just that - a mere opinion, and the author is not responsible for any action taken based off that opinion. Multiple sources are used for obtaining this info and there is no guarantee of its accuracy. Any reproduction without written permission from the author is prohibited.

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