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Stainless Steel News and Nickel Prices



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Monday, February 28

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Friday's trading session at $11.00/lb ($24,240/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.37/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose one whole lot on Friday, that's six tonnes, and ended the week just under the 81,000 tonne level. Volatility rules in nickel trading, with no one knowing for sure what will happen next as it pertains to Russia. The West is firing off sanctions against Russia and Belarus as Russian forces advance in Ukraine and traders appear to be betting that nickel will be added. This morning, nickel is back above the $25,000/tonne level for the third time in the last week.  Lot of analysts and concerned parties making predictions about short term nickel in the face of the Russian invasion, but we can only say that volatility will continue to rule, until the bullets stop flying. If you have Netflix, we would like to recommend "Winter On Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom" (Trailer here). If you don't know who the Ukrainian people are, this documentary about their struggle in 2014, could open your eyes. Countries may not be boycotting Russian nickel yet, but we would like to think those companies with practical options, are. Stay safe out there and enjoy the last day of February.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $10.95/lb

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - LME aluminium hits record high as Russia sanctions fuel supply woes - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.5739
  • 304 SS Scrap Prices Local (updated bi-weekly) - more
  • SMM Evening Comments - more
  • Vale's Performance In 4Q21 and 2021 - pdf here
  • US Economic Indicators: Industrial Production - pdf here
  • US Economic Indicators: Durable Goods Orders & Shipments - pdf here
  • United States Imports For Consumption Of Stainless Steel Products - chart here
  • University of Michigan: Consumer Sentiment - more
  • China Steel Production - chart here
  • Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. Investor Presentation - pdf here

   Shanghai Metals Market

  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Nickel Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Inventory (updated each Friday) - more
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here

  London Metals Market

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here
  • LME nickel chart - here 

    Friday's market review - Aluminium recoils from peak after Russia energy excluded from sanctions - Aluminium prices retreated on Friday from record levels on easing fears about power supply after Russia's energy sector was excluded from Western sanctions and as some traders withdrew ahead of the weekend. - more

     Taiwan’s Tang Eng announces higher stainless steel prices for Mar - Tang Eng Iron Works Co., Ltd., one of the main stainless steel manufacturers in Taiwan, raised its new prices of stainless steel products for March today (February 25). - more

  • Taiwan’s Yusco raises stainless steel prices for Mar to reflect costs - more
     Goldman sees commodities rally on Russia-Ukraine crisis, sanctions - Goldman Sachs expects a rise in the prices of commodities that Russia is a major producer of and lifted its short-term Brent crude forecast as the West stepped up political and economic sanctions on Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine. - more
  • Nickel Prices Fluctuated Wildly due to the Russia-Ukraine Conflicts - more

     Rise in shipping prices has little impact on China's stainless steel exports - The pandemic has disrupted global supply chains for a long time, and shipping prices have been rising for two years. - more

  • Increasing Arrivals on the Market May Weigh on the Stainless Steel Prices  - more

     Outokumpu expects no short-term war impact on operations - Finland-based stainless steel producer Outokumpu has stated that it has been following the developments in Ukraine following the invasion by Russia, and does not expect any material impacts from the situation on its operations in the short term. - more

     Russia faces major disruptions to oil, commodities flows without SWIFT - Russian exports of all commodities from oil and metals to grains will be severely disrupted by fresh Western sanctions, dealing a blow to Russia's economy and hurting the West with a spike in prices and inflation, traders and analysts said. - more

     Brazil's Vale expects Russia-Ukraine conflict to affect price of nickel, pellets - Executives of miner Vale SA said on Friday that Russia's invasion of Ukraine has led to speculation in the price of nickel, and they expect the conflict to also influence the price of iron ore pellets. - more

     Acerinox's 2021 net profit jumps 11-fold on soaring steel price - Spanish steel maker Acerinox said its net profit jumped more than 11-fold in 2021 to a record 572 million euros ($638 million) as rising demand pushed steel prices through the roof. - more

     Column: US green metals push needs a revamp of gold-rush mining law -  The Biden Administration's one-year review of U.S critical mineral supply chains came with some headline-grabbing announcements. - more
  • US miners irked that Pentagon mineral stockpile plan bypasses them - more
  • Local View: Minnesotans 'made to look like fools' in sham comment period - more

     Indonesian Nickel Mine Contamination Could be Cautionary Issue for EV Battery Development - The electric vehicle (EV) revolution appears to be one of the most unstoppable business trends across the globe. - more

  • Presence of toxic metals in State rivers higher than permissible limits - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Ukraine invasion: should Russia lose its seat on the UN Security Council? - more
  • Clash Over Ukraine Drives a Dagger Into Globalization - more
  • How the lawyers see sanctions affecting Russian commodities - more
  • California Surpasses 1 Million Plug-In Electric Car Sales - more

  Economic Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - here
  • US Economy At a Glance - more
  • US Economic Indicators - more
  • US Economic Activity - (every Monday) - pdf here
  • US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
  • FX Street Economic Calendar - more
  • Iron Ore Price Graph - 1  2  3 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
  • COVID By The Numbers - here
  • How is your state faring? - more
  • What time is it in....? - more
  • Euro/US Dollar chart - here
Why Stainless Steel
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here

Friday, February 25

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Thursday's trading session at $11.25/lb ($24,800/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.27/lb lower, although must of this drop was seen in the immediate hours after closing yesterday. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Thursday and ended that session just under the 80,100 tonne level. For those who might question our earlier assessment that China would likely not take part in any sanctions against Russia, Bloomberg is now reporting that they have said as much (see story below). China is blaming NATO expansion concerns as justification for the Russian aggression, in what may be a  'I scratch your back, you scratch ours' when it comes to Taiwan later.  These two countries will never become besties, but they can do a lot of damage to the rest of the world during their uncomfortable partnership. So what does all of this mean for nickel and stainless steel? Yesterday was a knee jerk reaction and trades based off fears of the unknown. Traders like to have a sense of what will happen tomorrow and when that is gone, volatility takes center stage. Nickel rose to $26,000/tonne yesterday on news of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but four hours later, was trading back around the $25,000/tonne level, and two hours later, in mostly after market trading, had lost another $600/tonne and was trading about where it ended Wednesday. Prices are going up, especially oil and gas, that's pretty much a given. Does the Fed now have cover to keep rate increases in check? Will inflation continue to rule the day, or will a slowdown in world economies slow down inflationary pressures? The EV industry does not appear to be old enough, in our opinion, to be too vulnerable to getting hurt by an economic slowdown and skyrocketing fuel prices could become the best sales tool the EV industry has to offer. The stainless steel industry is more vulnerable to a global slowdown, but even that would take some time to see, if it was too happen at all, as many producers are still behind filling current orders. The danger for the middle men, the stainless steel distributor, has always been a sharp drop in prices at the same time there is a potential slowdown in demand. Nothing worse than over priced inventory and competitors willing to loose money to dump high priced stock. savvy distributors can make good money as nickel and stainless steel prices climb, but when the opposite happens, it takes the savviest distributor to weather the storm. Having said that, we do not see that happening any time soon. Prices may come down a bit on market uncertainty, but there is little reason to see any significant drop. Nickel fundamentals remain strong, so we don't really see nickel experiencing anything beyond a possibly correction. We were trading around the $20,000 tonne level at the beginning of the year, eight weeks ago, and closed at $24,800 yesterday, so there is plenty of room for a "correction" without entering a bear market. As long as LME stockpiles keep dropping, any potential market correction would likely be minor. Off the subject of nickel and Ukraine, but still interesting to those of us who marvel at the 21st century growth of China, we quote from an article linked to under "Other News". "China started building 33 gigawatt's (GW) of coal-fired power producing capacity in 2021, almost triple the world’s combined capacity, according to a report." and "Steel mills approved 74 million tonnes of coal-based capacity last year, adding in 12 months what the rest of the world put together on average in five years, the report said." These decisions will not help them reach any Climate Change goals, but last fall's power shortages, revealed a vulnerability, and they are taking steps to rectify the situation. Making nice with coal rich Australia would be a recommended second step. Although lower this morning, nickel is quiet as traders take a wait and see attitude. We are still treading in unknown waters, so any news headline could put volatility back in control, with wild swings in either direction a distinct possibility. It's the weekend and February is about over. For those of you who are not fans of cold weather, March usually offers a ray of hope of warmth ahead. And if you like cold weather, Australia is nearing their fall. Stay safe out there and have a great weekend.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $10.93/lb ($24,090/tonne)

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - LME aluminium slips from record high as investors assess supply risks - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.5739
  • 304 SS Scrap Prices Local (updated bi-weekly) - more
  • US Economic Indicators: Industrial Production - pdf here
  • Gross Domestic Product, Fourth Quarter and Year 2021 - more
  • U.S .Imports for Consumption of Steel Products - pdf here
  • Eramet 2021 Results - pdf here

   Shanghai Metals Market

  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Nickel Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Inventory (updated each Friday) - more
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here

  London Metals Market

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here
  • LME nickel chart - here 

    Thursday's market review - Aluminium surges to record high on fears over Russian supplies - Aluminium prices rallied to a record high on Thursday after Moscow launched an attack on Ukraine, sparking fears of sanctions that could cut supplies from major producer Russia and disrupt energy supplies needed to produce the metal. - more

     Disruption to nickel supplies likely, as Russia is world’s third largest producer - Russia was the world’s third largest nickel producer in 2020, the last year for which data has been compiled. - more
  • Dutch entrepreneurs, Rotterdam port worried about Russian invasion of Ukraine - more
  • Russia's invasion of Ukraine throws another wrench into supply chains - more
  • Russian Attack on Ukraine Raises Big Risks for Global Economy - more
  • Russia: A country that is considered invulnerable to economic sanctions - more
  • Russian Billionaires Lose $39 Billion in a Day on Ukraine Attack - more
     SunSirs: Stainless Steel Prices Fell Slightly on the 23rd - According to the price monitoring of SunSirs, the price of stainless steel fell slightly on the 23rd, and the spot price was 19,133.33 RMB/ton, down 0.69% from the previous trading day and up 17.92% year-on-year. - more
  • China stimulus prompts Fitch Solution to revise iron-ore price outlook higher - more
     London Metal Exchange says ready to act on Western sanctions on Russia -  The London Metal Exchange (LME) is ready to ensure market stability if sanctions by Western allies impact trading of key industrial metals produced by Russia such as aluminium and nickel, the LME said on Thursday. - more

     Q2FY'21: Jindal Stainless records impressive growth of 88% in PAT - Jindal Stainless Limited (JSL) has registered an impressive growth of 88 percent in Profit of Tax (PAT) during the second quarter of the current financial year (Q2 FY 2020-21) - more

     US DOC to continue AD orders on stainless wire rod from three countries - The US Department of Commerce (DOC) has announced the final results of the sunset reviews of the antidumping duty (AD) orders on stainless steel wire rod from Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. - more
  • Stainless Steel Sheet and Strip from China Institution of Five-Year Reviews - pdf here
     Brazil's Vale maintains 'positive' outlook for iron ore, nickel prices - Brazilian miner Vale SA  on Thursday said it maintained "positive" expectations for the price of iron ore and nickel in the long term, two of its key products, after reporting quarterly earnings that beat analyst expectations. - more

     China expressed opposition to sanctions against Russia and criticized the U.S. for inflaming the Ukraine crisis - China expressed opposition to sanctions against Russia and criticized the U.S. for inflaming the Ukraine crisis, suggesting its support for NATO’s expansion had left President Vladimir Putin with few options. - more

  • Eramet sees Russian nickel reaching market despite sanctions - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • China finds coal a hard habit to break as power plants, steel mills stall pledges to scale back - more
  • US EV Sales Hit All-Time High In Q4 2021: Tesla Leads w/72% Share - more

  Economic Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - here
  • US Economy At a Glance - more
  • US Economic Indicators - more
  • US Economic Activity - (every Monday) - pdf here
  • US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
  • FX Street Economic Calendar - more
  • Iron Ore Price Graph - 1  2  3 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
  • COVID By The Numbers - here
  • How is your state faring? - more
  • What time is it in....? - more
  • Euro/US Dollar chart - here
Why Stainless Steel
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here

Thursday, February 24

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Wednesday's trading session at $11.07/lb ($24,410/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.65/lb higher. Yes, you read that right. LME nickel is trading over the $25,800/tonne level at the moment. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell slightly on Wednesday and started today just over the 81,100 tonne level. For anyone old enough to remember the recent history of the Russian Communist government, last nights news that they had invaded Ukraine, came as little surprise. Commodity traders are apparently very concerned about the possibility of sanctions against Russia, affecting the flow of nickel. The Euro is tanking, which is typically bad news for London traded base metals, but not today. Oil is trading near $100/barrel this morning, so expect big price increases at the gas station - and future freight bills. What this will mean in the long term is difficult to know. Higher prices will slow world economic growth, but by how much? We don't see sanctions against Russian nickel exports, but if they happen, will China participate? It has been illegal for anyone in the U.S. to 'use' nickel mined in Cuba for decades, but when was the last time you actually heard of anyone arrested for violating that law? There is plenty of Cuban mined nickel floating around in stainless steel product in the U.S., but proving that is a near impossibility. Where there is a will, there is a way. Stainless steel prices in China fell overnight, due mostly to a slack in demand according to Chinese metal sources. And French nickel miner Eramet, credits high metals prices for their 2021 earnings. Back to Russia, if we want to hurt the country without using the military, then push the United Nations to take away their seat on the security council. Power means everything to guys like Putin, so chipping away at that power, could help calm the situation. Stay safe out there and have a great day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $10.87/lb

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - LME aluminium hits record high as Ukraine invasion fuels supply fears - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.6035
  • 304 SS Scrap Prices Local (updated bi-weekly) - more
  • Weekly Pricing Pulse: Commodity prices dip after government intervention - more

   Shanghai Metals Market

  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Nickel Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Inventory (updated each Friday) - more
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here

  London Metals Market

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here
  • LME nickel chart - here 

    Wednesday's market review - Aluminium and nickel cling to gains as Russia sanctions support - Aluminium and nickel hovered near multi-year highs on Wednesday as Western nations sought to step up sanctions pressure on major metals producer Russia. - more

     CISA mills’ daily steel output down 4.47% in early Feb, stocks up 23.18% - The China Iron and Steel Association (CISA) has announced that in early February (February 1-10) this year the average aggregate daily crude steel output of large and medium-sized steel enterprises in China - all CISA members - totaled 1.9235 million mt, down 4.47 percent compared to late January (January 21-31) this year. - more

  • China’s steel industry eyes major HRC capacity expansion in 2022-2023 - more
  • Asian steel market forecast to strengthen post Olympics - more
  • Stainless Steel Spot Prices Dropped by 300-400 yuan/mt and Trading Remained Slack - more
     Taiwan's stainless steel billet imports rise greatly in 2021 - In 2021, Taiwan's stainless steel billet imports totaled around 209,000 tons, increasing by 88.3% compared with 2020. - more

     Eramet sees high metal prices sustaining earnings this year - Eramet said on Wednesday that high metal prices are likely to continue to drive earnings this year after a surge in the French nickel and manganese miner’s core earnings in 2021. - more

     Oil, Gas and Commodities Aren’t Being Weaponized — for Now - The West each day continues to buy hundreds of millions of dollars worth of resources from Russia, indirectly financing the Ukrainian crisis. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Fertilizer shortages due to Russia-Ukraine conflict may hit US growing season - more
  • Vladimir Putin is successfully ‘playing the China card’ against the US, analysts say - more

  Economic Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - here
  • US Economy At a Glance - more
  • US Economic Indicators - more
  • US Economic Activity - (every Monday) - pdf here
  • US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
  • FX Street Economic Calendar - more
  • Iron Ore Price Graph - 1  2  3 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
  • COVID By The Numbers - here
  • How is your state faring? - more
  • What time is it in....? - more
  • Euro/US Dollar chart - here
Why Stainless Steel
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here

Wednesday, February 23

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Tuesday's trading session at $11.14/lb ($24,555/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.18/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Tuesday and ended that session at 81,300 tonnes. Cancelled warrants continue to hover around the 52% level. Nickel's official cash price for yesterday was $25,650/tonne, showing just how high nickel was trading at one point. If you have any stainless steel you want to scrap, now is a good time to consider it. Barchart's 304 stainless steel scrap index is up to $.60/lb today. President Biden is touting his relationship with Talon Metals as evidence he is willing to actually let nickel mines open, although Twin Metals might disagree. Totten Nickel Mine in Canada is resuming operations. World Steel reports worldwide steel production last month was 6.1% lower than January 2021. And China is expected to implement another year of steel reduction mandates, although they have yet to make a final decision or release any details. Yieh is forecasting some big price increases for stainless steel produced in Taiwan. Finally, we live in an area of the country where ice storms and the possibility of power outages are a real concern thru Thursday, so if we are not updating over the next few days, that might account for the reason why. Both Fedex and UPS base airport terminals are under the gun over the next few days as well. Stay safe out there and have a great hump day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $10.85/lb

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - London stocks climb as Barclays, industrials boost sentiment - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.6035
  • 304 SS Scrap Prices Local (updated bi-weekly) - more

   Shanghai Metals Market

  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Nickel Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Inventory (updated each Friday) - more
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here

  London Metals Market

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here
  • LME nickel chart - here 

    Tuesday's market review - Aluminium and nickel hit multi-year highs on Russian supply threat -  Aluminium and nickel prices hit multi-year highs on Tuesday after Russia ordered troops into two breakaway regions of eastern Ukraine, raising fears of war and sanctions on Moscow that could interrupt Russian exports. - more

      Stainless Steel Prices Are Likely to Remain Rangebound after Pulling Back - The stainless steel futures prices rose during January 28 - February 16, and pulled back from February 17.- more

  • Will Stainless Steel Prices Fall Along With the Declining Pure Nickel and Steel Scrap Prices? - more
        January 2022 crude steel production - World crude steel production for the 64 countries reporting to the World Steel Association (worldsteel) was 155.0 million tonnes (Mt) in January 2022, a 6.1% decrease compared to January 2021. - more

      Totten Mine resumes operations west of Sudbury - Activity halted in September after shaft was damaged, 39 miners trapped underground - more

      Courtesy AISI - In the week ending on February 19, 2022, domestic raw steel production was 1,764,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 80.1 percent. Production was 1,740,000 net tons in the week ending February 19, 2021 while the capability utilization then was 76.8 percent. - more

      Struggle in Guatemala Offers Hope for L.A. Indigenous People - A struggle for the defense of their territories waged by indigenous Maya Q’eqchi’ communities in eastern Guatemala could set a historic precedent for Latin America’s native peoples because it would ensure not only their right to control their lands but also their natural resources, denied for centuries. - more

      Brazil: Mining Firms Eyeing to Expand to Protected Indigenous Lands in Amazon Rainforest - Major mining firms are eyeing to expand to protected indigenous lands in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil, a report said. - more

      The United States Geological Survey has released a new list of 50 mineral commodities critical to the U.S. economy and national security after an extensive multi-agency assessment. - The 2022 list of critical minerals was determined using the most up-to-date scientific methods to evaluate mineral criticality. - more

  • Biden voices support for new U.S. mines, if they don't repeat past sins - more

     Soaring Diesel and Gasoline Prices Are Bleeding Into Shipping - The shipping industry is starting to feel the full force of surging diesel and gasoline costs. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Is China’s lithium quest fuelled by business or politics, and how far will it go to secure ‘white gold’? - more
  • Safe in the knowledge: Guide for the protection of nickel workers updated - more

  Economic Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - here
  • US Economy At a Glance - more
  • US Economic Indicators - more
  • US Economic Activity - (every Monday) - pdf here
  • US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
  • FX Street Economic Calendar - more
  • Iron Ore Price Graph - 1  2  3 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
  • COVID By The Numbers - here
  • How is your state faring? - more
  • What time is it in....? - more
  • Euro/US Dollar chart - here
Why Stainless Steel
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here

Tuesday, February 22

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Monday's trading session at $11.04/lb ($24,335/tonne). Indicators at 6:05 am CST today show nickel trading around $.30/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Monday and ended that session just over the 82,300 tonne level. Nickel has recently dropped back below the $25,000/tonne level, but it was trading about $250/tonne over that level earlier. Analysts are still crediting the Russia - Ukraine conflict possibility as the primary reason, and considering the activity over the past 24 hours and the sudden jump in nickel, there may be some reasoning behind the claim. We still doubt China will buy into any nickel embargo. Speaking of China - do you think they are watching how the world is reacting to the Russian aggression toward Ukraine. Can you spell Taiwan? Everyone is reporting stainless steel price increases, and with US surcharges for March just now being issued, U.S. customers should prepare themselves for increases as well. Stay safe out there and have a great Tuesday!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $10.79/lb

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Aluminium, nickel rise to multi-year highs on Russian supply concerns - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.5854
  • 304 SS Scrap Prices Local (updated bi-weekly) - more
  • SFSA Casteel Reporter – February 2022 - more

   Shanghai Metals Market

  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Nickel Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Inventory (updated each Friday) - more
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here

  London Metals Market

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here
  • LME nickel chart - here 

    Monday's market review - Healthy demand, shortages spur nickel's climb to decade highs - Nickel prices climbed to their highest in more than a decade on Monday as low inventories, healthy demand from manufacturers of electric vehicle batteries and worries about supplies from Russia spurred buying. - more

     Column: Electric vehicle battery demand surge supercharges nickel - Nickel rose to its highest level in more than a decade on Monday morning. - more

      Global nickel market flips into surplus in Dec -INSG - The global nickel market saw a surplus of 6,500 tonnes in December compared with a deficit of 3,700 tonnes in November, data from the International Nickel Study Group (INSG) showed on Monday. - more

     SunSirs: Stainless Steel Was Up Slightly This Week (February 14-18) - According to the price monitoring of SunSirs, stainless steel rose slightly this week. - more

  • Stainless Steel Spot Trading Remained Slack and the Prices were Stable - more
     Asian stainless CRC prices rally, pressure Asian demand lower - Asian stainless cold-rolled coil prices increased in the week to Feb. 18, with persistent expectations of limited supply pushing prices higher and deterring buyers in Asia. - more

     European stainless coils may increase, June negotiations start - European stainless steel hot and cold rolled coil prices continue to be elevated this month and are forecast to remain strong until June, Kallanish hears from market sources. - more

     Antofagasta impairs value of Twin Metals - Copper producer Antofagasta has impaired the full carrying value of its Twin Metals project, which was dealt a serious blow last month when the US federal government cancelled the long-held leases for the group’s proposed copper and nickel mine near Minnesota’s Boundary Waters region. - more

     Forged documents and misled banks: ED&F Man awarded US$282mn in nickel fraud case - A UK High Court judge has found that ED&F Man was the victim of a warehouse receipts fraud that ensnared multiple banks in 2017, and has awarded the commodities trading house US$282mn in damages. - more

   Other News

  Economic Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - here
  • US Economy At a Glance - more
  • US Economic Indicators - more
  • US Economic Activity - (every Monday) - pdf here
  • US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
  • FX Street Economic Calendar - more
  • Iron Ore Price Graph - 1  2  3 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
  • COVID By The Numbers - here
  • How is your state faring? - more
  • What time is it in....? - more
  • Euro/US Dollar chart - here
Why Stainless Steel
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here

Monday, February 21

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Friday's trading session at $10.95/lb ($24,140/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.28/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell slightly on Friday and started this week just under the 83,300 tonne level. Nickel is trading at levels we have not reported on this site since August 2011. That month nickel fell from $25,125 tonne to $20,810/tonne, so we have and will be trading at levels not seen since then for awhile. Maybe. Nickel closed above the $24,000/tonne level on Friday for only the second time this year, and that former close was just barely, and turned in to a one day peek -a-boo close. This time the run appears to have some momentum. Possible sanctions on nickel for a possible invasion of Ukraine is still being credited for this run. Traders are in a bullish mood and any news justifying that position, is an excuse to drive the market higher. One thing is for sure. Not a good market for shorts, and rather depressing to those who use nickel in their business. The Olympics are over, so we look for a big month in March for China. In the mean time, enjoy the last 'full week' of February. Stay safe out there and have a great week!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $10.76/lb

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Healthy demand, shortages spur nickel's climb to decade highs - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.5842
  • 304 SS Scrap Prices Local (updated bi-weekly) - more
  • Ulbrich February Economic Update - pdf here

   Shanghai Metals Market

  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Nickel Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Inventory (updated each Friday) - more
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here

  London Metals Market

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here
  • LME nickel chart - here 

    Friday's market review - Supply concerns send nickel to 3-1/2 week high - Nickel prices climbed to their highest since Jan. 21 on Friday as worries about low inventories and potential sanctions against major producer Russia fuelled supply fears. - more

     US’ stainless steel price increases due to short supply risk - According to the market in the US, the stainless steel price in the US has continuously shown strong in the past week. - more

     China’s steel demand to remain stable in 2022 - Mr. He also said that in 2022 CISA will focus on ensuring balanced supply and demand, developing technology in the steel industry, strengthening policy coordination and upstream and downstream cooperation, and promoting cross-industry cooperation. - more
  • Asian steel market forecast to strengthen post Olympics - more
     SunSirs: Stainless Steel Prices Rose Slightly on the 17th - According to the price monitoring of SunSirs, the price of stainless steel was flat on the 17th, and the spot price was 17,515 RMB/ton. - more

     Europe’s steel production depends on decarbonisation: Tata Steel - Decarbonisation, high energy costs and the challenge of improving existing supply chains are the major obstacles for the steel industry today, Tata Steel Europe chief executive Henrik Adam said during the annual “Zukunft Stahl” conference at Thursday. - more

     China's renewables boom year poses major challenges to western markets - China’s renewables manufacturing has emerged from 2021 bigger and more competitive than ever before.  - more

  • Climate Change: technology key to decarbonisation of Chinese steel mills, BHP executive says - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • If You Want to Charge Higher Prices, Share Your Costs - more

  Economic Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - here
  • US Economy At a Glance - more
  • US Economic Indicators - more
  • US Economic Activity - (every Monday) - pdf here
  • US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
  • FX Street Economic Calendar - more
  • Iron Ore Price Graph - 1  2  3 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
  • COVID By The Numbers - here
  • How is your state faring? - more
  • What time is it in....? - more
  • Euro/US Dollar chart - here
Why Stainless Steel
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here

Friday, February 18

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Thursday's trading session at $10.83/lb ($23,885/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.19/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Thursday and ended that session just over the 83,300 tonne level.  The bulls held on to their early morning jump yesterday, to close at their highest this month. Today we are starting with the February fashionable morning price jump, and are now trading over the $24,000/tonne level, and are just peeking into pricing territory we haven't seen hit in over a decade. Cancelled warrants have risen from 47+% to 52+% over the last four trading sessions. Reuters has decided to credit the Russian-Ukraine concerns for the bullish run. They believe the market is betting the Russian's will attack, and that the world will slap sanctions on Russia, including on their nickel exports. While it is possible, we suspect the Chinese would not join any such boycott of Russian nickel, and thus the flow would be only momentarily affected. There is an article below titled nickel price forecast that lists multiple analysts forecasts near the bottom of the article. Look for the rolling dice. Stay safe out there and have a wonderful weekend!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $10.73/lb

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Nickel hits 3-1/2-week high on Russian supply angst, low stocks - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.5842
  • 304 SS Scrap Prices Local (updated bi-weekly) - more
  •  Industrial Production: Manufacturing: Raw Steel - chart

   Shanghai Metals Market

  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Nickel Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Inventory (updated each Friday) - more
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here

  London Metals Market

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here
  • LME nickel chart - here 

    Thursday's market review - Copper falls as Russia-Ukraine tensions rise - Copper prices fell on Thursday, with wider markets in a cautious mood as reports of artillery fire in east Ukraine heightened fears of a conflict between Russia and Ukraine. - more

     LME warehousers slash capacity as metal stocks drain away - Glencore's decision to sell its warehousing and logistics business looks like a well-timed call on the metals storage market. - more

     US maintains AD duty order on stainless steel wire rods from 3 countries - According to a notice from the US International Trade Commission (USITC), as a result of a five-year review, the revocation of the current anti-dumping (AD) duty orders on stainless steel wire rods from Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury to the US industry within a reasonably foreseeable time. - more

     Nickel price forecast: Will the bull run continue through 2022? - Along with other industrial metals, nickel prices rebounded throughout 2021. - more

     Cobalt powerhouse doubles down on nickel - Specialty metals refiner Umicore is enjoying record profits as battery materials boom, but the company is racing to avert a slowdown in sales as its cobalt-heavy chemicals fall out of favor with carmakers. - more

     Noront Resources looks to get out the vote - Shareholders of Noront Resources get their opportunity next month to vote on the takeover of their Ring of Fire exploration company by Wyloo Metals of Australia. - more

  • Northern Manitoba nickel mine expected to provide jobs, multimillion-dollar economic boost - more

     ‘Complex’ case of Clive Palmer’s fugitive nephew Clive Mensink - The nephew of billionaire Clive Palmer has launched a second bid to have an arrest warrant and contempt charge thrown out of court. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • China urges iron ore traders to reduce inventory, stocks to reasonable levels after Qingdao probe - more
  • Port of Los Angeles notches best January on record amid import rush - more

  Economic Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - here
  • US Economy At a Glance - more
  • US Economic Indicators - more
  • US Economic Activity - (every Monday) - pdf here
  • US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
  • FX Street Economic Calendar - more
  • Iron Ore Price Graph - 1  2  3 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
  • COVID By The Numbers - here
  • How is your state faring? - more
  • What time is it in....? - more
  • Euro/US Dollar chart - here
Why Stainless Steel
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here

Thursday, February 17

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Wednesday's trading session at $10.63/lb ($23,425/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.15/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell slightly on Wednesday and started today just over the 83,700 tonne level. Reuters headline last evening "Aluminum gains as focus moves from Russia-Ukraine crisis" to this morning's headline "Copper slips as Russia-Ukraine jitters spur caution" tells us what many in the market are watching. Nickel has climbed all week, and yesterday's close was just a few dollars per tonne off last Thursday's close. Traders appear to want to test the $24,000/tonne level again, but we have been in a pattern of bulls owning the mornings, with a bearish fade controlling the afternoons. The Olympics end on Sunday, so we might start seeing things in China get back to normal. That is unless covid hits them hard, like it is Hong Kong. Much of the rest of the world appears to have built up some herd immunity, while the zero tolerance China has maintained, could face its most difficult test yet. Stay safe out there and have a great Thursday!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $10.71/lb

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper slips as Russia-Ukraine jitters spur caution - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.4295
  • 304 SS Scrap Prices Local (updated bi-weekly) - more
  • U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes - pdf here
  • U.S. Manufacturers Sales - chart

   Shanghai Metals Market

  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Nickel Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Inventory (updated each Friday) - more
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here

  London Metals Market

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here
  • LME nickel chart - here 

    Wednesday's market review - Aluminium gains as focus moves from Russia-Ukraine crisis - Aluminium and other base metals climbed on Wednesday as tensions eased between Russia and the West over Ukraine and focus shifted to an energy crunch causing smelter shutdowns, mainly in China and Europe. - more

      WBMS January to December 2021 Metals Balances - (excerpt) The nickel market was in deficit during January to December 2021 with apparent demand exceeding production by 144.3 kt. In the whole of 2020, the calculated surplus was 84.0 kt. - more

     China Nickel Inventory Continued to Decline in January - In January, the social inventory of refined nickel and the inventory in the bonded areas both showed sharp declines. - more

     Shakespeare Mine in Espanola closer to production as nickel prices hit 10-year high - A $16 million investment from Japanese mineral company Mitsui may lead to a reopening of the Shakespeare Mine near Espanola. - more

     ED&F Man succeeds against Straits in $283 mln metals fraud case - A British high court judge ruled on Wednesday in favour of broker ED&F Man in a claim against Singapore commodities trader Straits and four other defendants about fraudulent warehouse receipts for nickel stored in Singapore. - more

     Aurubis to build 70 mln euro nickel recycling plant in Belgium - Aurubis AG, Europe's largest copper producer, said on Wednesday it plans to build a 70 million euro ($79.5 million) recycling plant in Belgium to expand production of recycled nickel along with copper. - more

     Red seas and no fish: Nickel mining takes its toll on Indonesia’s spice islands -  Yoksan Jurumudi came home with a long face after spending the whole day looking for fish in the waters off the Obi Islands in Indonesia’s North Maluku province. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • U.S. Producer Prices Jump Higher Than Forecast - more
  • Sudbury’s world-renowned SNOLAB celebrates 10 years plumbing the mysteries of the universe - more
  • China inflation: Beijing on ‘alert’ for rising commodity costs despite easing consumer, factory-gate prices - more
  • Coronavirus: Hong Kong confirms 4,285 new cases, another 7,000 preliminary infections identified as 10 deaths mark new daily record - more

  Economic Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - here
  • US Economy At a Glance - more
  • US Economic Indicators - more
  • US Economic Activity - (every Monday) - pdf here
  • US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
  • FX Street Economic Calendar - more
  • Iron Ore Price Graph - 1  2  3 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
  • COVID By The Numbers - here
  • How is your state faring? - more
  • What time is it in....? - more
  • Euro/US Dollar chart - here
Why Stainless Steel
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here

Wednesday, February 16

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Tuesday's trading session at $10.55/lb ($23,260/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.19/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Tuesday and ended that session just over the 83,800 tonne level. Nickel is currently trading at its highest this month. Lot of news linked below but mostly more of the same. Demand remains strong, and prices continue to climb. Everybody is announcing plans to build more plants to use nickel, and more plants to process nickel, but we aren't hearing a whole lot about new mines to dig up nickel. And since it takes a decade to build a mega mine, how many are in the process of being built? It's not hard to see why some analysts are very nervous about the immediate future when all the talk is on demand, and little time is being spent on new supply. Stay safe out there and have a great hump day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $10.70/lb

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper prices edge higher as Russia-Ukraine tensions ease - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.4295
  • 304 SS Scrap Prices Local (updated bi-weekly) - more
  • SHFE China SS Index (yuan) - 19,295
  • Producer Price Index - pdf here
  • Producer Price Index by Commodity: Externally Threaded Fasteners - more
  • Producer Price Index by Commodity: Wire, Stainless Steel - more
  • Producer Price Index by Commodity: Corrugated Paperboard - more
  • Producer Price Index by Industry: Corrugated Shipping Containers - more
  • Producer Price Index by Industry: Truck Transportation - more
  • Mincor Resources Presentation - pdf here

   Shanghai Metals Market

  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Nickel Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Inventory (updated each Friday) - more
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here

  London Metals Market

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here
  • LME nickel chart - here 

    Tuesday's market review - Copper edges higher as Russian troops return to base - Copper prices ticked higher on Tuesday after Russia returned some troops to base after exercises near Ukraine, easing fears about a potential invasion and boosting financial markets. - more

     US' stainless steel price keeps reaching new highs - Affected by the short supply, the US cold-rolled stainless steel sheet price rose further by US$60~100/ton in February. - more

     Steelmaker Aperam has record 2021; moves into specialty recycling - Special and stainless steel maker Aperam, with operations in Brazil and Europe, achieved record results for the fourth time in a row in the fourth-quarter 2021 amid a positive market environment, the company reported Feb. 11.  - more

     Exclusive: China's Metals Output in January - This is a roundup of China's metals output in January 2022, from an exclusive survey of key producers by SMM analysts. - more

     Eramet’s New Caledonia unit gets extra nickel ore export allowance - Eramet said on Tuesday that New Caledonia had authorized its SLN subsidiary to export an additional 2 million tonnes of nickel ore per year, as part of steps to revive the struggling nickel producer. - more

     Sumitomo Metal Mining to spend big to boost output of nickel, battery materials - Sumitomo Metal Mining Co Ltd said on Tuesday it will triple its capital expenditure over the next three years to boost its output capacity of nickel and cathode materials used in batteries. - more

     State DNR to stop work on environmental review for Twin Metals - The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced Tuesday it is stopping work on the environmental review for the proposed Twin Metals project. - more

     Company on hook for losses caused by its purchase of stolen Vale nickel after appeal dismissed - Urbanmine Inc., which paid $2.5 million for stolen nickel over 10 months and sold it for a profit, argued that Vale deserved some blame for the losses for not having discovered the thefts sooner. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • US recycled exports beat decade-long record income - more
  • World shipping-container crisis explained - more
  • Is a fundamental change in steel prices in the works? - more
  • China nickel provider Lygend Resources to go public in Hong Kong - more

  Economic Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - here
  • US Economy At a Glance - more
  • US Economic Indicators - more
  • US Economic Activity - (every Monday) - pdf here
  • US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
  • FX Street Economic Calendar - more
  • Iron Ore Price Graph - 1  2  3 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
  • COVID By The Numbers - here
  • How is your state faring? - more
  • What time is it in....? - more
  • Euro/US Dollar chart - here
Why Stainless Steel
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here

Tuesday, February 15

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Monday's trading session at $10.52/lb ($23,190/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.09/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel lost about what they had gained on Friday and ended yesterday just under the 84,500 tonne level. A little after 2 P.M. yesterday, London time, nickel fell over $600/tonne in less than 15 minutes. We believe this was a reaction to a Bloomberg report linked to below titled "Trader Known as Big Shot Battles Mystery Nickel Stockpiler". In some ways, this type of activity goes on all the time, but when it involves two heavy weights like those mentioned in the article, it makes other traders nervous as only one of the players can win and others don't want to be on the losing side. Once again, the validity of the whole cancelled warrant concept is thrown into question, as it does not distinguish between legitimate sales and stockpile tactics to make the numbers look worse than they really are. If nickel sales was still heavily dependent on stainless steel producers, as it has been in years past, this drop could have been much deeper. But with EV demand on every tongue, the market is trading higher this morning, with the $23,000/tonne level once again acting as support. If the multiple indexes we follow in China are correct, and we can't imagine all of them are wrong, then stainless prices are on a roll in China. One was reading 86.29 last Monday and 89.48 today. It was over 100 back in September of last year, and in the 70's last December.  Stay safe out there and enjoy your Tuesday!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $10.68/lb

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper falls as Russia-Ukraine tensions blunt risk appetite - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.4498
  • 304 SS Scrap Prices Local (updated bi-weekly) - more
  • SHFE China SS Index (yuan) - 18,840
  • ITS The State of Steel February 2022 - more
  • Recycling Today - online here

   Shanghai Metals Market

  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Nickel Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Inventory (updated each Friday) - more
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here

  London Metals Market

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here
  • LME nickel chart - here 

    Monday's market review - Aluminium and nickel climb on Russian supply angst - Aluminium and nickel prices climbed towards multi-year highs on Monday on escalating fears that reduced supplies from Russia would exacerbate existing shortages of both industrial metals. - more

     Trader Known as ‘Big Shot’ Battles Mystery Nickel Stockpiler - In Chinese commodity circles, he’s known as “big shot” -- the man who controls the world’s largest nickel producer and isn’t afraid to place big derivatives bets on where prices are headed next. - more

     SunSirs: Stainless Steel Was Up Slightly This Week (February 7-11) - According to the price monitoring of the business society, stainless steel rose slightly this week. - more
  • SMM Analysis: A Quick Look into Why Stainless Steel Prices Surged post CNY Holiday - more
     Taiwan's stainless steel prices rise on higher costs - After the Lunar New Year holiday, steel mills have increased their demand for stocking. - more

     China-Backed Pipeline Facility Damaged in Myanmar Resistance Attack - An off-take station of the China-backed oil and gas pipelines was damaged when a local resistance group attacked regime forces guarding the facility in Mandalay Region’s Natogyi Township early on Monday. - more

     Glencore sets aside $1.5 bln for probes, reports record earnings -  Glencore will set aside $1.5 billion for probes into bribery and market manipulation, which it expects to resolve in 2022, it said on Tuesday, as it announced record earnings from booming raw materials prices. - more

     Courtesy AISI - In the week ending on February 12, 2022, domestic raw steel production was 1,758,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 79.8 percent. Production was 1,740,000 net tons in the week ending February 12, 2021 while the capability utilization then was 76.8 percent. - more

     Under the skin: How lasers let you do origami with stainless steel | Autocar - It’s being called ‘industrial origami’, and it’s a new technology for folding high-strength duplex stainless steel that could have a dramatic impact on the way vehicles are produced - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Oil jumps to highest since 2014 as geopolitical tension in Ukraine kicks off cliffhanger week - more

  Economic Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - here
  • US Economy At a Glance - more
  • US Economic Indicators - more
  • US Economic Activity - (every Monday) - pdf here
  • US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
  • FX Street Economic Calendar - more
  • Iron Ore Price Graph - 1  2  3 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
  • COVID By The Numbers - here
  • How is your state faring? - more
  • What time is it in....? - more
  • Euro/US Dollar chart - here
Why Stainless Steel
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here

Monday, February 14

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Friday's trading session at $10.45/lb ($23,035/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.28/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose, yes rose on Friday, and ended the week just under the 84,900 tonne level. That is the first recorded daily increase since October of last year. Cancelled warrants also increased to near 50%. Nickel is bouncing today, but that is following a near freefall on Friday, so it looks sharper than it is. Analysts seem to agree that Russia's ongoing threat to invade Ukraine and the outside possibility of sanctions on Russian nickel in response, is a major driver today. What we saw on Friday was nickel coming very close to testing the $23,000 tonne level for a second time last week, but it held. Technically that might suggest the $23,000 tonne level is now support, and no longer putting up major resistance for traders. Not exactly what nickel purchasers want to hear, and it's based on a signal - not set in stone. Stainless news continues to be slow, while there is plenty of EV news. Stay safe out there and have a great week and  Happy Valentine's Day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $10.68/lb

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Aluminium and nickel climb on Russian supply angst - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.4570
  • 304 SS Scrap Prices Local (updated bi-weekly) - more
  • SHFE China SS Index (yuan) - 18,760

   Shanghai Metals Market

  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Nickel Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Inventory (updated each Friday) - more
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here

  London Metals Market

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here
  • LME nickel chart - here 

    Friday's market review - Copper retreats on risk-off sentiment, profit-taking - Copper lurched lower on Friday, hit by profit-taking and risk-off sentiment in wider financial markets on worries about surging inflation. - more

     China plans to increase national iron ore production and use of scrap steel - On Monday, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China, the world's largest steel producer, said in a statement that the country planned to significantly increase iron ore production and increase its use of scrap steel, as part of a plan to develop a greener and more efficient steel industry of higher quality. - more

     China's Huayou ships first MHP shipment from Indonesia JV - Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt's Indonesian joint venture shipped its first batch of mixed hydroxide precipitate (MHP), a product used to be processed into nickel and cobalt chemicals for EV batteries, to China's Ningbo port on Monday. - more

   Britishvolt Signs Agreement To Develop High-Nickel EV Batteries - Demand for nickel is expected to jump over the next decade as EVs go mainstream. Nickel bolsters energy storage in a battery's cathode, which in turn extends an EV's range. - more
  • Car Sales Fall, EV Sales Rise: Temporary Blip Or Real Transition? - more
     Businessman allegedly involved in nickel trading scam faces 18 more charges, bringing total to 93 - Ng Yu Zhi, a Singaporean businessman who was allegedly involved in one of Singapore's biggest investment fraud schemes involving nickel trading, was handed 18 new charges in court on Monday (Feb 14). - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Biden team unveils Indo-Pacific plan to counter China’s clout - more

  Economic Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - here
  • US Economy At a Glance - more
  • US Economic Indicators - more
  • US Economic Activity - (every Monday) - pdf here
  • US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
  • FX Street Economic Calendar - more
  • Iron Ore Price Graph - 1  2  3 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
  • COVID By The Numbers - here
  • How is your state faring? - more
  • What time is it in....? - more
  • Euro/US Dollar chart - here
Why Stainless Steel
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here

Friday, February 11

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Thursday's trading session at $10.64/lb ($23,465/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.03/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Thursday and started today's session just under the 84,500 tonne level. Inflation data released yesterday showed U.S. inflation running at a 40 year high, and markets initially reacted negatively to the news, knowing this increase the chances for more Fed rate hikes. One Goldman analyst adjusted their forecast to seven rate hikes in 2022.  Markets like the availability of free and cheap money, we call it a drug here at ESS, and any chance some of that drug will be withheld, causes withdrawal symptoms. So far, the withdrawal symptoms have only been minor, and most base metals are showing little concern, if any at all. Nickel fell yesterday afternoon, but is recovering this morning. The "official" cash price for LME nickel was published for yesterday above the $24,000 tonne for the first time this year, having registered 'at' that level once in January.  Chinese media is reporting stainless steel prices are slowly rising, but production has not yet returned to normal. We advised previously that things would not return to any sense of normalcy in China until after the Olympics, with the constant threat of covid, or further pollution and/or electricity restrictions always hanging around as wild cards. US import and export numbers below. Indonesia will need more nickel, while the granddaddy of their nickel miners, Vale, reports production fell in 2021. And Russia's Nornickel reports 2021 was a banner year for them. If any working nickel mines didn't make serious money last year, something is very wrong internally. Stay safe out there and have a great weekend!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $10.67/lb

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Base metals falter as prospects of more hawkish Fed lift dollar - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.4570
  • 304 SS Scrap Prices Local (updated bi-weekly) - more
  • SHFE China SS Index (yuan) - 18,280
  • Nornickel Financial Results 2021 - pdf here
  • Current US Inflation Rate - more
  • FRED Truck Tonnage - chart
  • ING:The Commodities Feed - pdf here

   Shanghai Metals Market

  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Nickel Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Inventory (updated each Friday) - more
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here

  London Metals Market

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here
  • LME nickel chart - here 

    Thursday's market review - Aluminium retreats from 13-year high after big inflows - Aluminum prices pulled back from their highest levels in more than 13 years on Thursday after a surge in inventories raised the prospect that supplies are not as tight as feared. - more

     SunSirs: Stainless Steel Prices Was Firm on the 9th - According to the price monitoring of SunSirs, the price of stainless steel rose slightly on the 9th, and the spot price was 16,823.33 RMB/ton, a slight increase of 0.1% and a year-on-year increase of 20.02%. - more

     Nickel Demand May Surge by 20-30% in Indonesia in 2022, Nickel Prices To Stay High in Short Term -  On February 10, SMM#1 refined nickel was quoted at 176,300-177,400 yuan/mt. - more
  • Vale Indonesia 2021 nickel matte output down 9.5 per cent -statement - more
     U.S. imports of Stainless Steel >600mm wide totaled $162.35 million in December, a change of 328.20 percent from the same month one year ago. - more
  • U.S. exports of Stainless Steel >600mm wide totaled $62.3 million in December, a change of 29.82 percent from the same month one year ago. - more
  • U.S. imports of Nickel totaled $113.84 million in December, a change of 0.21 percent from the same month one year ago.  - more
  • U.S. exports of Nickel totaled $15.82 million in December, a change of 5.18 percent from the same month one year ago. - more
  • Search USTradeNumbers for your item of interest - more
     Strong nickel prices support raising South Korea's stainless steel prices - Continued strength in nickel prices prompted South Korean mills to raise stainless prices. - more

     Nornickel's core earnings jumped 37% in 2021 - Norilsk Nickel said on Thursday its full-year core earnings jumped 37% in 2021 thanks to higher revenue from surging metal prices and the sale of stockpiled palladium left over from 2020. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Aluminum prices hit 13-year high on supply tightness, concerns - more
  • Republican U.S. senator presses Energy Department on seabed mining - more

  Economic Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - here
  • US Economy At a Glance - more
  • US Economic Indicators - more
  • US Economic Activity - (every Monday) - pdf here
  • US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
  • FX Street Economic Calendar - more
  • Iron Ore Price Graph - 1  2  3 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
  • COVID By The Numbers - here
  • How is your state faring? - more
  • What time is it in....? - more
  • Euro/US Dollar chart - here
Why Stainless Steel
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here
  • ISSF Stainless steels in sports infrastructure - pdf here

Thursday, February 10

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Wednesday's trading session at $10.54/lb   ($23,245/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.27/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Wednesday and ended that session just over the 84,720 tonne level. Withdrawals of nickel are not letting up as of yet, but we look forward to the surplus the metals analysts forecast for this year. Their forecast for a surplus last year didn't quite work out so we wouldn't suggest holding your breath this year. We hope they are right, but so far this year, they are batting 0 for 28 sessions. The nickel bulls are driving the trading price higher this morning, and apparently have another attempt at the $24,000/tonne level as a goal. Both of the recent Republican and Democratic administrations have made a point of saying how important it is for the US to start mining its own critical minerals. One of those who does is Missouri Cobalt. Yesterday, Glencore entered into an off take agreement and now all of this US mined mineral, will be owned by a foreign company. We are sure that makes sense - somehow. More news today - although mostly EV related. Stay safe out there and enjoy your Thursday!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $10.64/lb

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Aluminium jumps to highest since 2008 on supply fears - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.4573
  • 304 SS Scrap Prices Local (updated bi-weekly) - more
  • SHFE China SS Index (yuan) - 18,355
  • Truck Tonnage - more
  • FDI Report Jan 2022 - pdf here
  • BTS December 2021 Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) - more
  • February constructsteel newsletter - more

   Shanghai Metals Market

  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Nickel Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Inventory (updated each Friday) - more
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here

  London Metals Market

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here
  • LME nickel chart - here 

    Wednesday's market review - Supply fears push aluminium to 13-1/2 year highs - Aluminium prices rose to 13-1/2 year highs on Wednesday as a supply shortfall caused by smelter closures in Europe and China ate further into exchange stockpiles. - more

     SunSirs: Stainless steel prices rose slightly on the 8th - According to the price monitoring of SunSirs, the price of stainless steel rose slightly on the 8th, and the spot price was 16,806.67 RMB/ton, a slight increase of 0.1% and a year-on-year increase of 19.9%. - more

     Foxconn to start $8 bln investment in Indonesia EV sector in Q3 - Taiwan-based Foxconn will launch an $8 billion investment in Indonesia in the third quarter of this year to manufacture electric vehicles (EVs) and batteries, an Indonesian minister said on Wednesday. - more
  • Monsters of Rock: Nickel Mines raises big $$$ for Indonickel; and will lithium prices have a crash landing? - more
  • China's Tsingshan starts to deliver nickel matte to Huayou Cobalt  - more

     Glencore in battery metal off take deal with Missouri Cobalt - Glencore Plc agreed to an off take deal with Missouri Cobalt LLC, giving the world’s biggest commodity trader more exposure to the crucial battery ingredient. - more

     Philex eyes nickel mines amid global metals demand - Philex Mining Corp. is looking into nickel mining projects as the demand for metals grows with the rise of the electric vehicle industry, its chairman said. - more

     France's Renault says it backs moratorium on deep-sea mining - French automaker Renault SA has backed a moratorium on deep-sea mining, the company told Reuters on Wednesday, committing to exclude seabed metals from its supply chain in a blow to the nascent industry. - more

   Other News

  Economic Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - here
  • US Economy At a Glance - more
  • US Economic Indicators - more
  • US Economic Activity - (every Monday) - pdf here
  • US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
  • FX Street Economic Calendar - more
  • Iron Ore Price Graph - 1  2  3 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
  • COVID By The Numbers - here
  • How is your state faring? - more
  • What time is it in....? - more
  • Euro/US Dollar chart - here
Why Stainless Steel
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here

Wednesday, February 9

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Tuesday's trading session at $10.29/lb ($22,690/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.17/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Tuesday and ended that session just over the 85,600 tonne level. LME nickel traders got bushwhacked yesterday, falling over 3% as others booked profits. It's trading back over the $23,000 tonne level this morning. Shanghai ended lower overnight, shadowing the prior LME session. The monthly Fastener Distributor Index was lower in January. We old guys still watch fastener and box indexes to give a hint at what production is really doing. Nearly every factory uses bolts and screws to hold their product together, and all use boxes to package and ship their product in. Industry news is hard to come by these days but reports are starting to show up. Stay safe out there and have a great hump day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $10.63/lb

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - London aluminium holds near 13-1/2-year high on supply fears - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.4573
  • 304 SS Scrap Prices Local (updated bi-weekly) - more
  • SHFE China SS Index (yuan) - 18,205
  • Outokumpu financial statements release 2021 - more
  • Fastener Distributor Index Jan 2022 - more
  • J. P. Morgan Guide to China - pdf here
  • Mincor Resources Presentation - pdf here
  • U.S. Imports for Consumption of Steel Products Dec 2021 - pdf here

   Shanghai Metals Market

  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Nickel Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Inventory (updated each Friday) - more
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here

  London Metals Market

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here
  • LME nickel chart - here 

    Tuesday's market review - Aluminium prices hit their highest since 2008 - Aluminium prices reached their highest since 2008 on Tuesday, buoyed by investor concern over tight supply and falling inventories. - more

     Canada's oil M&A flurry seen giving buyers upper hand in deal making - A rally in oil prices to over seven-year highs is leading to a flurry of asset sales in Canada as energy companies cash out of low margin assets, but the rush of deals could turn it into a buyers market, bankers and company executives said. - more

     Americans Face Record Metals Prices as Shipping Costs Surge - Surging prices of the raw materials needed for your refrigerators, automobiles, window frames and plumbing show no signs of abating as America’s supply chain crisis spills into another year. - more

  • Ohio Man Duped Industrial Supplier out of Nearly $1M in Fraud Purchases - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Robust imports boost U.S. trade deficit to record high in 2021 - more
  • U.S. National Debt by Year - more  (growth in 2020 alone more than our nation had accrued thru 1974 - in last 4 years has risen from 20 to 30 trillion)
  • Canadians see danger at home from U.S. political strife - poll - more

  Economic Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - here
  • US Economy At a Glance - more
  • US Economic Indicators - more
  • US Economic Activity - (every Monday) - pdf here
  • US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
  • FX Street Economic Calendar - more
  • Iron Ore Price Graph - 1  2  3 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
  • COVID By The Numbers - here
  • How is your state faring? - more
  • What time is it in....? - more
  • Euro/US Dollar chart - here
Why Stainless Steel
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here

Tuesday, February 8

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Monday's trading session at $10.61/lb ($23,380/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.01/lb lower. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Monday and ended that session just below the 85,900 tonne level. Nickel is quiet so far this morning, trading slightly off last night's close. Two closes at or above the $23,000/tonne level sends a bullish technical signal, but many technical signals have become antiquated over time, so take that with a grain of salt. We suspect the market can't turn bearish as long as stockpiles continue to drop, especially if we see the rate of withdrawals pick up. The Chinese New Year makes it hard to tell for sure but withdrawals for January and the first week of February seem to be higher than last year. That means very little, as there are many variables involved. Industry news remains on the light side, with EV news dominating last weeks headlines, but even that sector has gone quiet this week. If the old adage "no news is good news" is applicable, it's going to be a good day in our sector. Stay safe out there and have a great day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $10.62/lb

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Aluminium touches near 4-month peak on supply woes - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.4573
  • 304 SS Scrap Prices Local (updated bi-weekly) - more
  • SHFE China SS Index (yuan) - 18,115

   Shanghai Metals Market

  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Nickel Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Inventory (updated each Friday) - more
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here

  London Metals Market

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here
  • LME nickel chart - here 

    Monday's market review - Global shortages propel aluminium to four-month peak - Aluminium prices scaled a four-month peak on Monday as worries about supplies from top producer China and deficits in Europe and the United States were reinforced by sliding stocks. - more

     China’s steel sector PMI rises in January amid stock buildup - In January this year, the purchasing managers index (PMI) for the Chinese steel sector was at 47.5 percent, up 8.8 percentage points compared to December last year, as announced by the China Steel Logistics Committee (CSLC), which is part of the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP) - more

     Russia’s stainless steel imports grow in 2021 y-o-y - According to statistics released by the Russian Special Steel and Alloys Consumers and Suppliers Association (SpetsStal Association), Russia’s stainless steel imports amounted to approximately 463,000 tons in 2021, growing by 20.8% compared to the previous year. - more

     Courtesy AISI - In the week ending on February 5, 2022, domestic raw steel production was 1,785,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 81.1 percent. Production was 1,739,000 net tons in the week ending February 5, 2021 while the capability utilization then was 76.7 percent. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Warehouse, distribution center demand accelerates as e-commerce grows - more
  • Industrial Distribution's 2022 Watch List - more
  • Editorial: Industrial Distributors Primed to Take Their Foot Off the Brake - more

  Economic Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - here
  • US Economy At a Glance - more
  • US Economic Indicators - more
  • US Economic Activity - (every Monday) - pdf here
  • US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
  • FX Street Economic Calendar - more
  • Iron Ore Price Graph - 1  2  3 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
  • COVID By The Numbers - here
  • How is your state faring? - more
  • What time is it in....? - more
  • Euro/US Dollar chart - here
Why Stainless Steel
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here

Monday, February 7

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Friday's trading session at $10.43/lb ($23,000/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.13/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Friday and started the week just over the 87,000 tonne level. Stockpiles have fallen by 13,000 tonnes in the last 4 weeks. And with most of China back to work, cancelled warrants notched up to 48%. Shanghai markets ended much higher this morning, not unexpectedly. They missed out on last weeks LME rally and were playing catch up today. Speaking of last week, the closing we posted for Thursday wasn't even close and we have corrected it in the archived page to $22,940/tonne. This change negated our statement that nickel had finally closed above the $23,000/tonne level on Thursday, but it did close 'at' that level on Friday. We typically use the afternoon Reuters wrap up report posts for a closing price, but their daily reports were hard to locate a few days last week, and our now former secondary source had a malfunction we weren't aware of. China has returned from their week long holiday in a bullish mood, with stainless steel futures trading much higher. News is on the light side to start the week. Stay safe out there and have a great week!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $10.59/lb

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Shanghai aluminium scales 3-1/2-month peak on supply woes, demand hopes - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.4701
  • 304 SS Scrap Prices Local (updated bi-weekly) - more
  • SHFE China SS Index (yuan) - 17,965

   Shanghai Metals Market

  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Nickel Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Inventory (updated each Friday) - more
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here

  London Metals Market

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here
  • LME nickel chart - here 

    Friday's market review - Copper edges up, but rate hikes, growth worries cap gains - Copper and aluminium prices rose on Friday, supported by thin inventories, but worries that central bank rate hikes would curb growth and metal demand capped gains. - more

     Stainless Steel Prices Outlook Remains Optimistic in Q1 - The stainless steel futures prices tested 19,000 yuan/mt ahead of the Chinese New Year (CNY) holiday, and then dropped to 17,300 yuan/mt and moved rangebound. - more

     Moderate recovery set to continue in 2022, as energy prices and substantial uncertainty put growth at risk -  In the third quarter of 2021 EU apparent steel consumption increased for the fourth consecutive time in a row (+14.3%), albeit easing with 36 million tonnes compared to 40 million tonnes in the second quarter. - more

    Weda Bay Nickel: the emergence of a leading producer of nickel ferroalloys - A world-class deposit located in Indonesia, Weda Bay Nickel is a joint venture with the Chinese company Tsingshan, the world's leading producer of stainless steel. Its mission is to supply several ore processing facilities with low-grade nickel ferroalloys. - more

    Column: Rio's dreadful workplace report may boost cost of energy transition - Rio Tinto's decision to go public with a self-damning report into its workplace culture should be a watershed moment for a wider mining industry aiming to be seen as the "good guys", helping to drive the world's energy transition. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Researchers double lifespan of lithium nickel oxide cathode for EV batteries - more

  Economic Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - here
  • US Economy At a Glance - more
  • US Economic Indicators - more
  • US Economic Activity - (every Monday) - pdf here
  • US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
  • FX Street Economic Calendar - more
  • Iron Ore Price Graph - 1  2  3 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
  • COVID By The Numbers - here
  • How is your state faring? - more
  • What time is it in....? - more
  • Euro/US Dollar chart - here
Why Stainless Steel
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here

Friday, February 4

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Thursday's trading session at $10.41/lb ($22,940/tonne). Indicators at 6:15 am CST today show nickel trading around $.01/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Thursday and ended that session just over the 87,500 tonne level. Considering last Friday's LME close was $1000/tonne lower than it is currently trading at, China traders should return in a buying mood.  The Euro is way up against the US Dollar today and here is the chart we check every morning (chart). A stronger Euro is typically seen as a positive for London traded base metals - although old rules rarely apply to modern trading anymore. Nickel 28 reported that covid adversely impacted its nickel production in Papua during the last quarter of 2021. The Winter Olympics start today, with the Opening Ceremony taking place this evening - China time that is. Time for the politicians to get off their soap boxes and make room for the kids who need them to collect their medals on. If you want to support your country, wherever that might be, support your athletes and give your politics a rest. Stay safe out there and enjoy the weekend!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $10.57/lb

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper edges higher on weaker dollar, growth worries cap gains - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.4701
  • 304 SS Scrap Prices Local (updated bi-weekly) - more
  • SHFE China SS Index (yuan) - closed
  • BLS Productivity and Costs -  pdf here

   Shanghai Metals Market

  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Nickel Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Inventory (updated each Friday) - more
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here

  London Metals Market

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here
  • LME nickel chart - here 

    Thursday's market review - Copper steady as low stocks, softer dollar offer support - Copper prices steadied on Thursday, helped by a softer dollar and low inventories, but concerns about demand in top consumer China and Europe weighed on sentiment. - more

     Column: China's metals imports boomed in 2021, so did its exports - China imported a record amount of primary and alloy aluminium in 2021, the world's largest producer tapping the international market for the second consecutive year. - more

     Russia’s stainless steel imports up 20.8 percent in 2021 - In 2021, Russia’s stainless steel imports totaled 463,040 mt, rising by 20.8 compared to 2020, according to Russia-based SpetsStal Association. - more

    COVID slows Nickel 28's Ramu mine performance - Canadian Nickel 28’s Ramu mine in Papua New Guinea saw its production of nickel and cobalt ease in both the latest October-December quarter and for the full 2021 year as it continued to deal with the ongoing impacts of COVID-19. - more

     Turkey’s DTS Filyos to build EAF stainless steel plant project - Turkey’s Ministry of Environment and Urbanization has announced that the environmental impact assessment (EIA) application made by Turkish steelmaker DTS Filyos Demir «elik ‹retim Sanayi for its electric arc furnace stainless steel production plant project in «aycuma, Zonguldak, has been approved and that the environmental impact assessment process has begun. - more

   Big miners plug into battery metals joint ventures - Big miners, under pressure to increase their exposure to minerals needed to drive the electric vehicle revolution, have so far opted for the cautious approach of joint ventures with small explorers rather than buying them outright. - more

  • Explainer: Costs of nickel and cobalt used in electric vehicle batteries - more
  • EU Batteries Regulation: Where do we stand? - more
     Shortages 2022: 5 products expected to be in tight supply this year - From semiconductors to aluminum packaging, here's a look at some of the biggest supply constraints likely to create headwinds for companies. - more

   Other News

  Economic Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - here
  • US Economy At a Glance - more
  • US Economic Indicators - more
  • US Economic Activity - (every Monday) - pdf here
  • US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
  • FX Street Economic Calendar - more
  • Iron Ore Price Graph - 1  2  3 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
  • COVID By The Numbers - here
  • How is your state faring? - more
  • What time is it in....? - more
  • Euro/US Dollar chart - here
Why Stainless Steel
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here

  • China’s new waterways: tapping into stainless steel for long-term solutions - more

Thursday, February 3

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Wednesday's trading session at $10.38/lb ($22,890/tonne). Indicators at 5:30 am CST today show nickel trading around $.21/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Wednesday and started today just under the 88,200 tonne level. It appears today is mimicking that last few. A big jump in nickel's traded price early on, and a not so big drop in the afternoon. This is nickel's third consecutive charge past the $23,000/tonne level, the former two ending the day below that level. Here are your average costs for January, compared to December 2021. Nickel - $10.12/lb up from $9.10/lb, Chrome - $5.78/lb up from $5.60/lb, Molybdenum - $19.03/lb up from $18.96/lb. Compared to January 2021, the stainless ingredients rose from a year ago from $8.10/lb,  $3.33/lb, and  $11.74/lb  respectively. The Gerber Steel Group is advising that "On 1 March 2022, a new tax rebate increase will come into force in China. Among other things, it increases the tax rebates for nickel, lithium, manganese and cobalt battery scrap from 30% to 50%." Stainless and nickel industry news on the light side today. We are posting early because we aren't convinced we will keep power today due to inclimate weather. Stay safe out there and have a great day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $10.59/lb

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Supply concerns lift aluminium; copper slips as dollar slide pauses - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.4703
  • 304 SS Scrap Prices Local (updated bi-weekly) - more
  • SHFE China SS Index (yuan) - closed
  • Commodity Price Fundamentals Strong Despite Omicron - more

   Shanghai Metals Market

  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Nickel Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Inventory (updated each Friday) - more
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here

  London Metals Market

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here
  • LME nickel chart - here 

    Wednesday's market review - Copper climbs on low inventories, soft dollar - Copper prices climbed on Wednesday as a softer dollar and worries about low inventories spurred buying, but gains were capped by slowing economic activity in top consumer China. - more

     Skyrocketing stainless coil plunges EU market into lull - The European stainless steel coil shortage has persisted this month despite the increased volume of purchases from the import market. European mills’ coil price hikes are said to have become unsustainable, Kallanish learns from market sources. - more

     Tesla nickel supplier BHP building off-grid solar & battery storage systems for mining - Tesla nickel supplier BHP announced that construction on one of the world’s largest off-grid mining solar and battery energy storage systems has started. - more

   Mercedes-Benz CEO says raw material scarcity could delay e-mobility - Die Zeit - Scarce supply of raw materials for electric cars could slow the transition from fossil-fuel burning vehicles to electric ones, Mercedes-Benz Chief Executive Ola Kaellenius said in an interview with German paper Die Zeit on Wednesday. - more

     Why parcel shipping will be even more expensive in 2022 - The 5.9% general rate increase commonplace among U.S. parcel carriers this year doesn't factor in the sting new surcharges could bring, experts say. - more

     The mining industry as a net beneficiary of a global tax on carbon emissions - The technology used in renewable energy production is resulting in a material increase in the demand for many minerals and metals. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Here’s How The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Will Light Up Your Home - more

  Economic Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - here
  • US Economy At a Glance - more
  • US Economic Indicators - more
  • US Economic Activity - (every Monday) - pdf here
  • US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
  • FX Street Economic Calendar - more
  • Iron Ore Price Graph - 1  2  3 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
  • COVID By The Numbers - here
  • How is your state faring? - more
  • What time is it in....? - more
  • Euro/US Dollar chart - here
Why Stainless Steel
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here

Wednesday, February 2

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Tuesday's trading session at $10.33/lb ($22,770/tonne). Indicators at 6:00 am CST today show nickel trading around $.26/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell on Tuesday and ended that session just above the 88,600 tonne level. Nickel continues to climb and has blown by the $23,000/tonne level this morning, which put up some resistance yesterday. According to Andy Home, the Reuters poll of analysts show most still believe nickel will slip into surplus this year. Last week they forecast the price for nickel to average $19,921/tonne in 2022. Reuters also reported last week that "The global nickel market is forecast to be in deficit to the tune of 17,000 tonnes in 2022, shifting to a surplus of 34,000 tonnes next year." Deficit - surplus? Apparently only Reuters knows for sure what the poll revealed as their reporters seem to disagree. Reuters reported they predicted a surplus for 2022 in December. Still worth keeping an eye on the Fedex and UPS hubs if you use their overnight service. At the very least promise your customer the service with a big "but". It's the day grown adults dress up in costumes and pull a rodent from the ground and want us all to believe their weather forecast for spring. With a 50-50 shot, the ground hog is probably more accurate than many metals analysts. Stay safe out there and enjoy your hump day!
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $10.57/lb

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper edges higher in range-bound Asian trading - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.4703
  • 304 SS Scrap Prices Local (updated bi-weekly) - more
  • SHFE China SS Index (yuan) - closed
  • Tamarack Nickel Project - pdf here
  • Mineral Commodity Summaries - Nickel - pdf here
  • Mineral Commodity Summaries - Chrome - pdf here
  • Mineral Commodity Summaries - Molybdenum - pdf here

   Shanghai Metals Market

  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Nickel Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Inventory (updated each Friday) - more
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here

  London Metals Market

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here
  • LME nickel chart - here 

    Tuesday's market review - Copper pushes higher while low inventories boost nickel - Copper prices rose on Tuesday after data showed expanding factory activity in Europe, Japan and the United States and as the dollar weakened, making metals cheaper for buyers with other currencies. - more

     Analysts expect scorching base metals rally to cool: Andy Home - (excerpt) Indeed, only aluminium and tin are expected to remain in supply shortfall next year. Zinc is forecast to be balanced, and nickel and lead are both expected to record supply surpluses - for a second consecutive year, in the case of lead. - more

     The Squeeze in the Nickel Market Is Getting Worse - Stockpiles held by the London Metal Exchange extended their decline on Tuesday, with the last increase coming in October. Buyers are paying a massive premium for immediately deliverable futures. - more

     Wood Mackenzie predicts 2022 to be a year of rebalancing for metals and mining industry - If 2021 was the year of rebound for metals and mining (M&M) commodities, then 2022 is shaping as the year of rebalance, predicts global commodity research firm, Wood Mackenzie, - more

     Decrease in steel supply to increase steel prices - In the new year, China will continue the policy to tighten steel production. In January 2022, 50 steel mills announced the plan to limit production in consideration of carbon neutralization, energy conservation, and emissions reduction while satisfying the demand for the "blue sky" of the Beijing Winter Olympics. - more

     2022 supply chain outlook features shortages, high delivery costs - Roughly two years into the pandemic, companies are still left wondering when supply chains will get back to "normal." Early indications suggest 2022 won't be that year. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • FBI Chief: Threat from China 'More Brazen' Than Ever Before - more

  Economic Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - here
  • US Economy At a Glance - more
  • US Economic Indicators - more
  • US Economic Activity - (every Monday) - pdf here
  • US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
  • FX Street Economic Calendar - more
  • Iron Ore Price Graph - 1  2  3 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
  • COVID By The Numbers - here
  • How is your state faring? - more
  • What time is it in....? - more
  • Euro/US Dollar chart - here
Why Stainless Steel
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here

Tuesday, February 1

LME nickel prices  Daily Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing 

  • Nickel closed Monday's trading session at $10.14/lb ($22,350/tonne). Indicators at 5:55 am CST today show nickel trading around $.41/lb higher. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses fell by over $1000/tonne for a second consecutive day and ended January just below the 89,400 tonne level. Nickel traders have a jet pack attached this morning so sit tight and hold on. The Euro is rebounding and that may be adding a little incentive, but can not account for today's jump on its own. Cancelled warrants are running in the 47% range. A correction from yesterday. Thanks to a reader we discovered that 2022 is the Chinese Year of the Tiger, not Water Dragon as we reported yesterday. For those of you using Fedex and UPS overnight services, keep an eye on the weather the next few days. Lot of ice coming to both of their hubs. It's also heading our way and if we loose power, we will not be able to update this site. It's a new month, and time for new goals and new success. Stay safe out there and have a great day ..... and month.
  • Average price of LME traded cash nickel so far this month - $10.13/lb  (average in January)

  Reports

  • Reuters metals morning - Copper rebounds as dollar retreats, risk appetite returns - more
  • Refinitiv Inside Commodities - pdf here
  • ING The Commodities Feed - daily here
  • Barchart 304 Stainless Steel Scrap Index (lb) - $.4703
  • 304 SS Scrap Prices Local (updated bi-weekly) - more
  • SHFE China SS Index (yuan) - closed
  • Baltic Exchange Dry Index - chart
  • Global Manufacturing PMIs - pdf here
  • Industrial Distribution Nov/Dec 2021 Digital Edition - here
  • USGS Mineral Commodity Summaries 2022 - pdf here

   Shanghai Metals Market

  • SHFE Stainless Steel  Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Nickel Futures (yuan) - more
  • SHFE Inventory (updated each Friday) - more
  • Shanghai Jinchuan nickel price -  here

  London Metals Market

  • Yesterday's LME official prices here
  • LME nickel chart - here 

    Monday's market review - Copper prices tick up in trade thinned by China holiday - Copper prices ticked higher on Monday as the dollar lost ground, but trading volumes were thin as markets in top metals consumer China were closed for the week-long Lunar New Year holiday. - more

     Stainless buyers cautious amid nickel price volatility - Recent nickel price volatility is making European stainless steel market participants nervous – especially at a time when many fear that a price reversal is on the horizon. In addition, demand for stainless steel was slow to materialise, in the first few weeks of January. - more

    Column: Commodity prices likely to be hit by slowdown before end of 2023: Kemp - Prices for a wide range of commodities have climbed to their highest level for seven years or more as drillers, miners and farmers struggle to keep up with booming demand as the economy recovers from the pandemic. - more

     Fagersta Stainless starts up new soaking furnace - An electrical soaking furnace for long products supplied by Danieli Centro Combustion has reached full operation four weeks after installation at Swedish long products maker Fagersta Stainless. - more

     Courtesy AISI - In the week ending on January 29, 2022, domestic raw steel production was 1,796,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 81.6 percent. Production was 1,736,000 net tons in the week ending January 29, 2021 while the capability utilization then was 76.6 percent. - more

     Shippers plan for disruptions from Lunar New Year: survey - Lunar New Year is expected to "further disrupt" supply chains, two-thirds of respondents said in a global survey conducted by Container xChange. - more

   Other News

  • Reuters The Day Ahead - pdf here
  • Baltic index logs worst month since January 2020 - more
  • George Soros warns China is facing an economic crisis - more

  Economic Stats and Prices

  • U.S. Steel Import Monitor - here
  • SIMA Melt & Pour Dashboard - here
  • US Economy At a Glance - more
  • US Economic Indicators - more
  • US Economic Activity - (every Monday) - pdf here
  • US Fed NY Weekly Economic Index - more
  • FX Street Economic Calendar - more
  • Iron Ore Price Graph - 1  2  3 
  • India MCX Nickel Price - more
  • Baltic Dry Index - chart
  • COVID By The Numbers - here
  • How is your state faring? - more
  • What time is it in....? - more
  • Euro/US Dollar chart - here
Why Stainless Steel
  • Alloyed for Lasting Value video - here
  • Self Repairing for Lasting Value video - here
  • 100 Years of Stainless Steel Video - here
  • Stainless steel: The role of nickel - here
  • The Life of Nickel - pdf here
  • Passivating stainless steel parts to maximize corrosion resistance - more


January Archives


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(all ton listings are metric tons = 2204.622 pounds ) Updated Monday thru Thursday before 7 am CST, Friday version before 8 am CST - Disclaimer Original content and opinions copyright www.estainlesssteel.com. All prices shown on this page are indications only. Please note - for real time and official LME prices, LME requires a user subscribe to an authorized LME vendor.



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