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Welcome back to the MetalMiner Week-in-Review! As the week began we marveled at (and questioned) the latest GDP figures from China, as the People’s Republic is chugging along at 6.7% despite a slowdown pretty much everywhere else.

Is it time to exit free trade pacts?

Free trade, what is it good for? Source: Adobe Stock/Argus.

This happened even as we received yet another warning that global steel overcapacity, particularly production in China, must change. This strange dichotomy of demanding that China change while also relying on her for growth to bolster the global economy seemed to haunt our coverage like a particularly effective Halloween ghost this week.

Anti-Dumping Duties for Overproduced Products

There were final tariffs for welded circular steel pipe, some as high as 113%, this week. Then vanadium from South Korea got the same treatment.

Free Download: The October 2016 MMI Report

The world seems more protectionist every day. It’s not just the U.S. The European Union is coming very close to scuttling its long-term trade agreement with Canada, the European and Canadian Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, over the objections of a regional government in the German-speaking Wallonia area in Belgium. (more…)

stainless-nickel-L1Nickel prices remained steady this week, trading in the range of their support and resistance levels, but the future could be an interesting one for the metal.

According to a recent report from the Economic Calendar, a tightening supply chain and increased demand could lend its support to future upside for nickel.

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“There are signs that this year could be finally the turning point for nickel with many expecting the market to be in deficit and so starting the much needed rebalancing process,” Eduard Haegel, asset president of BHP’s Nickel West unit, said at a conference in Perth. “The welcome return to balance over the next few years should see further recovery in nickel prices.”

So far this year, nickel prices have climbed following the Philippines banning several miners due to questionable environmental practices. On the heels of Indonesia’s ban on nickel ore exports, there were concerns this shift in supply would be temporary but both nations have confirmed they will continue their efforts.

Nickel in Line for a Rally?

Our own Raul de Frutos wrote just this week that nickel’s fundamentals favor a move higher, as do their recent consolidation.

“At least both the price action and fundamentals seem to agree with (nickel’s move higher). Buyers should have a good plan in order to protect margins in case of a price increase,” de Frutos wrote.

How will nickel and base metals fare for the remainder of 2016 and into 2017? You can find a more in-depth copper price forecast and outlook in our brand new Monthly Metal Buying Outlook report. For a short- and long-term buying strategy with specific price thresholds: