Nickel Price Outlook Dim, But Don't Buy Your Metal Like a Dimwit

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MetalMiner’s stainless steel price index took a big hit this past month, dropping four points from 83 to 79, largely on the back of falling nickel prices.

nickel prices

Unlike some of the other July index values to be released this week, the Stainless MMI® still contained a number of price points that held relatively steady including ferro-chrome, ferro-moly, as well as different grades of stainless in the Chinese and Korean markets. Allegheny Ludlum stainless surcharges, for their part, did not move.

Compare with last month’s price trends – get June’s MMI® Report here.

“Though nickel has received a bit of price support in recent days, its fundamentals remain weak with both over-supply and weak stainless demand, which will continue to put pressure on this key additive,” said Lisa Reisman, managing editor of MetalMiner. “A four-point decline represents a significant fall and the first time the index has fallen below 80.”

In addition, PMI manufacturing data moved slightly above the recessionary threshold value of 50, which still suggests some market sluggishness. Without a corresponding increase in demand, we don’t see a ton of price support for stainless steel.

Key Stainless Index Price Drivers

today's metal prices - MetalMiner IndXAfter falling 7.4 percent, the price of Chinese primary nickel finished the month lower. On the LME, the 3-month price of nickel fell 7.3 percent to $13,710 per metric ton. The LME nickel spot price closed the month at $13,680 per metric ton after dropping 6.5 percent. The India nickel price fell 3.5 percent.

The price of Chinese ferro-chrome held steady. Prices for Chinese ferro-moly remained constant this past month.

Chinese 304 and 316 stainless steel coil and scrap traded sideways last month, while the Allegheny Ludlum 304 and 316 stainless surcharges held pat as well.

Don’t forget to see June 2013 price trends before July’s report comes out next week.

The Stainless MMI® collects and weights 14 global stainless steel and raw material price points to provide a unique view into stainless steel price trends over a 30-day period. For more information on the Stainless MMI®, how it’s calculated or how your company can use the index, please drop us a note at: info (at) agmetalminer (dot) com.