Nickel Rises Thanks To Indonesian Export Ban; Primary Indian Nickel Gains

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The Indonesian export ban seems to be having some positive effects on the price of nickel… “Nickel has risen to its highest level in nine months on signs that Indonesia’s export ban on unprocessed mineral ore is starting to bite and affect Chinese stockpiles,” reports The Financial Times.

“The industrial metal made further gains on Wednesday, climbing to its highest level since June 2013 as the market picked up on comments made by Tsingshan, China’s largest stainless steel and nickel pig iron producer. Nickel for delivery in three months on the LME rose 0.2 per cent to $15,165 a tone.”

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“’Tsingshan reported that nickel ore prices are ‘going crazy’ following the ban and that smaller Chinese nickel pig iron and stainless producers were unprepared for the ban,’ analysts at Macquarie said in a report. ‘Tsingshan thinks any change in Indonesian government policy is unlikely before end-2014, and even if there was a change export taxes would be very high.’”

“Indonesia’s export ban is viewed by many as a potential game-changer for the nickel industry, which has been plagued by oversupply and high inventories. At current prices, around 30 per cent of global nickel production is reckoned to be underwater on a cash cost basis.”

“’Indonesia’s ore export ban and the likelihood of enforcement have potentially transformed nickel’s outlook,’ Glencore Xstrata said in an annual results presentation published on Tuesday. ‘ A continued export ban post presidential elections will balance the market in 2014 followed by a significant deficit in 2015.’”

In metal price news for stainless steel and nickel…

The cash price of primary Indian nickel saw a 3.6 percent increase on Wednesday, March 5, making it the biggest mover for the day. On the LME, the 3-month price of nickel rose 2.3 percent to $14,860 per metric ton. On the LME, the spot price of nickel rose 2.2 percent to $14,825 per metric ton.

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Chinese stainless steel prices were mixed for the day. The price of Chinese ferro-chrome remained essentially flat at. The price of Chinese ferro-moly held steady.

After a 1.9 percent increase, the price of Chinese primary nickel finished the day. The price of Chinese 316 stainless coil continues to hover for the fifth day in a row. The price of Chinese 304 stainless coil saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap held flat. The price of Chinese 304 stainless steel scrap was unchanged.