BHP Billiton Tries to Sell its Nickel Business as Prices Keep Rising

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The Indian nickel cash price saw a 1.5 percent increase on Friday, making it the biggest mover for the day. After a 0.4 percent increase, the nickel 3-month price finished the day on the LME at $15,765 per metric ton. On the LME, the nickel spot price inched up 0.4 percent to $15,720 per metric ton.

Indonesia’s export ban on laterite nickel ores has caused nickel, a key ingredient in stainless steel, prices to steadily rise since it was announced in January. The ban is an attempt to compel more value-adding to Indonesia’s mineral exports through the development of onshore processing operations. In Australia, BHP Billiton has put out the feelers on a sale of its West Australian nickel business, valued at up to $1 billion to take advantage of the interest in rising nickel prices, according the The Australian.

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Chinese stainless steel prices were flat for the day. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese ferro-chrome held flat. For the fifth day in a row, the price of Chinese ferro-moly remained essentially flat.

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The price of Chinese 316 stainless coil saw little movement. The price of Chinese 304 stainless coil remained essentially flat. The price of Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap was unchanged as well. The price of Chinese 304 stainless steel scrap continues hovering around a short range for the fifth day in a row. Following a two-day rise, the price of Chinese primary nickel flattened).