The nickel spot price fell 1.6 percent on Thursday, March 27 to $15,950 per metric ton on the LME, making it the day’s biggest mover. The 3-month price of nickel declined 1.4 percent on the LME to $16,045 per metric ton, after two days of improvement. The Indian nickel cash price fell 0.6 percent to INR 965.00 ($16.04) per kilogram.
Nickel has gained in price all year thanks to a January export ban by Indonesia, a major miner of nickel or and nickel pig iron, raw materials for the alloying metal that is key to the production of stainless steel. Some analysts say the metal may never have been as scarce and it’s price was driven up by speculation on what might happen once stockpiles were depleted after the Indonesian export ban.
Chinese stainless steel closed mixed yesterday. The price of Chinese ferro-chrome held steady at CNY 8,300 ($1,336) per metric ton. For the fifth day in a row, the price of Chinese ferro-moly remained essentially flat at CNY 145,000 ($23,344) per metric ton.
The price of Chinese primary nickel declined 1.2 percent to CNY 101,300 ($16,308) per metric ton. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese 316 stainless coil held flat at CNY 26,000 ($4,186) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 304 stainless coil was unchanged at CNY 16,400 ($2,640) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap remained essentially flat at CNY 16,100 ($2,592) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 304 stainless steel scrap held steady at CNY 16,400 ($2,640) per metric ton.