Nickel Surges on Weekly LME, Stainless Manufacturers Raise Prices

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Nickel continued its long climb on the LME this week as Chinese stainless manufacturers Baosteel and Taigang Stainless both raised prices to compensate for higher nickel costs. This follows similar moves by AK Steel and other stainless steel makers.

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Chinese stainless steel prices were mixed for the week. Chinese ferro-chrome remained essentially flat from the previous week at CNY 8,300 ($1,336) per metric ton. At CNY 145,000 ($23,336) per metric ton, the price of Chinese ferro-moly did not change since the previous week.

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The price of Chinese primary nickel fell 0.8 percent to CNY 101,400 ($16,319) per metric ton after rising 6.3 percent the week before. Following a steady week, prices for Chinese 304 stainless steel scrap closed flat at CNY 16,400 ($2,639) per metric ton. At CNY 16,100 ($2,591) per metric ton, the week finished with no movement for Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap. Closing at CNY 16,400 ($2,639) per metric ton, Chinese 304 stainless coil remained unchanged for the week. Chinese 316 stainless coil traded sideways last week, hovering around CNY 26,000 ($4,184) per metric ton.

Russian stainless steel consumption was reported up by 6% in 2013 this week by Russia’s national trade group as well. To learn more about stainless pricing, check out Metalminer Contributing Editor Badri Narayanan’s four-part series on how nickel and stainless pricing is calculated.

Korean 430 stainless steel coil prices held steady from the previous week at KRW 2.6 million ($2,376) per metric ton. Prices for Korean 304 stainless coil remained constant, closing the week at KRW 4.2 million ($3,881) per metric ton.

The Indian nickel cash price fell 1.6 percent over the past week to INR 959.00 ($15.94) per kilogram. This was the third week in a row of declining prices. Finishing the fourth week of rising prices, the nickel 3-month price increased by 0.8 percent on the LME, finishing at $16,045 per metric ton. The spot price of nickel rose 0.3 percent on the LME over the past week to $15,950 per metric ton. This was the fourth week in a row of increasing prices.

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