Stainless MMI®: Nickel Up for the Week, Chinese Imports Fueling Surge

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Nickel concentrate imports by China, the largest user of the metal, reached the highest in 19 months as rising metal prices encouraged smelters to purchase the raw material from overseas to boost output, Bloomberg Businessweek reported. Nickel has been surging for most of 2014 and  the nickel spot price once again saw the biggest increase on the weekly Stainless MMI®, rising 5.6 percent on the LME and settling at $17,980 per metric ton. The nickel 3-month price increased 4.8 percent over the past week to $17,950 per metric ton on the LME.

Closing out the third week of rising prices, the Indian nickel cash price increased by 4.4 percent, landing at INR 1,092 ($18.10) per kilogram.

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Chinese stainless steel prices were flat for the week. Chinese ferro-chrome prices held steady from the previous week at CNY 8,300 ($1,334) per metric ton. At CNY 145,000 ($23,313) per metric ton, the week finished with no movement for Chinese ferro-moly.

The price of Chinese primary nickel traded sideways last week, hovering around CNY 117,900 ($18,956) per metric ton. Closing at CNY 16,400 ($2,637) per metric ton, Chinese 304 stainless steel scrap remained unchanged for the week. Prices for Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap remained constant, closing the week at CNY 16,100 ($2,589) per metric ton. At CNY 16,400 ($2,637) per metric ton, the price of Chinese 304 stainless coil did not change since the previous week. Following a steady week, prices for Chinese 316 stainless coil closed flat at CNY 26,000 ($4,180) per metric ton.

Korean 304 stainless coil prices held steady from the previous week at KRW 4.2 million ($3,881) per metric ton. Korean 430 stainless steel coil remained essentially flat from the previous week at KRW 2.6 million ($2,376) per metric ton. The Allegheny Ludlum 304 stainless surcharge stayed essentially flat at $0.72 per pound. The Allegheny Ludlum 316 stainless surcharge closed at $0.98 per pound after a flat 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. 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.

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