Nickel Price Drops as China Cuts Pig Iron Output

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Producers of pig-iron nickel are expected to cut output, Reuters reported, as prices for ore imports have nearly doubled since the end of February in the wake of a ban on shipments by top exporter Indonesia.

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Reduced supply of nickel pig iron could mean China,  the world’s top consumer of nickel and stainless steel, would increase its use of the higher grade refined metal, underpinning global prices that have already risen about 16 percent this year.

The nickel spot price experienced the biggest price decline of the day, dropping 0.3 percent on the LME to close at $18,175 per metric ton on Thursday, May 1. The nickel 3-month price weakened by 0.3 percent on the LME, settling at $18,250 per metric ton. The Indian nickel cash price saw a 0.2 percent decline to INR 1,104 ($18.31) per kilogram.

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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 at CNY 8,300 ($1,326) per metric ton. The price of Chinese ferro-moly saw little movement at CNY 145,000 ($23,166) per metric ton.

The Allegheny Ludlum 316 stainless surcharge showed little movement yesterday, hovering around $1.16 per pound. The price of Chinese 316 stainless coil continues hovering around CNY 26,000 ($4,154) per metric ton for the fifth day in a row. The price of Chinese 304 stainless coil was unchanged at CNY 16,400 ($2,620) per metric ton. For the fifth day in a row, the price of Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap remained essentially flat at CNY 16,100 ($2,572) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 304 stainless steel scrap was unchanged at CNY 16,400 ($2,620) per metric ton.

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