Nickel on Downward Slide; Price in India Crashes

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With a decline of 6.2 percent to INR 1,145 ($19.25) per kilogram on Thursday, May 15, the Indian nickel cash price recorded the biggest decline of the day on the MetalMiner IndX.

“Nickel prices have suffered this week as investors have locked in profits but prices are set to bounce back as long as top exporter Indonesia keeps squeezing supply and stainless steel producers can absorb higher prices,” according to a Reuters newsletter. However, “exchange-tracked inventories rose, prompting some investors to judge the rally was exaggerated. China will ‘aggressively’ build blast-furnace capacity in Indonesia to produce nickel pig iron, a low-grade alternative to refined metal, Goldman Sachs said in a report dated May 14, according to Bloomberg.

RELATED: Read our latest nickel price forecasts and analysis.

On the LME, after improving for two days, the nickel spot price declined 2.4 percent to $20,650 per metric ton. Following two days of rising prices, the 3-month price of LME nickel dropped 1.8 percent to $20,700 per metric ton.

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Chinese stainless steel prices were mixed for the day. The price of Chinese ferro-chrome saw little movement at CNY 8,300 ($1,332) per metric ton. The price of Chinese ferro-moly held steady at CNY 145,000 ($23,277) per metric ton.

The price of Chinese primary nickel weakened by 0.6 percent, settling at CNY 145,500 ($23,357) per metric ton. For the fifth day in a row, the Allegheny Ludlum 316 stainless surcharge remained essentially flat at $1.16 per pound. The price of Chinese 316 stainless coil saw little movement at CNY 26,000 ($4,174) per metric ton. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese 304 stainless coil held flat at CNY 16,400 ($2,633) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap held steady at CNY 16,100 ($2,585) per metric ton.

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