Stainless MMI Falls For The Week in Classic Correction, BHP Billiton Sells its Nickel Mines

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Nickel was down this week in what some analysts are calling a “classic correction” for the metal that has gained more than 50% on the LME since the beginning of the year.

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Signs that it might be time to sell came when Australian steel producer BHP Billiton decided to sell its Western Australia nickel mines. Still, even with its weekly loss, nickel’s fundamentals are still good with Indonesia’s ore ban continuing, no end in sight, and market scarcity from both Russian production and the situation in Indonesia.

The week’s biggest mover on the weekly Stainless MMI® was the cash price of primary Indian nickel, which saw a 8.6 percent decline to INR 1,118 ($18.82) per kilogram. This comes on the heels of a 10.1 percent increase the week before. Following a 7.4 percent increase in the week prior, the 3-month price of nickel fell 4.1 percent on the LME last week to $18,600 per metric ton. The nickel spot price fell 3.3 percent on the LME to $18,745 per metric ton after rising 7.3 percent the week before.

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Chinese stainless steel prices were mixed for the week. Chinese ferro-chrome traded sideways last week, hovering around CNY 8,300 ($1,332) per metric ton. Prices for Chinese ferro-moly remained constant, closing the week at CNY 145,000 ($23,274) per metric ton.

The price of Chinese primary nickel ticked up 0.4 percent over the past week to CNY 133,350 ($21,404) per metric ton. Closing at CNY 16,400 ($2,632) per metric ton, Chinese 304 stainless steel scrap remained unchanged for the week. Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap prices held steady from the previous week at CNY 16,100 ($2,584) per metric ton. Chinese 304 stainless coil remained essentially flat from the previous week at CNY 16,400 ($2,632) per metric ton. Following a steady week, prices for Chinese 316 stainless coil closed flat at CNY 26,000 ($4,173) per metric ton.

At KRW 4.2 million ($3,881) per metric ton, the week finished with no movement for Korean 304 stainless coil. At KRW 2.6 million ($2,376) per metric ton, the price of Korean 430 stainless steel coil did not change since the previous week. The Allegheny Ludlum 304 stainless surcharge traded sideways last week, hovering around $0.79 per pound. At $1.16 per pound, the Allegheny Ludlum 316 stainless surcharge remained essentially flat.

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@agmetalminer.com.

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