Stainless MMI®: Mincor, Norilsk Cashing in on Nickel’s Surge

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It was another great week to be in the nickel mining business as a Mincor executive predicted it would take five years for Indonesia to get domestic smelters online.

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Issuance of structured products tied to nickel have surged to a record as well. Norilsk has sold its Western Australian Black Swan nickel mine to Poseidon for an undisclosed sum. With more players jumping on the nickel bandwagon it’s hard to see anything but rising prices.

The week’s biggest mover on the weekly Stainless MMI® was the spot price of nickel, which saw a 6.4 percent increase on the LME to $19,785 per metric ton. This week marked the third in a row of rising prices for the metal. At $19,845 per metric ton, the nickel 3-month price finished the week 6.1 percent higher on the LME. The Indian nickel cash price rose 4.1 percent over the past week to INR 1,184 ($19.87) per kilogram. This was the third week in a row of increasing prices.

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Chinese stainless steel prices were mixed for the week. Following a steady week, prices for Chinese ferro-chrome closed flat at CNY 8,300 ($1,336) per metric ton. Closing at CNY 145,000 ($23,341) per metric ton, Chinese ferro-moly remained unchanged for the week.

The price of Chinese primary nickel rose 4.9 percent to CNY 134,000 ($21,570) per metric ton after falling 0.2 percent during the previous week. Prices for Chinese 304 stainless steel scrap remained constant, closing the week at CNY 16,400 ($2,640) per metric ton. At CNY 16,100 ($2,592) per metric ton, the price of Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap did not change since the previous week. Chinese 304 stainless coil prices held steady from the previous week at CNY 16,400 ($2,640) per metric ton. Following a steady week, prices for Chinese 316 stainless coil closed flat at CNY 26,000 ($4,185) per metric ton.

Korean 304 stainless coil remained essentially flat from the previous week at KRW 4.2 million ($3,881) per metric ton. Korean 430 stainless steel coil prices held steady from the previous week at KRW 2.6 million ($2,376) per metric ton. The Allegheny Ludlum 304 stainless surcharge closed at $0.89 per pound after a flat week. The Allegheny Ludlum 316 stainless surcharge remained steady from the previous week at $1.31 per pound.

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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