Chinese LME Warehouses Are Now a Net Nickel Exporter

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Nickel inventories in warehouses monitored by the London Metal Exchange extended gains to a record after China, the biggest producer and consumer, shipped more metal out than it imported amid a financing scandal.

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Bloomberg News reported that stockpiles climbed to 317,874 metric tons, for a 21 percent increase this year, according to the LME data. Exports of refined nickel from China almost tripled in June to 16,737 tons, exceeding imports for the first time ever by 5,723 tons, customs data show.

The Indian nickel cash price saw the biggest upwards shift for the day, rising 2.6 percent to close at INR 1,162 ($18.92) per kilogram on Thursday, August 7. Following two days of rising prices, the nickel spot price dropped 1.2 percent on the LME to $18,270 per metric ton. The nickel 3-month price changed direction with a 1.1 percent drop. After two days of improving prices, the metal finished at $18,350 per metric ton on the LME.

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Chinese stainless steel prices were flat for the day. The price of Chinese ferro-chrome held steady at CNY 8,300 ($1,347) per metric ton. The price of Chinese ferro-moly continues hovering around CNY 145,000 ($23,526) per metric ton for the fifth day in a row.

The Allegheny Ludlum 316 stainless surcharge held steady at $1.28 per pound. The price of Chinese 316 stainless coil saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row, remaining around CNY 26,000 ($4,218) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 304 stainless coil was unchanged at CNY 16,400 ($2,661) per metric ton. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap held flat at CNY 16,100 ($2,612) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 304 stainless steel scrap remained essentially flat at CNY 16,400 ($2,661) per metric ton.

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