Nickel Picks Up Steam, so Does Phillipine Unprocessed Ore Ban

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Nickel was poised to advance for a fifth week on concern ore supply will decline as the Philippines considers banning exports of unprocessed minerals.

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The metal in London is set to rise 3.3 percent this week. The Phillipine government should move toward a ban on mineral-ore exports, Ramon Paje, the country’s environment secretary, said yesterday from Manila, backing a proposed bill in his nation calling for restrictions aimed at boosting the country’s downstream metals industry. Monthly imports of Philippine nickel ore by China, the world’s biggest user of industrial metals, have more than tripled since December to 5 million tons in July and accounted for nearly all of the country’s overseas supplies, according to Chinese customs data.

Indonesia was China’s number one supplier before it banned unprocessed ore exports, itself, back in January.

At INR 1,161 ($19.21) per kilogram, the cash price of primary Indian nickel moved up 2.8 percent on Thursday, September 4, making it the day’s biggest mover. On the LME, the nickel spot price increased 1.4 percent to $18,810 per metric ton. On the LME, the nickel 3-month price rose 1.2 percent to $18,880 per metric ton.

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Chinese stainless steel prices closed flat for the day. The price of Chinese ferro-chrome saw little movement at CNY 8,300 ($1,351) per metric ton. The price of Chinese ferro-moly continues hovering around CNY 145,000 ($23,607) per metric ton for the fifth day in a row.

The Allegheny Ludlum 316 stainless surcharge was unchanged at $1.26 per pound. The price of Chinese 316 stainless coil held steady at CNY 26,000 ($4,233) per metric ton. For the fifth day in a row, the price of Chinese 304 stainless coil remained essentially flat at CNY 16,400 ($2,670) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap remained essentially flat at CNY 16,100 ($2,621) per metric ton. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese 304 stainless steel scrap held flat at CNY 16,400 ($2,670) per metric ton.

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