This week saw a scare caused by the mere prospect of an unrefined ore ban passing in the Philippines, the biggest beneficiary of ore exports to China since Indonesia banned its own ore exports in January.
The fears were mostly unfounded as any ban the Filipino legislature might pass would not go into effect for years, anyway, but the panic was such that the price damage was done quickly. Prices returned to normalcy quickly enough and traders took advantage dumping nickel at artificially high prices en masse, eventually causing an LME price drop.
The week’s biggest mover on the weekly Stainless MMI® was the nickel 3-month price, which saw a 4.0 percent decline on the LME to $18,550 per metric ton. This comes on the heels of a 3.0 percent increase the week before. Following a 3.1 percent increase in the week prior, the nickel spot price fell 4.0 percent on the LME last week to $18,455 per metric ton. The cash price of primary Indian nickel fell 3.2 percent to INR 1,139 ($18.68) per kilogram after rising 2.8 percent the week before.
Chinese stainless steel prices were flat for the week. Chinese ferro-chrome prices held steady from the previous week at CNY 8,300 ($1,354) per metric ton. Prices for Chinese ferro-moly remained constant, closing the week at CNY 145,000 ($23,656) per metric ton.
The price of Chinese primary nickel traded sideways last week, hovering around CNY 129,050 ($21,054) per metric ton. At CNY 16,400 ($2,676) per metric ton, the price of Chinese 304 stainless steel scrap did not change since the previous week. Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap traded sideways last week, hovering around CNY 16,100 ($2,627) per metric ton. At CNY 16,400 ($2,676) per metric ton, the week finished with no movement for Chinese 304 stainless coil. Chinese 316 stainless coil prices held steady from the previous week at CNY 26,000 ($4,242) per metric ton.
Closing at KRW 4.2 million ($3,881) per metric ton, Korean 304 stainless coil remained unchanged for the week. Korean 430 stainless steel coil remained essentially flat from the previous week at KRW 2.6 million ($2,376) per metric ton. The Allegheny Ludlum 304 stainless surcharge stayed essentially flat at $8,856 per pound. At $1.26 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 (at) agmetalminer (dot) com.