China’s Stagnant Economic Growth Drives Nickel to a 5-Month LME Low

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Nickel tumbled to a five-month low on concern that demand will ebb in China, the world’s biggest user of industrial metals.

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Economic growth in China, Asia’s largest economy, faces downward pressure, Finance Minister Lou Jiwei said last week. He affirmed that there won’t be major policy changes in response to individual economic indicators, damping prospects for a stimulus boost. Nickel has dropped as much as 22 percent from a 27-month high in mid-May.

Dropping 1.0 percent, the Indian nickel cash price was the biggest mover on Monday, September 22, closing at INR 1,091 ($17.92) per kilogram. On the LME, the nickel spot price declined 0.7 percent to $17,750 per metric ton. The nickel 3-month price weakened by 0.6 percent on the LME, settling at $17,825 per metric ton.

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Chinese stainless steel prices were flat for the day. The price of Chinese ferro-chrome saw little movement at CNY 8,300 ($1,348) per metric ton. The price of Chinese ferro-moly remained essentially flat at CNY 145,000 ($23,551) per metric ton.

The Allegheny Ludlum 316 stainless surcharge was unchanged at $1.26 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 ($4,223) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 304 stainless coil was unchanged at CNY 16,400 ($2,664) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap remained essentially flat at CNY 16,100 ($2,615) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 304 stainless steel scrap saw little movement at CNY 16,400 ($2,664) per metric ton.

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