The Next Threat to Philippine Nickel Supplies? Monsoon Season

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Seasonal rains are set to disrupt nickel mining in the Philippines for the next 4 months or so, crimping exports to top buyer China and stoking a shortfall in the global supply of ore.

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Miners in the Philippines say they will be able to fulfill their 2014 contracts as they have factored in the impact of the annual monsoon, the South China Morning Post reported.

Most producers in the Philippines’ main nickel-mining region of Caraga are expected to close operations as normal from October or November until early next year in anticipation of heavy rains.

The spot price of nickel rose 0.5% on Tuesday, October 14, making it the day’s biggest mover. After two days of falling prices on the LME, it closed at $16,385 per metric ton. The nickel 3-month price is back up, rising by 0.5% on the LME on Tuesday to close at $16,475 per metric ton. The Indian nickel cash price declined 0.5% to INR 1,014 ($16.54) per kilogram.

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Chinese stainless steel prices closed flat for the day. The price of Chinese ferro-chrome saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row, remaining around CNY 8,300 ($1,351) per metric ton. The price of Chinese ferro-moly remained essentially flat at CNY 145,000 ($23,609) per metric ton.

The Allegheny Ludlum 316 stainless surcharge was unchanged at $1.25 per pound. The price of Chinese 316 stainless coil continues hovering around CNY 26,000 ($4,233) per metric ton for the fifth day in a row. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese 304 stainless coil held flat at CNY 16,400 ($2,670) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row, remaining around CNY 16,100 ($2,621) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 304 stainless steel scrap saw little movement at CNY 16,400 ($2,670) per metric ton.

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