Nickel prices rose sharply in London on Wednesday, amid expectations that producers looked set to reduce production with inventories in China already looking tight.
While the base metal rose by more than 5% on Monday and was up a further 1.1% at $15,779 a ton in early European trade on Tuesday, prices have declined over the medium term. Nickel was in a bear market – when prices are down by 20% from their most recent peak – as recently as September.
On Tuesday, October 28, the day’s biggest mover was the nickel spot price, which saw a 2.5% decline on the LME to $14,620 per metric ton. The cash price of primary Indian nickel weakened by 2.2%, settling at INR 910.10 ($14.85) per kilogram. The nickel 3-month price saw a 1.8% decline on the LME to $14,775 per metric ton.
Chinese stainless steel prices were flat for the day. The price of Chinese ferro-chrome saw little movement at CNY 8,300 ($1,351) per metric ton. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese ferro-moly held flat at CNY 145,000 ($23,609) per metric ton.
The Allegheny Ludlum 316 stainless surcharge saw little price change on Tuesday at $1.06 per pound. The price of Chinese 316 stainless coil held steady at CNY 26,000 ($4,233) per metric ton. 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 was unchanged at CNY 16,100 ($2,621) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 304 stainless steel scrap saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row, remaining around CNY 16,400 ($2,670) per metric ton.