Nickel Up As Suppliers Look to Reduce Production

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Nickel prices rose sharply in London on Wednesday, amid expectations that producers looked set to reduce production with inventories in China already looking tight.

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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.

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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 ($1,351) 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.

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