Nickel’s Fall as Dramatic as its Meteoric Rise

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“Nickel’s recent fall from grace has been as spectacular as its earlier rise,” Reuters’ Andy Home writes.

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At the May peak of its  rally the London Metal Exchange nickel price was up almost 50% on the start of the year at $21,625 per ton. At its nadir last week the price of the stainless steel alloying metal touched a low of $14,690 per ton.

The capitulation has reflected an almost complete unraveling of what Home calls this market’s “much-hyped bull narrative.”

The nickel spot price fell 1.8% on Friday, October 31 to $15,300 per metric ton on the LME, making it the day’s biggest mover. After improving for two days, the nickel 3-month price declined 1.4% on the LME to $15,390 per metric ton. The cash price of primary Indian nickel gained 0.6% to finish at INR 975.70 ($15.92) per kilogram.

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Chinese stainless steel prices were flat for the day. For the fifth day in a row, the price of Chinese ferro-chrome remained essentially flat at CNY 8,300 ($1,351) per metric ton. The price of Chinese ferro-moly saw little movement at CNY 145,000 ($23,609) per metric ton.

The Allegheny Ludlum 316 stainless surcharge was unchanged at $1.06 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. The price of Chinese 304 stainless coil remained essentially flat at CNY 16,400 ($2,670) per metric ton. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap held flat at CNY 16,100 ($2,621) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 304 stainless steel scrap held steady at CNY 16,400 ($2,670) per metric ton.

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