Nickel Pig Iron Shortage Coming Soon, Spot Price Climbs On the LME

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Bloomberg News reported that London nickel prices may rise in the coming months on the back of slower stockpile buildups caused by lower nickel pig iron output.

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Nickel pig iron output cuts are likely at current prices and could balance the market, Goldman Sachs analysts including Max Layton and Roger Yuan wrote in a recent report. The Philippine monsoon season will cut supply, boosting ore prices and the production cost of nickel pig iron, or NPI, through February, according to the analysts.

At $15,810 per metric ton, the nickel spot price moved up 3.3% on Monday, November 3, making it the day’s biggest mover on the LME. Yesterday, the 3-month price of nickel experienced a large increase, rising 3.2% on the LME to land at $15,890 per metric ton. The cash price of primary Indian nickel held steady around INR 976.30 ($15.93) per kilogram.

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Chinese stainless steel prices were 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. For the fifth day in a row, the price of Chinese ferro-moly remained essentially flat at CNY 145,000 ($23,609) per metric ton.

The Allegheny Ludlum 316 stainless surcharge saw little movement 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. 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 was unchanged 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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