Nickel prices rose the most in three weeks after Indonesia said a ban on exports of unprocessed ore remains in place, reinforcing concern that global demand is set to exceed supplies.
Today, Bambang Adi Winarso, senior adviser to the coordinating minister for economic affairs, affirmed the policy by Indonesia, the world’s largest producer of mined nickel ore, Bloomberg News reported. Residential-construction permits in the US. climbed in October to a 6-year high, the government said. Copper, aluminum and lead prices rose.
“Strong U.S. data, combined with supply concerns from Indonesia, is pulling nickel higher,” Tim Evans, the chief market strategist at Long Leaf Trading Group, Inc. in Chicago, said in a telephone interview with Bloomberg. “We are seeing some buying across base metals.”
With a 1.9% increase over the past day, the nickel 3-month price was the biggest mover on the LME, closing at $15,655 per metric ton on Tuesday, November 18. On the LME, the spot price of nickel increased 1.8% to $15,595 per metric ton. The Indian nickel cash price declined 0.9% to INR 976.10 ($15.80) per kilogram.
Chinese stainless steel prices were mixed for the day. The price of Chinese ferro-chrome saw little movement at CNY 8,300 ($1,355) per metric ton. The price of Chinese ferro-moly saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row, remaining around CNY 145,000 ($23,679) per metric ton.
The price of Chinese primary nickel rose 0.2% to CNY 106,900 ($17,457) per metric ton. The Allegheny Ludlum 316 stainless surcharge held steady at $1.06 per pound. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese 316 stainless coil held flat at CNY 26,000 ($4,246) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 304 stainless coil remained essentially flat at CNY 16,400 ($2,678) per metric ton. Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap held its value on Tuesday at CNY 31,500 ($5,144) per metric ton.