Stainless MMI®: Nickel Posts Big LME Gains on Supply Fears

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This week, the fears of many purchasers came true as data showed that the rainy monsoon season in the Philippines is, indeed, hampering shipments of raw nickel ore to producers in China and elsewhere. The Philippines had stepped up to fill the gap left by Indonesian ore when that country banned all raw ore exports in January.

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The specter of a major strike at the Cerro Matoso nickel mine in Colombia is also threatening supplies and causing price increases.

The week’s biggest mover on the weekly Stainless MMI® was the price of Chinese primary nickel, which saw a 6.3% increase to CNY 111,200 ($18,164) per metric ton. This comes on the heels of a 18.9% decline the week prior. At CNY 16,700 ($2,728) per metric ton, the price of Chinese 304 stainless steel scrap did not change since the previous week. Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap prices held steady from the previous week at CNY 31,500 ($5,145) per metric ton. Following a steady week, prices for Chinese 304 stainless coil closed flat at CNY 16,400 ($2,679) per metric ton. Chinese 316 stainless coil traded sideways last week, hovering around CNY 26,000 ($4,247) per metric ton.

Chinese ferro-chrome prices held steady from the previous week at CNY 8,300 ($1,356) per metric ton. Prices for Chinese ferro-moly remained constant, closing the week at CNY 145,000 ($23,684) per metric ton.

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Following a steady week, prices for Korean 304 stainless coil closed flat at KRW 4.2 million ($3,881) per metric ton. Korean 430 stainless steel coil traded sideways last week, hovering around KRW 2.6 million ($2,376) per metric ton. The Allegheny Ludlum 304 stainless surcharge stayed essentially flat at $0.78 per pound. Following a steady week, prices for the Allegheny Ludlum 316 stainless surcharge closed flat at $1.06 per pound.

The Indian nickel cash price rose 5.9% to INR 1,018 ($16.43) per kilogram after falling 2.1% during the previous week. Closing out the third week of rising prices, the spot price of nickel increased by 4.3% on the LME, landing at $16,170 per metric ton. At $16,245 per metric ton, the 3-month price of nickel finished the week 4.1% higher on the LME.

The Stainless MMI® collects and weights 14 global stainless steel and raw material price points to provide a unique view into stainless steel price trends. For more information on the Stainless MMI®, how it’s calculated or how your company can use the index, please drop us a note at: info (at) agmetalminer (dot) com.

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