Colombian Nickel Mining Strike Canceled, LME Stockpiles Near a Record

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Nickel fell from a 6-week high after a strike in Colombia was called off and as London Metal Exchange stockpiles reached a record high.

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The metal retreated as much as 0.7% after closing yesterday at the highest since Oct. 9. Workers at BHP Billiton Ltd.’s Cerro Matoso mine won’t strike this year as they seek to resolve a dispute over working hours, the union president said in an interview yesterday. Cerro Matoso is the world’s second-largest ferro-nickel producing mine, according to BHP’s website. Inventory monitored by the LME climbed to a record 397,236 metric tons yesterday, according to daily bourse data.

The Allegheny Ludlum 316 stainless surcharge closed Monday, November 24 at $0.97 per pound, halting its three-day flat run with a 8.4% drift. The price of Chinese 304 stainless steel scrap fell 0.9% on Monday to CNY 16,550 ($2,702) per metric ton. At CNY 111,600 ($18,222), the price of Chinese primary nickel finished the market day up 0.4% per metric ton. The price of Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap continues hovering around CNY 31,500 ($5,143) per metric ton for the fifth day in a row. For the 5th consecutive day, the price of Chinese 304 stainless coil held flat at CNY 16,400 ($2,678) per metric ton.

The price of Chinese ferro-chrome saw little movement at CNY 8,300 ($1,355) per metric ton. For the fifth day in a row, the price of Chinese ferro-moly remained essentially flat at CNY 145,000 ($23,676) per metric ton.

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On the LME, the spot price of nickel gained 1.7% to finish at $16,445 per metric ton. On the LME, the nickel 3-month price rose 1.6% to $16,500 per metric ton. The Indian nickel cash price gained 1.3% to finish at INR 1,031 ($16.69) per kilogram.

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