Glencore Predicts 2015 Nickel and Stainless Deficit

The global nickel market is moving from surplus to deficit, Switzerland-based commodities giant Glencore said at its 2014 Investor Day in London.

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Director of Glencore’s nickel commodity department, Kenny Ives, said the market was set to move from an 80,000 mt surplus in 2014 to a balanced market in 2015, with emerging deficits thereafter.

“Assuming the Indonesian ban on ore exports is sustained, market deficits will emerge,” Ives said in a presentation.

He put annual demand growth at around 4.5% between 2014 and 2019 with global annual production growth at around 1% over the same period.

The price of Chinese 304 stainless steel scrap rose 2.1% on Wednesday, December 10, making it the day’s biggest mover. After three days of flat prices, it closed at CNY 9,850 ($1,592) per metric ton. On the tail of a three-day flat streak, the price of Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap rose by 0.8%, settling at CNY 13,350 ($2,158) per metric ton. After dropping for two days, the price of Chinese primary nickel flattened at CNY 115,800 ($18,716). The price of Chinese 304 stainless coil held steady at CNY 18,400 ($2,974) per metric ton. For the fifth day in a row, the price of Chinese 316 stainless coil remained essentially flat at CNY 23,700 ($3,831) per metric ton.

At CNY 10,950 ($1,770) per metric ton, the price of Chinese ferro-chrome was essentially unchanged. The price of Chinese ferro-moly held steady at CNY 90,000 ($14,546) per metric ton.

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On the LME, the 3-month price of nickel declined 2.1% to $16,325 per metric ton. On the LME, the nickel spot price fell 1.8% to $16,250 per metric ton. The Indian nickel cash price saw a 0.5% decline to INR 1,032 ($16.68) per kilogram.

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