Nickel Weakens in China as Import Taxes Lifted

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Chinese nickel fell precipitously yesterday as both the spot and 3-month prices of the alloying metal fell as well.

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China plans to scrap import taxes on ferronickel and ferrochrome containing more than 4% carbon, starting January 1, 2015, according to a notice dated December 12, on the Chinese finance ministry website. The import tax on both products are currently at 1%.

On Wednesday, December 24, the price of Chinese primary nickel experienced the biggest change, rising 8.2% to CNY 119,300 ($19,166) per metric ton. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese 304 stainless steel scrap held flat at CNY 9,850 ($1,582) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap continues hovering around CNY 13,350 ($2,145) per metric ton for the fifth day in a row. For the fifth day in a row, the price of Chinese 304 stainless coil remained essentially flat at CNY 17,750 ($2,852) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 316 stainless coil remained essentially flat at CNY 23,700 ($3,808) per metric ton.

The price of Chinese ferro-chrome was unchanged at CNY 10,950 ($1,759) per metric ton. The price of Chinese ferro-moly continues hovering around CNY 90,000 ($14,459) per metric ton for the fifth day in a row.

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The spot price of nickel saw a 1.6% decline on the LME to $15,370 per metric ton. The 3-month price of nickel weakened by 1.6% on the LME, settling at $15,450 per metric ton. The Indian nickel cash price fell 0.6% to INR 992.40 ($15.64) per kilogram.

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