Continue to Watch Indonesia, Philippines for 2015 Nickel, Cuba Now in the Game

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If Indonesia continues to uphold the ore export ban and the Philippines is unable to fill Indonesia’s void, we may see a nickel rally next year, Shuli Ren of Barron’s Asia wrote. Macquarie, for instance, sees a 50% upside.

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Indonesia and the Philippines are the top two producers in the world, followed by Russia, Australia and Canada. Barclays‘ Ephrem Ravi said in a note that new supply may be coming to market from Cuba:

“One country that intrigues us in Cuba with about 7% of the known nickel reserves and arguably more as funding shortages have constrained exploration. Cuba used to produce about 90-100 kilotons/year of nickel in the 1990s, but it currently produces only about 60kt/year of nickel. It is the largest resource industry in the country

With a 0.8% increase over the past day, the price of Chinese primary nickel was the biggest mover, closing at CNY 108,600 ($17,481) per metric ton on Friday, December 26. The price of Chinese 304 stainless steel scrap was unchanged at CNY 9,850 ($1,586) per metric ton. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap held flat at CNY 13,350 ($2,149) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 304 stainless coil continues hovering around CNY 17,750 ($2,857) per metric ton for the fifth day in a row. The price of Chinese 316 stainless coil held steady at CNY 23,700 ($3,815) per metric ton.

For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese ferro-chrome held flat at CNY 10,950 ($1,763) per metric ton. The price of Chinese ferro-moly remained essentially flat at CNY 90,000 ($14,487) per metric ton.

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The Indian nickel cash price fell 0.8% to INR 978.60 ($15.41) per kilogram. The nickel 3-month price flattened at $15,305 following two-days of declines on the LME. Following two days of downward movement, the nickel spot price held steady at $15,250 per metric ton on the LME.

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