Stainless MMI®: Nickel Surplus Stubbornly Persists, Despite Reduction

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The nickel surplus narrowed to 3,000 metric tons in November from 13,000 tons the previous month, the International Nickel Study Group said in an e-mailed report Monday. HSBC Holdings Plc cut its price forecast for the metal by 11%, citing increasing ore supplies from the Philippines.

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Global output beat demand for a fifth straight month. Japan’s Sumimoto Metal Mining and several analysts have predicted the metal will go into deficit this year.

Chinese ferro-moly saw a 5.7% decline this week, finishing at CNY 82,000 ($13,114) per metric ton and making it the week’s biggest mover on the weekly Stainless MMI®. Following a steady week, prices for Chinese ferro-chrome closed flat at CNY 10,950 ($1,751) per metric ton.

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The price of Chinese 304 stainless steel scrap increased by a slight 1.1% over the past week to CNY 9,450 ($1,511) per metric ton. Closing at CNY 13,050 ($2,087) per metric ton for the week, Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap rose by a slight 0.8%. The price of Chinese primary nickel rose 0.6% this week, closing out the third week at CNY 109,000 ($17,431) per metric ton. Closing at CNY 16,700 ($2,671) per metric ton, Chinese 304 stainless coil remained unchanged for the week. Prices for Chinese 316 stainless coil remained constant, closing the week at CNY 23,700 ($3,790) per metric ton.

Korean 304 stainless coil remained essentially flat from the previous week at KRW 4.2 million ($3,881) per metric ton. Korean 430 stainless steel coil prices held steady from the previous week at KRW 2.6 million ($2,376) per metric ton. The Allegheny Ludlum 304 stainless surcharge closed at $0.70 per pound after a flat week. The Allegheny Ludlum 316 stainless surcharge traded sideways last week, hovering around $0.94 per pound.

Closing out the third week of rising prices, the cash price of primary Indian nickel increased by 1.8%, landing at INR 939.10 ($15.21) per kilogram. The 3-month price of nickel shifted up 1.0% on the LME to close at $14,895 per metric ton this week. The spot price of nickel rose 0.9% on the LME to $14,830 per metric ton after falling 0.1% during the previous week.

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