Nickel prices maintained near nine-month highs mid-week, due in part to Chinese stainless steel mill demand and decreased supplies from the Philippines, a top exporter of ore.
According to a report from Reuters, nickel prices peaked earlier in the week to $11,885 a ton, its highest point since November 2016. Year-over-year, nickel prices are up more than 15%.
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“Stainless steel demand in China and elsewhere has surprised on the upside and talk about nickel consumption in lithium-ion batteries has helped,” Societe Generale analyst Robin Bhar told the news source.
“Supplies have been under stress,” Bhar added. “The Philippines exported less for various reasons, including monsoon rains, mine inspections and shutdowns. Some NPI (nickel pig iron) capacity has been shut in China because of environmental inspections.”
Nickel Lagging Behind in the Bull Run
Our own Irene Martinez Canorea recently wrote that nickel, along with tin and lead, are more reticent to join the bull rush with aluminum, copper and zinc.
She writes: “Even though the industrial metal outlook remains bullish, lead and tin seem to be behaving on their own terms. Buying organizations will want to pay careful attention to trading volumes in the coming month.”
How will nickel and base metals fare in 2017? You can find a more in-depth nickel price forecast and outlook in our brand-new Monthly Metal Buying Outlook report.
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