As MetalMiner analyst Nichole Bastin noted earlier this month, nickel prices surged to a seven-year high in November. More than two-thirds of global nickel production goes toward stainless steel output.
After peaking in late November, nickel prices retraced and consolidated, reaching $19,700 per metric ton last week.
Meanwhile, earlier this year, nickel prices plunged on the heels of nickel supply news from China’s Tsingshan Holding Group. The LME three-month nickel price plunged from around $19,700 in late February to $16,000 per metric ton in early March.
However, buyers continue to face shortages of stainless steel. According to MEPS International Inc., a U.K.-based steel market analysis firm, U.S. stainless steel production is forecast to rise by 16% this year.
Even so, shortages will likely continue into next year.
“Shortages of stainless steel, particularly cold rolled coil, are likely to be a feature of the domestic market in the short term,” MEPS said in a Dec. 1 report.
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