This Morning in Metals: Nickel prices consolidate; NAS reduces fuel surcharge; US LNG exports surged in H1 2021

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This morning in metals news: nickel prices have consolidated in December; North American Stainless announced a reduction in its fuel surcharge; and, lastly, the Energy Information Administration reported U.S. liquefied natural gas exports reached a record high in the first half of 2021.

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Nickel prices trend sideways to close the year

nickel price

leszekglasner/Adobe Stock

The nickel price surged around Thanksgiving, rising to just over $21,000 per metric ton (a 2021 high).

However, the LME three-month nickel price has since cooled.

Nickel closed last week at $20,125 per metric ton, according to MetalMiner Insights data. The price is down 1.5% month over month.

NAS announces fuel surcharge reduction

Speaking of nickel — a majority of which goes into stainless steel production — North American Stainless announced a reduction in its fuel surcharge for stainless flat and long products.

NAS said it is reducing the surcharge to 30%.

US LNG exports surge

In energy news, the U.S. saw a record high in its liquefied natural gas exports during the first half of 2021.

LNG exports averaged 9.6 billion cubic feet per day during H1 2021. The daily average marked a 42% year-over-year increase.

“U.S. LNG exports increased in the first half of this year as international natural gas and LNG spot prices increased in Asia and Europe due to cold weather,” the EIA reported. “Rising global LNG demand once COVID-19 restrictions began to ease, as well as continuous unplanned outages at LNG export facilities in several countries (including Australia, Malaysia, Nigeria, Algeria, Norway, and Trinidad and Tobago), also contributed to increased U.S. LNG exports.”

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