LME nickel

First Nickel wouldn’t be planning to invest as much as $900,000 in exploration drilling in 2015 if it didn’t believe its Lockerby, Ont., mine had a future longer than a year or two.

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The company made tough decisions in December, bringing in a new vice-president of Sudbury operations, developing a plan to cut expenses and employees, and resuming mining its ramp development between the 6,800-foot level, said FNI Chief Executive Thomas Boehlert.

FNI issued layoff notices to about 25% of its own employees and cut 75% of the contractors it was employing so it could save 130 other jobs at the mine formerly owned by Falconbridge Ltd.

The economics of the market, the low price of nickel and the cost of running the mine forced the company to stop ramp development in 2014. But it decided to resume mining below that level, mining the ore it believes will last until 2016, as it invests in diamond drilling to define and “prove up” other ore bodies at the mine, Boehlert told the Sudbury Star.

The day’s biggest mover was the nickel spot price which dropped by 0.3% on Tuesday, February 24 to close at $13,915 per metric ton on the LME. On the LME, the 3-month price of nickel fell 0.2% to $13,980 per metric ton. The Indian nickel cash price saw little price change yesterday at INR 875.60 ($14.08) per kilogram.

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Chinese stainless steel prices closed flat for the day. The price of Chinese ferro-chrome saw little movement at CNY 10,950 ($1,750) per metric ton. For the fifth day in a row, the price of Chinese ferro-moly remained essentially flat at CNY 82,000 ($13,104) per metric ton.

The Allegheny Ludlum 316 stainless surcharge remained essentially flat at $0.94 per pound. The price of Chinese 316 stainless coil saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row, remaining around CNY 23,700 ($3,787) per metric ton. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese 304 stainless coil held flat at CNY 16,700 ($2,669) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap continues hovering around CNY 13,050 ($2,085) per metric ton for the fifth day in a row. The price of Chinese 304 stainless steel scrap was unchanged at CNY 9,450 ($1,510) per metric ton.

Steelmaker ThyssenKrupp AG profits were up the first quarter of 2015, in the latest sign that the heavy restructuring undertaken by Chief Executive Heinrich Hiesinger is starting to pay off.

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The German industrial conglomerate said net profit for the period ended Dec. 31 was €50 million ($57.18 million), compared with a loss of €65 million a year earlier, boosted by a weaker euro.

“With a weaker euro, our exports are rather stronger now,” said ThyssenKrupp Chief Financial Officer Guido Kerkhoff. “There is an increasingly positive momentum,” he said.

The company reported an 11% increase in sales to €10.04 billion, compared with €9.09 billion last year, driven by strong growth in its capital goods businesses. Orders fell by 5% to €10.09 billion from €10.66 billion year-over-year, mainly attributable to a large order in the naval ships business that inflated sales in the first quarter of last year, the company said.

Weakening prices changed direction when the Indian nickel cash price rose 1.1% on Monday, February 23 to INR 875.00 ($14.08) per kilogram. Following a 0.2% rise on Monday, the 3-month price of nickel closed on the LME at $14,010 per metric ton. Following a two-day drop, the nickel spot price increased by 0.2% on the LME to $13,950 per metric ton.

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Chinese stainless steel prices closed flat for the day. The price of Chinese ferro-chrome saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row, remaining around CNY 10,950 ($1,751) per metric ton. The price of Chinese ferro-moly saw little movement at CNY 82,000 ($13,113) per metric ton.

The Allegheny Ludlum 316 stainless surcharge continues hovering around $0.94 per pound for the fifth day in a row. For the fifth day in a row, the price of Chinese 316 stainless coil remained essentially flat at CNY 23,700 ($3,790) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 304 stainless coil saw little movement at CNY 16,700 ($2,671) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap was unchanged at CNY 13,050 ($2,087) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 304 stainless steel scrap continues hovering around CNY 9,450 ($1,511) per metric ton for the fifth day in a row.

Monthly alloy surcharges on austenitic grades of stainless steel flat-rolled products for March in Europe are set to rise modestly, reversing the previous month’s decline, Platts reported according first mill announcements indicated Monday.

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Outokumpu, the continent’s largest producer, set its alloy adjustment factor for type 304 (4301) flat products at Eur1,324/million tons ($1,499/mmt) for March, up Eur32 from February.

Dollar-denominated nickel prices on the London Metal Exchange have stabilized somewhat in recent weeks after coming under heavy selling pressure along with the rest of the base metals complex in late 2014.

The Indian nickel cash price saw the biggest decline of the day, dropping 2.2% to close at INR 865.10 ($13.91) per kilogram on Friday, February 20. The nickel spot price weakened by 1.4% on the LME, settling at $13,925 per metric ton. On the LME, the nickel 3-month price fell 1.2% to $13,980 per metric ton.

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Chinese stainless steel prices closed flat for the day. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese ferro-chrome held flat at CNY 10,950 ($1,750) per metric ton. The price of Chinese ferro-moly saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row, remaining around CNY 82,000 ($13,107) per metric ton.

The Allegheny Ludlum 316 stainless surcharge saw little movement at $0.94 per pound. The price of Chinese 316 stainless coil continues hovering around CNY 23,700 ($3,788) per metric ton for the fifth day in a row. The price of Chinese 304 stainless coil was unchanged at CNY 16,700 ($2,669) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap remained essentially flat at CNY 13,050 ($2,086) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 304 stainless steel scrap held steady at CNY 9,450 ($1,511) per metric ton.

Nickel, among other key base metals, fell on the LME this week as many reached key levels.

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India renewed its push for import duties on imports of Russian and Chinese stainless steel.

After drifting 6.4%, the Indian nickel cash price dropped to INR 865.10 ($13.91) per kilogram making it the biggest mover on the weekly Stainless MMI® this week. The spot price of nickel fell to $13,925 per metric ton after a 5.5% decrease on the LME from the previous week. The nickel 3-month price saw a 5.2% drop-off this week on the LME to $13,980 per metric ton.

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Chinese stainless steel prices were mixed for the week. Chinese ferro-chrome prices held steady from the previous week at CNY 10,950 ($1,750) per metric ton. Prices for Chinese ferro-moly remained constant, closing the week at CNY 82,000 ($13,107) per metric ton.

The price of Chinese primary nickel closed last week at CNY 106,900 ($17,087) per metric ton, after a 0.6% drop. Chinese 304 stainless steel scrap traded sideways last week, hovering around CNY 9,450 ($1,511) per metric ton. At CNY 13,050 ($2,086) per metric ton, the week finished with no movement for Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap. Chinese 304 stainless coil traded sideways last week, hovering around CNY 16,700 ($2,669) per metric ton. Chinese 316 stainless coil remained essentially flat from the previous week at CNY 23,700 ($3,788) per metric ton.

At KRW 4.2 million ($3,881) per metric ton, the price of Korean 304 stainless coil did not change since the previous week. Korean 430 stainless steel coil prices held steady from the previous week at KRW 2.6 million ($2,376) per metric ton. Following a steady week, prices for the Allegheny Ludlum 304 stainless surcharge closed flat at $0.70 per pound. The Allegheny Ludlum 316 stainless surcharge stayed essentially flat at $0.94 per pound.

The Stainless MMI® collects and weights 14 global stainless steel and raw material price points to provide a unique view into stainless steel price trends. For more information on the Stainless MMI®, how it’s calculated or how your company can use the index, please drop us a note at: info (at) agmetalminer (dot) com.

Base metals moved to lower prices in Thursday’s LME morning session in thin and volatile conditions in the absence of Asian market participants over Chinese New Year – nickel hit a one-year low and zinc its softest for three weeks.

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“For now, we would expect the metals to take their lead from the dollar/euro and from developments over Greece. Should a loan extension be agreed, there may be room for a relief rally,” FastMarkets analyst William Adams said.

The Indian nickel cash price saw a 1.7% drop on Thursday, February 19, landing at INR 884.90 ($14.25) per kilogram and making it the biggest mover of the day. On the LME, the 3-month price of nickel fell 0.7% to $14,150 per metric ton. The nickel spot price weakened by 0.6% on the LME, settling at $14,125 per metric ton.

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Chinese stainless steel prices were flat for the day. The price of Chinese ferro-chrome saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row, remaining around CNY 10,950 ($1,751) per metric ton. The price of Chinese ferro-moly saw little movement at CNY 82,000 ($13,112) per metric ton.

For the fifth day in a row, the Allegheny Ludlum 316 stainless surcharge remained essentially flat at $0.94 per pound. The price of Chinese 316 stainless coil remained essentially flat at CNY 23,700 ($3,790) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 304 stainless coil continues hovering around CNY 16,700 ($2,670) per metric ton for the fifth day in a row. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap held flat at CNY 13,050 ($2,087) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 304 stainless steel scrap saw little movement at CNY 9,450 ($1,511) per metric ton.

The nickel market went on a super-charged rally over the first half of last year, the benchmark London Metal Exchange (LME) three-month price racing up from below $15,000 per metric ton to a May high of $21,625.

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The trigger was the well-flagged but widely unexpected decision by the Indonesian government to ban the export of unprocessed minerals in January. At the stroke of a presidential pen, China’s massive nickel pig iron (NPI) sector lost its main source of feed. Great expectations, however, were dashed by reality, specifically a compensatory surge in nickel ore supply from the Philippines.

The subsequent price collapse was as spectacular as the original rally. And here we are again, the London nickel market kicking its heels around the $15,000 level.

Reuters’ Andy Home writes that the bull story hasn’t gone away. It has merely been postponed. Nickel is still metal analysts’ favored upside pick over a two-year time horizon. So, will this be nickel’s year (again)?

The cash price of primary Indian nickel experienced the biggest price decline of the day, dropping 1.8% to close at INR 900.00 ($14.49) per kilogram on Wednesday, February 18. The 3-month price of nickel saw a 1.8% decline on the LME to $14,250 per metric ton. The nickel spot price weakened by 1.5% on the LME, settling at $14,210 per metric ton.

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Chinese stainless steel prices were flat for the day. The price of Chinese ferro-chrome held steady at CNY 10,950 ($1,750) per metric ton. The price of Chinese ferro-moly continues hovering around CNY 82,000 ($13,107) per metric ton for the fifth day in a row.

The Allegheny Ludlum 316 stainless surcharge was unchanged at $0.94 per pound. The price of Chinese 316 stainless coil saw little movement at CNY 23,700 ($3,788) per metric ton. For the fifth day in a row, the price of Chinese 304 stainless coil remained essentially flat at CNY 16,700 ($2,669) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap remained essentially flat at CNY 13,050 ($2,086) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 304 stainless steel scrap was unchanged at CNY 9,450 ($1,510) per metric ton.

The latest annual accounts bulletin released by stainless steel producer Outokumpu indicates that the global stainless demand has shown signs of improvement this year. However, the outlook for Q1 2015 may vary by regions, it notes.

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According to Outokumpu, the order intake in the Europe, Middle East and African (EMEA) region has seen improvements on the back of strong underlying demand. The Asian market has continued to remain soft during January. The market condition in the Americas looks “promising,” although new orders continue to remain subdued for the moment, mainly due to the uncertainty in nickel prices.

On Tuesday, February 17, the day’s biggest mover was the spot price of nickel, which saw a 2.1% decline on the LME to $14,425 per metric ton. On the LME, the nickel 3-month price fell 1.6% to $14,510 per metric ton. The Indian nickel cash price fell 0.8% to INR 916.80 ($14.74) per kilogram yesterday after two days of no change.

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Chinese stainless steel closed mixed on Tuesday. The price of Chinese ferro-chrome saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row, remaining around CNY 10,950 ($1,752) per metric ton. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese ferro-moly held flat at CNY 82,000 ($13,118) per metric ton.

The price of Chinese primary nickel saw a 0.6% decline to CNY 106,900 ($17,101) per metric ton. For the fifth day in a row, the Allegheny Ludlum 316 stainless surcharge remained essentially flat at $0.94 per pound. The price of Chinese 316 stainless coil held steady at CNY 23,700 ($3,791) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 304 stainless coil saw little movement at CNY 16,700 ($2,672) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap remained essentially flat at CNY 13,050 ($2,088) per metric ton.

A record trade surplus for China, the largest metals consumer highlighted weak domestic demand for nickel this week.

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Imports and exports came in worse than anticipated in China and the monthly trade surplus bulged to a record $60 billion as a survey published last week revealed that manufacturing, a key sector to the Chinese economy, contracted in January for the first time in more than two years.

China’s exports fell 3.3% in January from a year earlier, while imports slumped by 19.9%, according to data released on Sunday by the Customs Administration.

The spot price of nickel traded sideways, keeping at $14,735 per metric ton on the LME on Monday, February 16. Following two days of downward movement, the nickel 3-month price held steady at $14,750 per metric ton on the LME. The Indian nickel cash price saw little price change last Friday at INR 924.00 ($14.89) per kilogram.

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Chinese stainless steel prices closed flat for the day. The price of Chinese ferro-chrome saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row, remaining around CNY 10,950 ($1,756) per metric ton. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese ferro-moly held flat at CNY 82,000 ($13,148) per metric ton.

The Allegheny Ludlum 316 stainless surcharge held steady at $0.94 per pound. The price of Chinese 316 stainless coil was unchanged at CNY 23,700 ($3,800) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 304 stainless coil continues hovering around CNY 16,700 ($2,678) per metric ton for the fifth day in a row. The price of Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap held steady at CNY 13,050 ($2,093) per metric ton. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese 304 stainless steel scrap held flat at CNY 9,450 ($1,515) per metric ton.

The World Trade Organization declared that the antidumping duties on stainless steel tubes imposed by China on EU and Japanese imports are illegal in light of WTO rules.

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The 3-month price of nickel fell 1.0% on the LME to $14,750 per metric ton after rising 1.0% the week before. Following a 0.9% increase in the week prior, the nickel spot price fell 0.6% on the LME last week to $14,735 per metric ton. The week’s biggest mover on the weekly Stainless MMI® was the Indian nickel cash price, which saw a 1.6% decline to INR 924.00 ($14.89) per kilogram. This comes on the heels of a 1.8% increase the week before.

Chinese stainless steel prices were mixed for the week. Closing at CNY 10,950 ($1,756) per metric ton, Chinese ferro-chrome remained unchanged for the week. Following a steady week, prices for Chinese ferro-moly closed flat at CNY 82,000 ($13,148) per metric ton.

* Get the complete prices every day on the MetalMiner IndX℠

The price of Chinese primary nickel fell 1.4% to CNY 107,500 ($17,237) per metric ton after rising 0.6% the week before. At CNY 9,450 ($1,515) per metric ton, the price of Chinese 304 stainless steel scrap did not change since the previous week. Prices for Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap remained constant, closing the week at CNY 13,050 ($2,093) per metric ton. Following a steady week, prices for Chinese 304 stainless coil closed flat at CNY 16,700 ($2,678) per metric ton. Chinese 316 stainless coil traded sideways last week, hovering around CNY 23,700 ($3,800) per metric ton.

Korean 304 stainless coil prices held steady from the previous week at KRW 4.2 million ($3,881) per metric ton. Korean 430 stainless steel coil remained essentially flat from the previous week at KRW 2.6 million ($2,376) per metric ton. Following a steady week, prices for the Allegheny Ludlum 304 stainless surcharge closed flat at $0.70 per pound. Closing at $0.94 per pound, the Allegheny Ludlum 316 stainless surcharge remained unchanged for the week.

The Stainless MMI® collects and weights 14 global stainless steel and raw material price points to provide a unique view into stainless steel price trends. For more information on the Stainless MMI®, how it’s calculated or how your company can use the index, please drop us a note at: info (at) agmetalminer (dot) com.

Teck Resources Ltd. — the Canada-based diversified miner of copper, zinc, gold, coal and iron ore — said on Thursday it might have to reduce its dividend in July if industry-wide cuts in the production of steelmaking coal fail to lift prices from current historically low levels.

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To bring the market back into balance, an additional 12 million metric ton reduction in supply is needed above the 30 million mt announced since January 2014, Vancouver-based Teck said.

Teck, the world’s second-largest exporter of seaborne steel-making coal, said the market could be back in balance as early as the second half of 2015 if output cuts and mine closures continue at their recent pace.

With a decline of 1.4% to INR 923.80 ($14.81) per kilogram on Thursday, February 12, the Indian nickel cash price recorded the biggest decline of the day. The nickel spot price saw a 1.0% decline on the LME to $14,700 per metric ton. On the LME, the nickel 3-month price declined 1.0% to $14,765 per metric ton.

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Chinese stainless steel closed mixed yesterday. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese ferro-chrome held flat at CNY 10,950 ($1,754) per metric ton. The price of Chinese ferro-moly saw little movement at CNY 82,000 ($13,135) per metric ton.

The price of Chinese primary nickel fell 1.0% to CNY 106,700 ($17,092) per metric ton. The Allegheny Ludlum 316 stainless surcharge remained essentially flat at $0.94 per pound. The price of Chinese 316 stainless coil saw little movement at CNY 23,700 ($3,796) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 304 stainless coil saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row, remaining around CNY 16,700 ($2,675) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap held steady at CNY 13,050 ($2,090) per metric ton.