Before we head into the weekend, let’s take a look back at the week that was and the metals storylines here on MetalMiner:
Nickel prices have seen support in recent months more from supply-side concerns.
Initially, support came from bringing forward of Indonesia’s raw material export ban. More recently, support came from concerns the coronavirus pandemic would shut down mines in the Philippines and Indonesia, in addition to disruption of shipping to top consumer China.
The Stainless Monthly Metals Index (MMI) rose 4.8% this month.
Before we head into the weekend, let’s take a look back at the week that was and some of the metals storylines here on MetalMiner, including coverage of: steel prices; container traffic trends; housing starts; oil prices; E.U. anti-dumping duties on stainless steel; and much more.
The Stainless Monthly Metals Index (MMI) fell 6.0% this month.
Sporadic reports of mine closures and special working arrangements have gathered momentum during March and into April, in some cases sparking fears of ore supply shortages.
Few places have had quite the profound impact that closures in South Africa have caused.
The Stainless Steel Monthly Metals Index (MMI) declined by three points this month to 67, following a five-point decline last month.
LME nickel prices continued to slide as global markets reacted to production delays due to coronavirus, which weakened demand and prices.
The Stainless Steel Monthly Metals Index (MMI) gave up five points this month, setting the value back to 70.
LME nickel prices dropped slightly below the $13,000/mt price level in late January when industrial metals prices, generally speaking, declined as markets reacted to China’s coronavirus situation.
We all love conspiracy stories — who knew what and who was manipulating events behind the scenes?
A recent Telegraph article takes a more balanced approach to review goings-on at the London Metal Exchange (LME) amid accusations that have been leveled against some major market players that they were instrumental, or at least complicit, in the manipulation of the nickel market last year.
Another victim of China’s coronavirus epidemic could well be the iron ore price.
Iron ore had a stellar 2019, reaching a five-year high of $125 per ton in July on the back of Vale SA’s Brumadinho mining dam disaster and Cyclone Veronica, which struck Western Australia in March.
Since then, the price has fallen back to just over $78 per ton in December and is currently trading around $90 per ton in Singapore — still well above prices this time last year.
Supply disruption was met with rising demand. China produced nearly 1 billion tons of steel in 2019 and consumed an estimated 875 million tons, spurred by stimulus-supported infrastructure spending and consumption from the construction market.