REVIEW OF 2015: Unexpected LME stock drawdown fails to support nickel prices

A huge 72% of respondents to a recent Metal Bulletin poll, which spanned several months up to November, thought London Metal Exchange nickel stocks would end the year above 400,000 tonnes.

At 409,014 tonnes on December 14, up from 399,888 tonnes a few days earlier, it looked like it would be a closer call than many had thought. But by December 15, stocks had jumped to exceed the level comfortably at 423,516 tonnes, after deliveries into Taiwanese warehouses where good warehouse deals are understood to have been secured.
A day later, stocks were up by a further 14,958 tonnes, after more deliveries into Taiwan, reversing quite a significant portion of the more recent drawdowns. At the time of writing, stocks stood at 438,474 tonnes
Still, LME nickel stocks have come off quite consistently since mid-2015, and are down from over 470,000 tonnes mid-year. That’s a drawdown of around 32,000 tonnes by December 16.

Yet nickel was still the worst performer of the base metals this year, losing almost half of its value over...

Published

Fleur Ritzema

Ellie Wang

December 21, 2015

13:29 GMT

London, Shanghai