FORECAST: Nickel rides on stainless steel gains, but sustainability in question

Nickel prices have ridden on gains in ferrous metal futures prices, alongside optimism over the near-term outlook for the stainless steel sector, but the sustainability of nickel’s price increase remains clouded by rising nickel ore exports from Southeast Asia and nickel pig iron production (NPI) in China.

The price of the most-traded September SHFE nickel contract has risen since the beginning of this week to reach as high as 76,420 yuan ($11,255) per tonne on Wednesday July 12 – the highest since July 4. The contract closed 350 yuan higher at 76,220 yuan on Thursday. “The stainless steel market is performing better recently and domestic ferrous futures prices have surged. This led to the latest increase in nickel prices,” a Beijing-based nickel analyst told Metal Bulletin. The benchmark grade 304 stainless steel cold rolled coil price in China had risen 10-13% since mid-June to 13,300-13,700 yuan per tonne on July 6, as assessed by Metal Bulletin.  But market participants...


Vivian Teo

July 13, 2017

11:55 GMT