FOCUS: Chinese nickel full-plate premiums soar to new highs on arbitrage, low availability

Nickel full-plate premiums in Shanghai hit multi-year highs again on Tuesday October 10 after the Shanghai-London arbitrage opened and availability of nickel full plates tightened.

Shanghai in-warehouse nickel premiums rose to $330-350 per tonne on Tuesday from $240-250 per tonne the previous week, the highest since Metal Bulletin launched the in-warehouse nickel premium assessments in December 2011.  The 38.8% week-on-week increase was the sharpest rise since Metal Bulletin launched the premium.  Metal Bulletin’s cif Shanghai nickel full-plate premiums also hit their highest since the launch of the assessment in April 2016. The premium was assessed at $320-340 per tonne on Tuesday up 43.5% from $220-240 per tonne last week. Traders spoken to by Metal Bulletin attributed the rally in the Shanghai nickel premiums to an open full-plate import arbitrage. “[It has been profitable to import full-plate nickel] since before China’s National Golden Week. A three-week profitable arbitrage is very rare,” a Shanghai-based source in a major nickel trading company said. “Both the arbitrage between the London Metal Exchange and November nickel contract on Chinese...

Published

Ellie Wang

October 11, 2017

14:54 GMT

Shanghai