GLOBAL NICKEL WRAP: US, EU briquettes diverge; Chinese premiums stable on closed import window

The United States and European nickel briquette premiums diverged in the week to Tuesday May 22 on tariff uncertainty and shipping issues, while Chinese premiums traded flat across the board amid a lack of arbitrage profit possibility on a closed trade window.

  • European nickel briquette premium rebounds on reported shipping delays out of Rotterdam warehouses, tightening the physical market
  • US nickel briquette premium dips at top end on trade macro uncertainty
  • Closed import arbitrage window and subsequent lack of arbitrage profit opportunity keeps Chinese premiums stable at 14-month high
European briquette premium rebounds on rumored Rotterdam shipping delays
Volatility in the physical nickel-briquette market proliferated on Tuesday May 21, while participants reported a tighter market for material with suspected delays to shipments out of Rotterdam warehouses, which produced a higher premium.
Fastmarkets assessed the premium for European nickel briquettes, in warehouse Rotterdam, at $200-250 per tonne on May 21, up from $190-215 per tonne in the previous week.

Weaker demand from steel mills had pushed the European briquette premium down steadily to $190-215 per tonne on May 14 - its lowest in almost two years - from $250-280 per tonne on April...


Violet Li

Orla O'Sullivan

Amy Hinton

May 22, 2019

15:00 GMT