GLOBAL NICKEL WRAP: Closed import window, holiday lull keep premiums flat across the board

Chinese nickel premiums remained at a 14-month high in the week ended Tuesday May 28, while holidays in the United Kingdom and United States further slowed spot trading.

  • Geopolitical tensions weigh on nickel price and premiums in Europe. 
  • US briquette premium weakens further against cut-cathodes. 
  • Full-plate cathodes plateau in China.

European premiums static across the board
Illiquidity following a public holiday in the UK, macro headwinds and bearish appetite kept all European nickel premiums unchanged on Tuesday May 28.
Fastmarkets assessed the premium for uncut cathode, in-warehouse Rotterdam, at $200-220 per tonne on Tuesday, unchanged week on week.
Fastmarkets’ assessment of the 4x4 premium, in-warehouse Rotterdam, also traded flat on the same date, at $440-480 per tonne.
And Fastmarkets assessed the premium for nickel briquettes, in-warehouse Rotterdam, as unchanged week on week at $200-250 per tonne.
“There are some inquiries but premiums are under pressure and the backwardation [in nearby London Metal Exchange nickel spreads] isn’t helping,” a European trader said.

“Maybe by June we see some improvement in the premiums again...


Violet Li

Orla O'Sullivan

Amy Hinton

May 29, 2019

16:38 GMT

New York, London, Shanghai