Nickel deficit sustained, contrary to recent market moves

The global nickel market remained in the deficit in the first eight months of this year, with apparent demand exceeding production by 77,100 tonnes, according to figures released by the World Bureau of Metal Statistics (WBMS) last week.

This compares with a deficit of 106,200 tonnes over the same period of 2018, although that for the whole of last year was lower, at 102,900 tonnes, the bureau told Fastmarkets.
“The supply and demand deficits and surpluses can vary every month,” Sue Eales, managing director of the WBMS, said.
Yet, the recent market movements for nickel - lately the most volatile of the base metals – do not reflect the apparent shortage.
Futures are lower than cash prices, several premiums for the alloying metal have fallen in recent weeks, and exchange stocks are often not reacting as they usually would.
Nickel market participants have voiced concern over the growing disconnect between physical demand fundamentals and nickel futures and stocks.

Since January, nickel has uncharacteristically been in an intermittent backwardation, which has been nearly constant...


Orla O'Sullivan

October 21, 2019

07:35 GMT

New York