GLOBAL NICKEL WRAP: Volatile nickel price, spread action precludes buyer activity

Buyers in all regions stayed on the sidelines in the week to Tuesday October 22 amid London Metal Exchange nickel price and spread volatility.

  • European market sees little spot trade on weak demand. 
  • US nickel premiums flat, with scrap substitution dampening primary metal demand. 
  • Asian nickel remains at a discount versus a premium.
Brief contango fails to tempt European buyers
Rotterdam nickel premiums held firm in an illiquid spot market on Tuesday with a brief $20 per tonne spread contango failing to stimulate spot appetite which remained resolutely bearish.
Fastmarkets assessed the nickel uncut cathode premium, in-whs Rotterdam unchanged week on week at $50-80 per tonne while the nickel 4x4 cathode premium, in-whs Rotterdam was similarly flat at $210-250 per tonne on the same date.
Fastmarkets’ assessment of the nickel briquette premium, in-whs Rotterdam remained at $20-50 per tonne after Tuesday’s pricing session.

Market participants said the easing of spread, which had previously traded in a deep and persistent backwardation as wide as $240 per tonne on October...


Violet Li

Orla O'Sullivan

Amy Hinton

October 23, 2019

17:53 GMT

London, New York, Shanghai