GLOBAL NICKEL WRAP: Covid-19 pandemic dictates mixed moves for nickel premiums

Nickel briquette premiums fall in the United States on declining spot demand, while all Chinese premiums rose on better arbitrage opportunities and European premiums were flat amid little trade in the week to Tuesday March 17.

  • US briquette premiums slip while the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a global pandemic on Wednesday March 10.
  • Premiums rise in China, where the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is starting to abate.
  • European nickel premiums are flat amid limited business activity of all kinds during the outbreak.
US briquettes slip in scant trade
Nickel briquette premiums declined - along with spot business generally - in the United States over an assessment week in which a national state of emergency was declared while the Covid-19 disease spread. President Trump declared a state of emergency on Friday March 13, where several US cities have entered lockdown, limiting all but essential activities.
Fastmarkets’ assessment of the nickel briquette premium, delivered Midwest US was 16-19 cents per lb on Tuesday March 17, down from 17-20 cents per lb on March 10.

One source sold nickel briquettes at 18 cents per lb early in the assessment week, but...


Violet Li

Orla O'Sullivan

Amy Hinton

March 18, 2020

17:15 GMT

New York, London, Shanghai