FOCUS: Chinese NPI price falls for first time in 5 months – weakness set to continue?

Chinese prices for nickel pig iron (NPI) fell for the first time since early July despite continued strength in the upstream nickel ore market, raising questions over whether the latter is still sufficient to prop up NPI prices in China.

Activity in China’s NPI market has been muted since early October, with the lack of spot trading resulting in liquidity issues for some participants, in turn causing some traders to offload material at lower levels. This selling off of material by traders, together with falling stainless steel prices in the country, has weighed on the NPI market, sources told Fastmarkets.
Fastmarkets assessed the price of nickel pig iron, high-grade NPI content 10-15%, spot, ddp China at 1,140-1,160 yuan ($173-176) per nickel unit on Friday November 13, down by 40 yuan per nickel unit (3.4%) from 1,180-1,200 yuan per nickel unit a week earlier. The price assessment had held at this prior level since October 16. The price was assessed at 960-970 yuan per nickel unit on July 3, when it began to trend upward.
Upstream support

Previously, the main supporting factor for China’s NPI...

Published

Sally Zhang

November 19, 2020

03:08 GMT

Shanghai