GLOBAL NICKEL WRAP: Premiums in US, China turn bullish

Nickel premiums in the United States and China rose in the week to Tuesday January 12 on stronger demand for metal in both regions, while premiums in Europe were unchanged.

  • US briquette premium increases 25% from record low.
  • Narrowing import arb in China spurs bullish sentiment.
  • European demand dampened by high London Metal Exchange price.
US briquette premium rises from floor
The nickel briquette premium rebounded from record low levels in the US, with multiple reports of higher sales amid good stainless demand. But some are skeptical that the trading level has lifted.
Fastmarkets’ assessed the nickel briquette premium, delivered Midwest US at 10-15 cents per lb on Tuesday, a 25% increase from 8-12 cents per lb a week earlier.
For five consecutive weeks, the nickel briquette premium wallowed at its lowest level since March 2018, when Fastmarkets began tracking nickel briquettes in the US.
That low reflected aggressive year-end selling by some oversupplied sellers in a weak market, several sources said, some of whom said that has now ended.

Yet others are unsure that this is a turning point,...


Justin Yang

Hassan Butt

Orla O'Sullivan

Sally Zhang

January 13, 2021

13:29 GMT

London, Shanghai, New York