Shanghai-bonded nickel stocks fall 16.5% in Jan; aluminium inventories surge

Nickel stocks in Shanghai-bonded warehouses fell in January amid increased import activity due to a favorable arbitrage between London and Shanghai after China cut its provisional import tax on non-alloyed nickel from the beginning of the year.

A marginal decline was recorded in Shanghai-bonded copper stocks over the past month, while zinc and aluminium inventories both increased, with the latter surging on limited imported business due to a closed arbitrage window.
Nickel stocks down on improved arbitrage
Fastmarkets assessed Shanghai-bonded nickel stocks at 13,700-21,800 tonnes at the end of January, down by 3,500 tonnes (16.5%) from 17,200-25,300 tonnes a month earlier.
China announced late last month that it would reduce the provisional import tariff on some non-alloyed nickel to 1% from 2%, effective from January 1.
An improved arbitrage following the tariff cut led to an uptick in sentiment and trading activity in the market after it had been sluggish for much of 2020 due to an absence of arbitrage opportunities, and has also provided support to Shanghai nickel premiums in recent weeks.

Fastmarkets assessed the nickel, min 99.8%, full plate...


Karen Ng

Hui Li

Sally Zhang

January 29, 2021

17:10 GMT

Shanghai, Singapore