GLOBAL NICKEL WRAP: US premiums jump; miners’ strike at Vale enters third week [CORRECTED]

Nickel premiums in the United States rose again in the seven days to Tuesday June 15 on the back of continued strikes at Vale's Sudbury mine, while premiums in Asia and Europe remained stable in a week of low liquidity.

  • US briquette premium rises 16.7%, surpassing 20 cents per lb for the first time since 2019
  • Arbitrage losses continue in China, although spot market quiet due to national holiday
  • European premiums remain flat due to seasonal lull
Vale strike decision further boosts US premiums
Nickel premiums in the United States rose strongly, largely buoyed by a strike at North America’s main nickel producer, Vale Canada, now entering its third week.
Vale’s Sudbury workers overwhelmingly voted late on Monday to continue the strike - which may take 3,000 tonnes of refined nickel from the US market, based on Sudbury’s first-quarter production.
The nickel briquette premium gained by 16.7% on Tuesday, its biggest increase since January and surpassed 20 cents per lb on the high end for the first time since December 3, 2019.

Fastmarkets assessed the nickel briquette premium, delivered Midwest US at 19-23 cents per lb,...


Alice Mason

Orla O'Sullivan

Yingchi Yang

Imogen Dudman

June 16, 2021

19:36 GMT

London, New York, Shanghai