Nickel market dictated by politics in Asia

The price of nickel is relatively low. In real terms – that is the price corrected before inflation – the nickel price is now at an identical level as the price in 2002-2003. That is just before China got a truly dominant role in the nickel market. And since 2003 it went fast. The demand for nickel from China exploded and the price increased significantly.  The nickel price reached a peak of nearly USD 45.000/t in 2007, but this level turned out to be untenable. The 2008-2009 crisis caused a collapse and the nickel price lost 50% of its value in less than a year. Now the price is on average USD 9.783/t. Three countries dictate market trends and all three of these countries are in Asia. China is one of them; the other two are the Philippines and Indonesia. Together, these three countries have a share of 34% in the total mining production of iron ore. In the Philippines It seemed like the nickel price was going to recover steadily. By the end of 2016, a Philippine minister had commissioned to close half of the number of open-pit mines in the country to comply with environmental directives. Since the Philippines have a share of 22% in global nickel ore production, the measure caused a price acceleration. Such a reduction in the supply of ore causes a lot of scarcity. However, the optimism was short-lived. In Indonesia Already in 2014, the government in Indonesia had tied down the export of raw nickel ore to stimulate the economy. No nickel ore could leave the county and since it has a share... Lees meer

Market Development January 2017

Market sentiment The positive sentiment for stainless steel prices continues in the first half of 2017. With an expected growth of 3,4%, the prospect for the global economy is optimistic. In this first month of the new year, European Stainless Steel producers announced that their order intake is already full until May. This implies that the demand for stainless steel is currently higher than the supply. Stockholding companies and end-users that were reducing their stocks by Q3-Q4 of last year realized early this year that the price increase started in September last year was not an incident. In order not to lose their business and to continue their production they are now building up their stocks again. Nickel Last year the stainless steel market could count on higher prices because of a higher nickel price. Due to shortage and a higher demand for nickel, the nickel price showed an upward trend throughout the past year. However, over the last two months nickel stocks increased which resulted in a lower nickel price. Also the announcement made by the Indonesian government where they  stated that they will ease up the export ban on nickel-producing companies in Indonesia, has led the nickel price to decrease to around $ 10,000. However, according to the Dutch bank ABN AMRO, nickel can count on price increases again this year, due to possible shortages. Chromium Nickel is not the only commodity that affects the price of stainless steel. The prices of both iron and chromium are also very important factors when it comes to determining the price of stainless steel. For example, AISI 304 consists of 18%... Lees meer

EU Stainless steel base prices rise on stronger demand

Stainless steel base prices in Europe rose last week on longer lead times and growing demand, with market activity in Northern Europe continuing to rise, sources said on Friday August 19.   Metal Bulletin’s weekly base price assessment for 2mm, grade-304 cold rolled (CR) stainless sheet narrowed but moved upward on average to €1,080-1,090 ($1,222-1,234) per tonne delivered in Europe on Friday, from €1,050-1,100 ($1,188-1,245) per tonne last week. “The market is being a little greedy. We are not yet at €1,100 [$1,245] per tonne – perhaps by the end of the year – but they are pushing for it,” a distributor in the Nordic region said. “Market activity is stronger. We are moving material and supplying the market,” he added. Alloy surcharge expected to rise A second distributor in the Benelux region said that the alloy surcharge values for September were expected to rise month-on-month. “The sentiment is that they will rise by €50 [$57] per tonne for grade-304 material and by €100 [$113] per tonne for grade-316 material,” he said. August’s monthly alloy surcharges for both flat and long stainless steel products increased month-on-month by more than €100 ($113) per tonne, following the rise in the average monthly nickel price. The September alloy surcharge for grade-304 material was expected to rise by €100 ($113) per tonne last week, before the falls in the nickel price and the value of the US dollar, participants said. LME Nickel The London Metal Exchange three-month official nickel bid/offer spread fell to $10,285/10,300 per tonne on August 19, down from $10,460/10,480 per tonne last Friday. The euro strengthened against the dollar, according to Oanda.com, with... Lees meer

Nickel prices finally climbed to five-digit territory on Monday

Nickel on the London Metal Exchange finally broke above resistance levels that limited any price surge for the past eight consecutive months. This bullish price action follows a broad recovery in the whole metal complex this year, which gives more credibility to nickel’s bulls. The historical analysis shows that a metal has far greater upside potential when the overall commodities market is in bullish mode, while its chances of going down increase in a falling commodities market. Although nickel’s fundamentals don’t look that bullish, the metal is definitely getting a boost as more investors jump into the industrial metal complex. In the chart above we see how base metals are on the rise since January. Another factor helping nickel prices are expectations of lower nickel pig-iron exports from the Philippines. Ore producers in the Philippines warned earlier this year that they would cut production due to low prices. So far, Chinese imports of Philippine ore fell by 27% in the first five months of the year. In addition, nickel ore shipments from the Philippines could end and result in a disaster for Chinese buyers. The new President-elect, Rodrigo Duterte, ran on an anti-mining platform and could impose an Indonesian-style raw ore ban, which could potentially disrupt supplies for Chinese buyers. However, even if this is true, this will take time to happen. Indonesia itself took five years until passing legislation on a minerals export ban and actually implementing it. Source:... Lees meer

Nickel Update 2016: Limited Nickel exports from Philippines

Nickel ore shipments from the Philippines could be in trouble after a new president’s appointment of an anti-mining presence that could spell disaster for Chinese buyers.According to a recent report from Bloomberg, President-elect Rodrigo Duterte is prioritizing the nation’s stance on mining by appointing a new head for its environment department. This maneuver has the potential to disrupt supplies to buyers in China. The London Metal Exchange echoed those concerns as nickel closed up nearly half a percent last week, indicating this new government will limit nickel ore exports. “We might see an imminent crackdown on the Philippines’ small mines,” said Sam Xia, an analyst at China Merchants Futures Ltd. “This will reduce its nickel ore exports, including to China.” The Philippines is now a key supplier of nickel ore to Asia’s leading economy after Indonesia stopped shipments in January 2014. Meanwhile, China’s nickel ore imports from the Philippines increased to 3 million metric tons this May, its highest point in seven months. That figure accounted for 97% of its total purchases. Nickel Hits Six-Week High last Week The metal benefited from a positive swing in investor sentiment toward commodities in June, stemming from a weaker dollar and the ongoing recovery in oil prices. Nickel has climbed steadily after hitting multiyear lows in February. Source:... Lees meer

Recovery of stainless steel prices in sight?

After months of declining stainless steel prices, the end appears to be in sight. Last month Outokompu said they do not expect a recovery in the stainless steel market on short notice, however, the tide seems to have turned in the right direction. According to André van der Veen, Commercial Director at HEGO Stainless Steel & Aluminum, this potential recovery is partially due to a significant increase of the nickel price, but also the growing demand for iron ore gives good hopes for the near future. On March 7, the price of iron ore increased by  19%, the biggest  increase since the beginning of trade in this industrial metal. As iron ore is a major substance in steel products, this will also affect the steel prices. In addition, the price of nickel has also risen from its lowest point of early  February (US $ 7,600) to US $ 8,800, resulting in expected higher alloy surcharges pushing prices upwards. “On the long term, I expect that  prices will either remain stable or will show a slight increase. Currently, the stocks of nickel are still at a relatively high level. However, at the current price level  it is not profitable for nickel mines to operate. Several mines are risking closure, decreasing the supply of nickel. This, together with an increasing demand, will reduce the stock level of nickel, which will  result to an increasing price level for stainless steel products. I recently had conversations with European and Asian manufacturers who have confirmed my thoughts”, Van der Veen said. Recently the Chinese government has announced production restraints to reduce the overcapacity in the coal and steel... Lees meer

Aluminum: 10 Little known facts

Aluminum is known as light, strong, non-magnetic and corrosion resistant. But did you alo know it was once known as the ‘Metal of Kings’ during the mid-19th century? I will describe more little known facts below.   Metal of Kings Aluminum was classified as a precious metal during the mid-19th century. Napoleon III gave aluminum cutlery to his most distinguished guests; all the other guests had to eat with gold cutlery. Can you imagine that? 100% Recyclable About 75% of all aluminum that is ever produced is still in circulation. The material can be recycled forever with no loss of quality. The recycling process requires only 5% of the energy needed to produce the initial primary metal. On average recycled aluminum is back in use within 60 days. The third most common element in the Earth’s crust Aluminum is the most abundant metal in the earth’s crust. Discovered in Denmark Humphry Davy, an English chemist, discovered that aluminum could be produced by electrolytic reduction from alumina. Unfortunately, Humphry Davy did nog manage to prove the theory in practice.Hans Christian Oersted from Denmark was successful in 1825: he managed to produce an alluminum alloy. Aluminum specialist Need help with your aluminum enquiries? Within HEGO I am the aluminum specialist. You can send me an email via abloks@hego.nl or give me a call at 036 5492 2218. Our aluminum product range consists of sheets, plates, coils, flat bars, round bars, profiles, round and square tubes and tear plates. Tear plates we offer in both pickled as well as unpickled. We can decoil or cut sheets according to your requirements. All material... Lees meer

Euobserver: ” EU imposes anti-dumping duties on Chinese and Taiwanese Stainless Steel.”

The European Union has announced to impose anti-dumping duties on Chinese and Taiwanese Stainless Steel. According to Euobserver the duties are provisional and may be amended at the end of the investigation in September. The import duties will vary from 10.9% till 12.5% on Taiwanese material and will vary from 24,3% till 25,2% on Chinese material depending on the supplier. For the entire news coverage by Euobserver click... Lees meer
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