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Nickel/Stainless Steel Briefing

  • Dow Jones reports three month nickel closed Wednesday’s trading session at $8.73/lb . Indicators at 7:00 am CST today show 3 month nickel trading around $.21/lb  lower, with other London traded base metals trading lower as well. Stockpiles of nickel stored in LME licensed warehouses rose by over 3000 tonnes, and now total over the 283,650 tonne level. Before this month, the last time we saw a one day increase of over 3000 tonnes was last September, Now, here in May of 2014, with grave warnings of a future with supply falling short of demand echoing from all corners, we have seen stockpiles of nickel increase by over 3000 tonnes on two separate days. We are now only 3,012 tonnes shy of the all time record high, and 22,194 tonnes ahead of where we started the year with. Nickel deficit? Not yet. China Custom reports imports of nickel ore in April from Indonesia fell 90% from last April, while imports of nickel ore from the Philippines rose 40%. Overall, total nickel ore imports fell 55%. We reported yesterday the nickel market was building up tension and yesterday afternoon, that tension snapped, with the market falling sharply. That defection continues today. Another interesting note – cancelled warrants has fallen below the 40% reading for the first time since February 5th. It would appears that some are taking profits before the end of the month. Stainless buyers who an afford to wait, will now move to the sideline as this most recent wave of volatility works itself out. Some will take a chance and buy while the price is down, while others will wait to see if the price falls further. Only time will tell who played it right this time.  
  • Average price of cash nickel so far this month – $8.84/lb
  • Average price of LME traded nickel in 2013 – $6.80/lb / avg 2012 – $7.95/lb / avg 2011 – $10.36/lb / avg 2010 – $9.89/lb
  • (USGS) Metal Prices in the United States Through 2010 – pdf here
  • Baltic Dry Index – (current(chart)
  • Dollar trading graph – (chart of dollar index) (live java chart)
  • Bloomberg metals morning – Copper Declines From 11-Week High Before U.S. GDP Data – more
  • Reuters metals morning – Nickel firm on unrest at New Caledonia mine – more
  • WSJ metals morning – LME Copper, Nickel Fall as Traders Lock in Recent Profits – more

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