SHANGHAI, Jul. 22 (SMM) -- Prices of high grade NPI advanced slowly along with stabilizing of LME nickel prices at around USD 24,000/mt. At present, mainstream traded prices of high grade NPI (10-15%) were in the RMB 1,640-1,650/mtu range, and average price was RMB 1,645/mtu, up by RMB 35/mtu from a week earlier.
Purchase price for high grade NPI by Taigang Stainless Steel was RMB 1,740/mtu, up by RMB 40/mtu compared to RMB 1,700/mtu in mid-July and up by RMB 120/mtu compared to RMB 1,620/mtu in late June, injecting a dose of confidence in market to great extent. LME nickel prices have been fluctuating narrowly around USD 24,000/mt since mid-July, entrenching stabilized rebounding trend. In this context, NPI producers’ confidence in optimistic outlook further increased, so NPI producers were reluctant to move goods recently, with was particularly strongly felt in Inner Mongolia. Therefore, NPI producers raised offers ex-works prices of high grade NPI to RMB 1,650-1,680/mt range.
According to some stainless steel mils, although the largest stainless steel mill has already released August’s bidding prices for NPI, other stainless steel mills still adopted a wait-and-see attitude, and wanted to purchase NPI at RMB 1,650/mtu. It was reported that large stainless steel in Shandong province purchased NPI at RMB 1,720/mtu.
Enquiries for NPI from stainless steel mills increased recently, a reflection of tight supply of high grade NPI. This is partly caused by precious production cut of high grade NPI in June, and partly due to high grade NPI producers’ unwillingness to move goods for optimistic expectation.
According to traders, it was hard to traders to make transactions last week as they were virtually profitless, since NPI producers only willing to move goods at RMB 1,640/mtu while stainless steel mills wanting to purchase goods at RMB 1,650/mt (delivery to factories).
SMM expects, traded prices for high grade NPI will advanced with the coming of peak purchasing period for NPI in August, and increase in purchase price by Taigang Stainless Steel and rebound of LME nickel prices.