SHANGHAI, Apr. 16 (SMM) -- Jinchuan Group raised ex-works nickel prices on Friday by RMB 2,000/mt, to RMB 134,000/mt. As of last Friday, the average weekly nickel price in Shanghai’s nickel spot market was RMB 131,442.9/mt, up RMB 6.9/mt from a week earlier. LME nickel prices moved higher following the Qingming Festival, helping drive up domestic spot prices, but higher spot prices still failed to boost trading volumes. Although downstream consumers showed strong buying interest as prices rose, traders were more optimistic toward future nickel prices and held back goods, keeping trading activity quiet.
Firm domestic nickel ore prices and steady declines in stainless steel prices are exacerbating the already poor profitability at stainless steel mills, while a weak property sector in China is also dampening demand for stainless steel. Both factors may erode demand for refined nickel, thus weighing down domestic nickel prices. SMM predicts spot nickel prices will continue to move around RMB 134,000/mt in the coming week.