SHANGHAI, Apr. 18 (SMM) -- Mainstream traded prices for high grade NPI (Ni 10-15%) were between RMB 1,320-1,340/mtu, down RMB 10/mtu from a day earlier; mainstream traded prices for medium grade NPI (Ni 6-8%) were between RMB 1,340-1,350/mtu, down RMB 5/mtu from a day earlier; and mainstream traded prices for medium grade NPI (Ni 4-6%) were RMB 1350-1360/mtu. Most producers stopped quotations as traded prices were close to cost prices. LME nickel prices closed down on April 13 and April 16 due to global economic slowdown and resurfacing European debt crisis, down over USD 900/mt. Stainless steel mills cut purchase prices for high grade NPI to RMB 1,340/mtu (delivery to factory) on April 18 despite that LME nickel prices closed up, and traded prices for NPI fell in response.
Mainstream traded prices for low grade NPI (Ni 1.6-1.7%) were stable between RMB 3,550-3,600/mt. SMM sources report that fewer producers supplied low grade NPI, dragging out the delivery date. In addition, low grade NPI producers in Zaozhuang City shut down production due to environmental issue or shifted to production of foundry pig iron, which may reduce supply of low grade NPI in the near future.