SHANGHAI, Mar.19 (SMM) -- Jinchuan Group cut ex-works nickel prices by RMB 2,000/mt, to RMB 117,000/mt Monday. In response, transactions in spot market turned quiet. Following Jinchuan Group’ s price cut, mainstream traded prices of nickel from Jinchuan Group were in the RMB 116,200-116,500/mt range, and mainstream traded prices of nickel from Russia were in the RMB 117,200-117,500/mt range. Some cargo holders were reluctant to move goods during the afternoon trading hours, further reducing transactions in spot market.
Based on SMM survey result, 67% market players believe that LME nickel prices will to fall around USD 16,500/mt, which is largely due to concern over debt crisis in Cyprus and sluggish demand in spot market. The bailout plan for Cyprus has renewed market concern over the European debt crisis, which will not allow LME nickel prices to reverse weak momentum in the short ter. Besides, the US consumer confidence index was unexpectedly below market expectation, despite that possibility for the Fed to end QE measures is low. Furthermore, players doubt that whether the US stock market will keep strong performance. If economic data are announced below market expectation, confidence may be further dampened. In China’s spot market, in contrast to steady rally in LME nickel prices, stainless steel prices fell amid oversupply pressure. According to market insiders, stainless steel was lower than previous month and clients all adopted a wait-and-see attitude on raw material purchasing
The remaining 16% market players LME will remain stable after stumble on Monday. The neutral players believe that market may overact towards Cyprus incidents, and LME nickel prices will stabilize between USD 16,600-16,800/mt in the following week.