SHANGHAI, Feb. 25 (SMM) – In Shanghai, SMM #1 nickel prices were between RMB 93,400-94,400/mt. Jinchuan lowered nickel prices by RMB 900/mt, to RMB 94,600/mt, with transactions improving. Traders reported downstream buyers purchased normally, with Jinchuan nickel mainly traded at RMB 94,600/mt, and transactions made among traders mainly between RMB 93,000-94,000/mt.
SMM surveyed 36 market players and found that 33% believe LME nickel prices will rebound to USD 14,400-14,600/mt this week. Ongoing Indonesian ban on unprocessed ore exports, falling nickel inventories at ports and growing demand for NPI, nickel prices will find solid support. Besides, LME nickel prices growth slowed, while domestic spot demand improved, with nickel prices expected to rise this week.
36% believe LME nickel prices will move between USD 14,200-14,400/mt this week. With the lack of solid news and effects from Indonesian ban on unprocessed ore exports, nickel prices will find strong support. LME nickel prices dropped slightly on Monday due to rumors that some banks will suspend lending to the real estate sector, while the US dollar index leveled out, expected to rally after the negative news is absorbed, but unlikely break through a previous high.
The remaining 31% are pessimistic, believing LME nickel prices will hover between USD 14,000-14,200/mt. LME nickel prices have been technically sluggish, when combined with negative news to the property market, other base metals prices all dropped more sharply, with the largest decline in LME copper prices. In this context, a large number of nickel investors closed positions to avert risks, dragging down nickel prices, but finding support to USD 14,000/mt.