SHANGHAI, Mar. 25 (SMM) – In Shanghai, SMM #1 nickel prices were between RMB 102,000-103,000/mt. Jinchuan raised nickel prices by RMB 300/mt to RMB 102,800/mt, with transactions mainly made among traders. Downstream buying interest was low.
SMM surveyed 36 market players and found that 42% believe LME nickel prices will continue to rise to USD 16,200-16,500/mt. Indonesian ban on the exports of unprocessed ore will continue to affect the market. Despite steel plants cut output, nickel ore and NPI supply tightness will worsen as NPI producers restrict production due to environmental protection inspections. Scrap stainless steel and nickel plate prices will rise.
36% believe LME nickel prices will hover between USD 15,800-16,200/mt. Sluggish demand from China's manufacturing and Ukraine crisis will allow a large number of longs to leave the market after profit-taking before pushing up nickel prices again as raw materials supply becomes tighter.
22% believe LME nickel prices will fall below USD 15,800/mt. Major economic data from the US are optimistic, when combined with accelerating RMB depreciation, the US dollar index will strengthen, which will weigh on base metals prices.