SHANGHAI, Apr. 1 (SMM) – In Shanghai, SMM #1 nickel prices were between RMB 101,500-102,500/mt. Jinchuan raised nickel prices by RMB 1,000/mt to RMB 102,800/mt. The market lacked cash flows at the end of the month, but traders purchased goods at lower prices due to market optimism and rising spot prices, with transactions made in small volume. Spot prices rose to RMB 102,100-103,100/mt in the afternoon. But transactions were muted.
SMM surveyed 36 market players and found that 50% believe LME nickel prices will rise to USD 15,900-16,250/mt this week. They base their opinion on Indonesian ban on the exports of unprocessed ore, which will cause nickel ore supply shortages and boost end-user demand for nickel plate; the Crimea issue affected Russian nickel exports, which will positively affect international nickel prices. Spot demand improved modestly, but a large number of bargain hunters entered the market.
42% believe LME nickel prices will move between USD 15,700-15,950/mt. LME nickel prices found solid support at USD 15,700/mt, but failed to stabilize at USD 15,900/mt. Before the US Federal Reserve announces March non-farm employment data this Friday, prices will level out.
Only 8% think LME nickel prices will fall below USD 15,700/mt. Given sluggish consumption in global manufacturing and expectations that China’s economy will face downturn pressure, nickel prices should fall.