SHANGHAI, Apr. 9 (SMM) – SMM #1 refined nickel prices were RMB 107,700-108,600/mt on Tuesday. Jinchuan Group raised its ex-works prices for nickel in Shanghai by RMB 3,000/mt to RMB 109,000/mt. Traded prices for Jinchuan’s nickel were RMB 108,400-108,800/mt Tuesday morning, while Russian nickel was sold at RMB 107,600-108,000/mt. In the afternoon, prices for Jinchuan nickel increased to RMB 109,000-109,200/mt. Quotations and transactions for Russian nickel were rarely heard in the afternoon session, as supply for the product remained tight.
SMM’s survey of 36 participants in nickel industry indicated that half of them expected LME nickel prices to extend gains this week, moving at USD 16,350-16,700/mt, with the belief that Indonesia will remain firm on its raw ore export ban in the short term. In addition, the RMB depreciation and adjustment to import duty caused supply of Russian nickel to decline, which will give support to domestic spot nickel prices.
The remaining 50% of market players believed LME nickel prices will hold steady at USD 16,000-16,350/mt this week, noting that the weaker US dollar resulting from disappointing nonfarm payroll data for March may benefit nickel prices. However, production cuts at stainless steel mills will undermine nickel consumption. Besides, technical indicators also showed limited impetus for nickel prices to rise further.