SHANGHAI, Apr. 15 (SMM) – In Shanghai, SMM #1 nickel prices were between RMB 120,000-121,000/mt. Jinchuan raised nickel prices by RMB 1,000/mt, to RMB 121,000/mt. Transactions were mainly made among traders engaging in arbitrage operations in Wuxi. Market players were replenishing goods due to market optimism, but end-users' buying interest was low.
SMM surveyed 36 market players and found that 72% believe LME nickel prices will continue to rise to USD 17,800-18,500/mt. they base their opinion on effects from Indonesian ban on the exports of unprocessed ore. Total positions hit a record high of 230,000 lots, with strong long momentum. One investment institution's short positions were above 40% in March, with a large number of shorts expected to be drove out of the market.
28% investors believe LME nickel prices will level out between USD 17,100-17,500/mt. The US dollar index is expected to improve, weighing down nickel prices. When combined high LME nickel inventories and sliding stainless steel output and profit in China, nickel prices will unlikely rise.