SHANGHAI, Jul. 1 (SMM) – Last week, the average SMM #1 spot nickel price was RMB 126,410/mt, down RMB 1,750/mt from a week ago. Jinchuan Group cut ex-works prices a total of three times by RMB 500/mt to close the week at RMB 128,000/mt. Falling prices in China’s domestic markets and rising LME nickel prices resulted in greater losses for importers, dampening appetite for imports. In addition, the recent metal financing scandal at the Port of Qingdao also prompted Chinese traders to cut finance-driven nickel imports. This cut supply in China and allowed Russian nickel prices to remain relatively strong. Spot nickel prices in China fell due to soft downstream demand and since delivery date of June nickel on the Wuxi Electronic Trading was approaching.
This coming week, downstream producers and traders will show little buying interest as liquidity remains tight, which should send spot nickel prices lower. Transactions will be made largely by traders. Prices for Russian nickel, however, will remain firm due to falling supply after traders cut imports.