SHANGHAI, Aug. 18 (SMM) – SMM #1 nickel prices were between RMB 81,100-82,000/mt. Discounts of Jinchuan nickel against the most actively traded contracts on the Wuxi electronic trading were RMB 100/mt in the morning. Jinchuan Group lowered nickel prices, with sales of both Russian and Jinchuan nickel slow. Downstream buyers were unwilling to build stocks, with traded prices between RMB 81,100-81,600/mt. Discounts of Jinchuan nickel against the most actively traded contracts on the Wuxi electronic trading widened in the afternoon as nickel prices rebounded. Traders were in no hurry to replenish stocks on anticipation of growing spot discounts. Downstream buying interest was low, with traded prices between RMB 81,000-81,600/mt. Jinchuan lowered price by RMB 500/mt to RMB 81,500/mt.
SMM surveyed 30 market players to find that 7 are bullish toward nickel prices, 15 are neutral and 8 are bearish.
The 23% bullish ones believe LME nickel prices will move between USD 10,900-11,100/mt. The depreciation of yuan appeared to have been arrested, and China is expected to release additional stimulus measures. Market uncertainty grew when the Fed will hike interest rate, weighing on the US dollar. Improvement in eurozone economies will positively affect base metals. SHFE 1601 nickel contract prices will fluctuate between RMB 82,000-83,200/mt.
50% see LME nickel prices moving between USD 10,600-10,900/mt. US inflation rate fell short of market expectations, and eurozone economies improved, despite restrictions from Greek problem. China’s major economic indicators were sluggish, pointing to soft demand. Besides, stainless steel plants continue to cut output, weakening nickel demand. SHFE 1601 nickel contract prices will fluctuate between RMB 81,200-82,000/mt.
The 27% bearish ones think LME nickel prices will however between 10,400-10,600/mt. The US dollar slumped due to yuan’s depreciation, but is expected to return to upward track. Soft demand in China and output cut by stainless steel plants should damped nickel demand. An import window will open as the Shanghai/LME nickel price ratio rise, leading to a large inflow of imported nickel. SHFE 1601 nickel contract prices will move between RMB 80,000-81,200/mt.