SHANGHAI, Sept. 1 (SMM) – SMM #1 nickel prices were between RMB 76,000-76,800/mt. Jinchuan Group lowered ex-works prices, with discounts of Jinchuan nickel against the most actively traded contracts on the Wuxi electronic trading zero in the morning. Downstream buyers took a wait-and-see posture, with traded prices between RMB 75,700-76,400/mt. The upcoming parade in Beijing caused traffic interruption around Beijing, with local downstream buyers having building stocks. Downstream buyers in other regions were in no hurry to replenish goods now that they had bought stocks, with traded prices between RMB 75,500-76,200/mt. Jinchuan Group lowered ex-works prices by RMB 700/mt to RMB 76,300/mt.
SMM surveyed 30 market players to find that no one is bullish toward nickel prices this week, 14 are neutral, while 16 are bearish.
The 47% neutral ones think LME nickel prices will fluctuate in a wide range between USD 9,750-10,000/mt. US stocks rebounded as US economy appears to recover, helping ease market panic. Despite continuous improvement in the US and Europe, a rate hike by the Fed is expected to be delayed due to deteriorating economies in Asia-Pacific region. China’s power generation and consumption accelerated in August, suggesting Chinese economy may have bottomed. But output cut by stainless steel plants will rein in demand for nickel. SHFE 1601 nickel contract prices should move between 75,500-77,500/mt.
53% bearish ones see LME nickel price fall to USD 9,500-9,750/mt. Improving economic indicators in the US mean an interest rate hike by the Fed in September is possible, driving up the US dollar and weighing on base metals. Continuous inflows of imported nickel add to oversupply. Unstable stocks market in China kept investors unconfident. Stainless steel plants will continue to cut output in September. SHFE 1601 nickel contract prices will move between RMB 73,500-75,500/mt.