SHANGHAI, Jan 23 (SMM)－ The SHFE 1805 nickel contract led the performance of nonferrous metals as of Monday January 22 with a 1.8% gain as inventories fell for the first time in three weeks.
While the SHFE inventory dropped to 57,165 mt as of Friday January 19, consumption for domestic nickel has increased as import windows for Russian material remained closed with an average weekly loss of 1,877 yuan/mt.
Higher nickel prices were driven by tight supply in the short term including the maintenance work at Jiangsu Delong and the fire accident at Jinchuan Group, according to Jinrui Futures analyst Hu Xiaoyu. Demand, on the other hand, has improved from the battery sector.
SMM believes ferronickel would see increased output in March to April while demand from stainless steel mills is stable. In addition, nickel briquette inventory is set to go down with increasing consumption from nickel sulfate and ternary precursor plants, according to SMM nickel analyst Yang Bo.
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