SHANGHAI, Jan 25 (SMM)－While the LME nickel price is likely to go up further to $13,800-14,000/mt as stainless steel mills continued to restock ahead of the Chinese New Year holiday, SMM believes there is downside risk around March and April.
This would be mainly due to the increase in Indonesian nickel ore supply and less maintenance work at nickel pig iron (NPI) plants.
In addition, stainless steel mills would find it increasingly difficult to make profits as nickel prices rise further. Based on the current, high inventories of stainless steel, we believe the increased downstream demand after Chinese New Year is unlikely to drive up stainless steel prices. This means that these mills are likely to make losses and production cuts may be on the way.
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