SHANGHAI, Aug 19 (SMM) – The spreads of spot nickel in Shanghai relative to prices of futures held stable on Monday August 19, as a closed import arbitrage window deterred Russian nickel traders from restocking and widening discounts and as high prices continued to sideline downstream consumers.
Russian nickel was quoted in a discount of 300-250 yuan/mt against the nickel contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange for September delivery, while Jinchuan materials were in a premium of 800-900 yuan/mt. Greater availability weighed on Jinchuan premiums, as sellers offered cargoes that were produced years ago.
The producer, Jinchuan, lowered its offers for nickel plates in the Shanghai market by 400 yuan/mt from Friday August 16 to 126,600 yuan/mt, and most trades were done at 126,400-126,800 yuan/mt.
Stainless steel prices also barely changed at the start of this week, with Taiyuan Steel’s guide prices for the Wuxi market flat with last Friday.
Poor demand in a low season kept buyers cautious about purchasing stainless steel, which will drive sellers to lower offers to offload cargoes. Prices of stainless steel are likely to remain weak in the short term.
SMM data showed that refined nickel in east China, including stocks in Shanghai bonded areas and SHFE warrants, inched up 215 mt, or 0.3% from August 16 to stand at 81,909 mt as of August 19.
Social stocks rose 100 mt over the weekend to 31,100 mt, while bonded stocks remained unchanged at 21,800 mt.