SHANGHAI, Mar 30 (SMM) — Nickel futures prices rose to around 124,000 yuan/mt twice amid bull and bear alternating last week, but fell back to the 120,000 yuan/mt under pressure. The absolute spot price of pure nickel barely changed. The continued sideways trend dragged down the purchase willingness of downstream buyers, and the sluggish trading failed to consume the large amounts of imported Russian nickel in the bonded areas. Traders gradually started quotations for the SHFE 2105 contracts.
With the monthly price difference converted, the Russian nickel quotations fell to the flat level and was expected to stabilise as the subsequent import volume decreased. Jinchuan Nickel prices went up due to the monthly financial closure of the smelters, and are expected to fall back this week. Nickel briquette prices dropped continuously due to the downward nickel sulphate prices. Although the supply of duty-free nickel briquette was limited, traders adjusted the premiums to about 2,500 yuan/mt. Non-duty-free nickel briquette was mostly delivered for orders last week, and spot quotations were scarce.
Russian nickel prices retreated while Jinchuan Nickel prices rose
Pure nickel inventories in Shanghai bonded area decreased 1,500 mt from March 19 to 11,300 mt as of March 26, falling for the fourth consecutive week. Since foreign trade companies had locked the import profits, nickel plates and briquette were continuously moved into social warehouses from the bonded areas last week. As for now, the import window has been closed again, and the pure nickel inventory in the bonded areas has also dropped to a low level.
Inventories moved from bonded areas to social warehouses and fell little
Shipments from bonded areas are expected to slow down, and the trade is likely to weaken. The premiums of Russian nickel was $180/mt. Duty-free nickel briquette had few buyers, while non-duty-free briquette prices stood over $200/mt under warrants.
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