SHANGHAI, Apr 13 (SMM)—Nickel prices rose slightly last week due to macroeconomic factors, providing support to the price of nickel sulphate.
The market price of battery-grade nickel sulphate was 32,000 yuan/mt (crystal) last week, and the tradable price was 31,500 yuan/mt; spot trades were quieter than the prior week.
Battery-grade nickel sulphate price forecast this week: 31,000-32,000 yuan/mt (severe oversupply of nickel sulphate in March and a continued surplus in April; the slight increase in the price of nickel due to the macro impact should shore up nickel sulphate prices in the near term. The decline in nickel sulphate prices may slow down).
Premiums of battery-grade nickel sulphate over first-grade nickel (mainly nickel briquettes and powder) decreased 23% last week and averaged 16,718 yuan/mt in metal content, which was higher than the processing fees at precursor plants using nickel briquettes/powder to produce liquid nickel sulphate.
Nickel price rose slightly last week, which led to a slight increase in the price of nickel briquette, and also provided temporary support for the price of nickel sulphate to stabilise at 31,000-32,000 yuan/mt. Therefore, the premiums of nickel sulphate over the first-grade nickel continued to narrow.
Premiums of battery-grade nickel sulphate over first-grade nickel (briquette/powder) are expected to shrink further this week.
Profit margin of nickel sulphate produced with MHP and nickel briquettes continued to fall
Last week, the average weekly profit margin of liquefied nickel sulphate produced with self-solution nickel briquette stood at 8%, down 4 percentage points from the previous week; the average weekly profit margin of nickel sulphate produced by mainstream MHP was 3%, down 4 percentage points.
Stable prices of nickel sulphate and higher cost of nickel sulphate produced by mainstream MHP and nickel briquette drove lower overall profit margin.