SHANGHAI, Aug 25 (SMM) - The average price of SMM 8-12% high-grade NPI was 1,390 yuan/mtu (ex-factory including tax) as of August 20, and the average price of Indonesian NPI was 1,395 yuan/mtu (including tax, arriving at ports), both flat on the week.
Nickel and stainless steel prices dropped last week, and steel mills could only accept lower NPI prices. However, NPI prices stood high supported by raw material costs, and the market trade was quiet.
Stainless steel mills were less willing to restock amid low stainless steel prices and high NPI prices. Some stainless steel plants purchased a total of 15,000 mt of raw materials at 1,415 yuan/mtu (tax included, delivery to factory) or 1,420 yuan/mtu (tax included, delivery to factory) on rigid demand.
Nickel ore prices kept rising due to the pandemic, leading to higher costs for NPI plants, and nickel ore supply may continue to tighten. NPI plants mostly held quotations at 1,400 yuan/mtu (tax included, ex-factory). Stainless steel prices are likely to remain volatile at low levels in the short term, and the raw material cost will be the only support for NPI plants. Mainstream prices of high-grade NPI are expected to move between 1,360-1,400 yuan/mtu (tax included, ex-factory).