SHANGHAI, Sep 13 (SMM) - Prices of non-ferrous metals all rose last week except for copper and lead. Nickel prices hit a new high after congestion at high levels for weeks.
The output of nickel sulphate in August and September was higher than expected, and there was a strong expectation for the increase in demand for nickel briquette.
The expectation of tight NPI supply strengthened, and the price spread between NPI and refined nickel further shrank.
Nickel inventories kept rising for two weeks but remained low, and overseas quotations were scarce, so the supply remained tight. Domestic and overseas market were both bullish over the prices. Overseas liquidity remained sufficient, and mainstream overseas companies were looking for the varieties with bullish fundamentals and lower valuations. Market participants can purchase nickel after the prices fall back. SMM will monitor Fed’s monetary policy, the daily US bond repurchase amount, and domestic policy risks.
SHFE nickel are expected to fluctuate between 148,000~156,000 yuan/mt this week, and LME nickel prices are expected to move between $18,700~19,800/mt.
Stainless steel production was limited by the power curtailment and production restrictions. Stainless steel output fell sharply in September. 300-series output dropped 100,000 mt. The news of production cut triggered strong bullish sentiments in the futures market, and SHFE SS 2110 contract rose to the daily limit last Monday.
In the spot market, purchase weakened amid rising prices. Transactions were sluggish on rigid demand. The market deliveries and cargo arrivals in Wuxi remained normal. Therefore, stainless steel prices fluctuated at high levels after the sharp rise boosted by sentiments, and the upward momentum weakened. The impact of power curtailment is expected to extend until the end of the year, and the supply is expected decline. Downstream users were reluctant to accept the high prices. However, if the production is cut as expected, and raw material costs keep rising, stainless steel prices are expected to rise further.
SHFE 2110 SS contract is expected to trade between 18,600-20,600 yuan/mt this week.