SHANGHAI, Jan 5 (SMM) - The European energy issues did not worsen last week, but the overall market bullishness remained. The nickel prices continued to rise and exceeded 150,000 yuan/mt due to the low inventory of pure nickel. Although the nickel prices rose, the spot premiums of pure nickel did not fall and remained strong. Traders have completed the long-term orders for the year and suspended their bookkeeping, leading to less arriving shipments. This, combined with the low inventories and downstream demand, kept the spot premiums at high levels.
On the fundamental front, stainless steel mills need to build up raw material inventories. That, combined with the significant price declines of NPI in the previous session, bolstered the NPI prices. For nickel sulphate, the market trades have been brisk on the concentrated restocking of enterprises at the end of the year. There will barely be any highlights on the short-term fundamentals of nickel. The shipments arrivals of nickel plate and the high SHFE nickel prices will lower the spot premiums this week. But technically, the nickel prices may continue to push higher. SHFE nickel prices are expected to move between 147,000-154,000 yuan/mt this week and LME nickel will trade between $20,000-20,900/mt.