SHANGHAI, Jan 10 (SMM) - Last Friday, the average price of Ni 1.5% ore stood at $71.5/wmt on a CIF basis, flat from a week earlier. The market transactions were few as the demand was weak due to the approaching Chinese New Year and the active stockpiling activities of NPI plants back before the rainy season started. In addition, due to the scare shipments from the Philippines in the rainy season, both supply and demand were weak. As such, the prices remained volatile. The subsequent market transactions will remain thin in the rainy season, with the Ni 1.5% ore prices fluctuating between $68-72/wmt. In the long term, the stainless steel market holds a bullish outlook on the recovery of demand after the Chinese New Year holiday, hence the NPI prices may remain firm and nickel ore prices may rebound after the demand recovers.