SHANGHAI, Mar 15 (SMM) - The NPI market witnessed several transactions last week, and the traded price generally dropped. A stainless steel mill in east China bought NPI at 1,280 yuan/mtu (including tax, delivery to ports) and 1,250 yuan/mtu (tax included, delivery to factory). Last Friday, the SMM average price of 8-12% high-grade NPI stood at 1,250 yuan/mtu (ex-factory, including tax), down 40 yuan/mtu from the previous trading day and 12.5 yuan/mtu from the previous Friday. On the demand side, the spot prices of stainless steel fell following its futures prices, and the market inventory reduced somewhat. The stainless steel mills did not accept high raw material prices amid the low profit margins. On the supply side, the NPI stocks were mainly held by traders. And the market players were generally bearish on the prices owing to the unfavourable macro factors as well as the falling nickel and stainless steel futures prices. According to SMM research, the Indonesia NPI market was in a serious supply surplus. In terms of cost, nickel ore prices remained high. Short-term ore shipments will increase as weather conditions in the Philippines get better, so the ore prices may fall. NPI prices are expected to fall to 1,220-1,240 yuan/mtu (ex factory, including tax) this week.
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