Nickel premiums slip in slow market

Dec 02, 2009 | 11:21 AM | Tom Jennemann

The U.S. spot nickel market looks set to remain slow through year-end as consumers ink annual contracts and trim inventories, but January is likely to be a busy month for spot buying, market participants said.

"Most the business being concluded these days is long-term for 2010," one U.S.-based nickel trader said. "As for spot, there haven't really been that many inquiries to change the spot premium market. Most of my time has been focused on next year and getting consumers locked for full year contracts."

Premiums for truckloads of plating-grade nickel are now at 80 to 90 cents per pound over London Metal Exchange prices, down from 90 to 95 cents two weeks ago. Melting-grade premiums stand at 65 to 75 cents per pound, down from 70 to 75 cents previously.....

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