Some panicked buys lend support to nickel premiums

Dec 16, 2009 | 12:12 PM | Tom Jennemann

U.S. spot nickel premiums remain fairly steady as a number of consumers hit the market to tidy up their 2009 inventory as others are planning for the possibility of a second major strike in Sudbury, Ontario, during the first quarter.

"The nickel market has seen some increased premiums, which is quite nice," a U.S. nickel trader said. "Some of the bigger users are now panicking because they are running out of material, so they are willing to pay a little extra for prompt delivery."

Premiums for truckloads of plating-grade nickel are in a wide range of 75 to 90 cents per pound over London Metal Exchange prices vs. 80 to 90 cents two weeks ago. Melting-grade premiums are at 60 to 75 cents compared with 65 to 75 cents per pound previously.....

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