Nickel premiums sag; push on to scale back inventories

Dec 10, 2007 | 12:34 PM | Meghann McDonell

U.S. nickel premiums have lost ground as stainless steel players push to sell off inventories before the end of the year, market sources said.

Premiums have resisted downward pressure for the past 10 weeks in spite of sparse demand from the stainless sector. But a shift has come for the base metal, as stainless producers start moving their inventories back into London Metal Exchange warehouses in a bid to balance their books before month-end.

"It's the year-end and it's normal for companies to wind down their inventories and clear their books by the end of the year—and this will put downward pressure on premiums," a trader said. "I don't see nickel taking off anytime soon."....

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