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Nickel premiums edge down in Europe on limited inquiries

Keywords: Tags  nickel, premiums, Janie Davies,

LONDON — European nickel premiums fell slightly this week as market participants reported thin volumes and a lack of inquiries, particularly for the most expensive grades of material.

AMM sister publication Metal Bulletin’s daily nickel premium in-warehouse Rotterdam fell to $151.91 per tonne Friday, compared with $153.62 per tonne Thursday and $155.92 per tonne July 31.

Inquiries for 4x4 cathodes and briquettes are especially scarce, traders said.

"We are still offering full plate in Rotterdam, selling a few tonnes here and a few tonnes there. There is no interest in briquettes or other locations," one trader said.

"It’s (been) the same for weeks, at least for us," the trader added. "I haven’t had any inquiries on 4x4 material for a few months, and I last traded at $200."

Premiums for uncut material are at $20 to $100 per tonne, with most business reported above $50 per tonne.

Premiums for 4x4 material are at $100 to $300 per tonne, with most deals coming in at $260 to $280 per tonne.

Briquette premiums are at $30 to $150 per tonne, with most deals being concluded closer to the high end.

Uncut material in Rotterdam is becoming more difficult to obtain through clearing, and traders say premiums for both physical material and London Metal Exchange warrants could rise as a result.

"Our premiums haven’t changed, but brokers say they’ve realised $5 to $10 more than last week," a physical trader said.

Three-month nickel on the LME settled at an official price of $15,255/$15,260 per tonne Aug. 16.

Nickel stocks in LME-bonded warehouses stood at 114,900 tonnes Friday, down 156 tonnes overnight.

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