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Nickel premiums up as stainless foundries buy

Keywords: Tags  nickel, melting grade, plating grade, Thorsten Schier

NEW YORK — Melting-grade nickel premiums have strengthened this week, with spot deals reported at higher levels.

The range widened to 20 to 28 cents per pound from 20 to 26 cents previously. A number of spot deals for half-truckload quantities were reported at the high end of the range and above, while one trader also reported truckload quantities sold well below AMM’s range at 15 cents per pound.

Stainless foundries that had seen an influx of orders were said to be behind some of the recent spot purchases at higher numbers.

"That (buying) is against orders for sure. They specifically buy for specific orders," one trader said.

On the long-term front, some consumers are still holding out on contracts for next year, sources said.

"Some people are saying they’re going to wait until January, believe it or not. They have plenty of nickel right now," one supplier said.

One consumer who did report concluding contract business for a 2013 supply of briquettes recently was able to get a premium under 20 cents per pound, while supplies of full-plate nickel to large consumers are being negotiated at premiums as low as 7 or 8 cents per pound, according to another trader.

The plating market was once again quiet, keeping premiums steady in a 45- to 55-cent-per-pound range.

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