NEW YORK Nickel premiums were steady this week, with traders presenting a mixed picture of demand for melting-grade material.
Melting-grade nickel premiums were unchanged at 18 to 25 cents per pound, while plating-grade nickel premiums also were steady in a range of 50 to 60 cents per pound.
One trader said he had sold melting-grade material at a premium of 20 cents per pound after finding the premiums under some pressure. "It seems there is some overhanging inventory causing some cheaper offers," he said.
However, a second trader said he had seen an increase in premiums, having sold at 24 cents per pound vs. previously reported sales at around 20 cents. "The market is a little bit stronger," he said. "Im seeing a bit more activity. People need material, though its hand-to-mouth stuff, buying what they need for production rather than buying bigger tonnages and stocking it."
Traders told AMM last month that spot business had been particularly slow, with most consumers needs satisfied by contract business (amm.com, Jan. 31)
London Metal Exchange three-month nickel prices ended the Feb. 13 official session at $18,375 per tonne ($8.33 per pound), down 0.5 percent from $18,465 ($8.38 per pound) at the end of January.