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Melting-grade nickel premiums hold steady

Keywords: Tags  nickel premiums, melting-grade nickel, plating-grade nickel, nickel demand, nickel, nickel prices, London Metal Exchange, LME three-month nickel Daniel Fitzgerald


NEW YORK — Melting-grade nickel premiums are steady in a range of 15 to 25 cents per pound, with one producer reporting that low official nickel pricing has enticed some smaller consumers to the spot market.

The London Metal Exchange’s three-month nickel contract closed the official session at $15,230 per tonne ($6.91 per pound) April 25, down 5.1 percent from $16,055 per tonne ($7.28 per pound) April 11.

The majority of market participants told AMM that the historically low premiums and official pricing had failed to boost spot purchases, although one producer reported otherwise. “There’s been some more activity due to low nickel prices on the LME, but the premiums are unchanged. I think it’s due to some people wanting to take advantage of the lower nickel prices,” he said.

“People make such a big thing of the premium, but it’s less than 1.5 percent of the total price. The LME dropping $1 per pound is a much bigger deal,” the producer continued.

“It’ll be a long time before those premiums move,” he added.

Traders told AMM that chronic global oversupply continues to crimp demand.

“We haven’t had a nickel inquiry now for two weeks,” one trader said. “It‘s preposterous. It’s really that quiet.”

Plating-grade nickel premiums were also unchanged at 50 to 60 cents per pound.

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