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 Exchanges 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. Theres been some more activity due to low nickel prices on the LME, but the premiums are unchanged. I think its 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 its less than 1.5 percent of the total price. The LME dropping $1 per pound is a much bigger deal, the producer continued.
Itll be a long time before those premiums move, he added.
Traders told AMM that chronic global oversupply continues to crimp demand.
We havent had a nickel inquiry now for two weeks, one trader said. Its preposterous. Its really that quiet.
Plating-grade nickel premiums were also unchanged at 50 to 60 cents per pound.