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Nickel trading still muted as low LME prices fail to attract

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

NEW YORK — A rise in spot inquiries for nickel due to low prices on the London Metal Exchange failed to convert into more transactions, as the already slow market was rendered even slower by the Independence Day holiday.

Melting-grade nickel premiums were steady in a range of 15 to 25 cents per pound and plating grade premiums held at 50 to 60 cents per pound for truckload business.

The LME’s three-month nickel contract closed the July 5 official session at $13,605 per tonne ($6.17 per pound), down 1.5 percent from $13,815 per tonne ($6.27 per pound) June 20.

Market participants told AMM that few spot transactions were taking place, despite an increase in interest from consumers sparked by the low nickel prices.

"Inquiries definitely picked up a little in June. It was busier in June than it was in May or April. I’d say the main reason is due to the dip in nickel prices. It whets their appetite to bring in nickel at a lower cost, though customers are still very hand-to-mouth," one trader said.

"We’ve had a few more spot inquiries in the last week or so, though not a pound of business," a second trader said.

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