NEW YORK Nickel
spot market trading activity remains stagnant, traders said,
although there are reports of sellers pushing material at lower
premiums as London Metal Exchange nickel stocks continue to
melting-grade nickel premium remains in a range of 15 to 25
cents per pound, and the plating-grade premium at 50 to 60
cents per pound.
three-month nickel contract closed at $13,660 per tonne ($6.20
per pound) Sept. 12, down 3.4 percent from $14,135 per tonne
($6.41 per pound) two weeks earlier.
With LME nickel
warehouse stocks reaching 217,650 tonnes Sept. 11, traders
noted the limited level of business being done and the
potential effect that oversupply might have on premiums going
While most agreed that
premiums at large remained between 15 to 25 cents per pound,
one trader said he had heard of a sizeable sale to a producer
at a 10-cent-per-pound premium.
A second trader said
there was "no doubt" about premiums being pushed downward due
to market conditions.
"I have to be honest,
if I can sell cathodes at a 25-cent premium, Id make a
lot of money," a third trader said. "The reality is business is
so bad, its a factor of getting business at whatever
prices you can get it."
However, "I dont
think you can look at someone buying 10 cents and say
thats representative of the market," he added. "You also
have to consider that you got producers who need to get some
cash on their books, and theyre willing to move large
volumes of whatever excess products they have at pretty
A fourth trader said
he felt miners might start to cut back production "in the
not-too-distant future, as demand has not been as strong as
anticipated or hoped for."
However, a 10-cent
premium seemed "more of a one-off" and "not indicative of the
wider market," he added.