Nickel prices fell on Thursday, with Shanghai futures of the metal hitting a near four-month low, due to lower demand from the stainless steel industry, nickel’s main consumer.The most-traded nickel contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) fell as much as 2.1% to 111,390 yuan ($15,824.92) a tonne, its lowest since Aug. 8.Three-month nickel on the London Metal Exchange (LME) dropped to a one-week low of $14,200 a tonne.The stainless steel side has cut some product lines due to high stock and lower profits, leading to a drop in nickel pig iron (NPI) prices, which is in turn hurting prices of the refined metal, said a China-based nickel analyst.NPI is a low-grade nickel mixture invented in China as a cheaper alternative to pure nickel for the production of stainless steel and is one of the most popular forms of nickel used in Asia.Spot prices of NPI with 10-15% nickel content provided by Shanghai Metals Market fell to 1,030 yuan a tonne on Wednesday, their lowest since July 18, Refinitiv Eikon data
showed.Nickel has outperformed other base metals so far this year on supply worries ahead of a ban on exports from top nickel ore producer Indonesia, boosting LME nickel to a five-year high in September.However, prices have since fallen due to weak demand.
* STAINLESS STEEL: China’s stainless steel output in November is seen falling 2% from the previous month to 2.4 million tonnes and could fall further to 2.37 million tonnes in December, data compiled by Zljsteel at 27 Chinese mills showed.
* NICKEL PRICE: China’s spot price for imported refined nickel declined to 115,450 yuan a tonne, its lowest since Aug. 2.
* NICKEL STOCKS: Nickel inventories in LME-approved warehouses were hovering around an 11-year low, while stocks in warehouses tracked by ShFE have increased in recent months but were still a third of the record-high level reached in 2016.
* OTHER PRICES: LME copper fell 0.4% to $5,923.50 a tonne by 0312 GMT, aluminum rose 0.1% to $1,766.50 a tonne, zinc advanced 0.3% to $2,304.50 a tonne and lead increased 0.4% to $1,950.50 a tonne.
* SHANGHAI PRICES: Copper edged up 0.2% to 47,350 yuan a tonne, aluminum rose 0.3% to 13,770 yuan a tonne, zinc increased 0.1% to 18,040 yuan a tonne, lead climbed 1.2% to 15,480 yuan a tonne while tin advanced 0.1% to 138,620 yuan a tonne.
* UNITED STATES: U.S. economic growth picked up slightly in the third quarter, rather than slowing as initially reported, and there are signs the downturn in business investment may be drawing to a close.
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* Asian share markets wobbled as concerns that tensions over Hong Kong could stymie a U.S.-China trade deal cast a pall over Thanksgiving cheer from unexpectedly positive U.S. economic data.
Source : https://business.financialpost.com