Nickel price up on low supply, Chinese stainless steel outputadmin
Demand for nickel is principally linked to the production of stainless steel which makes up around 62 pct of nickel usage worldwide, particularly the 300 series with a 8-12 pct nickel content. China last year tried to push a lower grade nickel 200 series into the market due to high nickel prices — a move rejected by consumers as low grade stainless reduces anti-corrosive properties, the note said. The LME has moved to dampen speculation and reduce market volatility although this may serve to maintain prices at a higher level for longer, Numis said. Currently, nickel is nearly four times the price of copper and is the most profitable of the base metals to mine.
China became the world’s largest producer of stainless steel last year with output of five mln metric tons, as more domestic production plants began operating, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in a statement on its website.