Commodity market report

Global nickel short-term outlook December 2016

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Report summary

After falling to their lowest level since 2003 during H1/16, the threat of nickel mine closures in the Philippines triggered a mid-year rally that peaked at around US$11,700/t (US$/lb) in November. The upward trend will continue in the first half of 2017 as ore stocks in China approach depletion point in March-April. Replenishment that usually comes at the end of the monsoon season might then be compromised if, in the interim, the Filipino government shuts down the mines it threatened with closure in September. Equally, increasing nickel and chrome raw material prices will push up stainless prices to an extent that might trigger restocking in the stainless supply chain. But there is a hint of downside risk emanating from China as two of the new mills in ramp up mode are threatened with closure.

What's included

This report contains

  • Document

    Global nickel short-term outlook December 2016

    PDF 525.94 KB

  • Document

    Global nickel STO data tables December 2016.xls

    XLS 410.00 KB

  • Document

    Global nickel short-term outlook December 2016

    ZIP 658.32 KB

Table of contents

Tables and charts

This report includes 21 images and tables including:


  • LME nickel prices and open interest: new shorts and selling indicate December pessimism
  • Regional year-on-year growth in stainless melt production during H1 and H2 (2016:2015)
  • Supply-demand balances: Image 2
  • Supply-demand balances: Image 3
  • LME cash and 3-month spread
  • First half 2016: underperforming
  • Second half 2016: recovery
  • US stainless - melting rates exceeding product deliveries


  • Executive summary: Table 1
  • Supply-demand balances: Table 1
  • Demand: Table 1
  • Quarterly refined nickel consumption by first use (kt)
  • Demand: Table 3
  • Quarterly global stainless steel production (kt raw steel basis)
  • Global refined nickel consumption (kt)
  • Global stainless steel production (kt raw steel basis)
  • Supply: Table 1
  • Supply: Table 2
  • Supply: Table 3
  • Supply: Table 4
  • Supply: Table 5

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