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.