Commodity market report
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26 Pages

Global nickel short-term outlook November 2015

Global nickel short-term outlook November 2015

Report summary

Nickel prices hit a new low of US$8,155/t (US$3.70/lb) on 23 November, thereby warranting a cut in our forecast average price for Q4/15, to US$9,620/t (US$4.36/lb), and the average for the whole of 2015 to US$11,880/t (US$5.39/lb). Although production cuts are widely expected, only 25% of the industry is cash negative at the average 2015 price. Thus, if those cuts are to happen we believe that nickel prices need to remain close to their recent levels for longer than seen to date. For this reason we project that nickel prices will stay in the US$8,000-9,500/t (US$3.60-4.30/lb) range for the next 6-8 months.

In China the latest stainless steel mill survey shows that 24 mills have either left the stainless industry or shut down since the start of 2014, half of those in the past six months. Several new plants that entered trial production in 2015 were also suspended. This has removed more than 2Mt/a of melt shop capacity. Further rationalisation is likely.

What's included?

This report includes 2 file(s)

  • Global nickel short-term outlook November 2015 PDF - 466.67 KB 26 Pages, 13 Tables, 7 Figures
  • Data Tables Ni STO.xls XLS - 451.00 KB


As global demand weakens and commodity prices fall, we're seeing a challenging environment in the metals and mining industry. Mining companies are increasingly coming under pressure to reduce operating costs, causing many to shift their strategic planning, delay new investments and look to long-term future growth.

This Nickel Short Term Outlook report provides a detailed breakdown of global supply and demand balances in this market, as well as price forecasts.

Mining companies, investment banks and investors can use this report to understand the future direction of the ferrous and base metals market. It will also help you assess the impact of key industry issues and events on market balances and pricing.

From acquisitions to investments, Wood Mackenzie helps you plan, forecast and benchmark in the metals markets. Our proprietary database and analyst expertise combines robust production, consumption and pricing data with detailed analysis to identify market opportunities.

We give you a holistic view of the ferrous and base metals markets so you have the confidence to make strategic decisions.

  • Executive summary
  • Supply-demand balances
    • LME nickel stocks and nickel prices
  • Demand
    • China
    • Europe
    • North America
    • Nickel in non-stainless
  • Supply

In this report there are 20 tables or charts, including:

  • Executive summary
    • Key forecasts
  • Supply-demand balances
    • Supply-demand balances: Image 1
    • Exports of refined nickel metal from Malaysia and Singapore - recent shipments going to Taiwan
    • Supply-demand balances: Table 1
  • Demand
    • Quarterly global nickel consumption in stainless steel (kt)
    • Quarterly refined nickel consumption by first use (kt)
    • Chinese stainless melt production - top 16 companies (ranked on 2015)
    • China - gains and losses in company stainless melt production for 2015 c.f. 2014
    • China – stainless mill closures/exits since January 2014
    • Chinese stainless – 13 companies each producing in excess of 500kt/a account for >90% of national output
    • Aircraft deliveries
    • Global quarterly refined consumption (kt)
    • Quarterly global stainless steel production (kt raw steel basis)
    • Global refined nickel consumption (kt)
    • Global stainless steel production (kt raw steel basis)
  • Supply
    • Global nickel mine production/capability (kt)
    • Global nickel smelter production/capability (kt)
    • Global nickel metal production/capability (kt)
    • Nickel stocks and premiums
    • Global refined nickel supply-demand balance (kt)
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