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.
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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
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Commodity market report | Nov 2015
Global nickel short-term outlook November 2015
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