MetalMiner reported that primary three-month nickel prices sank to $15,250 per metric ton (MT) on the London Metal Exchange (LME), while primary cash nickel prices fell to $15,195 per MT, also on the LME.
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MetalMiner reported that Chinese primary nickel declined 4 percent after increasing by 1 percent the previous week. It has also seen declines on the LME and in India.
Reuters reported that Indonesia expects its nickel smelter, which is being constructed in Central Sulawesi, will start operations towards the end of 2014. The Indonesian government announced that it will no longer allow unprocessed mineral exports after January 2014, a rule that has been heavily criticized by miners who believe smelters are not viable for all metal ores that the country exports.
Reuters reported that nickel prices have reached its lowest in four years at $15,092 per ton.
Bloomberg reported that nickel supplies will be higher than demand by about 52% and will have a surplus of 82,000 metric tons this year due to weak consumption globally, according to Macquarie Group Ltd.
Bloomberg reported that nickel is bottoming as prices go below the cost of producing alternatives such as the nickel pig iron or NPI.
Bloomberg reported that industrial metals continue to decline on the LME after economic data from the US and China raised concerns of a weakening demand.
Reuters reported that nickel has hit a 7-month low on the LME ending at $15,695 as a weak economic data from China, the world’s biggest metal consumer, strengthened concerns on demand growth.
Marketwatch reported that United Co. Rusal PLC said it expected Norilsk Nickel’s 2012 year-end results to adversely impact its overall 2012 earnings. The company has a 27.8% stake in Norilsk Nickel, which posted a net profit of $2.1B, lower by 41% as a result of its $976M write-off.
Bloomberg reported that nickel and other base metals gained as China’s loan data in March exceeded initial forecast.