Asian nickel prices rise sharply
Asian nickel prices rise sharply

6 July 2023 – Nickel prices in Asia rose significantly today. Some are up more than 4.7%. Market participants expect support for the stainless steel market. And in the United States, car sales continue to pick up.

Asian nickel prices rise significantly 

Nickel prices on the SHFE rose significantly today, Thursday. Contracts SHFE.NI2307 and SHFE.NI2308 both went up by more than 4.7%. But also the Asian spot nickel prices showed a positive price development today by almost 4% upwards. There had already been some upward movement on the LME yesterday, Wednesday, after the official start of trading, and currently LME nickel is again above 21,000 USD/MT.

Support for stainless steel market expected 

Now that China has supported the construction sector with monetary and regulatory measures and will continue to do so, Taiwanese stainless steel producers expect further positive signals and rising demand for stainless steel.

EU stainless steel mill with production cuts 

To this end, European stainless steel producer Acciai Speciali Terni (AST) has announced that it will shut down its production in July and August. AST’s maintenance work is expected to tighten availability in Europe and support prices.

In combination with the Chinese measures, the recent rise in nickel prices and production cuts in Europe, but also in China, this should support the stainless steel market overall.

US new vehicle sales up 

New vehicle sales in the United States for top global automakers rose in the second quarter due to improved supply and strong demand, despite concerns about rising interest rates. The pandemic disrupted vehicle production, but companies are now working to make up for lost production as supply chain issues ease. Fortunately, the job market has remained strong, enabling consumers to find avenues to purchase new vehicles.

Renowned Asian and US car makers reported a 7.13% to 19% increase in U.S. sales, including electric vehicles. Tesla delivered a record number of vehicles in the quarter. This is a positive sign from the market which give confidence for the manufacturers and a good start into the second half of 2023.

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