Nickel prices start September 2023 on a positive note
Nickel prices start September 2023 on a positive note

1 September 2023 – Asian nickel prices rose on September 1. Tight availability and strong demand appear to be the driving forces here. Freight rates from Asia to North America have jumped, in some cases significantly, indicating an increase in demand there. And the European Purchasing Managers’ Index rose in August.

Nickel prices start September on a positive note

Nickel prices on the SHFE are up about 1.72% as of Sept. 1, 2023. However, Chinese spot prices have also increased by more than 1%. That also fueled LME nickel at the start of trading, which was up more than 2.3% in the interim.

Nickel ore in short supply

The rising nickel prices are likely to be derived, among other things, from the tight availability of nickel ore in Indonesia and the nickel ore prices for Philippine nickel ore, which have risen by around 14% since the end of July. This is also noticeably reflected in the more than 10% increase in NPI prices.

Main demand: stainless steel and EV batteries

In addition, demand for stainless steel has increased in recent weeks, which had already prompted various stainless steel producers to increase prices. The rise of Chinese e-vehicle manufacturer BYD into the world’s top 10 automakers is also likely to further fuel demand for nickel. BYD alone had sold more than 1.25 million vehicles in the first half of 2023, a 96% year-on-year increase.

Freight rates from Asia to North America up

Freight rates from China and Taiwan to North America have picked up significantly as of September 1. Here, they are up about 20%. This indicates that the purchasing mood in Canada and the United States is brightening up and more goods are in demand from Asia. In addition, the 2023 Christmas shopping season is coming up, which experience shows will lead to increased freight activity and drive prices.

China: Caixin industrial sentiment brightens up

The industrial sentiment indicator compiled by the Chinese business magazine Caixin moved up 1.8 points in August and is now in the growth zone at 51.0 points.

European purchasing managers’ index up

In Europe, too, the Eurozone Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) sector rose by 1 point, the German PMI increased by 0.3 points in August, and the Italian PMI even rose by 0.9 points.

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