China’s stainless steel futures rose to a three-week high on Wednesday, continuing a rally fueled by brisk demand coupled with low inventories and a surge in prices for the commodity nickel. So report Reuters and

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Shanghai stainless steel continues rally on firm demand and nickel surge

Stainless steel day trading up

The most-traded stainless steel contract due in March on the Shanghai Futures Exchange ended the day’s trading up 1.6% at 14,030 yuan ($2,172.84) per ton, having earlier hit 14,165 yuan, the highest since mid-December.

“The current spot market is tight, and downstream demand is doing well while export orders are good,” he said. The price of ferronickel on the commodity side has remained high,” Huatai Futures analysts said in a note.

Nickel prices rise to two-week high

Nickel prices rose to a two-week high on Monday as supply concerns arose following an earthquake in key supplier Indonesia.

The earthquake struck the island of Sulawesi and caused minor damage to buildings at Indonesia’s Morowali Industrial Park, where China’s Tsingshan Holding Group produces nickel pig iron, although operations were generally unaffected and production continues.

Chinese stainless steel producers mainly use nickel pig iron, a lower-grade ferronickel and a cheaper alternative to pure nickel, as feedstock.

Iron ore futures fluctuated

Iron ore futures fluctuated, with the most active May iron ore contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange recovering earlier losses to close 0.3% higher at 1,033.50 yuan per ton.

The February iron ore contract on the Singapore Exchange fell 0.1% at 0709 GMT, subdued after three consecutive sessions of gains.

Concerns over shortage in iron ore

Continuing concerns about tight iron ore supplies pushed spot prices of the steelmaking commodity in China, the world’s biggest steelmaker, further toward $170 a ton Tuesday, according to data from consultancy SteelHome. SH-CCN-IRNOR62

Construction steel on the Shanghai Stock Exchange lost 0.3%, while hot-rolled coils gained 0.4%.

Dalian coking coal fell 0.1%, but coke climbed 0.8%.


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