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Forecasts and market analysis based on price assessments from Fastmarkets MB and Fastmarkets AMM

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May 2019 | Base Metals


Nickel: More positives than negatives


For nickel, although a weak stainless steel market is compounding broader macro/geopolitical risk-off sentiment at the moment, there are more fundamental positives than negatives for the nickel market that collectively are helping to support the downside for nickel prices during this soft patch by attracting bargain hunting. They are also laying the foundation for a fast recovery in prices when risk-appetite recovers.

Q1 results add to list of supportive fundamental factors We noted in our nickel analysis last week that outside of the broader macro and geopolitical issues weighing on the base metals at the moment, the nickel market’s own fundamentals are contributing to price sentiment via a combination of both positive and negative factors. The positives include strong EV sales data, environmental inspections in China that may disrupt NPI production, and falling exchange stocks. In addition, the Q1 reporting season has revealed generally lower year-on-year production by many nickel miners (Nornickel -0.4%, Glencore -10%, Vale -6.1%, BHP -9%, South32 -12.1%, Eramet -5.4%, Lundin -18.1%, among others), with cumulative output by these seven down...

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