Nickel powder prices in the third quarter showcased a mixed trend in the US market amid the rising fears of recessions. According to market participants, LME three-month nickel prices were under pressure, and trading activity was relatively stable. According to manufacturers, the demand outlook for September was flat; they were still seeing consumer orders for nickel during the final month of Q3 2022. However, the market was highly volatile at the time, with people unwilling to commit beyond October. Although sources had predicted periodic steel production cuts for some time, reports of closures and rumors of further suspensions had yet to shake nickel markets. There has been a reduction due to a few mills taking time off, but this is due to electricity prices rather than demand. Traders say it is difficult to predict where nickel prices and premiums will go in this market. As a ripple effect, the Nickel powder prices for Ex-San Diego settled at USD 22754/MT.
In the Chinese market, Nickel powder prices witnessed a mixed trend during the third quarter of 2022 amidst rising interest rates and the firm US dollar index. Nonferrous metal prices are under pressure in July due to the Fed's tight monetary policy. Additionally, the plants had previously stockpiled high-priced nickel ore inventories; thus, they reduced production to reduce losses. On the other hand, the macro situation significantly impacted nickel prices, and the fundamentals were poor, so nickel prices will remain volatile. Due to weak demand and rising inventory, nickel prices received insufficient fundamental support in August. Despite a slight rebound in spot premiums, spot trading has significantly improved. Ore prices are unlikely to fall as the rainy season approaches, and the Stainless-steel Prices resumes production in September. As a result of the strong demand from the downstream steel seasonal demand, Ex Shanghai nickel powder prices settled at USD 787/MT.
In the European market, Nickel Powder prices witnessed a mixed price trend in the third quarter of 2022 amidst soaring energy costs. According to market participants, nickel powder prices fell in the second half of the year despite expected seasonality. Because of high raw material prices and economic uncertainties, global demand for nickel from the stainless-steel sector remained weak and slow in the third quarter. The latter include historically high energy and sea freight prices. While soaring energy costs forced temporary production cuts at several steel mills across Europe, including those in the stainless sector, speculation about further cuts spread among nickel market participants. As a result, downstream demand for nickel powder remained relatively stable. At the moment, the market is extremely volatile. As a result, Ex Hamburg's nickel powder costs were settled at USD 22245/MT.
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