SHANGHAI, Aug. 14 (SMM) – Prices for high-grade nickel pig iron (NPI) are set to hit 1,000 yuan ($162) per metal unit as some stainless mills have begun to replenish stocks while supplies of the raw material have only started to recover.
Prices for high-grade NPI were 960 yuan per nickel unit at the end of July, according to Shanghai Metals Market (SMM)’s pricing desk.
SMM expects higher NPI prices would help nickel prices on London Metal Exchange to break through $15,000 per tonne this month.
China’s produced 29,700 tonnes of high-grade NPI in July, in metal content, 8.4% higher from a month ago when rotary kiln electric furnace (RKEF) producers cut output on depressed prices, according to SMM’s latest survey.
Output of medium-grade NPI was flat month-on-month at 1,100 tons in July as those producers remained unwilling to re-open closed plants while inventories remained high.
That of low-grade NPI dropped 8.6% month-on-month to 3,200 tons after prices of #200 stainless steel fell.