This is worth a read.
I can see Ramu going off line again.
Mainland Futures: Lunni stocks plummet to seize Nickel Investment opportunities
Indeed, market insiders expect the deficit in the refined nickel market to shrink this year despite Indonesia’s ban on nickel ore exports coming into effect from next year - two years earlier than previously expected.
The International Nickel Study Group (INSG) pegged the refined nickel market in a 48,200-tonne deficit across the first seven months of the year and forecast a deficit of 84,000 tonnes for the full year in 2019 - revised down from a 128,000-tonne shortfall.
Among them, nickel, industry insiders believe that with the gradual release of Indonesian nickel pig iron supply pressure, domestic stainless steel high inventory pressure, will be a drag on nickel prices in the short term. However, the trend of nickel prices in the later stage should not be pessimistic, but there are supply concerns. Zhou Lei of Cinda Futures believes that with the dust settling down in the event of an early ban on mines in Indonesia, there will be significant changes in the supply and demand structure of nickel mines in the future. While Philippine nickel miners are likely to increase output next year, their supplies are not comparable to Indonesia’s higher-grade ore. Moreover, several high-grade mines in the Philippines are facing the pressure of resource depletion. It is worth noting that the recent decline in the sea freight of nickel mines from high levels may weaken the price increase of nickel mines. But there will be a traditional rainy season in Suriname, the Philippines, which means nickel supply remains a concern and higher nickel prices will continue the logic of rising costs. Zhou Lei believes that the subsequent rise in nickel prices is still supported by low inventories and rising costs, but the short-term nickel price is already relatively high and needs to be fully adjusted before it can be driven by the rise. Moreover, the weak fundamentals of the middle and long term in the fourth quarter have not improved, high stainless steel inventory and nickel pig iron investment and other factors will aggravate the market turmoil, nickel price above the space is limited.
Nickel stocks in the LME down by another 3,600 tonnes today. I suspect all of that total will come off the cancelled warrants figure.
91,062 tonnes left in the exchange.
The nickel market was in deficit during January to August 2019 with apparent demand exceeding production by 77.1 kt. In the whole of 2018 the calculated deficit was 102.9 kt… Reported stocks held in the LME at the end of August 2019 were 53.8 kt lower than at the end of the previous year. Refined production in January to August 2019 totalled 1520.5 kt and demand was 1597.6 kt.
Mine production during January to August was 1608.7 kt, 68 kt above the comparable 2018 total. Chinese smelter/refinery output increased by 61 kt compared with 2018 and apparent demand was 818.9 kt, 139 kt higher than in the previous year.
World apparent demand was 67 kt higher than the previous year. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes
In August 2019, nickel smelter/refinery production was 209.0 kt and consumption was 217.7 kt
At least nickel seems to still be going in the right direction:-
Live warrants:- 50,208 tonnes
Cancelled warrants:- 40,854 tonnes
The slow down in the uptake of EVs in China is worrying though. Having said that Europe appears to be experiencing a bit of a surge this month. With only 5 countries reporting so far the total stands at just under 25,000. It should be possible to hit 45,000+ for September.
Nickel down another 1,722 tonnes today.