Japan-based Nippon Stainless Steel has announced a hike in prices of SUS304 and other nickel-based stainless-steel cold-rolled sheets, medium-thick plates to be sold in the domestic market. The company has raised its September prices by JPY10,000/mt. Nippon has raised nickel-based product prices for a second successive month. Meanwhile, prices of chromium stainless steel like SUS430 have been kept unchanged for the third month.
Nickel prices have been on an uptrend for over two months now. The three-month LME nickel contract rose to $15,246/mt on Sep 4 from $13,933/mt on Aug 4 and $13,308/mt on July 6. With Indonesia imposing a ban on exports of nickel ore, the Philippines has stepped in the fill the void. In the first half of 2020, the nickel content of extracted ore fell by 28pc to 102,310mt, estimates the data by Mines and Geosciences Bureau. Therefore, prices of nickel have been surging since. Supporting nickel prices is also a positive sentiment for the mineral in China, a major importer of nickel. The Chinese economy is on a path to recovery with a ripple effect on metal demand.