20 Aug 2009 10:03

Jinchuan Group slashes ex-works refined nickel price by $1,025 per ton

Shanghai. August 20. INTERFAX-CHINA - Jinchuan Group Ltd., China's largest nickel producer, reduced its ex-works refined nickel price on Aug. 20 by RMB 7,000 ($1,024.62) per ton to RMB 146,000 ($21,370.65) per ton on falling market prices of refined nickel, according to Jinchuan Group's Web site.

"Jinchuan Group is keeping its prices in line with those on both domestic and international markets, which dropped recently. Meanwhile, refined nickel and stainless steel product stockpiles of Chinese producers and traders have reached very high levels, which are likely to pull domestic refined nickel prices down at least until the fourth quarter of 2009," Xu Aidong, a senior analyst with Beijing Antaike Information, told Interfax.

The three-month nickel contract on the London Metal Exchange (LME) ended at $19,195 per ton on Aug. 19, down 9.62 percent from the recent peak of $21,237 per ton recorded on Aug. 13. Meanwhile, the benchmark spot price of refined nickel on the Shanghai Yangtze River Nonferrous Metals Market stood between RMB 141,500 ($20,711.96) and RMB 145,500 ($21,297.46) per ton on Aug. 20, sliding compared to this year's peak price range of between RMB 150,000 ($21,956.15) and RMB 153,000 ($22,395.27) per ton on Aug. 14.

Falling refined nickel prices has also forced Taiyuan Iron and Steel (Group) Co. Ltd. (TISCO), China's largest stainless steel mill, to cut its weekly stainless steel product ex-works prices. The company's ex-works price for 304-series cold-rolled stainless steel sheet stood at RMB 24,620 ($3,603.74) per ton for the week from Aug. 18 to Aug. 24, down RMB 800 ($117.1) from the previous week.

"Domestic stainless steel product prices will continue falling alongside sliding refined nickel prices," analyst Cheng Bo, from ChinaCCM.com, told Interfax.