CHINA NICKEL BRIQUETTE SNAPSHOT: Premium slides on weakening demand in batteries, stainless sectors

Key data from the Tuesday October 30 pricing session in Shanghai.

Key drivers
– Battery demand weakened slightly in the Chinese market over October, and it sent ripples into battery raw materials, including nickel briquette.
– Both duty-free and duty-paid nickel briquette is abundant in the Chinese domestic market.
– Nickel briquette was also hit by weak demand from the stainless steel sector in October. Fastmarkets MB’s price assessment for benchmark 304 stainless cold-rolled coil in the major market of Wuxi was 15,400-15,700 yuan ($2,208-2,251) per tonne including VAT for the week ended Wednesday October 31, down from 15,600-15,900 yuan per tonne on September 26.

Key quotes
“Nickel briquette is available to purchase whenever we want to, and the battery business isn’t good at the moment” – raw material procurer at a battery plant
“Demand for stainless steel isn’t as good as it was in September, which is historically a peak season” – nickel briquette trader
“Currently, there’s a slight oversupply of battery in the market, and so we battery makers need to slow down on procuring battery raw materials” – a second raw material procurer from a battery plant