China’s spot stainless steel prices up but trades still low

Chinese traders pushed up spot stainless steel prices this week, tracking the rebounding London Metal Exchange nickel price, but they still reported thin trades.

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In the Wuxi market, the spot price of the benchmark Taigang 304 cold rolled coil rebounded to 18,400-18,500 yuan ($2,903-2,919) per tonne on Friday September 14, compared with 17,700-17,800 yuan per tonne a week earlier.

“There is no change in trading volume, which is still not very good. I think there little room for nickel prices to go up further. Demand for stainless steel is still very poor,” a stainless steel trader in Wuxi market said.

“Maybe prices went up too quickly and buyers are becoming cautious,” a second stainless trader in Wuxi said.

Commodities prices including those of nickel rebounded after the German Constitutional Court approved the European fiscal compact on budget discipline and the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) on Wednesday, which is seen as a significant move in resolving the European debt crisis, and the announcement by the US Federal Reserve on Thursday of a third round of quantitative easing to boost the economy.

The price of the three-month LME nickel was at $16,730 on Thursday, up from $16,260 a week earlier. During Asian trading hours on Friday, the three-month nickel jumped above $17,000 per tonne, the first time since July 5.

Jinchuan, China’s largest nickel producer, hiked its price for a third time in a week to 122,000 yuan per tonne on Friday, up 3,000 yuan from Wednesday, when it made its second price hike.