PRICING NOTICE: Nickel arbitrage calculation changes on import tax cut from January 1, 2021

Fastmarkets has updated its formula for calculating the daily physical nickel arbitrage in Shanghai, after China announced it would lower the import tax on certain non-alloyed nickel from 2% to 1%, from January 1, 2021.

Nickel full-plate cathodes count as a product that will see tax reduced as part of China’s move.

The formula consists of three parts:

a) Shanghai Futures Exchange front-month contract close + domestic market spot premium/discount = China spot market price

b) (London Metal Exchange three-month price at 3pm Shanghai time + premium in-warehouse Shanghai) x 1.13 x1.01 x forex rate + 200 = cost for imported nickel

c) The final import arbitrage result comes from (a minus b).

The import tax for nickel used in the Fastmarkets’ daily arbitrage calculation was 2% prior to January 1, 2021.

Fastmarkets published the Shanghai Base Metals Physical Arbitrage Methodology in November 2020 to provide an indication of when arbitrage windows open for importing physical base metals into China.

Please contact Archie Hunter ( or Sally Zhang ( if you have any queries regarding the arbitrage.

To see all Fastmarkets’ pricing methodology and specification documents go to

What to read next
The publication of Fastmarkets’ US and Brazil pig iron price assessments for Friday Feb 23 were delayed because of an administrative error.
Fastmarkets adjusted its assessments for the stainless steel scrap 430 bundles, solids, consumer buying price, delivered mill Pittsburgh and the stainless steel scrap 409 bundles, solids, consumer buying price, delivered mill Pittsburgh effective Monday February 12.
Fastmarkets is inviting feedback from the industry on the pricing methodology for its iron ore indices, as part of its announced annual methodology review process.
Fastmarkets welcomes your feedback on the following action: Prices for Region 4 logs in Log Lines will be discontinued, as those prices are generated by a third party and we no longer use third party information. Region 4, or the “Inland Region” includes: You can find the current methodology for Log Lines here. To provide feedback […]
Random Lengths is inviting feedback from the industry on pricing methodologies for Random Lengths and Random Lengths International as part of its annual methodology review process.
Fastmarkets launches MB-CU-0513 copper cathode equivalent grade (EQ), cif Southeast Asia, $/tonne on Tuesday February 20.