3 May 2023 – LME nickel prices have risen by almost 10% since the end of March 2023 and the European nickel price was already above $25,400 per ton again in the meantime. Inventories eased a further 4.7% in April, according to the latest LMI surveys. China’s Export Container Index is up, and for Europe and North America, it’s up more than 6%. And Japan’s economy continues to gain momentum.
Nickel prices continue to rise
Since March 23, nickel prices on the LME have again increased significantly. Spot prices and the nickel 3-month have since gained almost 10%, with some volatile movements. On today’s trading day, European nickel was already trading at more than $25,400 per tonne, up almost 6% on the previous day alone.
LMI: Inventories continue to fall
The Logistics Manager’s Index for April 2023 shows another significant drop in inventories of more than 4.7%. Particularly interesting here is the significant decline in inventories between the beginning and end of April. While they were still at 63.3 points at the beginning of April, they had already fallen to 42.6 points by the end of April. Compared to the inventories at the end of March 2023, which still amounted to 51 points, this is even a decline of more than 16.5% for April.
Chinese Export Container Shipping Index Rises
The weekly China Containerized Freight Index shows a 3.2% increase from the previous week for the composite index for the week of April 21-April 28, 2023. For Europe, the index is up 6.4% and for North America, it is up nearly 7%. In addition, 3.7% more containers were shipped to Japan.
Japan: economy gaining momentum
Recent economic indicators for Japan pointed to a continuation of the economic recovery. Industrial production rose by 0.8% in March – 0.4% had been expected. In addition, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) forecast a further increase in April. Retail sales also grew robustly in March. Consumption grew 0.6 percent month-on-month – 0.3 percentage points above the consensus forecast. Both production and consumption received tailwinds from the automotive sector.