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Nickel’s Roller-Coaster Tumble

Nickel prices plunged 11 percent May 13 and 14 , and probably will fall 15 percent further in 12 months to $16,000 a metric ton, Goldman forecasts. Nickel had surged this year following a January ban on ore exports by Indonesia, the world’s largest supplier from mines, and as threats increased for economic sanctions against Russia, home to OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel, the biggest producer of refined metal.

Instead, exchange-tracked inventories rose, prompting some investors to judge the rally was exaggerated. China will “aggressively” build blast-furnace capacity in Indonesia to produce nickel pig iron, a low-grade alternative to refined metal, Goldman said in a report dated May 14 and e-mailed yesterday. Waning demand for the metal from makers of stainless steel is another “downside risk” for prices, the bank said.

Bloomberg News, “Nickel’s Roller-Coaster Tumble Seen Extending to Goldman” by Maria Kolesnikova and Luzi Ann Javier (May 15, 2014)