- Nickel sulfate market stable against other battery metal markets
- Most of manganese sulfate deals done on long-term contract basis
- Depreciating yuan affecting imports
Chinese nickel sulfate prices rose on Sept. 28, as market participants considered potential supply side pressure stemming from a weaker yuan.
Platts assessed spot battery-grade nickel sulfate with minimum 22% nickel content and maximum 100 ppb magnetic material at Yuan 38,800/mt ($5,457/mt) DDP China Sep. 28, up Yuan 100/mt on the day.
Tradable values were pegged above Yuan 38,000/mt in the week to Sept. 28, largely similar to previous levels.
According to market sources, the nickel sulfate market remains largely stable as compared with the other battery metal markets.
“Most people are looking toward year-end cargoes in terms of demand and supply,” said a Chinese consumer.
However, with the recent depreciation of yuan, many market participants remained concerned about the potential price impact.
“The depreciation of yuan has affected imports, for now, will have to await October to notice any potential changes,” said a Chinese trader.
“Typically, Q4 demand will pick up; and if the demand for nickel sulfate remains support, we could see prices going up further,” the trader added.
“Capital cost for nickel sulfate producers and downstream could increase when the Yuan depreciation hits the market, adding pressure on producers,” said another Chinese trader who echoed similar sentiments and concerns about the depreciation.
Manganese sulfate prices also rose on Sept. 28, with market participants seeing limited spot trading activities as producers faced pressure from growing capital costs.
Platts assessed spot battery-grade manganese sulfate with minimum 32% manganese content at Yuan 6,150/mt ($865/mt) DDP China Sept. 28, up Yuan 50/mt on the day.
Mainstream tradable levels were heard above Yuan 6,000/mt in the week to Sept. 28, with offers heard highest at Yuan 6,700/mt in the week.
“Most of the deals are done on a long-term contract basis, very few spot trades going around,” a Chinese consumer said, citing limited spot availability in the market.
“If there are any spot trades, it has to be done about Yuan 6,000/mt,” the consumer added.
Echoing similar sentiments, market sources said that the capital cost pressure is weighing on the producers who are now slightly reluctant to conduct trades below Yuan 6,000/mt.
Platts is part of S&P Global Commodity Insights.