LONDON, May 2 Nickel has gone from bull hero to zero in the space of just a couple of months.
In early March, when London nickel was trading above $11,000 per tonne, it was the best performer among the major base metals traded on the London Metal Exchange (LME).
At a current $9,510 per tonne, it is now down 4 percent on the start of the year and vying with tin for worst performer.
Early exuberance has run aground on the shifting sands of politics in the Philippines and Indonesia, two suppliers of nickel raw materials to China’s massive stainless steel sector.
What seemed a straightforward narrative of supply shortfall has become ever problematic in recent weeks.
The International Nickel Study Group (INSG) is still forecasting a supply-usage deficit this year but it has just trimmed its expectations and adjusted its deficit calculation for 2016.