Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals and minerals 1977
Year 1977, Volume 1 (1977)
Corrick, John D.
Nickel, pp. 657-671 ff. PDF (1.9 MB)
657Nickel By John D. Corrick' The nickel situation during 1977 was marked by depressed demand, which led to unstable prices, increased stocks held by producers, and production cutbacks. Consumers were able to reduce their stocks to very low levels because of the oversupply situation. Major nickel producers announced plans during the latter part of 1977 to reduce production in an attempt to lower operating costs and nickelinventories. Domestic nickel consumption stagnated at a level about 5% below that of 1976. Consumer-held stocks reached their lowest level in nearly 6 years as consumers took advantage of the oversupply situation that plagued major nickel producers. By reducing inventories, nickel consumers were able to free considerable capital for other uses. The share of ferronickel and nickel oxide of the total U.S. market in 1977 increased at the expense of pure unwrought nickel. The pattern of nickel consumption remained essentially unchanged in 1977 from the previous years. The lower-than-anticipated demand for nickel in 1977 resulted in the price of cathode nickel being decreased on July 25 from $2.41 per pound to $2.20 per pound. Additional price reductions occurred until December, when most major nickel producers announced support of a $2.08-perpound price for cathode nickel that would extend through the first quarter of 1978. World trade in nickel was somewhat hampered by the lack of demand. Imports of nickel into the United States in 1977 decreased 11% when compared with those of 1976. Leading suppliers of nickel to the United States, in descending order, were Canada, Norway, New Caledonia, the Dominican Republic, Botswana, and the Philippines. Japanese importers attempted to reduce the quantities of nickel ore and ferronickel previously ordered from various producer nations for delivery in 1977. Table 1.—Salient nickel statistics (Short tons, contained nickel) 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 United States: Mine production' Plant production: Domesticores Importedmaterials Secondary Exports(grossweight) Imports for consumption Consumption Stocks, Dec. 31: Consumer Price cents per pouncLworld: Mine production 18,272 13,895 ~ 32,629 22,070 190,418 197,723 28,759 153 782,588 16,618 14,093 226 20,930 30,442 220,655 208,409 45,291 153-201 849,257 16,987 14,343 7,978 17,880 30,121 160,507 146,495 35,485 201-220 r890 532 16,469 13,869 20,070 13,273 r47,166 188,147 162,927 r31 690 220 r904 680 14,347 12,897 24,757 12,349 39,412 167,111 155,260 18,638 241-208 851,647 r&V~ed ' Mine shipments.
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