Declining sales of stainless steel kitchen appliances are triggering a freefall in nickel prices. Tags have dropped 30 per cent this year, and some traders say prices will drop another 25 per cent by the end of the year. That’s despite announcements of several mine closings: Xstrata in the Dominican Republic. BHP Billion, and Industrial Metallurgical Holding. Nickel producers are getting hit with a double whammy of lower prices and higher costs for sulfuric acid, which is used to extract nickel ores. Refrigerator sales are off 9 per cent this year and electric ovens are off 14 percent.
An in-depth survey of 700 current and future users of 3D printing holds few surprises, but results emphasize some major trends already in progress. Two standouts are the big growth in end-use parts and metal additive manufacturing (AM) most respondents expect.
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