By Swann Collins, investor, writer and consultant in international affairs. Eurasia Business News – March 5, 2022

Nickel prices on the London Metal Exchange (LME) on Friday rose above $30,000 per ton for the first time since April 10, 2008, according to data from the trading floor. On closure on March 4, nickel prices per ton were $ 29,775, up 10.29% in one day.

Prices are rising on fears that the supply of metal from Russia will be limited by the side effects of Western sanctions or other actions of the EU and the US. Now, cargo ships owned by Russian companies targeted by sanctions cannot deliver metal to European ports. Industry professionals in Europe would suffer most of this situation, since Russian nickel producers can export to China and other Asian countries.

The Russia’s share in the world supply of pure nickel, which is used in the production of batteries, is now about 30%.

The US Geological Survey puts global nickel mine production in 2020 at 2.5 million tonnes. Indonesia is the largest producer with 760,000 tons, or 30.4% of world production. 

Stainless steel is the most important end use of nickel. This use represents two-thirds of total consumption. Nickel is also used as an alloying agent in the manufacture of ferrous and non-ferrous metal products.

Electroplating is another use for nickel. This process involves covering a metal object with a thin layer of nickel as a decorative element or to provide resistance to corrosion and wear.

Nickel is also necessary to manufacture nickel-cadmium batteries and lithium-ion batteries for electric and hybrid vehicles.

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© Copyright 2022 – Swann Collins, investor, writer and consultant in international affairs.