Booming stainless steel output to sustain nickel prices for months
July 26, 2021
Healthy demand from stainless steel mills and electric vehicle battery makers is expected to underpin nickel prices over coming months. Benchmark nickel prices on the London Metal Exchange, at $19,500 a tonne, are up more than 20% since April and at their highest since February. Production of 300-series stainless steel containing 8%-9% nickel jumped 36% in the first half of 2021 compared with the same period last year. Stainless accounts for around 70% of global nickel consumption, while electric vehicle batteries consume less than 10%, but the latter number is expected to rise alongside electric vehicle sales as the world moves to cut carbon emissions.