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Forecasts and market analysis based on price assessments from Fastmarkets MB and Fastmarkets AMM

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April 2019 | Base Metals


Nickel: All eyes on Shanghai


In recent years, industry conferences have been noteworthy for igniting or extinguishing nickel bulls’ enthusiasm for the EV story. As we head towards Fastmarkets’ Battery Materials Conference this week, nickel prices are edging higher, testing technical resistance and potentially poised to break to the upside. In this week’s analysis we discuss some of the key nickel-related talking points likely to come up in Shanghai.

Fastmarkets is holding its second annual Battery Materials Conference in Shanghai this week. Much of the focus will be on cobalt and lithium, but there will be some key talking points related to nickel. What do lower cobalt prices mean for the shift to nickel-rich cathode chemistries? Multi-year price highs for cobalt and changes to China’s EV subsidy policy were forcing discussions at the time of last year’s conference about an expedited shift to NMC811 battery cathodes, in which nickel makes up an elevated 80% of the cathode. Cobalt prices stand about 66% lower than a year ago, meaning one of the two main drivers of that debate has disappeared. While China’s latest subsidy policies give...

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