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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: In need of a fresh catalyst


Prices are oscillating around the $13,000 per tonne level, still buoyed by steady stock withdrawals and by bullish sentiment over the demand outlook in EVs. However, it seems that, like the other metals, nickel is waiting for another catalyst to facilitate its move into a higher trading range.

At Fastmarkets’ Battery Material Conference held in Shanghai last week, there was much focus among participants on how China’s EV policies will support nickel-rich lithium-ion battery demand in medium to long term. Below are some important highlights from this discussion: The halving of China’s new energy vehicle (NEV) subsidies in late March (to 18,000 yuan ($2,680) for EVs with a driving range of 250-400km and 25,000 yuan for those over 400km) will have a positive impact on the production of lithium-ion phosphate (LFP) batteries in the short term. Under pressure of high production costs, LFP batteries would be the choice for some medium-to-low-end EVs. Separately, China’s dual credits policy, formally...

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