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

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November 2019 | Base Metals


Nickel: Technical consolidation to last a while


Given the focus the battery market outlook at LME Week, there is still clearly bullish sentiment surrounding nickel, especially with visible stocks already so low. We expect the orderly pullback in prices from early-September’s peak to last a while longer, but this should give buyers time to regroup before launching another assault higher.

Nickel’s long-term outlook was once again a major focus of market attention at LME Week last week. Here we summarize some of the key takeaways. Concern was expressed that the nickel production industry’s traditional bias towards products aimed at stainless steel mills (NPI, ferro-nickel, briquettes) may still be preventing adequate investment in capacity for battery-focussed nickel products (such as sulfate) even though this sector will eventually eclipse stainless steel demand. Fastmarkets’ own forecasts envisage more than 500,000 tonnes of nickel being used in lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles (EVs) by 2025, compared with 100,000 tonnes in 2018. That will increase battery demand for nickel will...

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