Nickel – price explosion for the enormously important raw material

Nickel is one of the most important industrial metals. Electric carmakers in particular are dependent on the shimmering silver raw material. At the moment, nickel prices are rising sharply and there is real chaos on the nickel market. But how and where exactly is nickel mined and why are nickel prices rising so exorbitantly?

Enormously important for e-car manufacturers

Nickel occurs in the earth’s crust and is usually extracted from the ore during the mining of copper. The silvery metal can be found in many parts of the world, but it must have a certain concentration to make commercial and profitable mining worthwhile.

The metal is easily malleable and is mainly required as an alloying metal. Nickel, for example, makes steel harder and more resistant to corrosion. Accordingly, nickel is mainly needed in the steel industry. For a long time, however, nickel played a rather subordinate role in industry.

However, nickel is indispensable for the production of batteries, especially lithium-ion batteries. For modern technology and especially for the manufacturers of e-cars, the industrial metal is therefore immensely important.

Accordingly, in recent years, with the growth of e-mobility, the price of nickel has increased enormously. It can be assumed that demand for nickel will also increase in the long term.

The largest producers of nickel

Globally, the largest amount of nickel is mined in Indonesia, the Philippines and Russia. The largest producer of nickel is the Brazilian mining company Vale. Vale operates mainly in South America and Canada and is currently the largest exporter of ore products.

Also among the world market leaders for nickel are Norilsk Nickel from Russia and the Swiss Glencore Group. Norilsk Nickel, as its name suggests, specializes primarily in the production of nickel. But palladium, copper and platinum are also part of the Russian group’s portfolio.

The Swiss-based Glencore Group is one of the world’s largest commodity producers, producing and marketing a total of more than 60 different commodities, including nickel.

The Ukraine war causes chaos on the nickel market

Russia is one of the most important producing countries of many raw materials. The country also plays a major role in nickel production. In 2021 alone, about 250,000 tons of nickel were produced in Russia – so the war in Ukraine is also having a huge impact on the nickel price at the moment. In early March, nickel prices rose by around 250 percent in just two days.

Analysts believe that the price of nickel will fall again after the end of the Ukraine war. However, it will remain high in the longer term due to the high and steadily rising demand.




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