- The ongoing energy crisis has forced smelters in China and Europe to curb production.
- Indonesian nickel producers are aiming to ramp up production as prices inch higher.
- Many feel that Indonesian companies have a golden opportunity on their hands, especially after the LME’s March nickel squeeze.
Via AG Metal Miner
Experts anticipate that nickel prices will remain sluggish for the foreseeable future. After the LME’s (London Metal Exchange) nickel squeeze and because of the war in Ukraine, global supply continues to drop. Adding to these problems are expectations that Indonesia’s current nickel surge will further affect nickel price direction. September and October are typically high points for annual nickel purchases, but the metal could face a rocky road going into Q4.
Indonesian Production and its Impact on Nickel Prices
In the beginning of September, MetalMiner commented that Nickel prices began rising at the beginning of the month. This seemed to indicate the potential for a nickel price reversal to the upside. Indonesia, one of the world’s top nickel producers, could benefit significantly from such a move. Indeed, roughly 23.7% of all of the world’s nickel product comes from Indonesia. And in the past year alone, the country produced 814,000 tonnes of nickel. The country also pulls in over $20 billion annually from steel and steel-related products.
Of course, smelter shutdowns in places like Europe and China make Indonesia an attractive nickel alternative. Many feel that Indonesian companies have a golden opportunity on their hands, especially after the LME’s March nickel squeeze. There also continues to be a growing demand for nickel in electronics. The metal’s use in things like batteries helps drive this demand, but it is also keeping the nickel price trends within support and resistance for the moment.
Nickel Price Trends
Nickel prices managed to bounce after declining sharply in the early summer. But after the LME nickel shut down in March, nickel volume levels declined significantly. At that point, there was no sign of the LME returning to pre-shutdown levels (where they were in February of 2022) and the LME nickel price reflected this.
And while volumes remain low, this didn’t stop the price action from bouncing nickel back up from a sharp downtrend. For the time being, nickel remains in a sideways trend firmly between resistance and support. Unfortunately, this also means there is no clear direction to either side. In the long term, experts, traders, and nickel buyers are eager to see a definable trend.
By The MetalMiner Team
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Published at Sun, 02 Oct 2022 10:00:00 -0700