Nickel prices are skyrocketing as Russia-Ukraine tension worsens
- 10-Mar-2022 6:49 PM
- Journalist: Bob Duffler
Not oftentimes, we see markets witnessing abrupt changes in the space of a day, especially in terms of figures and values. However, that's what happened with the prices of Nickel that have skyrocketed and reached nearly 15-year highs on Monday, i.e., March 7th, in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. According to the US Geological Survey, Russia is amongst the world's biggest nickel producers, which supplies two-thirds of its Nickel to make stainless steel and Electric Vehicle (EV) batteries.
Due to the fear of supply disruptions fuelled by the retaliatory sanctions on Russia, Nickel prices witnessed a jump of 90% and got traded at $55,000 per MT before closing at $48,078 per MT on the London Metal Exchange (LME). Nonetheless, international markets got baffled as things got worse on Tuesday, March 8th, after the prices rose to $100,000 per MT, marking the biggest single-day dollar gain ever. LME was forced to suspend its Nickel trading after the brokers were left struggling to pay margins to cover their deeply unprofitable positions due to the unprecedented price hike. The eye-popping frenzied move by the LME came after the investors and industrial users who earlier sold the metal scrambled to buy the contracts back after the Nickel prices rallied upwards. LME said in a notice to its members, "The current events are unprecedented." Further added, "The suspension of the nickel market has created an array of issues for market participants which need to be addressed."
Amidst exacerbating market sentiments sparked by the Russian military conflict in Ukraine, a number of buyers are jostling for Nickel-metal for the production of stainless steel and EV batteries. As many industries were still on the road to recovery from the economic volte-face purged by the covid-19 pandemic, markets worldwide are likely to witness macroeconomic headwinds owing to the war situation in the forthcoming period. Nickel, alongside the prices of crude oil, natural gas, and several other commodities, have surged drastically, prompting the sanctions against Russia by the western countries and their allies.