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Electric Vehicle excitment and changing China regulatons have seen nickel soar in 2017 with prices up about 30 percent since mid-June. At LME week the industrial metal has all the buzz as battery makers are using more nickel in electric vehicle's power sources.

Nickel Daiy 10 30 17

Brokers have been pushing nickel options and futures as a way to play the EV supply chain. With the race to longer driving ranges battery storage capacity is at the crux of the development. Models that use more nickel to increase the amount of power they can store are att he forefront.

Wood Mackenzie estimate that nickel demand in EV batteries will jump from about 40,000 tonnes in 2016 to 220,000 tonnes in 2025. The global nickel market is 2.1m tonnes in size, the move would be over 10% of the market.

Geoffrey Sambrook, known as Lord Copper in reference to EV batteries says.“That’s what the world is focusing on,” 

“We all know copper will perform well with the increase in EVs but it’s the minor metals where the interest is.”

More on Industrial Metals

Julian Kettle of Wood Mackenzie said delegates at LME Week would be talking about the recovery in prices and whether it was sustainable, as well as the outlook for growth in China over the medium and long term.  Crucial to prices is supply and typically during the conference mining companies announce their production plans. 
Bank of America Merrill Lynch forecasts that annual demand for the nickel may increase by 230,000 tons by 2025, that would be 12 percent of the current market. Goldman Sachs Group  in a note Monday said prices will probably remain high in the next couple of months on a supportive macro-economic backdrop and Chinese nickel pig iron cuts over the winter, before heading lower on a six- to 12-month horizon..
Source: LME. Bloomberg
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