SHANGHAI, Apr 19 (SMM) – LME nickel prices jumped 7% overnight and hit a high of $15,875/mt, marking a record high since 2015 on declining inventory, US sanctions against Russia and downstream demand from the new-energy vehicle industry.
SMM believes nickel prices will see an even stronger upward momentum as LME inventory continued to decrease. As of April 17, inventory stood at 314,454 mt, down over 19% from a high of some 380,000 mt at the end of August last year.
While the US sanctions against Russia have seen global aluminium and alumina prices rise, market participants feared the impact would spill over to Russian nickel.
Separately, demand for high-nickel cathode materials is likely to surge due to rising sales of new-energy cars. China's March production and sales volume of new-energy vehicles stood at 67,932 and 67,778 units respectively, up 105 % and 117% year on year, latest data from China Association of Automobile Manufacturers showed.
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