SHANGHAI, Oct 16 (SMM) – The global supply gap in nickel is likely to narrow in 2019, as output expands 10% to drive annual output to 2.46 million mt, said SMM senior analyst, Yang Bo.
Yang held a positive outlook on nickel consumption in 2019-2020. Consumption of primary nickel would grow from the stainless steel and battery sectors, she told delegates at a seminar on Tuesday October 9 organised by SMM during LME week in London.
Indonesia and China would drive growth in stainless steel output while the Chinese, Japanese, European and American markets ramp up battery output.
Production of new-energy batteries is expected to consume 65,000 mt of nickel in 2019, up 18,000 mt from 2018. Indonesia has seen significant investment in the production of nickel hydrometallurgy intermediate products, she added.
Yang expects nickel prices to remain rangebound in the last quarter of 2018, with pressure at 108,000 yuan/mt and support at 100,000 yuan/mt.