Nickel market to evolve as EVs, role-players and projects change – by Donna Slater ( – June 5, 2020)

The international refined nickel production and trade market will evolve in the coming decade as China’s large nickel deficit, driven by the electric vehicle (EV) success story, and Russia’s slowly falling nickel surplus, driven by a thin project pipeline, open opportunities for other producers, says financial risk management, solutions and insights company Fitch Solutions Country Risk and Industry Research (Fitch).

The company further notes that Indonesia will be one of the outperformers over the coming years, as it is well positioned to service Chinese demand owing to its close geographical location and rising domestic refined nickel production capacity.

In addition, rising nickel production in Japan over the coming years will sustain its growth trend in unwrought nickel exports to top nickel consumers internationally, while the UK and Norway will also have an opportunity to increase production as Europe’s falling imports from Russia enable other top European producers to fill the gap.

Fitch states that the growing EV market in China will sustain the country’s production balance deficit, increasing demand for refined nickel imports.

The company also expects the increased manufacturing of EVs, alongside growth in stainless steel production, to drive the growing production balance deficit in China.

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