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Gold is hot, but nickel is hotter as demand for electric vehicle batteries grows





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Gold is hot, but there is another metal that is warmer, nickel.

Up 30% over the last two months nickel has delivered more than double of gold performance that is up 13% at the same time, and the gap may become much larger as supply of nickel stagnates and demand accelerates.

The driving force behind the recent awakening of gold is well understood and can be summarized as a flight in security when China and the US trade war slows global growth and the value of conventional or fiat currencies is wiped out by governments using quantitative easing or other forms of money making.

Bags filled with nickel briquette and nickel powder sit on a stock at BHP Group Ltd. Kwinana Nickel Refinery in Kwinana, Western Australia, Australia, Friday, August 2, 2019. The world's largest miners, including BHP Group and Glencore Plc, are finally firm believers in The electric vehicle battery revolution – what they do not agree on is which metals will provide the best long-term exposure to the evolving global market. Photographer: Philip Gostelow / Bloomberg

© 2019 Bloomberg Finance LP

Nickel drivers are different and far easier to understand and boil down to a single case of supply that exceeds demand, as previous nickel barriers were mainly a case of of mines that failed to meet the requirements of stainless steel mills, a material that has traditionally consumed close to 80% of the world's nickel.

Demand grows for nickel in batteries

Stainless steel is still the primary market for nickel, but it is a faster growing market that until a few years ago was negligible; lithium-ion batteries.

A standard power source in small appliances like cell phones with their nickel-cadmium (NiCd) batteries, or nickel-metal hydride (NiMh) rechargeable batteries that the big game today is in the battery packs that drive electric cars like Tesla, Prius and Leaf .

From being a metal that can easily be described as a one-trick pony thanks to its dominant end use in stainless steel, nickel has suddenly become a two-trick pony, and if electric cars take off as predicted, a deficiency in future years possible.

What caused nickel to run from around $ 5.40 six months ago to $ 7.09 / lb at the end of last week (and a high of $ 7.22 / lb on Friday) was a combination of strong demand from Chinese stainless steel mills and speculation that an important source of the metal could be cut earlier than expected.

The source threatened is unprocessed nickel ore from Indonesia which is shipped to China for use in steel mills as a material called N ickel Pig Iron (NPI). Indonesia and other countries producing NPI do not like the material because it does not require any value increase in the domestic market.

Previous bans on NPI have shrunk the industry just to come back. But the next ban is expected to be permanent, and while Indonesia has said it will not be used until the year 2022, it could happen sooner, just as battery manufacturers are seeking supplies of nickel to meet the demand for electric cars.

A crystallizer, used in the process of producing nickel sulfate hexahydrate, is with BHP Group Ltd. Kwinana Nickel Refinery in Kwinana, Western Australia, Australia. Photographer: Philip Gostelow / Bloomberg

© 2019 Bloomberg Finance LP

ANZ, an Australian bank, warned two weeks ago that falling nickel metal stocks were a warning of a developing squeeze. Inventories managed by the London Metal Exchange (LME) have fallen over the past four years, with an accelerating decline over the last two, a time when reserve stocks fell by 43% from around 250,000 tonnes to 142,000 tonnes.

"Nickel inventories have been declining steadily since the beginning of 2018, as the sustained market deficit is increasing," ANZ said.

"Some analysts suggest that storage of electric car manufacturers is behind depletion. & Nbsp; Whether this is the case or not, we see the tight market, which means that additional inventory is likely.

Talk Of Panic Buying

"Current LME stocks would face less than two months of delivery — so panic buying is a likely outcome. "

It is very uncommon for a bank such as ANZ to use an expression that is emotionally charged as a panic purchase, but it was widely used due to concern that speculators had become active in the nickel market ahead of Indonesia's re-introduction of a ban on NPI.

Australian nickel mining companies in pure play are pleased with sharp stock price hikes as nickel prices rise, with Western Areas increasing 25% over the past month and Mincor, which has just signed a supply agreement with BHP, a major producer of nickel sulfate, as a battery manufacturer. prefer is up 28%.

If there is a squeeze on nickel supplies as a major new market develops for metal, the price could go much higher than the current $ 7.09 / lb.

Back in 2011 when a supply shortage developed nickel price hit $ 22 / lb, before falling quickly as steel mills found replacement for stainless steel nickel, including manganese.

Nobody is talking about a nickel boom as powerfully as in 2011, but nickel has a long track record of extreme moves, up and down.

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Gold is hot, but it is another metal that is hotter, nickel.

Up 30% over the last two months nickel has delivered more than twice the performance of gold up 13% over and at the same time, and the gap may become much larger as the supply of nickel stubs and demand accelerates.

The driving force behind the recent awakening of gold is well understood and can be summarized as a security flight as China's trade force slows down the United States. the global growth and value of conventional or fiat currencies is read by governments using quantitative easing or other forms of money making.

Nickel briquette and nickel powder bags are stored in a warehouse at BHP Group Ltd. Kwinana Nickel Refinery in Kwinana, Western Australia, Australia, Friday, August 2, 2019. The world's largest miners, including BHP Group and Glencore Plc, are finally firm believers in the electric vehicle's battery rev vision – what they do not agree on is which metals will provide the best long-term exposure to the developing world market. Photographer: Philip Gostelow / Bloomberg

© 2019 Bloomberg Finance LP

Nickel drivers are different and far easier to understand and boil down to a single case of supply that exceeds demand, as previous nickel barbs were really a case of mines not manages to meet the demands of stainless steel mills, a material that has traditionally consumed nearly 80% of the world's nickel.

Demand grows for nickel in batteries

Stainless steel remains the primary market for nickel, but it is a faster growing market that until a few years ago was negligible; lithium-ion batteries.

A standard power source in small devices such as cell phones with their nickel-cadmium (NiCd) batteries, or nickel-metal hydride (NiMh) rechargeable batteries that the big game today is in the battery packs that drive electric cars such as Tesla, Prius and Leaf .

From being a metal that can easily be described as a one-trick pony thanks to its dominant end use in stainless steel, nickel has suddenly become a two-trick pony, and if electric cars take off as predicted, a deficiency in future years possible.

What caused nickel to run from around $ 5.40 six months ago to $ 7.09 / lb at the end of last week (and a high of $ 7.22 / lb on Friday) was a combination of strong demand from Chinese stainless steel mills and speculation that an important source of the metal could be cut earlier than expected.

The source threatened is unprocessed nickel ore from Indonesia which is shipped to China for use in steel mills as a material called N ickel Pig Iron (NPI). Indonesia and other countries producing NPI do not like the material because it does not require any value increase in the domestic market.

Previous bans on NPI have shrunk the industry just to come back. But the next ban is expected to be permanent, and while Indonesia has said it will not be used until the year 2022, it could happen sooner, just as battery manufacturers are seeking supplies of nickel to meet the demand for electric cars.

A crystallizer, used in the process of producing nickel sulfate hexahydrate, is with BHP Group Ltd. Kwinana Nickel Refinery in Kwinana, Western Australia, Australia. Photographer: Philip Gostelow / Bloomberg

© 2019 Bloomberg Finance LP

ANZ, an Australian bank, warned two weeks ago that falling nickel metal stocks were a warning of a developing squeeze. Inventories managed by the London Metal Exchange (LME) have fallen over the past four years, with an accelerating decline over the last two, a time when reserve stocks fell by 43% from around 250,000 tonnes to 142,000 tonnes.

ANZ inventories have been steadily declining since early 2018, as the sustained market deficit takes a toll, "ANZ said.

" Some analysts suggest that storage of electric car manufacturers is behind depletion. Whether this is the case or not, we see the tight market, which means that new stocks are likely to be pulled.

Talk Of Panic Buying

"Current LME stocks will meet less than two months of delivery — so panic buying is a likely outcome."

It is very uncommon for a bank such as ANZ to use an expression that is emotionally charged as a panic purchase, but it was widely used due to concern that speculators had become active in the nickel market ahead of Indonesia's reinstatement of a ban on NPI . [19659001] The Australian companies in nickel mining are enjoying a sharp rise in share prices as nickel prices rise. Western Areas has increased by 25% over the past month, and Mincor, which has just signed a supply agreement with BHP, a major producer of nickel sulphate that battery manufacturers prefer, is up 28%.

If there is a squeeze on nickel supplies as a major new market develops for metal, the price could go much higher than the current $ 7.09 / lb.

Back in 2011 when a supply shortage developed the nickel price hit $ 22 / lb, before falling rapidly as steel mills found replacement for stainless steel nickel, including manganese.

No one talks about a nickel boom as powerfully as in 2011, but nickel has a long track record of extreme moves, up and down.



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