The nickel market has caught fire, with prices posting the biggest two-day advance in five years.
Nickel rose as much as 6 percent to $13,030 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange, the highest since June 2015. That added to Tuesday’s 5.3 percent gain after Trafigura Group Pte joined Glencore Plc in unveiling bullish usage forecasts. In Shanghai, prices climbed by the daily limit.
"Such breakthrough has been cooking long, backed by relative value and EVs," Richard Fu, head of Asia Pacific at Amalgamated Metal Trading Ltd., said by email.
Nickel sulphate, a key ingredient in lithium-ion batteries, will see demand increase by half to 3 million tons by 2030, Saad Rahim, chief economist at Trafigura, said in an interview. That echoes bullish views from miner and trader Glencore. Batteries are likely to use more nickel and less cobalt in future, Rahim said.
Nickel is now up 28 percent for 2017, vying with aluminum for the title of top base metal of the year.
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