According to the Nickel Institute, around 75% of the world’s stainless steel production is accounted for by grades containing nickel.
The demand for nickel is growing at an increasing pace. Figures from the INSG (International Nickel Study Group) in Portugal showed that the global nickel demand stood at 1.4m metric tons in 2010, an increase of 21% from the figure of 1.1m metric tons in 2000. In the decade from 2010-2020, demand for nickel grew by a further 41%.
Data from WBMS (World Bureau of Metal Statistics) suggested that the demand for refined nickel in the first six months of 2021 exceeded output by almost 100,000 metric tons and that further increases were expected.
A large amount of the growing demand for nickel is due to rising consumption by the market for electric vehicles (EVs). The properties of nickel allow EV batteries to deliver an increased storage capacity and higher energy density.
The EDTA (Electric Drive Transportation Association) has predicted that new EV sales will rise to around 8.5m units by 2025, a growth of 10%. The Nickel Institute published growth projections suggesting that 58% of lithium-ion batteries will contain nickel by 2025.