Nickel jumps high as power shortage fuels supply fears

Nickel prices climbed to their highest level recently as power shortages and rising electricity costs raised supply worries amid the metal’s already low inventories and solid demand.

Three-month nickel on the London Metal Exchange CMNI3 rose as much as 1.2% to USD 19,445 a tonne, its highest in September while the most-traded November nickel contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange SNIcv1 jumped to 146,860 yuan (USD 22,821.00) a tonne.

Widespread power shortages in China and higher electricity prices in Europe have dampened production in some sectors of those economies.

In China, there were concerns that nickel smelters will be forced to curtail output amid power shortages, and a hike in electricity prices is expected to dent margins for many producers, potentially reducing supply.

LME nickel inventories MNISTX-TOTAL fell to 149,412 tonnes, their lowest since December 2019. ShFE stocks NI-STX-SGH were last at 6,422 tonnes, hovering near a record low of 4,455 tonnes.