Prices of nickel on the Shanghai Futures Exchange leaped to their highest on record recently, supported by solid demand and low inventories across the world.
The most-traded October nickel contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange SNIcv1 hit a record 149,870 yuan (USD 23,197.89) a tonne, up 21% year-to-date.
Three-month nickel on the London Metal Exchange CMNI3 touched its highest since July 30 at USD 19,810 a tonne, having risen 17% so far this year.
Stainless steel and EV batteries are the top nickel-consuming sectors.
Refined nickel inventories in ShFE warehouses NI-STX-SGH hit a record low of 4,455 tonnes, down 89% from a year earlier. Stockpiles in LME warehouses MNISTX-TOTAL fell to their lowest since January 2020 to 194,466 tonnes.
A wave of automotive cutbacks due to semiconductor chip shortages is likely to reduce nickel demand in Q4 and extend into 2022.
LME nickel prices to fall to USD 18,000 a tonne on average in the Q4, from USD 19