The world nickel market in 2021 – Indonesia rising to the top

Figures for the first quarter of 2021 indicate world sales of 1.12 million electric vehicles, almost +145% growth.
Figures for the first quarter of 2021 indicate world sales of 1.12 million electric vehicles, almost +145% growth.

Around ninety government and industry representatives met online from 23-26 April 2021 for the most recent International Nickel Study Group meetings. The Group reviewed its forecasts for nickel production and use for 2021. This article gives a brief overview of recent developments and is based on the data finalized at the meetings.

By Ricardo Ferreira, INSG Director of Market Research and Statistics & Francisco Pinto, INSG Manager of Statistical Analysis

The year 2021 should be marked by a recovery from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, albeit at different speeds around the globe. China P. R. was able to control the pandemic and recovered during most of the second half of 2020. Virtually all the rest of the world has relied on vaccination to end the pandemic, with developed countries being more advanced in their rollouts. Recent economic forecasts indicate positive global growth for the current year. INSG revised down its forecast for the nickel market balance for 2021 to a surplus of 45 thousand tonnes (kt) during its April 2021 meetings. Primary nickel production in 2021 is expected to reach 2.718 million tonnes (Mt), while usage is forecast at 2.673Mt. Revised figures for 2020 also indicate a smaller surplus of 108kt, with production rising to 2.494Mt and usage reaching 2.386Mt.