Nickel is a chemical product with symbol Ni and atomic number 28. It is a silvery white metal with a slight golden tinge.
It is hard and ductile metal often mixed with other metals to form stainless steel, as well as a variety of steel metals of varying hardness.
Nickel is used in industries areas such as engineering, electrical, & electronics, infrastructure, automobile & automobile components, packaging, batteries etc.
Nickel is the most volatile owing to its strong demand & tight supply among all basemetals.
Demand and Supply
Around two-thirds of total production is used in the manufacture of stainless and heat resistant steels and a further 20% in non-ferrous alloys and other steels.
Overall there are some 3,000 nickel-containing alloys in everyday use.
Demand sectors of Nickel include automotive and electronics, where it is a critical component in re-chargeable batteries, as well as in chemical processing and piping.
In the past decade world nickel demand increased from 1.104 million tonnes in 2001 to 1.572 million tonnes in 2011, an annual average growth rate of 4.2%. However, the upward trend has had peaks and valleys.
Asia is now by far the largest regional market for nickel representing 65% of total world demand.
China alone now accounts for close to 44% of world nickel demand compared with 8% ten years earlier.
There is more than 54%, if world total supply comes from only five companies.
The consumption of nickel is growing globally by an average 3% a year.
India Imports around 30,000 tons of Nickel. And the Import duty on nickel is 15%.
As the growth in the stainless steel sector will increase, Nickel import demand is expected to increase in coming years.
Factors Influencing the Market
New mines discovery and above ground supply from scrap.
Nickel demand is derived demand thus the situation in various industries. Growth in consumption of stainless steel.
Economic events such as national industrial growth, global financial crisis, recession and inflation affect metal prices.
Geopolitical events involving governments or economic paradigms and armed conflict can cause major changes.