Nickel tipped to be standout metal in 2020

1st November 2019
Resources Rising Stars

Supply constraints will make nickel the top performing metal next year, despite the bearish pull of a downturn in manufacturing activity, delegates at LME Week heard (reports MiningNews).

Speaking as part of a panel on the outlook for metals, Vanessa Davidson, director of base metals research and strategy at commodity analysis firm CRU, described nickel as "likely to be the standout performer for 2020".

"It seems like the timing of the cycle is a little bit different … we've seen some cut-backs to production, we've seen low prices and what's happening to the cost curve, and we've seen some class 1 nickel come offline. And now it seems like prices are recovering … it looks like there's some more investment needed for the battery sector," said Davidson.

Nickel has outperformed other base metals in 2019 from a price perspective, largely thanks to Indonesia's ore ban and also reports emerging over the summer that Chinese firm Tsingshan Holding Group was buying large volumes of nickel on the LME to supplement its own output.

Prices rose from around US$13,000 per tonne to $16,000/t. Davidson said CRU forecast an average nickel price for 2020 of $14,000-15,000/t.


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