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Nickel’s lustrous gains

Nickel’s lustrous gains

BY ANTHONY FENSOM

Surging prices have boosted confidence among Australia’s nickel miners, helping li market values and spurring increased investment. And with the silvery-white lustrous metal now seen having a leading role in the electric vehicle (EV) revolution, even better times may lie ahead for the world’s sixth-largest producer.

In mid July, nickel prices jumped to a one-year high, aboveUS$15,000 (A$21,700) per tonne, driven by demand from both industrial buyers and speculators.

Analysts attributed the rise to a 10 per cent increase in China’s stainless steel production in the first half of 2019, together with a looming ban on Indonesian nickel exports set for 2022.

In May, the global nickel market de cit widened to 12,500 tonnes from a shortfall of 7500 tonnes in the previous month, while London Metal Exchange inventories dropped by nearly half to their weakest level since 2013.

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