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Analysts reportedly doubt looming nickel supply avalanche

Analysts have cast doubt on the forecast nickel supply avalanche expected from Chinese-backed new capacity in Indonesia, according to Reuters.
Analysts reportedly doubt looming nickel supply avalanche Analysts reportedly doubt looming nickel supply avalanche Analysts reportedly doubt looming nickel supply avalanche Analysts reportedly doubt looming nickel supply avalanche Analysts reportedly doubt looming nickel supply avalanche

Nickel close to a one-year low

Staff reporter

The nickel price is close to a one-year low, impacted by US-China trade tensions and the ramp-up in nickel pig iron production in Indonesia.

The LME spot price fell below US$11,000 per tonne yesterday for the first time in almost 12 months, to $10,951.50/t.

Meanwhile, analysts told Reuters the high-pressure acid leach facilities planned at the Indonesian Morowali Industrial Park, designed to produce battery-grade nickel and cobalt chemicals, were unlikely to start production next year.

"There is panic about supply, but the Tsingshan project isn't going to hit the market next year," Red Door Research managing director Jim Lennon told the wire service.

Wood MacKenzie analyst Sean Mulshaw agreed the tight timeframe was unlikely.

Reuters said stainless steel would account for about two-thirds of global nickel demand this year, while battery demand was estimated at 4%.

CRU senior consultant Toby Green told a conference in Perth last week that unless a truly disruptive route to market emerged, the commodity forecaster believed the nickel sulphate price would need to rise to more than twice its current levels - to about $24,000/t - in order for EV battery demand to be met.