Nickel prices soar 90% to new record high on worries about shortages from major supplier Russia

2021 03 02T153416Z_1962945562_RC233M9W9JJ1_RTRMADP_3_RUSSIA NORILSKNICKEL.JPG
Employees gather at the Taimyrski Mine of Russia’s Norilsk Nickel company on January 23, 2015. Norilsk is the world's largest nickel and palladium miner.REUTERS/Polina Devitt/File Photo
  • Nickel prices in London leapt 90% during Monday's session, sending prices above $55,000 a metric ton.

  • Prices surged on concerns that Russia's nickel production will be disrupted during Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

  • Russia is the world's third-largest nickel producer, and the metal is used in key technologies like EV batteries.

Nickel prices in London logged a record surge on Monday amid escalating concerns that production in Russia will be disrupted in the wake of Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

The three-month nickel contract leapt 90% to trade above $55,000 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange, according to pricing from Bloomberg. That marks a new all-time high, and the jump of more than $26,000 marked the biggest single-day dollar gain ever.


Russia is the world's third-largest nickel producer, according to the US Geological Survey, with roughly two-thirds of global nickel production used to make stainless steel. Nickel is also key in the growing market for batteries used in electric vehicles.

Nickel, alongside prices for oil, wheat, natural gas and other commodities, have soared following Russia's attack on Ukraine nearly two weeks ago, with the military action prompting sanctions against Russia by the US and its Western allies.

Sanctions have been not announced against the Russian commodity complex, but the US and its allies reportedly were in talks about restricting oil exports. That highlighted concerns about potential restrictions on other commodities coming out of Russia.

Russia's Norilsk Nickel produced the most primary nickel of any company in the world in the fourth quarter of 2021, making 62,736 tonnes, said S&P Global Market Intelligence, citing trade data firm Panjiva.

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