Nickel price jumps 30% to 15-year high

Nickel prices jumped 30% to near 15-year highs and aluminum climbed to a record above $4 000/t as fears of major disruptions to supplies due to financial sanctions on Russia fuelled a buying frenzy.

Russia supplies the world with around 10% of its nickel needs mainly for stainless steel and electric vehicle batteries and accounts for about 6% of global production of aluminum, used in the transport, construction and packaging industries. 

Benchmark aluminum on the London Metal Exchange was up 4.1% at $4 006/t at 11:30 GMT, while nickel was up 31.4% at $38 000/t having earlier touched $38 500, the highest since June 2007.

“Price risks are skewed to the upside over the coming month across the metals complex,” said Citi analyst Max Layton, citing supply shortages for metals produced in Russia and Ukraine.

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