Nickel soars to record above $100,000 per ton

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Mar 08 2022 07:33 PM

A worker uses the tapping process to separate nickel ore from other elements at a nickel processing plant in Sorowako, South Sulawesi Province, Indonesia March 1, 2012. REUTERS/Yusuf Ahmad/File Photo
A worker uses the tapping process to separate nickel ore from other elements at a nickel processing plant in Sorowako, South Sulawesi Province, Indonesia March 1, 2012. REUTERS/Yusuf Ahmad/File Photo

LONDON - The price of nickel skyrocketed to a record high on Tuesday over concerns about Russian production as the Ukraine conflict has rocked commodity markets.

The metal, which is used to make stainless steel and batteries for electric vehicles, briefly traded at $101,365 per tonne, nearly double its 2007 peak.

It later eased to $82,195.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine and Western sanctions against Moscow have caused turmoil in the markets, sending the prices of everything from oil to gas to aluminum to wheat soaring, while equities have fallen.

Russia is the world's third biggest producer of nickel, noted Benjamin Louvet, analyst at OFI Asset Management.

"For now, the main producers of metals in the country have been spared by sanctions, but many companies in this sector are headed by oligarchs close to Vladimir Putin," Louvet said.

"The impact of such sanctions could be significant, as 37 percent of Russian exports go to the Netherlands and 16 percent to Germany," he said.

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