LME Nickel Stocks



Another significant increase in the amount of canceled warrants in the LME, up by over 9,000 tonnes in 8 days. We should start to see stocks decrease by several thousand tonnes over the next week or so.

TDT :sunglasses:





Base metals prices, barring those for nickel, on the Shanghai Futures Exchange were down across the board during Asian morning trading on Thursday January 10 following the release of weaker-than-expected Chinese data.


The price of nickel might be down but so is the stock of nickel in the LME. The total dropped today by 1,344 tonnes leaving 203,274 in the exchange, the lowest since the middle of 2013.

The new total equates to roghtly 9% of annual consumption. All things remaining equal we should dip below 200k sometime next week.

As for the Bloomberg article “Before the electric car takes over someone needs to reinvent the battery” it seems awfully one sided and a bit behind the curve. For example the figure they quote for battery costs is inaccurate, it’s currently around $180/kWh. If people were that worried about range we wouldn’t have seen over 2m EVs of various types bought in 2018. There also doesn’t seem to be much of an understanding on how people use there cars and whether limitted range between charges and charge times compromises use patterns. As for them being more expensive to buy that’s not the full story. Once you add in fuel costs and servicing BEVs are cheaper on a full life cycle costing. As for the piece about lithium batteries being a fire risk I saw a figure recently that confirmed that per population of cars on the roads ICE vehicles were more prone to going on fire than EVs.

If batteries do improve in performance and fall even further in price it will only hasten, IMO, the already rapid adoption of EVs.

TDT :sunglasses:



Interesting run up in the price of nickel today, up by around 10¢ currently standing at $5.16/lb. LME stocks dropped by 2,178 tonnes as well.

All moving in the right direction.

TDT :sunglasses:


S&P Global downgraded its nickel forecast at the beginning of year from US$13,500 a tonne to US$12,000 for 2019 and from US$14,000 a tonne to US$12,500 for 2020.


One analyst predicts up the other predicts down. We will see soon enough but if stock in the LME is anything to go by it looks to me like demand for class 1 nickel is still pretty healthy.

Another hefty chunk of nickel going out the door at the LME today. 1,554 tonnes down leaving 199,542 tonnes. That’s the lowest total in the exchange in over 5 and a half years.

TDT :sunglasses:



I can not see LME stocks, do you have another link?




Try this one.

TDT :sunglasses:


Thanks TDT, that one I already send it for you, but thanks any way .

Sometimes I send to the author some relevant information, that is a very good link.

Whats happened to the other link?

Nickel, YTD is nice 8%




The link is working again, Nickel stocks +3.426


Nickel Trends 2018: Becoming a Battery Metal
What nickel trends drove prices in 2018? We run through top supply, demand and price catalysts in this overview of the space.
In 2018, the nickel story was one of increased interest in its use as a battery component, along with anxiety over supply mixed with trade war jitters.

From the start of 2018 through to now, nickel has had as bumpy a ride as other base metals, but with a peak well above its starting value in the middle of the year.

From January 1 until the end of June, nickel’s value increased by 14 percent, rising from US$12,680 a tonne to US$14,570.

A yearly high of US$15,745 was hit during that period, but from July 1 onward it was a downward journey as nickel lost 25 percent of its value between the midpoint of 2018 and late December.

2018’s low came in mid-December when nickel was trading at US$10,715 — not quite the lows seen in 2016 and early 2017, but getting there.

Despite the hill in the middle of the year as shown on the chart above, year-to-date, nickel has lost 14 percent of its value in 2018, going from US$12,680 on January 1 to US$10,880 on December 18.

Nickel trends Q1: Prices on the up
The year began with the news that Chinese company Jinchuan Group (HKEX:2362) would be expanding production of nickel sulfate by 40 percent in a move to position itself to take advantage of the coming electric vehicle (EV) boom.

Canadian miner RNC Minerals (TSX:RNX) was on the same wavelength, announcing plans to build what it is calling the largest nickel-cobalt project in 2019 — news that brought the company a 47-percent increase in its share price on the TSX.

Cobalt 27 Capital (TSXV:KBLT) soon after signed a royalty deal for nickel and cobalt production from the project. RNC President and CEO Mark Selby said in March that even without the EV demand driver, nickel fundamentals were strong.

Supply tightness and increased demand were behind a surge in value during the quarter, with market analysts at the time predicting the increase would be maintained in the near term.

The increased value did not last long though; shortly afterwards there was a fall in price as volatile markets and a stronger greenback took their toll in early February.

Despite the ups and downs of the quarter, nickel ended Q1 at US$13,240 — up 4.4 percent.

Nickel trends Q2: Big projects and headaches
In Q2, with nickel prices maintaining a steady upward trend, Glencore (LSE:GLEN) announced it would be spending US$1 billion to hunt for more nickel ore near its Sudbury operations in Canada.

Around the world in Q2 the nickel story was one of pressure, from the Philippines to Cuba to New Caledonia.

In the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, the Asia-Pacific nickel powerhouse’s firey president, started banging on about how much he hates mining, threatening to ban open-pit mining in the country due to environmental infractions. It was a theme he would repeat at regular intervals through 2018.

Meanwhile, in the Caribbean, Cuba set itself a nickel-cobalt production target of 50,000 tonnes in 2018 after — according to business sources close to the industry — failing to hit its 2017 targets.

On the other side of the world in New Caledonia, Vale (NYSE:VALE) continued pulling its hair out over its troublesome VNC nickel complex there; at the time, the company was searching for a joint venture partner to work with. VNC posted good numbers in Q1, but has been a headache for Vale since it opened (late) in 2010.

In 2017, it was reported that Vale would mothball the complex if it didn’t find a partner by the end of Q2 2018 — something that did not come to pass.

To salt the wounds, Moody’s Investor Service announced in May that the mining industry wasn’t doing enough to keep up with EV demand, and prices kept rising as demand outstripped supply.

All this, while increased discussion around the importance of nickel in EV batteries began taking shape.

Despite angst over VNC, Vale still pulled the trigger on its Voisey’s Bay nickel-cobalt expansion in Canada.

By the end of Q2, nickel was up at US$14,905, having passed its 2018 peak of US$15,745 in early June.

Nickel trends Q3: Boom in the land down under
Over Q3, nickel prices began their journey downwards.

First up, miners in the Philippines warned that Duterte’s antics and decreasing prices would impact output for the remainder of the year; later in the quarter Manila announced a mild loosening of mining rules to allow exploration.

Additionally, many projects in Australia moved forward. Alpha Fine Chemicals settled on a location for its nickel sulfate plant in Western Australia. Poseidon Nickel (ASX:POS) released a feasibility study for its Black Swan mine and processing plant, Ardea Resources (ASX:ARL) announced an expansion plan for Goongarrie, while Western Areas (ASX:WSA) and Iluka Resources (ASX:ILU) revealed plans to increase exploration in South Australia.

Meanwhile, Mincor Resources (ASX:MCR) flaunted an increased mineral resource at its Cassini project in Western Australia, and GME Resources (ASX:GME) was another company going for the battery spin, releasing a prefeasibility study for its NiWest project.

And don’t forget Australian companies barging into neighboring markets, with Axiom Mining (ASX:AVQ) acquiring a mining lease for the San Jorge deposit, and Metminco (ASX:MNC) revealing plans to snap up the Jejovo project — both nickel projects in the Solomon Islands.

Not to be outdone, mining behemoth BHP (ASX:BHP,NYSE:BHP,LSE:BLT) revealed that it has zero plans to be left out of any ongoing or future nickel boom, announcing intentions to build a slew of mines and refining projects to underpin a major push into the EV space through its Nickel West division.

While all that happened, nickel prices fell from US$14,570 on July 1 to US$12,470 on September 28 — a fall of 14.4 percent.

Nickel trends Q4: Continued price slump
Q4 begun with more nickel development news out of Australia, with Western Australia turning out to be quite the hot spot for the metal.

Over in Queensland, Townsville looks set to become home to yet another nickel refinery after Pure Minerals (ASX:PM1) announced plans to take over a private company that already had big plans. Combined with Pure Minerals’ ore agreements from miners in New Caledonia, 25,000 tonnes of new nickel could come onto the market thanks to the plans.

Western Areas announced it is pulling the trigger on its Odysseus mine in Western Australia, banking on the project coming online as demand for the metal increases (and with that, prices).

BHP also took steps towards realizing its previously mentioned nickel domination plot.

Brazil saw developments too, with Horizonte Minerals’ (TSX:HZM) Araguaia project set to double with a second-phase expansion announced by the company in a review, while Centaurus (ASX:CTM) inked itself a deal that completely de-risks the exploration and evaluation stage of its Itapitanga project.

Vale popped up in the news again, this time with protests over pollution halting operations at its Onça Puma mine.

In what could be seen as good news for miners in New Caledonia, voters in the French Territory voted to remain with France in a nail-biting referendum, meaning no need to renegotiate mining leases.

Nickel prices kept sliding through the quarter, with analysts predicting that markets should get used to market volatility (and depressed sentiments) at least until the 2020 elections in the US — if not beyond.

Towards the end of Q4, and therefore 2018, nickel was trading at US$10,930 — a fall of 11.3 percent for the quarter, and 14 percent for the entire year-to-date.

Securities Disclosure: I, Scott Tibballs, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: The Investing News Network does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported in the interviews it conducts. The opinions expressed in these interviews do not reflect the opinions of the Investing News Network and do not constitute investment advice. All readers are encouraged to perform their own due diligence.

Additional information on Nickel stocks investing — FREE

Nickel Outlook 2019: No Boom, but Batteries Loom
What’s in store for nickel in 2019? Experts share their nickel outlook, from supply and demand dynamics to price predictions.
Nickel was as hard hit as other base metals in 2018 as investor sentiment bled the markets, leading to lower prices even as demand increased.

Analysts predict that nickel prices will stay low through to 2019, barring any significant improvements in the seemingly deteriorating US-China trade rhetoric.

Additionally, the much-touted battery metal boom might well not happen in any meaningful way for nickel in the near term, as markets learn more about just how far the electric vehicle (EV) industry has to go, and how quickly consumers need to adopt new technology for the boom to materialize.

New developments throughout Australia and headaches for miners in the Philippines dominated supply-side news, while demand meant that over the year stockpiles were drawn down.

As seen on the chart below, nickel started the year pretty well, gaining 14 percent in value through the first half of the year, rising to a high of US$15,745 per tonne in early June.

In June and July, the trade war got down to business though, triggering a sustained fall in the metal’s value through to the end of the year. Nickel was not alone.

But it wasn’t just a US and friends vs. China tango — nickel was also the subject of anxiety about US sanctions against Russia in April, which forced prices higher.

While no sanctions were placed on major Russian nickel producer Nornickel (MCX:GMKN), the risk of America broadening its attack on Russian businesses made investors wary, accounting for the spike seen on the chart in April.

The US had previously put sanctions on Russian aluminum producer Rusal (HKEX:0486), causing that company’s shares to collapse more than 69 percent over a week earlier that same month.

Nickel miner Horizonte Minerals (TSX:HZM) told the Investing News Network that while nickel prices have risen on 2017’s momentum and fallen on 2018’s drama, the metal is still a solid investment.

“The overriding nickel fundamentals with demand increasing and limited supply coming online should continue pushing the nickel price upward over the medium [to] long term,” the company said, reflecting the commonly held sentiment that for nickel it is a waiting game for the time being.

Nickel outlook 2019: Supply
Questions about the future of nickel supply have centered around a long-touted EV demand boom as consumers embrace EVs, but according to analysts the primary consumers of nickel remain industrial.

“Stainless steel will continue to be the primary first use for nickel for a long time to come,” said research director at Wood Mackenzie, Andrew Mitchell.

Nobody is denying increased demand from EVs is looming though — major and junior mining companies are scrambling to bring production online to meet an anticipated peak, with dozens of companies in Australia developing projects (read more here). And news from the world’s second-largest nickel producer, the Philippines, always gets media attention for the risks raised by its anti-mining president.

In their last commodities forecast report for 2018, analysts at FocusEconomics note that increased output from Indonesia and the Philippines has been pushing prices down, and plans to build a new Class 1 nickel-cobalt refinery in Indonesia are ensuring any bullish attitudes to the metal are tempered.

The company with those plans, China’s Tsingshan (the world’s largest stainless steel maker), announced that the refinery will be producing battery-grade nickel and cobalt.

Besides the trade war, Mitchell said that “sentiment and perception of the prospects for nickel were also adversely affected by the announcement by Tsingshan.”

Tsingshan’s refinery is set to produce 50,000 tonnes of nickel annually.

“While treated with some skepticism, the aforementioned announcement by Tsingshan and the view that this might precipitate another NPI (nickel pig iron) wave of production growth continues to be a significant talking point,” said Mitchell.

“Had any other company made the announcement it would have essentially been ignored, but since Tsingshan has a remarkable track record of delivering what its states it will do, the ambitious plan cannot be dismissed out of hand.”

On the LME, nickel stockpiles fell through 2018 — starting above 350,000 tonnes and falling to 209,000 tonnes by late December — a loss of around 40 percent year-to-date, indicating a supply shortfall.

Nickel outlook 2018: Demand
Horizonte Minerals blames “political events” for making the nickel market a tougher one in 2018.

“Unfortunately, political events, including trade impediments between some of the world’s largest economies, have resulted in a general slowdown globally, with nickel weakening along with almost all other metals in the second half,” the company said.

“This despite a sustained drawdown of stocks and a very positive supply/demand outlook, reflected in the market’s consensus forecast, which expects much higher prices in the years ahead.”

As mentioned, the looming EV boom and increased demand for nickel is a talking point for basically everyone operating in the nickel space — but the conversation has moved on to when it will actually actually materialize.

Brian Leni of Junior Stock Review said that no matter what, electrification is in the cards.

“This revolution in human history will be led by EVs and will have a tremendous impact on the battery metals market,” he explained.

“In saying this, given the current and future chemistries used in EV batteries … nickel plays a major role. While I don’t see this staying this way forever, I would say that the next 10 to 12 years of battery demand is very bullish for nickel,” said Leni.

He continued, “the question that then needs to be asked is, what will the EV adoption rate be, moving forward? It is a hard question to answer, but one thing to keep in mind is countries around the world are incentivizing the adoption of EVs with rebates and instituting taxes on carbon emissions. I believe these incentives and penalties will only increase with time, making me more optimistic of a higher growth rate in the global EV market.”

Mitchell said that the market’s understanding of nickel and its use in EVs is maturing, lending an explanation to why its value is falling right now, rather than going up.

“There is now more understanding and a realization that this is not a near-term story but more a mid- [to] long-term growth area. In addition, there is also some caution as to whether the potential requirements for nickel and indeed cobalt can be met longer term. The development of ‘new’ battery technologies is likely to ease this somewhat (e.g. solid-state batteries), but how and when is still a point of conjecture,” he explained.

Meanwhile, Stefan Ioannou of Cormark Securities said while hype around EVs (and supply troubles in the Philippines) caused nickel to go on a run in 2017, the reality of timing brought an end to that party.

“I think the reality in the case of the battery narrative is that yes, I think nickel at some point will have a place to play there, but it’s a few years out yet in terms of actual consumption of the metal in that space. So I think it may have been a bit premature, and I think the market has recognized that as well.”

Harking back to supply-side considerations, Ioannou said that that demand will come up against tightness in the pipeline due to physical limitations in mining.

“A lot of [nickel] is coming from lateritic ore, which is typically very capital-cost intensive and can be very challenging from a technical and metallurgical point of view … the preferred way to get nickel out of the ground is in a form of a sulfide deposit, but there haven’t really been any major new significant sulfide discoveries in the last decades. Probably the last biggest one of real memory would be Voisey’s Bay.”

Nickel outlook 2019: Price predictions
Drawing down on the above thoughts on supply and demand, each analyst predicted either a stable or higher nickel price in 2019 — with the trade war weighing down on prices even if supply and demand push them up.

“Our outlook for next year is one of a similar price to the current year as a consequence of the ongoing trade dispute and the potential impact of Brexit,” said Mitchell.

“Should the trade dispute be resolved sooner rather than later and/or China provides a new stimulus package for internal growth, then that would be positive for the price outlook,” he added.

Leni said that he sees higher prices in 2019 for nickel.

“Considering the entire nickel market is currently 2 million tonnes, and given the current supply and demand fundamentals and the time and cash needed to find, develop and produce nickel sulfide projects, you have to ask yourself, where is it going to come from?” he said.

“I’m bullish on nickel and provided there is resolution to the US and China trade war, think 2019 is going to be a good year for the nickel price. How good? I believe there’s a good chance that the nickel spot price will challenge US$8 per pound.”

US$8 per pound for nickel equals around US$17,640 a tonne — prices not seen since 2014.

Analysts polled by FocusEconomics also forecast higher prices — though not as high as Leni’s number.

Panelists see nickel prices recovering considerably over the next 12 months amid a tight market. Downside risks — namely, geopolitical tensions and the ever-present threat of a hard landing for the Chinese economy — are expected to persist in the short term.

“Over the coming years, intensifying EV-battery output spells good news for demand and should support prices. Our analysts see nickel prices averaging US$13,904 per metric ton in Q4 2019, before edging lower to average US$13,846 per metric ton by Q4 2020,” the analysts said.

At Horizonte Minerals, a company with numerous nickel assets in Brazil, the sentiment is the same.

“Given the outlook for EVs and continued strength in the stainless steel market, we expect prices to begin to better represent the underlying market fundamentals of growing demand and a need for increased prices to incentivize new sources of supply.”

Securities Disclosure: I, Scott Tibballs, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: The Investing News Network does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported in the interviews it conducts. The opinions expressed in these interviews do not reflect the opinions of the Investing News Network and do not constitute investment advice. All readers are encouraged to perform their own due diligence.

Additional information on Nickel stocks investing — FREE

Top Nickel Stocks of 2018 on the TSX and TSXV
Nickel prices haven’t had much momentum in 2018, but some companies have made gains. Here are the top nickel stocks of the year.
While the nickel price saw some growth near the mid-point of 2018, it has spent the second half of the year simmering back down to where it started.

Accordingly, some nickel explorers and producers have found their shares on the up, while others have cooled off as the year comes to a close.

Below we run through the three top nickel stocks of the year on the TSX and TSXV. All year-to-date and share price information was obtained on December 12, 2018 from TradingView, and all companies listed had market caps above C$10 million at that time.

  1. RNC Minerals (TSX:RNX)
    Year-to-date gain: 205.71 percent; current share price: C$0.54

RNC Minerals, founded in 2006, became a player on the scene when it acquired the Dumont property, a nickel-cobalt deposit in Quebec. Since then, the company has completed 90,000 meters of exploration drilling at the site, and is currently working on an updated feasibility study for the project.

While the company had a generally quiet year in 2018, RNC began to soar in September when it made a major gold discovery — later dubbed the Father’s Day Vein — at its Beta Hunt mine. The company’s share price continued to climb with additional updates, including a September 24 release regarding a significant extension to the vein. RNC hit its 2018 peak of C$1.15 at that time.

  1. Talon Metals (TSX:TLO)
    Year-to-date gain: 90.91 percent; current share price: C$0.105

With a strategy to produce class 1 nickel for both the electric vehicle and stationary battery markets, Talon Metals’ main asset is the Tamarack project in Minnesota. While the property is majority owned by Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO,LSE:RIO,NYSE:RIO) subsidiary Kennecott Exploration Company, Talon holds a stake and has been helping to develop and explore the 31,000-acre land package.

Talon’s share price saw the most movement in 2018’s summer months, which saw drill results from Tamarack, a loan extension and the release of Q2 results. However, company also climbed in early November, when it entered an option agreement with Kennecott for the rights to acquire up to a 60-percent interest in Tamarack.

  1. FPX Nickel (TSXV:FPX)
    Year-to-date gain: 15.97 percent; current share price: C$0.11

FPX Nickel is focused on developing its Decar nickel project located in Central BC. While Decar is the company’s flagship asset, FPX has several other nickel properties under its belt, including its Orca property, Wale property and the Mich property in the Yukon.

Though FPX’s share price has cooled off over the last few months, things heated up for the company in late March when it closed a private placement for $1.47 million. It jumped following the announcement and rode a higher price point through to early July, when FPX’s share price tumbled from C$0.15 to C$0.11 in just over a week.

Securities Disclosure: I, Olivia Da Silva, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Additional information on Nickel stocks investing — FREE

5 Top Nickel News Stories of 2018
Nickel demand is still driven mainly by the stainless steel sector, but our most popular nickel news stories focus on the battery narrative.
Like other base metals, nickel faced challenges in 2018. While prices rose in the first half of the year, the trade war between the US and China ultimately kicked in and led to a drop.

Although the steel sector remains the dominant source of nickel demand, much attention was focused on the battery sector in 2018. As electric vehicle uptake continues, many investors and market watchers are optimistic that nickel demand from the industry will increase.

As a result, many of our top nickel news stories of the year focus on nickel’s role in batteries and how changing supply/demand dynamics may affect prices moving forward. Read on for a look at our most popular nickel news articles of 2018.

  1. Super Batteries: Which Metal Will Fuel the Future?
    Our top nickel news story of 2018 is a June interview with Jon Hykawy, president of Stormcrow Capital. Speaking at the 6th International Nickel Conference, Hykawy shared his thoughts on the future of the battery metals sector, including the role nickel will play in lithium-ion batteries moving forward.

“It looks like [battery companies] going to be able to push higher and higher nickel levels moving into the future,” he said. “Maybe it’s a slightly higher processing cost, but we’ll see how it plays through. Nickel is going to be a part of these batteries for a very long time to come.”

  1. Nickel Prices to Move Higher as Demand Outstrips Supply
    In its metals outlook for Q2, released in May, Scotiabank commented on nickel supply/demand dynamics, suggesting that while demand has started to outstrip supply, the market will require multi-year deficits to draw down the significant glut of excess metal that has built up in warehouses.

At the time, the base metal was trading at US$6.26 per pound, and Scotiabank was predicting it would move higher in 2019 and beyond. Ultimately the trade war between the US and China meant that did not happen, but on the whole experts believe nickel prices will be stable or rise higher next year.

  1. RNC Minerals Surges on $1-billion Nickel-Cobalt Mine Plans
    RNC Minerals (TSX:RNX) made headlines at the beginning of 2018 with the announcement that it plans to build the world’s biggest nickel-cobalt project in 2019. The company said at the time it was in talks with commodities traders, mine operators and financers to raise $1 billion for the construction of its Dumont mine in Quebec.

Work at Dumont has continued throughout the year, with a feasibility study expected in the first half of 2019. RNC was also in the news midway through the year for a “once-in-a-lifetime” discovery at its Beta Hunt gold mine in Australia. Listen to President and CEO Mark Selby weigh in here.

  1. Glencore Spending Almost $1 Billion in Hunt for More Ore
    Major miner Glencore (LSE:GLEN) revealed in April that it will spend nearly $1 billion to hunt deep underground for more ore in Sudbury. The company said it would go over 2 kilometers below surface at its Onaping Depth project, located beneath its Craig mine. Onaping Depth is expected to begin production by 2023, ramping up to full speed by 2025.

According to Peter Xavier, the company’s vice president of Sudbury operations, Glencore has done extensive planning to ensure safe and economic excavation. “I think deep will be the new norm and certainly in Sudbury, that’s where the future lies,” he said at the time.

  1. How Tomorrow’s Electric Cars are Fueling Nickel Demand Today
    The final nickel news story on our list is another from the 6th International Nickel Conference. This one covers a presentation from Ken Hoffman, client development executive at McKinsey & Company. In his talk, Hoffman said he expects nickel supply and demand to grow at an accelerated pace through 2021, driven by electric vehicle demand.

He believes that as long as nickel prices remain relatively flat there is little danger that the metal will be priced out of the battery equation, like some believe could happen to cobalt. However, he also spent time discussing next-generation batteries that feature neither of those metals.

Securities Disclosure: I, Charlotte McLeod, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: The Investing News Network does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported in the interviews it conducts. The opinions expressed in these interviews do not reflect the opinions of the Investing News Network and do not constitute investment advice. All readers are encouraged to perform their own due diligence.



Commodities Are the Right Story for 2019, are they???