The price of nickel futures today spiked by over 93% intraday from Friday’s close, to just over $56,000 per metric ton at the peak, an all-time record, and then settled down a bit and is currently at $50,271 per metric ton, up by 73% in one day on the London Metals Exchange, the biggest spike in the history of the futures contract going back 35 years.
Russia is a large producer of nickel, supplying about 6% of global demand, according to Bloomberg. Over 70% of the nickel production is used in stainless steel. And 7% goes into EV batteries, where demand is growing in leaps and bounds. But EV batteries use highly pure “Class-1” nickel, of which Russia’s MMC Norilsk Nickel PJSC produces 17% of the supply.
Other commodities went bananas too, but to a slightly lesser extent today, including wheat in reaction to the chaos around the supply from Ukraine and Russia, and of course crude oil where futures of WTI spiked and briefly hit $130 overnight, before settling down a little.Now Nickel Goes Bananas, Spikes 73% in One Day, on Russia Sanctions, Shipping Chaos, Massive Short Squeeze | Wolf Street