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Nickel prices rallied in November buoyed by the prospects for demand from EVs. A high of $13,030 per tonne was corrected to $10,740 per tonne in December. Prices have now rebounded above $13,000 per tonne, but without clearer fundamental support, prices are likely to fall again after such a steep rally before they can move higher again. We saw a similar corrective pull-back after prices peaked last year in late-August/early-September and then again in late-October/early-November. Each peak was successively higher with each subsequent trough higher, too. The current series of higher highs and higher lows will offer confidence in nickel’s uptrend. Even though the EV story is one for the long-term, $13,000 per tonne is still a historically low price for nickel and traders with a long investment horizon appear to be eager buyers. However, they are overlooking less-bullish shorter-term issues, like the fact that stocks are still very high and NPI production is growing fast. We have raised our forecast for Q1 2018 to $12,200 per tonne.

Analysis by Andy Cole, base metals analyst and editor of MBR’s Base
Metals Weekly Market Tracker. Email:

In this regular section, MBR’s base metals team summarise their in-depth reports to highlight key factors driving the markets and short-term price forecasts. MBR’s Base Metals Weekly Tracker service provides independent, detailed and timely analysis on the latest data, price movements and developments that impact the market conditions and outlook for LME-traded base metals.

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