December 9, 2023

Nickel Market Growth: A Deep Dive into Size, Share, and Forecasts 2030

The global nickel market, valued at over US$20 billion annually, is poised for significant growth as it evolves to meet the demands of the clean energy transition. While stainless steel remains a dominant consumer of nickel, the Nickel Institute anticipates a surge in demand for nickel in battery production, driven by the rapid rise of electric mobility and the mainstream adoption of electric vehicles (EVs). Nickel, a critical component of modern batteries, is expected to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of the nickel industry.

With the world’s ongoing commitment to achieving a low-carbon future, industries that support clean energy technologies are experiencing unprecedented growth. Nickel, a key mineral and metal in this transition, is projected to see a substantial increase in both production and demand. The World Bank, in its report titled “Minerals for Climate Action: The Mineral Intensity for the Clean Energy Transition,” estimates a staggering 500% growth in nickel production by 2050 in response to the surging global demand for clean energy solutions.

Nickel’s widespread application across industries is underpinned by its high durability, malleability, and electromagnetic properties. While it is extensively used in stainless steel, cast iron products, and non-ferrous alloys, the oil and gas industry benefits from its corrosion-resistant characteristics. The water purification sector also relies on nickel for its effectiveness in water disposal and purification processes. Additionally, nickel, often used in combination with copper, is in demand for desalination plants, further bolstering the global nickel market.

As rechargeable lithium-ion batteries experience heightened demand due to the flourishing EV market, high-density nickel-based batteries are emerging as a corrosion- and heat-resistant solution to meet the growing power needs. Nickel’s application in construction, architecture, and marine industries is expected to contribute to the continued growth of the nickel market.

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Challenges facing the nickel industry include uncertain pricing and stringent regulatory guidelines regarding potential health hazards associated with sulfur dioxide emissions during the nickel melting process.

The preference for nickel laterites, which offer cost advantages in processing, is gradually gaining traction over traditional nickel sulfide deposits. However, greenfield nickel projects remain underinvested, primarily due to their time-consuming nature, leading to a limited project pipeline.

The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the nickel market, as key end-use industries experienced setbacks in demand during the initial months of the crisis. Supply chain disruptions further exacerbated the challenges faced by the industry in 2020. Nevertheless, the nickel market is showing signs of recovery in 2021, with end-use industries experiencing a resurgence.

Asia Pacific is leading the global nickel landscape, with China’s stainless steel manufacturers consuming over half of the world’s primary nickel production. The region is also home to the largest battery manufacturing sector, with China’s thriving EV market driving demand for nickel.

Key players in the global nickel market include BHP, Anglo American plc, Nornickel, Glencore, Vale, and others. Investment in nickel projects, particularly those targeting battery-grade nickel, is on the rise, with companies like Vale Indonesia committing to substantial investments in this sector.

Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast 2023-2030 – By Product, Technology, Grade, Application, End-user, Region: (North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America and Middle East and Africa)

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This press release first seen on Brilad