Nickel on a tear as metal markets struggle to keep up with events

Just as we suggested it would be at the end of last month, the nickel market has been thrown into disarray.

Low inventories and concerns about supply forced the London Metal Exchange – still the world’s premier hub for buying and selling base metals – to suspend trading.

Some commentators talked of a short squeeze – although why anyone would be shorting nickel at a time like this is an open question.

Nevertheless, the price did at one point spike over the US$100,000 per tonne mark, an unprecedented all-time high, and almost double the levels nickel traded at the last time supply and demand really got out of kilter, back in the middle of the first decade of this century.The price was already on the way down, though, by the time the LME got around to suspending trading, and subsequently the prices of other base metals, which had initially followed nickel up, […]

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