Nickel Prices Surge To Record $100,000; London Halts Metal Trade For The Day

The London Metal Exchange said Tuesday that it has suspended trade in nickel after the base metal rocketed to a record peak above $100,000 on Russian output concerns.

“Following further unprecedented overnight increases in the three-month nickel price, the LME has made the decision to suspend trading for, at minimum, the remainder of today,” it said in a statement after nickel spiked to $101,365 per tonne.

The price of nickel skyrocketed to a record high on Tuesday over concerns about Russian production as the Ukraine conflict has rocked commodity markets.

The metal, which is used to make stainless steel and batteries for electric vehicles, briefly traded at $101,365 per tonne, nearly double its 2007 peak.

It later eased to $82,195.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Western sanctions against Moscow have caused turmoil in the markets, sending the prices of everything from oil to gas to aluminium to wheat soaring, while equities have fallen.

Russia is the world’s third biggest producer of nickel, noted Benjamin Louvet, analyst at OFI Asset Management.

“For now, the main producers of metals in the country have been spared by sanctions, but many companies in this sector are headed by oligarchs close to Vladimir Putin,” Louvet said.

“The impact of such sanctions could be significant, as 37 percent of Russian exports go to the Netherlands and 16 percent to Germany,” he said.

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