World Nickel production is expected to grow by an average 3.4% each year until 2021. However, production growth rates during the next five years will remain lower than the 5.3% average rates achieved between 2012 and 2016.
While the Philippines will remain the world’s largest Nickel producer in absolute numbers, its global share of the market will gradually be reduced as ores are depleted and stringent environmental regulations choke new projects. The best performing country in terms of Nickel output growth will be Indonesia, thanks to the easing of the export ban, followed by Canada and Australia. Russia, in turn, is expected to grow at the slowest rate of the top five producing countries.
Nickel prices have fallen this year to hit an 11-month-low of $8,700 per ton on the London Mental Exchange (LME) last month amid concerns of rising supply from Indonesia and the Philippines as well as weak demand from stainless steel mills in China.
It is expected that Nickel prices will remain trading at low levels through 2017 and much of 2018 until a substantial supply response from both in- and outside of China.