Expert nickel market insights
Our quarterly nickel outlook is published in our Quarterly Metals Report, which covers base, precious and ferrous metals. The impact of supply and demand fundamentals and macroeconomic implications for the nickel futures and spot prices are analysed. Our research team produce a nickel price range forecast as part of the report.
Nickel Outlook – Q2 2023
Nickel sold off at the start of the year, falling by 23% YTD, weighed down by concerns about weak demand and rising output from Indonesia, despite low exports out of the region. NPI prices weakened sharply due to weaker demand fundamentals from the stainless steel segment, and although we do see some recovery in Q2, it will be marginal. While we still hold our optimistic view of recovery true, the positive momentum is being priced further down the curve...
The rally we saw in the first weeks of 2023 has stalled, and sentiment deteriorated since, especially in early May. Strong momentum out of China is absent, but recovery out of the region is underway, with services continuing to outperform. Downstream activity improved amid traditional peak season, but buyers have mostly purchased on the dip as needed. The demand outlook continues to struggle, with end-users showing continued softness in the goods’ sales. While this should lead to further easing in the supply chain issues we have witnessed in the last couple of years, looming recessionary fears are weighing on our demand outlook. With the key central banks ending their monetary policy tightening cycle, the focus is poised to shift away from inflation-centric data to fundamentals, such as economic growth and consumer performance. The historically weaker dollar should provide robust support for metals, but with the lack of a strong incentive, we struggle to see base metals significantly higher in Q2 2023.
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