Asian manufacturers of electric vehicle (EV) batteries have been protected from rising nickel prices, according to companies and industry sources, by long-term contracts and supply-chain diversification.
On Tuesday, nickel prices doubled to over $100,000 per ton as a result of short covering by one of the world's great producers as the London Metal Exchange (LME) was pushed to pause nickel trading. Sources said abundant nickel was purchased by Tsingshan Holding Group Company to lessen its short position in nickel.
An official at South Korea's SK Innovation said “We are not anticipating an immediate strike on nickel as we have made long-term supply contracts with metal suppliers and producers.”
The EV industry has not been seriously impacted by rising prices of the metal since Indonesia and several other places possess nickel mines—and that’s not counting smaller nickel mines in Russia, said Cui Dongshu, Secretary General of China’s National Passenger Car Market Information Association.
An estimate by Benchmark Mineral Intelligence (BMI) shows that Russia supplies 5% of the world’s nickel; moreover, it produces a fifth of the global best-quality nickel.
Some industry sources, however, believe that in the long run rising nickel costs might impact automakers, already challenged due to chip shortages, and would eventually increase the costs for customers.