Stockhead reported that at just under USD 11,600 per tonne, the cash price of nickel is currently just off 10-week highs as stockpiles fall to fresh lows. It represents a mini reversal of fortunes, and pares some of the losses suffered over the second half of 2018. Macquarie Bank has already forecast nickel will be the number one commodity in the next 12 months, and number two (behind uranium) over the next 5 years.

After hitting USD 15,600 per tonne in mid-2018 a three year high a number of huge Indonesian nickel smelter projects were announced, stoking oversupply fears and pushing down prices. There is a widespread perception that all this declared nickel tonnage could come to market equally quickly, and as early as the second half of 2019, but Wood Mackenzie disagrees.

It said that “Our view is that the timelines will be longer than implied so that the amount of nickel coming to the market will be smaller, slower and more costly than so far alluded to. This should be reassuring to the market. In fact, a consequent absence of commissioning news in the second half of 2019 should support higher prices.”

And despite these oversupply fears, it looks like more nickel is begin consumed than produced right now.