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    Global nickel demand for battery use to rise 18% in 2021: Sumitomo Metal

    Global nickel demand for battery use to rise 18% in 2021: Sumitomo Metal

    Global nickel demand for battery use to rise 18% in 2021: Sumitomo Metal
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    By Reuters  IST (Published)

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    Global demand for nickel used in batteries is expected to rise 18 percent this year from 2020, backed by strong sales of electric vehicles (EVs) in China, Sumitomo Metal Mining, Japan's biggest nickel smelter, said on Tuesday. Nickel is mainly used in stainless steelmaking but is also a vital ingredient for the lithium-ion batteries used to power EVs, where demand is set to accelerate over coming years.

    Global demand for nickel used in batteries is expected to rise 18 percent this year from 2020, backed by strong sales of electric vehicles (EVs) in China, Sumitomo Metal Mining, Japan's biggest nickel smelter, said on Tuesday.
    Sumitomo Metal, which supplies cathode materials for Panasonic lithium ion batteries that are used in Tesla EVs, said the demand for nickel used in rechargeable batteries will increase to 228,000 tonne in 2021 from 193,000 tonne in 2020.
    Nickel is mainly used in stainless steelmaking but is also a vital ingredient for the lithium-ion batteries used to power EVs, where demand is set to accelerate over coming years.
    "Sales of EVs are growing very fast, especially in China, despite the COVID-19 pandemic," Yusuke Niwa, general manager of Sumitomo Metal's nickel sales and raw materials department, told reporters.
    "The recent drawdown in LME's nickel stocks is seen to reflect rising demand for the metal used in batteries," he said, pointing to a drop by more than 30,000 tonne over the past two months.
    The company also predicted that a global nickel market surplus will narrow to 58,000 tonne this year from 132,000 tonne in 2020 as robust demand from the stainless steel sector will offset higher output of nickel pig iron (NPI) in Indonesia.
    Global demand for nickel is seen increasing by 9.2 percent in 2021 to 2.58 million tonne, while supply is expected to climb by 5.8 percent to 2.638 million tonne.
    During the first four months of the year, the global nickel market saw a deficit of 34,900 tonne, the International Nickel Study Group said.
    "But we expect a surplus later this year as more projects for NPI production in Indonesia will start up," Niwa said.
    Japan's demand for nickel is projected to rise 15.7 percent to 167,400 tonne, while supply is forecast to fall 2.4 percent to 165,800 tonne.
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