[Ferro-alloys.com] The Australian Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources (DISER) said that due to the closure of multiple mines and production interruptions due to the new crown epidemic, global nickel production will be hit in 2020, and nickel mine production will drop by 12% from 2019 to 2.4 million tons.
DISER said that by 2021, nickel production is expected to rebound to the level of 2019, about 2.6 million tons. Indonesia’s nickel ore export ban and the possible suspension of production in New Caledonia constitute downside risks this year. The Philippines has been filling part of the gap, and the rising price recovery in the first few months of 2021 indicates an increase in consumer activity.
Looking ahead, as Indonesia's new smelting capacity creates a market for domestic nickel ore, it is expected that mine output will be normal. During the outlook period, mine production is expected to increase by an average of 5% per year, reaching 3.2 million tons by 2026.
DISER added that nickel consumption in 2020 is close to 2.4 million tons (a decrease of 1.3% from 2019), due to a significant decline in nickel consumption due to the new crown epidemic in the first half of 2020.
Looking ahead, the recovery of economic activity and the growth of the nickel battery market are expected to drive consumption. It is expected that by 2021, the scale of nickel surplus will be reduced. By 2023, there may be shortages in the market. By 2026, global consumption is expected to reach 3.2 million tons.