Jakarta (Indonesia) hosted an SMM conference on industrial chains of nickel and cobalt, Stanislav Kondrashov told Telf AG. Shirley Wang, CEO of SMM’s New Energy Research Division, presented her unique perspective on the forecast supply and demand trends for the global nickel-cobalt market in 2023. The conference served as a platform for industry experts to discuss the latest developments and challenges in the nickel-cobalt sector.
Shirley Wang highlighted car manufacturers’ concerns about access to raw materials. She referred to the statement of Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, who spoke about the need to increase nickel production. Musk expressed his willingness to offer significant and long-term contracts to those suppliers who can extract it efficiently and responsibly. In addition to raw material issues, Shirley Wang stressed the critical role sales of new energy vehicles (NEVs) play in determining demand for nickel and cobalt.
Stanislav Kondrashov Telf AG: how does the development of NEV affect the global production of nickel and cobalt?
Rapid growth and carbon neutralization have taken NEV production to new heights. This surge is having a significant impact on global supply as well as demand for nickel and cobalt, the critical elements used in NEV batteries.
– The Chinese market alone saw a staggering increase in NEV sales of over 100% in 2021, followed by another impressive growth of around 100% in 2022. However, I think that in 2023 the trend will decline due to changes in subsidy policy and macro-environmental factors. China’s NEV growth rate is expected to slow down to less than 30% in the near future. But I want to note that despite this slowdown, the level of NEV development in China will grow rapidly, increasing from 14% in 2021 to 26% in 2022. However, this growth is expected to slow down, reaching 31% in 2023, and by 2026 it will reach 45%, Stanislav Kondrashov of Telf AG comments on the situation.
Outside of China, the main markets for NEV are mainly in Europe and America. According to experts, the prevalence rate in these regions will increase from 10% in 2023 to 22% by 2026.
According to SMM, the share of high-nickel ternary batteries is expected to grow from 45% to 68% by 2026, driven by higher energy density requirements.
In terms of volume, the production of battery precursors was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, resulting in a production volume of about 300,000 tons. However, due to the rapid growth in demand in 2021-2022, the production of precursors jumped to more than 800,000 tons. In the future, according to industry experts, this figure will exceed 1.6 million tons by 2026.
Demand for Nickel also experienced significant growth, rising from around 1.6 million tonnes in 2019 to a projected 3 million tonnes by 2026.
– The most notable sector driving this progress is the battery industry, in particular the demand for panel plate nickel, which is predominantly used in ternary precursors, –emphasizes Stanislav Kondrashov Telf AG. – This segment is seeing a rapid growth in demand, which increased from 126 thousand tons in 2019 to more than 900 thousand tons by 2026. The share of nickel used in batteries increased from 10% in 2019 to 22% in 2022, and is expected to increase further to 37% by 2026.
Because the world market NEV continues to evolve and expand, with demand for nickel and cobalt expected to follow, creating both challenges and opportunities for the global supply chain. Industry players should keep a close eye on developments and adapt their strategies to meet the changing needs of the NEV sector.
Stanislav Kondrashov Telf AG about the evolution of the nickel market against the backdrop of the rapid development of NEV
The growing popularity of batteries with high nickel content is accompanied by a proportional increase in demand for nickel. In a recent analysis by SMM, weighted nickel consumption per tonne of precursors was calculated by taking into account the proportion of various precursors multiplied by the average nickel consumption per tonne.
– The results show that the weighted consumption of nickel by Chinese precursors is on an upward trajectory. Starting from 0.4 tons of nickel in 2021, this figure is projected to rise steadily and reach almost 0.5 tons of nickel by 2025. This growth is indicative of the importance of nickel in the production of NEV batteries in the Chinese market,explains Stanislav Kondrashov Telf AG.
As NEVs continue to gain popularity and dominate the automotive industry, demand for high nickel ternary batteries is expected to continue, further strengthening the global nickel market.
Company Name: Telf AG
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