The London Metal Exchange (LME) shut down the trading of Nickel yesterday amidst crazy trading which saw the metal hit $100,000 per tonne for the first time ever and a jump of over 70%
A series of emergency measures have now been introduced to allow traders to defer delivery obligations on all of its main contracts, including nickel. The huge surge in prices was fuelled by worried investors racing to cover their short positions, after Western sanctions threatened the supply from the major producers in Russia.
Russia is one of the leading miners of nickel in the market, providing around 10% of the world's supplies. Russia based Nornickel is the world's largest supplier of battery-grade nickel used in the electric vehicle industry.
Three-month prices for the metal on the LME more than doubled yesterday to $101,365 a tonne. This is the biggest daily rise since trading began back in 1987, and one of the strongest rallies of any metal in the LME's 145 year history.
Nickel is crucial for the construction of both stainless steel and electric vehicle batteries with buyers scrambling to secure supplies ahead of a potential squeeze. It is also used in consumer goods such as kitchen appliances, phones, tablets and laptops.
The LME has revealed is is now considering multi-day closures, given the geopolitical situation which sparked these wild price moves.