Nickel markets brace for nail-biting threequel | Reuters

2023-01-13 01:23:46 By : Ms. Katherine Min

HONG KONG, Jan 10 (Reuters Breakingviews) - Chinese tycoon Xiang Guangda, notorious for disrupting the London Metal Exchange’s nickel trade last year and the year before, may have done it again. His Tsingshan Holding is planning to pump up production of refined nickel by repurposing a number of copper plants, Bloomberg reported on Jan. 9. If he succeeds, his novel strategy to take advantage of higher prices could double Chinese output of the metal products.

That would be Xiang’s third drama in just two years. In 2021, the entrepreneur sent prices plummeting when his group announced deals to deliver nickel matte to Chinese electric-car battery material suppliers. The implication that it had found a new, affordable way to supply crucial battery ingredients upset traders’ bets on soaring demand as sales of electric cars accelerated. Just a year later, war in Ukraine caused metal costs to climb rapidly: the subsequent pressure on Xiang’s short position may have contributed to a giddy rally that saw prices touch $100,000 a tonne before the London Metal Exchange suspended trade. Trellises For Sale

Nickel markets brace for nail-biting threequel | Reuters

A third episode would throw Xiang back into the spotlight. In addition to reminding investors of China’s power in commodities markets, it shows how easily new technology and other surprises can upend the fledgling electric-car supply chain. (By Katrina Hamlin)

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are their own.)

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Nickel markets brace for nail-biting threequel | Reuters

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