The global demand for refined nickel has increased since the past few years. The growth in the demand is primarily driven by the increasing demand for stainless steel in an array of end-use industries from equipment manufacturers to automotive. Furthermore, the ongoing initiatives to promote and commercialize electric vehicles (EVs) across the globe is also expected to fuel the demand for refined nickel during the forecast period.
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Some of the key players operating in the global refined nickel market are Norilsk Nickel (Russia), Vale (Brazil), BHP (Australia), Jinchuan Group International Resources Co. Ltd (China), Sumitomo Metal Mining Co.(Japan), Anglo American (US), Ambatovy (US), Sherritt International Corporation (Canada), Minara Resources (Australia), and Glencore (Switzerland).
Based on applications, the refined nickel market has been segmented into stainless steel, non-ferrous alloys, plating, alloy steel & casting, batteries, and others. The Stainless-Steel segment accounted for over 70% of the global demand for refined nickel in terms tonnage and value, refined nickel is a key element that enhances the shine and corrosion resistance properties of steel. Thus, an optimistic outlook for stainless steel across the globe owing to the industrial growth and infrastructural development is expected to drive the demand for refined nickel. The batteries is expected to be the fastest growing segment during the forecast period. The growth is attributed to the booming lithium-ion battery industry and subsequent demand for nickel cathodes.
Based on end-use industry, the global market has been divided into metallurgy, industrial machinery, electronics, automotive and transportation, building and construction, and others. The industrial machinery segment accounted for the largest market share owing to the increasing adoption of stainless steel in the manufacturing of various machinery. Likewise, the demand for stainless steel in automobile production is further expected to propel the demand for stainless steel and consequently for refined nickel.
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The global refined nickel market, by region, has been segregated into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa. Asia-Pacific held the largest market share followed by Europe and North America. The surge in automobile production, infrastructural activities, and increasing demand for batteries in EVs are some of the prominent market factors driving the demand for refined nickel across the globe.