The outlook for nickel remains uncertain as commodity experts fail to agree on where they believe nickel prices will track during 2022. This is primarily because Chinese researchers are playing down the growth potential with subdued demand, while others predict a super-cycle and rising demand and prices.

Antaike, a Chinese state-owned research institute has stated that it forecasts falling prices as soon as the global economy has recovered from the pandemic - supported by increased production capacity outstripping demand. Antaike predicts that nickel supply will grow by 12% this coming year, while demand will rise 10%. Therefore, Antaike forecasts excess supply of 45,000 tonnes of nickel forcing prices lower.

In contradiction to these published findings, Goldman Sachs, the US investment bank, has made a case for the opposite outcome and the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic as well as global economic measures will boost demand in the long run, putting pressure on production. The bank also suggests that the prices will also be driven higher by the energy transition and global decarbonisation activities.

This point of view is also confirmed by asset manager BlackRock, which says that it believes infrastructure spending will drive the growth of steel and cement demand and that decarbonisation will require additional metals such as nickel to help reach government targets.