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Nickel Market Size, Share & Industry Analysis, By Application (Stainless Steel, Special Steels, Batteries, Electroplating, Alloys, and Others), and Regional Forecast, 2024-2032

Last Updated: May 17, 2024 | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI106576

 

KEY MARKET INSIGHTS

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The global nickel market size was USD 41.61 billion in 2023 and is projected to grow from USD 44.59 billion in 2024 to USD 73.15 billion by 2032 at a CAGR of 7.3% during the forecast period.


Nickel (Ni) is a silvery-white, lustrous metallic element that occurs naturally. The product offers exceptional physical and chemical properties, making it a necessary component in several products. Its main application is alloying, especially chromium and other metals, to create stainless and heat-resistant steels. The improving technologies in mining, smelting, and refining allow lower-grade nickel ore to be processed. Further, increasing exploration activities by mining companies, driven by attractive commodity prices, are anticipated to boost the adoption of Ni metal. Moreover, increasing technological advancement in stainless steel and rising consumer expenditure over Ni-based products, including alloys and batteries, will augment the global nickel market growth during the forecast timeline.


The COVID-19 pandemic hindered the market since lockdowns, social distances, and trade bans caused enormous disturbances in worldwide supply chains. Most industries and factories were temporarily shut down due to lockdowns in many nations, affecting the demand, production, and prices.


Nickel Market Trends


Rapid Growth of Electric Vehicles to Surge Adoption of Batteries is a Prominent Trend


Factors such as upward demand for lightweight vehicles and rapid adoption of electric cars due to rising greenhouse emissions, technological advancements, and consumer expenditures over automobiles have boosted the automotive industry worldwide. This has further fueled the demand for batteries. Nickel is a significant component in lithium-ion batteries used in electric cars. It allows manufacturers to utilize less cobalt, which is more expensive and has a less transparent supply chain while packing more energy into batteries. According to the Nickel Institute Organization, battery technology is progressing in line with the developing automobile industry, increasing the usage of Ni-containing Li-ion batteries. Nickel Cobalt Aluminum (NCA) and Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC), two of the most widely used batteries, contain 80% and 33% of Ni, respectively; newer NMC formulations are also reaching 80% Ni. The product is currently used in the majority of Li-ion batteries. Hence, such factors would propel the market growth.


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Nickel Industry Growth Factors


Rising Demand for Stainless Steel Fueled Ni Metal Consumption


The increasing demand for stainless steel from the automotive, consumer goods, and construction industries will fuel product adoption. According to the Nickel Institute Organization, stainless steel accounts for more than two-thirds of global Ni consumption. The product improves the formability, weldability, and ductility of the steel. In addition, it offers corrosion resistance in some applications when used as an alloying element. The high demand for stainless steel in various industries is also attributed to its multiple characteristics such as lightweight, high tensile strength, durability, and easy fabrication. Thus, rising usage for stainless steel will surge the product demand during the forecast timeframe.


Increasing Usage in Various Industrial Applications to Drive Market Growth


Nickel is a highly versatile metal that has become an essential component of various industrial applications. One of its most significant uses is electroplating, which is valued for its ability to create a hard, corrosion-resistant surface on metal substrates. In addition to electroplating, the product is widely used as a catalyst in several chemical processes. As a catalyst, the product helps accelerate chemical reactions by lowering the activation energy required. The metal's unique properties, such as its high surface area, reactivity, and selectivity, make it an ideal catalyst for various applications, including producing fertilizers, plastics, and pharmaceuticals.


Moreover, the product is a crucial component of many permanent magnets used in various industrial sectors, including electronics, automotive, and aerospace. The product's magnetic properties make it an ideal ingredient for alloys producing high-performance magnets. For instance, neodymium-iron-boron (NdFeB) magnets, widely used in electric vehicles and wind turbines, contain a substantial amount of nickel. Overall, the product demand in industrial applications will remain robust in the coming years, driven by the growth of key end-use industries, such as automotive, aerospace, and electronics.


RESTRAINING FACTORS


Fluctuating Prices to Hamper Market Growth


Nickel price is higher, making it an expensive raw material for various applications and end-use industries. Furthermore, the Ni metal being a commodity, its prices are determined by supply and demand and are constantly fluctuating. The high-grade Ni is a necessary component of the electric vehicle battery. The speculation about rising EV demand has pushed its prices higher. Moreover, the restrictions on the export of Indonesian nickel by the country’s government to maintain their resources have also hindered metal adoption in various applications. Hence, such factors are anticipated to restrict nickel industry growth.


Segmentation Analysis


By Application Analysis


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Stainless Steel Segment was Largest Segment in 2023 due to Rising Construction and Automotive Industries


Based on application, this market is segmented into stainless steel, special steels, batteries, electroplating, alloys, and others. The stainless steel segment holds the highest nickel market share in the global market. The rapidly growing construction & automotive industries and rising consumer expenditure over stainless steel products such as tableware, cutlery, kitchen sinks, and furniture will boost the adoption of stainless steel. This would result in a rise in demand for nickel. The increasing product adoption to manufacture austenitic, including face-centered cubic crystal structured steel, which is particularly tough and pliable, will surge its demand in the special steel segment.


The advancement in Ni-containing battery technology, rapidly growing electrical & electronics industries, and increasing adoption of electric vehicles will drive the growth of the batteries segment. This, in turn, promotes the adoption of Ni metal as it aids in delivering greater storage capacity and higher energy density to the batteries at a lower cost. In the electroplating segment, the demand for nickel plating is associated with its corrosion and wear resistance properties. The product also offers adhesion properties for subsequent coating layers, thereby used as an undercoat for different coatings. According to the Nickel Institute Organization, the best soft magnetic qualities are found in alloys with 72-83% of Ni employed in inductors, transformers, magnetic shields, magnetic amplifiers, and memory storage devices. Hence, such factors will drive product adoption during the review period.


REGIONAL INSIGHTS


Asia Pacific Nickel Market Size, 2023 (USD Billion)

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The market size in Asia Pacific stood at USD 34.38 billion in 2023. The increasing technological advancement in stainless steel to make it more sustainable has fueled the market growth in Asia Pacific. China holds the highest market share in this region and is the fastest-growing country. The increase is associated with the rapidly growing construction & automotive industries, rising research & development activities, and rapid infrastructure developments, contributing to fueling the product demand in China.


In stainless steel, the product in Europe is mainly utilized in electric vehicles. The swift growth of the automotive industry coupled with increasing technological advancement will fuel the product demand in this region.


In North America, the U.S. is a leading country. The rapid expansion of the construction industry has fueled stainless steel production in this region. This growth is attributed to its high flexibility, good energy absorption, and explosion-resistant properties increasing the demand for Ni metal. 


In the Middle East & Africa, the consumption of the product can be seen in special steels. The ability to improve the steel's ductility and toughness at low temperatures help provide hardness and strength to the steel.


The rising adoption of stainless steel and nickel alloys in implantable medical devices and orthopedic applications, including joint replacements to stents, will propel the market growth in South America.


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List of Key Companies in The Nickel Market


Business Expansion is the Strategic Initiative Implemented by Companies


Key producers operating in the market are Anglo American plc, BHP, Vale, and Eramet. These companies are involved in product innovation, capacity expansion, acquisition, and collaborations in the market. Anglo American is a mining company with a portfolio that spans nickel, platinum, diamonds, iron ore, and copper. Codemin mine manufactures around 9,000 tons of Ni annually for the domestic market.


LIST OF KEY COMPANIES PROFILED



  • Anglo American plc (U.K.)

  • BHP (Australia)

  • Eramet (France)

  • Norilsk Nickel (Russia)

  • Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Ltd. (Japan)

  • Glencore (Switzerland)

  • Sherritt International Corporation (Canada)

  • Vale (Brazil)

  • Jinchuan Group International Resources Co. Ltd (Hong Kong)

  • Terrafame Ltd. (Finland)


KEY INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENTS



  • November 2023: Eramet, the French mining and metallurgy company, announced to spend USD 2 billion on expanding its nickel and lithium production to meet the rising demand for electric vehicles. The company aims to increase its Ni and Li production capacity by 50% and 90% by 2023.

  • February 2023: Anglo-American acquired a 9.9% minority interest in Canada Nickel Company Inc. The move expands its product offering by adding battery-grade nickel. It complements Ni production from PGM mines in South Africa and Ni assets in Brazil. The Crawford nickel project in Ontario, Canada, will be the additional production source. The investment secures a reliable Ni supply for electric vehicles in a market expected to grow significantly.

  • December 2021: Vedanta acquired Nicomet, a leading nickel and cobalt (Co) manufacturer. Nicomet has an annual capacity to manufacture 7.5 tons of Ni and Co. This acquisition will help the company meet the rising demand for batteries and stainless steel.

  • October 2021: Sibanye-Stillwater invested USD 1 billion to acquire two leading nickel and copper manufacturing companies, including Atlantic Nickel and Mineracao Vale Verde. With this acquisition, the company would help to fulfill the rising demand for electric vehicles.

  • August 2021: BHP's Mt. Keith nickel mine in Western Australia revealed that it is set to undergo a major expansion of its processing plant as the company looks to invest further in battery metals to meet the anticipated increase in demand.


REPORT COVERAGE


An Infographic Representation of Nickel Market

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The nickel industry research report provides a comprehensive analysis of the market and focuses on crucial aspects such as leading companies and applications. Also, it delivers quantitative data in volume and value, market analysis, research methodology for data, and insights into market trends. It highlights vital industry developments and the competitive landscape. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the report encompasses various factors that have contributed to the growth of the market in recent years.


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Report Scope & Segmentation













































ATTRIBUTE



DETAILS



Study Period



2019-2032



Base Year



2023



Estimated Year



2024



Forecast Period



2024-2032



Historical Period



2019-2022



Growth Rate



CAGR of 7.3% from 2024 to 2032



Unit



Value (USD Billion); Volume (Million Ton)



Segmentation



By Application



  • Stainless Steel

  • Special Steels

  • Batteries

  • Electroplating

  • Alloys

  • Others



By Geography



  • North America (By Application, By Country)

    • U.S. (By Application)

    • Canada (By Application)

    • Mexico (By Application)



  • Europe (By Application, By Country)

    • Germany (By Application)

    • France (By Application)

    • U.K. (By Application)

    • Italy (By Application)

    • Spain (By Application)

    • Rest of Europe (By Application)



  • Asia Pacific (By Application, By Country)

    • China (By Application)

    • Japan (By Application)

    • Indonesia (By Application)

    • South Korea (By Application)

    • Rest of Asia Pacific (By Application)



  • South America (By Application, By Country)

    • Brazil (By Application)

    • Argentina (By Application)

    • Rest of South America (By Application)



  • Middle East & Africa (By Application, By Country)

    • GCC (By Application)

    • Rest of Middle East & Africa (By Application)








Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 41.61 billion in 2023 and is projected to reach USD 73.15 billion by 2032.

Registering a significant CAGR of 7.3%, the market will exhibit considerable growth over the forecast period (2024-2032).

The stainless steel segment is the leading application in the market.

Rising adoption of stainless steel from various industries such as automotive, construction, and consumer goods is the key factor driving the market.

China held the highest share in the market in 2023.

Anglo American plc, BHP, Vale, and Eramet are the leading players in the market.

The rapid growth in automotive industry along with increasing technological advancement is anticipated to boost the consumption of the product.

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