Nickel Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2023 - 2028)

The Nickel Market is segmented by Application (Stainless Steel, Alloys, Plating, Casting, Batteries, and Other Applications) and Geography (Asia-Pacific, North America, Europe, South America, and Middle-East and Africa). The report offers market sizes and forecasts in volume (kilotons) for all the above segments.

Nickel Market Size

Nickel Market Summary
Study Period: 2017-2027
Fastest Growing Market: Asia Pacific
Largest Market: Asia Pacific
CAGR: > 4.8 %

Major Players

Nickel Market Summary

*Disclaimer: Major Players sorted in no particular order


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Nickel Market Analysis

The nickel market was valued at more than 2.1 million tons in 2021, and the market is projected to register a CAGR of more than 4.8% during the forecast period.

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant lockdowns, social distancing norms, and trade sanctions triggered massive disruptions across the global supply chain networks, severely hampering the growth of the nickel market. The extended lockdowns across major economies resulted in a slowdown in industrial activity, thereby impacting the demand and price of nickel. Major mining companies like Nickel Asia and Global Ferronickel Holdings suspended some of their operations in response to the pandemic, with some players citing the limited ability to keep current maintenance shutdown schedules. However, with the steady recovery of the industrial sector and the resumption of mining activities, demand for nickel is anticipated to rise during the forecast period.

  • Over the medium term, the growth of the nickel market is likely to be driven by the increasing demand for nickel in stainless steel alloys. Currently, about two-thirds of nickel sold each year goes into stainless steel. Also, increasing demand for nickel in automobile batteries, energy storage systems in wind turbines, or solar panels at a lower cost is the major driving factor for the market growth.
  • Stringent environmental regulations and possible health risks due to increasing sulfur dioxide emissions from the nickel melting process and volatility in nickel prices are likely to hinder the market’s growth.
  • The growing popularity of electric vehicles and the emerging application of nickel in the medical industry are likely to act as opportunities in the future.
  • Asia-Pacific is expected to dominate the nickel market in the future, due to the high consumption rate of nickel and the presence of large stainless steel manufacturing companies and battery manufacturers in this region. Furthermore, burgeoning demand in China and India is expected to boost the prospects of the metal market.

Nickel Industry Segmentation

Nickel is a chemical element and a transition metal, mostly used for high-grade steel manufacturing. The nickel market is segmented by application and geography. By application, the market is segmented into stainless steel, alloys, plating, casting, batteries, and other applications. The report also covers the market size and forecasts for the Nickel market in 15 countries across major regions. For each segment, the market sizing and forecasts have been done on the basis of volume (kilotons).

By Application
Stainless Steel
Other Applications
South Korea
Rest of Asia-Pacific
North America
United States
United Kingdom
Rest of Europe
South America
Rest of South America
Middle-East and Africa
Saudi Arabia
South Africa
Rest of Middle-East and Africa

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Nickel Market Trends

This section covers the major market trends shaping the Nickel Market according to our research experts:

Increasing Demand for Stainless Steel

  • Nickel plays a crucial role in the manufacture of stainless steel. It is one of the major commercial grades of alloys used in stainless steel production. Nickel alloying holds for almost two-thirds of the stainless-steel production process across the world. In general, 8% of nickel is present in the commonly used grade of stainless steel.
  • Owing to its corrosion resistance, durability, and abundance in availability, stainless steel is used in various sectors, including food and beverage, construction, aerospace, transport, medical, chemical, etc.
  • According to International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF), stainless steel production increased by 10.6% year–on–year to 56.3 million metric tons in 2021.
  • In view of reduced demand owing to factors like the Ukraine war, inflated inventories, and supply chain disruptions, MEPS has lowered its production forecast to 56.5 million metric tons in 2022. However, the production is anticipated to rebound to 60 million metric tons in 2023.
  • Chinese stainless steel mills consume more than half of the primary nickel. Stainless steel production in China witnessed a year-on-year growth of 1.6% in 2021 to a total of 30.6 million metric tons which is 54.4% of the global output.
  • Similarly, according to the World Bureau of Metal Statistics, Indian production of stainless steel reached around 4 million metric tons in 2021, registering a year-on-year growth of 25% between 2020-2021.
  • Owing to the above-mentioned factors, the demand in the nickel market from stainless steel industry is likely to increase in the future.
Nickel Market - Stainless Steel Production, Million Metric Tons, Global, 2017-2021

Asia-Pacific to Dominate the Market

  • Asia-Pacific holds the major share in the consumption of nickel. This is primarily due to the presence of large stainless-steel manufacturing companies and battery manufacturers. The major nickel ore concentrations in the Philippines, New Caledonia, Australia, Indonesia, and China are instrumental in making the region the largest producer of nickel.
  • According to US Geological Survey (USGS), Indonesia have the world's largest nickel reserve with a mining reserve of 21 million metric tons in 2021. Furthermore, the Philippines, China, and Australia have a combined mining reserve of 28.6 million metric tons.
  • According to the World Bureau of Metal Statistics, the demand for nickel in China during the first 9 months of 2022 was estimated at 1.12 million tons, an increase of 98.1 kilo tons in comparison to 2021. In Indonesia, the production of nickel between January and September 2022 was 0.79 million tons, registering a year-on-year increase of 23%.
  • Furthermore, the increasing consumption level of nickel in Electric Vehicles (EVs) is also expected to boost the market in the region, as it accounts for a considerable share of nickel demand.
  • China is the global leader in the electric car market, with the sales of new electric vehicles being four times higher than that of the United States.A total of 3.3 million units of Electic Vehicles (EVs) were sold in China in 2021, registering an increase of 154% compared to 1.3 million units sold in 2020. The Chinese central government’s principal policies to promote electric vehicles are expected to increase the demand for nickel in the country.
  • Also, In Oct, 2021, Tata Motors (Indian automaker) secured an INR 7,500 crore (USD 1.01 billion) investment for new EV subsidiary. Tata Motors and TPG Rise Climate have entered into a binding agreement whereby the latter along with co-investor ADQ, will invest in a newly incorporated subsidiary of Tata Motors.
  • Due to the impact of COVID-19, the demand for nickel has reduced from many end-use applications. However, with recovery in various end user industries, the demand for nickel is expected to grow in the region during the forecast period.
Nickel Market - Nickel Market, Revenue CAGR, by Geography, Global, 2022-2027

Nickel Industry Overview

The nickel market is fragmented in nature. The major companies include Norilsk Nickel, Vale, BHP, Jinchuan Group International Resources Co. Ltd, Glencore, and others.

Nickel Market Leaders

  1. Norilsk Nickel

  2. Vale

  3. BHP

  4. Glencore

  5. Jinchuan Group International Resources Co. Ltd

*Disclaimer: Major Players sorted in no particular order

Nickel Market - Market Concentration.png

Nickel Market News

  • August 2022: NMDC Ltd. announced its decision to explore opportunities overseas in a bid to mine lithium, nickel, and cobalt in order to meet the growing demand in India. The state-run iron-ore producer is planning to start mining in Australia, as it holds a 90.02% stake in the country's Legacy Iron Ore Ltd. 
  • December 2021: Mitsui & Co. Mineral Resources Development (Asia) Corp. (MMRDA) and Sojitz will sell all their shares in CBNC (36% in total to Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. Ltd (SMM). With the sales of the shares, SMM’s shareholding ratio in CBNC will increase from the current 54% of the outstanding shares to 90%.
  • October 2021: Renault Group announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Terrafame, for a future supply of nickel sulphate. With this agreement, Renault Group will secure a significant annual supply of nickel sulphate from Terrafame, representing up to 15 GWh of annual capacity.
  • In July 2021: BHP announced the signing of a nickel supply agreement from its Nickel West asset in Western Australia, with one of the world’s leading sustainable energy company, Tesla Inc.

Nickel Market Report - Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Assumptions

    2. 1.2 Scope of the Study




    1. 4.1 Drivers

      1. 4.1.1 Rising Demand for Corrosion Resistant Alloys in the Oil and Gas Industry

      2. 4.1.2 Other Drivers

    2. 4.2 Restraints

      1. 4.2.1 Volatility in the Supply Demand Scenario

      2. 4.2.2 Environmental Considerations During Mining Activities

    3. 4.3 Industry Value Chain Analysis

    4. 4.4 Porter's Five Forces Analysis

      1. 4.4.1 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      2. 4.4.2 Bargaining Power of Consumers

      3. 4.4.3 Threat of New Entrants

      4. 4.4.4 Threat of Substitute Products and Services

      5. 4.4.5 Degree of Competition

  5. 5. MARKET SEGMENTATION (Market Size in Volume)

    1. 5.1 By Application

      1. 5.1.1 Stainless Steel

      2. 5.1.2 Alloys

      3. 5.1.3 Plating

      4. 5.1.4 Casting

      5. 5.1.5 Batteries

      6. 5.1.6 Other Applications

    2. 5.2 Geography

      1. 5.2.1 Asia-Pacific

        1. China

        2. India

        3. Japan

        4. South Korea

        5. Rest of Asia-Pacific

      2. 5.2.2 North America

        1. United States

        2. Canada

        3. Mexico

      3. 5.2.3 Europe

        1. Germany

        2. United Kingdom

        3. Italy

        4. France

        5. Rest of Europe

      4. 5.2.4 South America

        1. Brazil

        2. Argentina

        3. Rest of South America

      5. 5.2.5 Middle-East and Africa

        1. Saudi Arabia

        2. South Africa

        3. Rest of Middle-East and Africa


    1. 6.1 Mergers and Acquisitions, Joint Ventures, Collaborations, and Agreements

    2. 6.2 Market Share**/Ranking Analysis

    3. 6.3 Strategies Adopted by Leading Players

    4. 6.4 Company Profiles

      1. 6.4.1 Anglo American

      2. 6.4.2 BHP

      3. 6.4.3 Cunico Corp.

      4. 6.4.4 Eramet

      5. 6.4.5 Glencore


      7. 6.4.7 Jinchuan Group International Resources Co. Ltd

      8. 6.4.8 Norilsk Nickel

      9. 6.4.9 Pacific Metal Company


      11. 6.4.11 Sherritt International Corporation

      12. 6.4.12 Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. Ltd

      13. 6.4.13 Terrafame

      14. 6.4.14 Vale

      15. 6.4.15 Votorantim

    5. *List Not Exhaustive

    1. 7.1 Growing Popularity of Electric Vehicles

    2. 7.2 Emerging Application in the Medical Industry

**Subject to Availability
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Nickel Market Research FAQs

The Nickel Market market is studied from 2017 - 2027.

The Nickel Market is growing at a CAGR of >4.8% over the next 5 years.

Asia Pacific is growing at the highest CAGR over 2021- 2026.

Asia Pacific holds highest share in 2021.

Norilsk Nickel, Vale, BHP, Glencore, Jinchuan Group International Resources Co. Ltd are the major companies operating in Nickel Market.

Nickel Industry Report

Statistics for the 2023 Nickel market share, size and revenue growth rate, created by Mordor Intelligence™ Industry Reports. Nickel analysis includes a market forecast outlook to 2028 and historical overview. Get a sample of this industry analysis as a free report PDF download.

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