Glencore is close to bagging deals for nickel supply with automakers and battery producing companies amid a huge demand for the metal supported by increasing popularity of electric vehicles.
Post Tesla’s call to miners for production of more nickel, the market for nickel has improved considerably. With the market for EVs strengthening and nickel being the go-to metal for NI-batteries, several automakers and battery makers are negotiating deals to secure nickel supplies.
Glencore’s chief executive said that a lot of automobile manufacturers are talking to them about nickel. In the beginning of the year, Glencore signed a deal with Tesla to supply cobalt needed for two new manufacturing plants. They also sell cobalt to BMW. Nickel is known to be a better choice for manufacturing EV batteries as it reduces the use of cobalt which is more expensive.
In 2019, Glencore produced 121,000mt of nickel and reported sales at 181,000mt.
Tesla has recently announced to have been in contact with several nickel mining firms but did not mention the names, however, Vale and BHP are among them, according to media reports.
With such high demand for nickel, average global price of nickel reached 10-month high in September to around $15,353/mt after falling to a 14-month low of $10,865/mt. Prices are still 10pc shy of 5-year high reached in September the year prior.