Nickel price highest in 3 weeks as US talks of Russian invasion of Ukraine

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Nickel rose to the highest in more than three weeks after a senior U.S. diplomat said that Russia appeared to be moving toward an invasion of Ukraine, raising concerns about disruption to exports. 

The nickel market has been roiled in recent weeks as traders brace for any disruptions to Russian supplies. The country’s exports account for 5.3% of global production, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. 

US ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said that Moscow appears to be “moving toward an imminent invasion” of Ukraine. Russia has repeatedly denied it plans to attack its smaller neighbor.

The metal rose as much as 2.8% and traded 2.2% higher at $23,920 on the London Metal Exchange in New York. It earlier touched the highest since January 24.

[Click here for an interactive chart of nickel prices]

“LME nickel inventory has declined since January and the destocking will continue,” reported Shanghai Metals Market.

“The output is expected to gradually increase in March and increase significantly in June, but the monthly supply may be less than 10,000 mt in nickel content.”

(With files from Reuters)