The London Metal Exchange (LME) has halted nickel trading for the day after prices doubled to a record $100,000 per tonne.
This has been caused following moves to cover short positions after Western sanctions threatened supply from major producer Russia.
“The LME has taken this decision on orderly market grounds,” said the LME, one of the world’s top commodity exchanges, adding it was considering a closure of several days.
“The LME will actively plan for the reopening of the nickel market, and will announce the mechanics of this to the market as soon as possible.”
Russia supplies about 10% of the world’s nickel and Russia’s Nornickel is the world’s biggest supplier of battery- grade nickel at 15%-20% of global supply, according to JPMorgan analyst Dominic O’Kane.
The skyrocketing prices are a sign of just how catastrophic Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been for the markets.
The move came after three-month nickel on the LME more than doubled on Tuesday to $101,365 a tonne this morning before the LME halted trade on its electronic systems and in the open outcry ring.