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Nickel production and consumption

First traded on LME: 1979
Current specification introduced: April 1979
World production: 1.66 million tonnes per annum (2011)

As an alloying metal, the uses of nickel are extraordinarily diverse. Its high melting point and resistance to corrosion have contributed greatly to the wide use of the metal. Early in the 20th century, it was discovered that by combining nickel with steel, even in small quantities, the durability, resistance to corrosion and strength of the steel increased significantly. This partnership has endured and the steel industry is now the single largest consumer of nickel today, using the metal in the production of stainless steel.

World nickel production 2011


Asia 41%
Europe 31%
America 16%
Oceania 10%
Arica 2%

Source: WBMS

Industry consumption 2011


Market Sector%
Stainless steel 66
Other Alloys 24
Electroplating 8
Chemicals 3

Source: CRU