European nickel prices continue to rise
European nickel prices continue to rise

22 February 2024 – Nickel prices on the European commodity exchange LME climbed to over USD 17,000/MT today, having already risen by more than 3.5% on Wednesday. And the new EU sanctions package, which was only agreed “in principle” yesterday, appears to be more symbolic than substantial, according to media reports.

European nickel prices continue to rise

After a significant rise of more than 3.5% in prices on the European commodity exchange LME yesterday, nickel has continued to rise today and is currently above USD 17,000/MT. Nickel prices on the Asian SHFE also rose by more than 3.1% today.

The rise in prices is due to the US government’s announcement that it is to introduce a new package of sanctions against Russia. The market reacted to this and priced in the high probability of sanctions against Russian nickel and aluminum exports.

13th EU sanctions package only with symbolic effect?

The 13th EU sanctions package recently announced and agreed “in principle” yesterday by the foreign ministers of the EU member states has so far been relatively weak. According to media reports, sanctions will primarily be imposed on Russian nationals and companies that are part of or supply the Russian military economy and/or undermine sanctions.

The lowest common denominator

The EU sanctions package was therefore more symbolic in nature, as it was announced on the same day that Russia invaded Ukraine two years ago. To all appearances, it was the lowest common denominator that the member states could agree on.

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