Nickel surplus to be diminished by Indonesian export ban
Why does nickel continue to be in great demand? The simple answer is that nickel has better corrosion resistance, better toughness and better strength at high and low temperatures than other metals, as well as a range of special magnetic and electronic properties. It is also unsurpassed in its ability to have the best of these invaluable traits passed on in the formation of new, incredibly light and durable materials.
According to the Nickel Institute, most nickel is combined with other metals to form different alloys that are used in over 300,000 products for consumer, industrial, military, transport, aerospace, marine and architectural applications. Today steel alloys are the main source of nickel consumption; about two-third of all new nickel sold each year goes into stainless steel.
Despite the recession and uncertainties in Europe, global industrial output growth is recovering, as reflected in the rising demand for stainless steel. According to The International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF), stainless steel production was 32.1 million metric tonnes in 2011, reaching a new record for a single year.