EUROFER urges LME and FCA to take action on nickel prices 23 March 2022

EUROFER is calling on the London Metal Exchange (LME) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to take the necessary action to resolve the massive, artificial fluctuations in nickel prices and impose the indispensable measures to ensure it does not reoccur.

EUROFER is also requesting a commitment on transparency on moves by single or group of market participants exceeding regular participation and trading limits.

“In the last days, and since markets opened on 7th March in particular, we have seen an unprecedented surge in nickel prices that cannot be explained by supply and demand, nor by the sanctions recently imposed on Russia,” comments Axel Eggert, director general of the European Steel Association (EUROFER). “No other commodity has seen the same price increase as nickel in recent days.”

This is not the first time that such market anomalies occur. Already in the summer of 2019 there was a similar situation of possible market manipulation by a specific player. “It is of utmost importance to solve this issue once for all so we do not see this happening a third time,” warned Mr Eggert.

EUROFER requests the LME to keep the market closed until stability and normal price levels are restored. It also requests a thorough investigation of the trading practices by some market players to determine whether they may constitute market abuse or the creation of a disorderly market, or another prohibited practice.

Nickel is an essential element of the low carbon economy - stainless steel alone represents over 70% of its consumption, followed by the batteries sector. “These massive fluctuations in the nickel market can seriously impact both the European nickel users and consumers, eventually leading to job losses, and jeopardise the EU green transition,” concluded Mr Eggert.

Deputy Editor

Claire Aldridge Deputy Editor t: +44 (0) 1727 743 889

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Having spent a decade in the fastener industry experiencing every facet – from steel mills, fastener manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, as well as machinery builders and plating + coating companies, Claire has developed an in-depth knowledge of all things fasteners.

Alongside visiting numerous companies, exhibitions and conferences around the world, Claire has also interviewed high profile figures – focusing on key topics impacting the sector and making sure readers stay up to date with the latest developments within the industry.