Nickel demand could increase by 44 percent by 2030
The ongoing energy transition is pushing demand for critical minerals higher. Vale recently predicted that the demand for nickel should increase by 44 percent by 2030 compared to that expected for this year.
“Demand for nickel is forecast to increase rapidly this decade with the energy transition,” the company said in a statement, adding that the new forecast would be of 6.2 Mt (6.8 million st) in demand.
Reuters reported that the company also estimated the company’s own production volumes for the medium term should reach between 230 kt/a and 245 kt/a (253,000 and 270,000 stpy) of nickel, compared to a 2022 projection of up to 190 kt (210,000 st).
Growth in nickel supplies should be driven mainly by Indonesia and Canada, where the company has operations, as well as Australia, it added.
Global demand for copper – also used in vehicle batteries and renewable energy systems – is also expected to rise by about 20 percent by 2030 to 37 Mt (41 million st), Vale added.
The medium-term forecast for copper is seen at between 390 kt/a and 420 kt/a (430,000 and 463,000 stpy), versus up to 285 kt (314,000 st) forecast for 2022.
The company did not predict that supply would catch up with demand, projecting in the medium and long-term a “structural deficit” of copper.
“Increased demand, coupled with a lack of supply, will attract significant interest across the sector,” it said.