The material used in stainless steel and electric-vehicle batteries surged as much as 111% to $101,365 a ton after closing up 66% the day before. It pared gains to be up 74% at $83,500 a ton as of 3:10 p.m. in Shanghai.
The market on the LME is in the grip of a massive squeeze in which holders of substantial short positions are being forced to cover at a time of low liquidity. To give a sense of nickel’s dizzying surge, it has risen around $11,000 a ton over the last five years. This week alone, it’s jumped by as much as $72,000.
“It’s going crazy — it’s not reflecting any industry fundamentals,” said Jiang Hang, head of trading at Yonggang Resources Co. The “LME trading system is out of control and requires intervention,” or the contagion may spill over to other metals, he said.
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