Here are the key insights from our conversation with Fastmarkets’ Paul Lusty on the future of the battery raw materials and electric vehicle markets

Read more from senior analyst Andy Farida on how the price action in LME nickel has played out in the first half of 2024

Base metals on the London Metal Exchange were mixed in morning trading on Monday June 10, with three-month prices lacking direction amid thin traded volumes due a public holiday in China, the largest market for base metals

The publication of Fastmarkets’ assessments for the nickel briquette premium, delivered Midwest US and the nickel 4×4 cathode premium, delivered Midwest US for June 4 were delayed because of incorrect methodology application.

After an extended consultation period, Fastmarkets has amended the assessment of the MB-NI-0256 nickel low-carbon briquette premium, cif global, to include additional metrics for sustainability.

The base metals complex has been on a climb on futures exchanges globally but the surge is not reflected in physical markets, with buyers generally staying out of the market due to elevated prices, sources told Fastmarkets

Supply disruption and financial speculation helped most base metals prices hit 2024 highs in the week to Friday May 24, yet demand remains mostly muted

A host of Chinese battery manufacturers have been increasing their production of electrolytic nickel to reap gains from strong futures prices because the growth in downstream demand for electric vehicles (EVs) is slowing, Fastmarkets heard on Tuesday May 21

A wave of restocking throughout the first quarter of 2024 provided some relief in the ternary battery raw materials market in China, stopping the declines in prices for various products that had been seen late last year

Fastmarkets’ initial low-carbon premium for nickel briquettes captured existing regional price differences, with growing awareness and legislative incentives indicating there is potential for a strong market to emerge