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Western Areas Says Nickel Prices Are Rebounding on Steel Demand

14 Feb 2012

Western Areas NL (WSA), Australia’s second-biggest nickel producer, said prices are rebounding and will extend gains in the next three years, aided by Chinese demand.

Nickel, used to harden steel, may climb to $10 a pound by the end of the year as annual demand, led by China, grows as much as 6 percent, Dan Lougher, managing director at the Perth- based company, said today in a phone interview. Prices may exceed $12 a pound after 2013 as China’s production of lower- quality nickel pig iron, estimated to account for 15 percent of global demand, dwindles and Indonesia imposes an export ban on unprocessed metal starting 2014, he said.

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