Nickel Market: Global Industry Trends, Share, Size, Growth, Opportunity and Forecast 2023-2028

Nickel Market: Global Industry Trends, Share, Size, Growth, Opportunity and Forecast 2023-2028

Report Format: PDF+Excel | Report ID: SR112023A1843
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Market Overview:

The global nickel market size reached US$ 33.5 Billion in 2022. Looking forward, IMARC Group expects the market to reach US$ 46.2 Billion by 2028, exhibiting a growth rate (CAGR) of 5.4% during 2023-2028. Rapid technological advancements and innovation, favorable government policies and regulations, burgeoning investments in infrastructure and development projects, and the rising demand for stainless steel products are some of the major factors propelling the market.

Report Attribute
 Key Statistics 
Base Year
Forecast Years
Historical Years
Market Size in 2022
US$ 33.5 Billion
Market Forecast in 2028
US$ 46.2 Billion
Market Growth Rate (2023-2028) 5.4%

Nickel is a versatile metal known for its strength and durability. With excellent resistance to corrosion, nickel finds extensive applications in electroplating, batteries, and stainless steel production. Its unique properties make it a preferred choice for demanding environments, such as chemical plants and marine equipment. Nickel alloys, such as Inconel and Monel, offer exceptional heat resistance, making them ideal for high-temperature applications in aerospace and power generation. Moreover, it plays a crucial role in producing electric vehicle (EV) batteries, rechargeable batteries, electric motors, and generators.

The global nickel market is being driven by various factors, such as the increasing demand for nickel in the stainless steel industry and the increasing adoption of EVs. Moreover, rapid infrastructure development and urbanization are fueling the demand for nickel in construction materials, particularly to produce stainless steel reinforcement bars, which is supporting the market growth. Furthermore, advancements in technology and the widespread application of nickel in various industrial sectors, such as aerospace, electronics, and chemical processing, are contributing to the market growth. Another driver is the continuous development of nickel mining projects globally, including new discoveries and the expansion of existing operations, ensuring a steady supply of the metal. Additionally, the emergence of new technologies and materials and government policies and regulations related to mining, trade, environmental protection, and sustainability practices are propelling the market growth.

Nickel Market Trends/Drivers:

Growing demand for nickel in the stainless steel industry

The stainless steel industry is a major consumer of nickel, utilizing it as a key alloying element to enhance the strength, corrosion resistance, and durability of stainless steel products. The rising demand for stainless steel in various sectors, including construction, automotive, and consumer goods, is driving the market growth. In construction, stainless steel is widely used in infrastructure projects, such as bridges, railways, and buildings, due to its excellent structural properties and resistance to corrosion. In the automotive sector, nickel-containing stainless steel is utilized in components like exhaust systems and catalytic converters. Additionally, the increasing popularity of stainless steel appliances and utensils in households further boosts the demand for nickel.

Increasing adoption of EVs

Nickel is a key component in the cathode of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries used in EVs. As governments and consumers worldwide prioritize reducing greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on fossil fuels, the demand for EVs is experiencing significant growth. This, in turn, drives the demand for nickel in the battery sector. Nickel-based lithium-ion batteries offer higher energy density, improved longevity, and increased driving range, making them essential for the widespread adoption of EVs. As major automotive manufacturers continue to invest in EV production and governments implement supportive policies and incentives, the demand for nickel in the battery sector is expected to rise exponentially, creating a strong driver for the global nickel market.

Infrastructure development and urbanization in emerging economies

Nickel is extensively used in producing stainless steel reinforcement bars, which are crucial components in construction projects, including buildings, bridges, and highways. As developing countries experience population growth, increased urbanization, and rising standards of living, the demand for infrastructure expands. Stainless steel reinforcement bars offer superior strength, durability, and resistance to corrosion, making them a preferred choice for construction purposes. As a result, the demand for nickel in the construction sector, driven by infrastructure development and urbanization, continues to grow.

Nickel Industry Segmentation:

IMARC Group provides an analysis of the key trends in each segment of the global nickel market report, along with forecasts at the global, regional and country levels from 2023-2028. Our report has categorized the market based on product type, application and end-use industry.

Breakup by Product Type:

  • Class I Products
  • Class II Products

Class products dominate the market

The report has provided a detailed breakup and analysis of the market based on the product type. This includes class I and class II products. According to the report, class I products represented the largest segment.

Class I nickel products are high-purity nickel suitable for use in advanced technological applications, including the production of batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage. The purity level of Class I nickel is typically higher than 99.8%. These products include electrolytic nickel, nickel briquettes, nickel carbonyl, nickel powder, and nickel sulfate. Consequently, surge in the electric vehicle industry, a shift towards renewable energy, the implementation of stringent regulations to reduce carbon emissions, and increasing urbanization and industrial activities are driving the market growth.

On the other hand, class 2 nickel products include lower-purity nickel sources. These products include ferronickel, nickel pig iron (NPI), and nickel oxide, and they typically have a nickel content of less than 99.8%. Class 2 nickel is commonly used in stainless steel manufacturing and other industries where high purity isn't as critical. The primary driver of Class 2 nickel demand is its extensive use in stainless steel production. Nickel improves the corrosion resistance and mechanical properties of stainless steel, making it suitable for a variety of applications. Moreover, with the increasing pace of global urbanization and infrastructure development, the demand for materials like stainless steel - and by extension, Class 2 nickel has surged, thus favoring the market growth.

Breakup by Application:

  • Stainless Steel and Alloy Steel
  • Non-ferrous Alloys and Superalloys
  • Electroplating
  • Casting
  • Batteries
  • Others

Stainless steel and alloy steel holds the largest share in the market

A detailed breakup and analysis of the market based on the application has also been provided in the report. This includes stainless steel and alloy steel, non-ferrous alloys and superalloys, electroplating, casting, batteries, and others. According to the report, stainless steel and alloy steel accounted for the largest market share.

Stainless steel, a highly durable and corrosion-resistant material, finds extensive use in the construction, automotive, and aerospace industries due to its superior strength-to-weight ratio. Alloy steel, made from a blend of iron with elements like nickel, chromium, and molybdenum, is renowned for its mechanical strength, toughness, and wear resistance, making it ideal for structural components and machinery. Non-ferrous alloys such as copper, aluminum, and titanium are prevalent in electronics, aerospace, and automotive industries, offering lightweight, electrically conductive, and corrosion-resistant solutions. Superalloys, with their exceptional resistance to high temperatures and oxidation, are critical in aircraft engines, gas turbines, and nuclear reactors. Electroplating enhances object aesthetics and durability, while casting enables accurate, complex shapes for automotive, aerospace, and construction applications. Nickel is essential in rechargeable batteries, offering high energy density and longevity. It also finds applications in chemical processing, oil and gas refining, heat exchangers, and medical equipment due to its corrosion resistance and high-temperature tolerance.

Breakup by End-Use Industry:

  • Transportation & Defense
  • Fabricated Metal Products
  • Electrical & Electronics
  • Chemical
  • Petrochemical
  • Construction
  • Consumer Durables
  • Industrial Machinery
  • Others

Transportation and defense holds the largest share in the market

A detailed breakup and analysis of the market based on the material has also been provided in the report. This includes transportation & defense, fabricated metal products, electrical & electronics, chemical, petrochemical, construction, consumer durables, industrial machinery, and others. According to the report, transportation and defense accounted for the largest market share.

Nickel has diverse applications across numerous sectors. In transportation and defense, it is used in stainless and alloy steels to enhance durability and corrosion resistance, crucial for vehicles and military equipment. Fabricated metal products also leverage nickel for its robustness and resistance properties. In the electrical and electronics sector, nickel's high electrical conductivity makes it integral in components and battery technologies. The chemical and petrochemical industries use nickel-based alloys in processing equipment due to their exceptional resistance to harsh chemicals and high temperatures. In construction, nickel strengthens and provides corrosion resistance to structural steel. Consumer durables often incorporate nickel for its aesthetic appeal and durability, while industrial machinery utilizes nickel-alloyed steel for enhanced longevity and performance. The 'others' category includes sectors like medical, where nickel's non-corrosive properties make it suitable for surgical equipment, and energy, where it's used in batteries and renewable energy systems.

Breakup by Region:

  • Asia Pacific
    • China
    • Japan
    • India
    • South Korea
    • Australia
    • Indonesia
    • Others
  • Europe
    • Germany
    • France
    • United Kingdom
    • Italy
    • Spain
    • Russia
    • Others
  • North America
    • United States
    • Canada
  • Latin America
    • Brazil
    • Mexico
    • Argentina
    • Colombia
    • Chile
    • Peru
    • Others
  • Middle East and Africa
    • Turkey
    • Saudi Arabia
    • Iran
    • United Arab Emirates
    • Others

Asia Pacific exhibits a clear dominance, accounting for the largest nickel market share

The report has also provided a comprehensive analysis of all the major regional markets, which include North America (the United States and Canada); Europe (Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Russia, and others); Asia Pacific (China, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia, Indonesia, and others); Latin America (Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Peru, and others); and the Middle East and Africa (Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iran, United Arab Emirates, and others). 

Asia Pacific has emerged as a market leader for nickel due to its vast population, rapid industrialization, and dynamic economic growth. Countries like China, Japan, South Korea, and India have become manufacturing powerhouses, offering cost-effective production capabilities and a massive consumer base. The region's strong focus on exports, technological advancements, and investments in research and development have propelled industries such as electronics, automotive, telecommunications, and e-commerce, driving its market leadership. In line with this, the escalating adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) in the region is driving the need for high-purity nickel in battery production, given nickel's crucial role in enhancing energy density and longevity of lithium-ion batteries. Governments in this region are also implementing favorable policies and providing subsidies for EVs and renewable energy, indirectly influencing the nickel market. Besides this, the region's growing economy increases demand for consumer goods and infrastructure, leading to more nickel use in these products and structures.

Competitive Landscape:

The competitive landscape of the nickel market is characterized by the presence of several key players vying for market share. These companies operate across various segments of the nickel value chain, including mining, refining, production, and distribution. Some of the prominent players in the market have established themselves as major nickel producers, leveraging their extensive mining operations and technological expertise. Furthermore, the market is also witnessing the emergence of new players, particularly in countries with substantial nickel reserves, such as Indonesia and the Philippines. As the demand for nickel continues to grow, competition intensifies, leading to strategic collaborations, investments in research and development, and expansion of production capacities to maintain a competitive edge in the dynamic nickel market.

The report has provided a comprehensive analysis of the competitive landscape in the market. Detailed profiles of all major companies have also been provided. Some of the key players in the market include:

  • Anglo American Plc
  • BHP Group Limited
  • Cunico Corporation
  • Eramet Group
  • Glencore Plc
  • IGO Limited
  • Jinchuan Group International Resources Co. Ltd.
  • Norilsk Nickel
  • Pacific Metal Company
  • Queensland Nickel Group
  • Sherritt International Corporation
  • Sumitomo Corporation
  • Terraframe Ltd.
  • Vale S.A.
  • Votorantim SA.

Recent Developments:

  • On July 11, 2023, JX Metals Corporation (JX Metals) and BHP signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to pursue the development of a Green Enabling Partnership aimed at supporting both parties' ambitions of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the copper supply chain and making the copper supply chain more sustainable. 
  • On June 08, 2023, Sumitomo Corporation completed the acquisition of Saconix LLC. from U.S. private equity fund to make Saconix, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Sumitomo Corporation Group. 
  • On January 26, 2023, Eramet Group signed an exclusive Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Électricité de Strasbourg (ÉS) to study the development of a lithium production facility from a geothermal source in Alsace, France.

Nickel Market Report Scope:

Report Features Details
Base Year of the Analysis 2022
Historical Period 2017-2022
Forecast Period 2023-2028
Units Billion US$
Scope of the Report Exploration of Historical and Forecast Trends, Industry Catalysts and Challenges, Segment-Wise Historical and Predictive Market Assessment:
  • Product type
  • Application
  • End-use industry
  • Region
Product Types Covered Class I Products, Class II Products
Applications Covered Stainless Steel and Alloy Steel, Non-ferrous Alloys and Superalloys, Electroplating, Casting, Batteries, Others
End-use Industries Covered Transportation & Defense, Fabricated Metal Products, Electrical & Electronics, Chemical, Petrochemical, Construction, Consumer Durables, Industrial Machinery, Others
Regions Covered Asia Pacific, Europe, North America, Latin America, Middle East and Africa
Countries Covered United States, Canada, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Russia, China, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia, Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Peru, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iran, United Arab Emirates
Companies Covered Anglo American Plc, BHP Group Limited, Cunico Corporation, Eramet Group, Glencore Plc, IGO Limited, Jinchuan Group International Resources Co. Ltd., Norilsk Nickel, Pacific Metal Company, Queensland Nickel Group, Sherritt International Corporation, Sumitomo Corporation, Terraframe Ltd., Vale S.A. and Votorantim SA
Customization Scope 10% Free Customization
Report Price and Purchase Option Single User License: US$ 2499
Five User License: US$ 3499
Corporate License: US$ 4499
Post-Sale Analyst Support 10-12 Weeks
Delivery Format PDF and Excel through Email (We can also provide the editable version of the report in PPT/Word format on special request)

Key Benefits for Stakeholders:

  • IMARC’s report offers a comprehensive quantitative analysis of various market segments, historical and current market trends, market forecasts, and dynamics of the nickel market from 2017-2028.
  • The research study provides the latest information on the market drivers, challenges, and opportunities in the global nickel market.
  • The study maps the leading, as well as the fastest-growing, regional markets. It further enables stakeholders to identify the key country-level markets within each region.
  • Porter's five forces analysis assist stakeholders in assessing the impact of new entrants, competitive rivalry, supplier power, buyer power, and the threat of substitution. It helps stakeholders to analyze the level of competition within the nickel industry and its attractiveness.
  • Competitive landscape allows stakeholders to understand their competitive environment and provides an insight into the current positions of key players in the market.

Key Questions Answered in This Report

The global nickel market was valued at US$ 33.5 Billion in 2022.

We expect the global nickel market to exhibit a CAGR of 5.4% during 2023-2028.

The rising demand for high-density nickel-based batteries across various sectors to meet the power requirements, owing to their heat- and corrosion-resistant properties, is primarily driving the global nickel market.

The sudden outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic had led to the implementation of stringent lockdown regulations across several nations, resulting in the temporary closure of numerous manufacturing units for nickel.

Based on the product type, the global nickel market can be categorized into class I products and class II products, where class I products exhibit clear dominance in the market.

Based on the application, the global nickel market has been segmented into stainless steel and alloy steel, non-ferrous alloys and superalloys, electroplating, casting, batteries, and others. Among these, stainless steel and alloy steel currently represents the largest market share.

Based on the end-use industry, the global nickel market can be bifurcated into transportation & defense, fabricated metal products, electrical & electronics, chemical, petrochemical, construction, consumer durables, industrial machinery, and others. Currently, the transportation & defense industry accounts for the majority of the total market share.

On a regional level, the market has been classified into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, and Latin America, where Asia Pacific currently dominates the global market.

Some of the major players in the global nickel market include Anglo American Plc, BHP Group
Limited, Cunico Corporation, Eramet Group, Glencore Plc, IGO Limited, Jinchuan Group International Resources Co. Ltd., Norilsk Nickel, Pacific Metal Company, Queensland Nickel Group, Sherritt International Corporation, Sumitomo Corporation, Terraframe Ltd., Vale S.A., and Votorantim SA.

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Nickel Market: Global Industry Trends, Share, Size, Growth, Opportunity and Forecast 2023-2028
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