Nickel is a chemical element and the products containing nickel and nickel powder exhibit high corrosion resistance, enhanced toughness, and magnetic and electronic properties and with high strength at both high and low temperatures. Hence, it is used in a variety of applications such as batteries, alloying elements, and others, which is expected to aid in growth of the nickel powder market. Furthermore, increasing demand for stainless steel particularly in China, fuels growth of this market. According to World Steel Association, China is the largest steel producing country, producing 803.8 million metric tons in 2015 and it was increased to 808.4 million metric tons in 2016. However, nickel is a carcinogenic metal and its exposure may lead to various diseases such as lung cancer, neurological deficits, cardiovascular disease, and high blood pressure, which is expected to hinder growth of the nickel powder market.
Nickel Powder-Market Taxonomy
On the basis of type, nickel powder market is segmented into:
- Electrolytic Nickel Powder
- Carbonyl Nickel Powder
On the basis of process type, nickel powder market is segmented into:
- Carbonyl Vapormetallurgy Process
- Hydrometallurgical Sherritt Process
On the basis of application, nickel powder market is segmented into:
- Stainless Steel
- Electroplate & Battery
Among powder types, carbonyl nickel powder segment accounted for the largest market share in terms of revenue. Carbonyl nickel powder is the highest purity nickel (99.98%) with high specific surface area, which helps in reducing power consumption as compared to electrolytic nickel powder. This is fueling growth of the nickel powder market. However, inhalation of carbonyl nickel powder may lead to side effects such as nausea, headache, and vomiting.
Nickel Powder - Market Outlook
- North America is expected to be the largest market in terms of revenue share, over the forecast period. This is attributed to growing usage of nickel powder in alloys, and stainless steel in the U.S. and Canada. According to United States Geological Survey, approximately 45% of the nickel consumed was utilized in alloy steel and stainless steel production in the U.S. and produced 1.64 million tons of stainless steel (nickel bearing) in 2014, was 8% more from 2013.
- Asia Pacific is fastest growing region in the global nickel powder market over the forecast period, owing to increasing demand for stainless steel for various end use industries such as food and catering, automotive, energy and heavy industries, and others in emerging economies such as China. According to Department of Industry, Innovation and Science — a department of the Australian Government — China is the largest market for nickel accounted for the 65% of nickel consumption in the world. The stainless steel production in China was 25 million tons in 2016, which was increased by 16% whereas, Japan was second largest market for stainless steel production accounting for 3.3 million tons in 2016.
- According to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, nickel and nickel refinery dust is a carcinogen and has led to lung tumors, which has negatively impacting growth of market.
- Nickel powder manufactures are adopting various strategies such as partnerships and research & development, to sustain their market positions. In June 2017, Sama Resources Inc. — a company focused on exploring nickel and copper project in Africa — signed a partnership agreement with CVMR Corporation for using its technology, to produce iron and nickel powder.
- Some of the major market players operating in the global nickel powder market include Vale Mining Company, MMC Norilsk Nickel, Chemalloy, Jinchuan (USA) Inc., Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. Ltd., Nizi International, Jilin Jien Nickel Industry Co., Ltd., Sarda Industrial Enterprises, and others.
Nickel Powder Market Key Developments:
- In February 2018, Sandvik AB announced its plans to invest about US$ 20.31 for developing new plant for manufacturing of titanium and nickel fine metal powders. This plant is expected to be located at Sandviken, Sweden and is expected to be operational by the end of 2020.
- In May 2018, Kola MMC (Norilsk Nickel’s subsidiary), announced that company is developing new brand of nickel. New nickel product range is being developed using company’s new environmentally friendly technology wherein smelting of nickel anodes is been phased out. New technology involves use of nickel powder which is produced in tube furnaces as the feedstock for saleable metals.
- In March 2019, Norilsk Nickel announced its plans to invest about US$ 1.4 billion on its two projects including expansion and reconstruction of the Talnakh concentrator and the development of the Southern cluster. This is expected to increase company’s production capacity of various metals including ‘base metals’ as well as ‘platinum group metals’.