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Commodities

Nickel shortage expected this year

TOKYO -- Nickel, a metal used in stainless steel, is forecast to be in short supply in 2016 for the first time in six years due to a combination of slow production growth worldwide and robust demand from the construction and automobile industries.

Statistics from the International Nickel Study Group reveal a tightening of supply and demand since April. At the end of April, the supply-demand forecast for 2016 was for a shortage of 48,800 tons as production was seen declining 3% from the prior year to 1.91 million tons, the second straight year-on-year decrease, while consumption was projected to rise 3% to 1.96 million tons. Actual worldwide nickel demand announced in mid-June showed a shortfall of 10,000 tons for the month of April alone.

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