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There’s never a dull moment, right? While order intakes remain strong among superalloy manufacturers thanks mainly to the aerospace sector, nickel is taking a battering. As if a global pandemic didn’t wreak enough havoc on the markets, we have had to battle through zero aerospace industry, zero demand for superalloys, spiralling shipping costs and the employment conundrum as to where all the workers have gone.

While some stability would have been highly desirable, September brought yet more volatility to the markets amid global inflation and interest rate hikes as well as some analysts saying there’s a 98% chance of a global recession. However, barring another unprecedented major catastrophe, there is good demand and there is a price that customers are willing to pay. We simply have to negotiate the storms as best we can, including the Ukraine conflict and rising energy costs which will significantly impact the markets. At the time of writing, there is talk of sanctioning Russian nickel, so how would this affect LME pricing?

The automotive industry is yet to get back on track, with supply chains still waiting on semiconductors and parts from the Far East. In China, stainless steel demand is waning and some of the country’s COVID restrictions have still not been lifted. In addition, China has experienced one of its hottest summers, with work halted in some regions as a result.