First, a bit about nickel.
We’re talking about the metal, not the coin — though the coin is partially made of the metal.
That’s not what most nickel is used for, though. Its biggest use is in stainless steel, which accounts for more than 70 percent of nickel consumption.
It’s also used for electric vehicle batteries, and experts say, this is where the nickel industry could grow the most.
And as that industry grows, commodity traders have been betting nickel’s value will, too.
When Russia invaded Ukraine, the price of nickel shot straight up — literally.
But it wasn’t just the war impacting the price.
There was also a short squeeze underway. That’s when investors buy an asset to counter a squeeze — when investors bet that an asset’s value will go down.
As the war rages on, experts think the U.S. may have to change its trading relationships to feed its need for nickel and other metals.