Nickel exports from Russia to Brazil have reached their highest level in nearly two decades, according to official data cited by RIA Novosti. In July, Brazil’s imports of Russian nickel amounted to $11.1 million, surpassing the previous record set in 2005. The analysis conducted by RIA Novosti revealed that these imports had more than doubled compared to the previous month and reached 435.9 tons, the largest amount since July 2019.
Russia emerged as the top nickel supplier to Brazil in July, followed by Norway, with deliveries worth $10.4 million, and the United States, with deliveries worth $7.3 million. Germany and South Africa also made it to the top five suppliers, with imports worth $4.7 million and $3 million, respectively.
Nickel is a crucial component of lithium-ion batteries, which are used in various applications ranging from household appliances to electric vehicles. Additionally, it plays a significant role in the production of stainless steel. The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that the demand for nickel could increase nineteenfold by 2040 if countries fully achieve the goals outlined in the Paris Climate Agreement, aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit global warming to pre-industrial levels.
Russia, responsible for nearly 10% of the global nickel supply, produces high-grade nickel, with its state-owned company Norilsk Nickel holding the majority share of over 20% in global high-grade nickel production.
One of the reasons for Russia’s heightened nickel exports to Brazil is the redirection of its metal exports from Western countries due to imposed sanctions from the European Union (EU) and the United States. Moscow has prioritized alternative markets such as China, Türkiye, South East Asia, member states of the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union, and CIS countries, as stated by Trade Minister Denis Manturov. Additionally, Russia will focus on expanding its presence in the Latin American, African, and Middle Eastern markets.
The growing demand for critical minerals, including nickel, is a global trend. The need for these minerals is driven by various sectors, particularly the renewable energy and electric vehicle industries. To meet this rising demand, countries like Russia are capitalizing on their reserves and strengthening their position as key suppliers.
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