Materials and commodities
- Availability | The CLC issued its latest product availability statement noting that DIY demand was softening, but this was offset by higher trade demand. Stock replenishment was less of an issue than in previous updates but price inflation was a major concern, largely driven by the volatility of energy prices.
- Nickel | The Financial Conduct Authority and the Bank of England has launched an investigation into the suspension of nickel trading by the London Metal Exchange last month. The review aims to “determine whether any lessons might be learned in relation to its governance and risk management”.
- Batteries | The increasing price of nickel, lithium, and cobalt has increased the cost of battery production. Increasing global demand was already putting pressure on the key ingredients and the war in Ukraine has increased the intensity. According to battery group Farasis Energy, the price of the three key metals for a 60kWh battery has increased from $1,395 a year ago to $7,400 in March.
- Shipping | Ukrainian and Russian nationals account for 15% of the global shipping workforce. Concerns are increasing that as President Zelensky calls for all Ukrainians to return to fight, a severe shortage in workers could become apparent.