How have ASX nickel stocks been performing in 2022?

While most people are aware of the crucial role of lithium in lithium-ion batteries, nickel is also a critical battery element.

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Key points

  • ASX nickel stocks are in the spotlight amid surging global EV sales 
  • Nickel is a critical element in lithium-ion batteries 
  • There’s a wild divergence between the share price moves among ASX nickel stocks year-to-date 

ASX nickel stocks have been garnering increased investor attention as the world's shift to EVs and grid battery storage accelerates.

While most people are aware of the crucial role of lithium in lithium-ion batteries, nickel is also a critical battery element. In fact, a single Tesla battery requires some 50 kilograms of nickel.

Certainly, no unwelcome news for nickel stocks.

The bulk of nickel is currently used in the manufacture of stainless steel, with some 15% going to the EV market. But that share is likely to grow.

China, the world's most populous nation and number two economy reported record high EV sales of 571,000 vehicles for the month of June.

And Hayden Bairstow, resources division director at Macquarie, expects the percentage of nickel demanded by the EV industry to "move into the 20s and 30% of the total, and beyond that over time, as the EV market gets larger and larger".

That's a healthy longer-term outlook for demand.

Now, how have some of the leading ASX nickel stocks been tracking this year?

ASX nickel stocks mixed performance for 2022

There's a wild divergence between the share price moves among the ASX nickel stocks year-to-date.

Digging into the specific factors that have lifted or lowered the individual company share prices is beyond the scope of this article. And bear in mind that most of these miners are not solely focused on nickel, though the metal does form a key part of their exploration and production goals.

With that said, here's how these ASX nickel stocks have fared so far in 2022:

  • Poseidon Nickel Ltd (ASX: POS) share price is down 48%
  • Mincor Resources NL (ASX: MCR) share price is up 17%
  • Nickel Industries Ltd (ASX: NIC) share price is down 23%
  • OZ Minerals Limited (ASX: OZL) share price is down 11%

Moving on to a few other big-name ASX stocks looking to increase their nickel exposure, we have IGO Ltd (ASX: IGO). IGO completed its acquisition of nickel miner Western Areas in June. IGO shares have gained 1% this year.

Then there's BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP), the biggest stock on the ASX and among the world's biggest miners.

BHP's unsolicited proposal to acquire all shares in Oz Minerals for $25 per share in cash was rejected by the ASX nickel stock.

Addressing BHP's proposal and the subsequent rejection, Oz Minerals CEO, Andrew Cole said, "We have a unique set of copper and nickel assets, all with strong long-term growth potential in quality locations."

The BHP share price is down 3% in 2022.

Motley Fool contributor Bernd Struben has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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