First uses of nickel

Stainless steel has been the dominant first use segment for primary nickel over the past three decades.

In 2015, the proportion of primary nickel used in making stainless steel was 68% of total allocated first use of some 1.86 mt. Major non-stainless segments are surface technology (electroplating), nickel and copper-base alloys and alloy steels. These three segments have had similar market shares. The foundry industry has traditionally been a smaller first-use segment. ‘Others’ includes nickel-containing batteries, nickel chemicals, nickel-containing catalysts and dyes.


End uses of nickel


The engineering segment is the dominant end use application of nickel, accounting for 27% of total end use in 2015. Metal goods have been the second largest end use segment at 20%, followed by Transport and Tubular both at 14%. The other end use segments such as Electro/Electronics and Building and Construction have had a similar share of 11% and 10% of the total end use respectively.