Metal prices soar after Russia's invasion of Ukraine
Prices for metals crucial to manufacturing — especially the auto industry — continued to soar.
Why it matters: This is part of the inflationary shock of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and the world's response to it, which could disrupt supplies.
Palladium: A key metal used in catalytic converters that automakers install to scrub engine emissions. It's up roughly 40% this year.
- Russia, the world's largest producer, is responsible for 40% of global output.
Nickel: A central ingredient in stainless steel and rechargeable batteries for electric vehicles. It's up about 30% in 2022.
- Russia is the third-largest producer, mining roughly 10% of the world's nickel.
Aluminum: The lightweight metal is vital to industries across the economy from consumer packaging to aerospace and defense and construction. This year it's up more than 30%.
- United Company Rusal — formerly led by oligarch Oleg Deripaska before he was sanctioned in 2018 — is one of the world's largest producers.
Cobalt: Another key ingredient of electric vehicle batteries, for which demand has surged in recent years. It's up more than 7%.
- Russia is the world's second-largest producer of cobalt, much of which is mined by Norilsk Nickel, a mining giant whose oligarch president Vladimir Potanin is close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, making it a potential target of sanctions.