Inventories of non-ferrous metals may be boosted significantly in South Korea beginning next year, owing to the expectation of fast growing demand for electric vehicles, the country’s Public Procurement Service (PPS) has revealed.
In other words, regulators and manufacturers in South Korea are confident enough in the expectation of rapid growth in the plug-in electric vehicle sector over the coming years that they may greatly boost stockpiles of needed resources in order to secure their production-potential position or improve it.
“We can’t confirm our plan next year, but think (non-ferrous metal stockpiles) will be higher than this year,” stated Park Chun-sup, the administrator of the Public Procurement Service (PPS), in an interview with Reuters.
The basic function of the PPS, to better explain the context here, is to provide stockpiled raw materials to local companies when market prices rise dramatically and/or there are resource shortages. The agency has been functioning in this capacity in South Korea for some 50 years now.
Reuters provides more: “The agency typically keeps total non-ferrous and rare metal stockpiles at around 250,000 tonnes, with aluminum accounting for over half of that. Park added that companies involved in producing electric vehicles or other new technologies were helping to drive up appetite for metals.
“Benchmark prices for nickel, which is used in electric car batteries, earlier this month touched their highest in over two years. Park noted that the agency was currently stockpiling non-ferrous metals equivalent to nearly 58 days of national consumption, above the 56 days it is required to hold. He said that the PPS would likely buy more zinc in 2018 as stockpiles of the base metals are lower-than-usual this year, without giving details.”
It’s worth noting here that South Korea has imported at least around 1.7 million tonnes of the top 6 most industrially important non-ferrous metals each year over the past 3 years.
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