Coronavirus: United Kingdom, facing worst recession on record, sees GDP drop 20.4% in Q2

The UK has seen its economy, hit by the coronavirus crisis, suffer a "record" contraction of 20.4% in the second quarter, and is officially facing its worst recession on record, agency figures show National Statistics (ONS), published Wednesday 12 August. 
Economists consider that a country enters a technical recession when it accumulates two consecutive quarters of contraction in its economy. According to the ONS, most of the contraction, which began to be felt in March, occurred in April, an entire month of containment and almost total cessation of activity in the country, which saw production collapsed by 20%.

With a very early recovery in construction sites and manufacturing activity, gross domestic product (GDP) rebounded in May by 2.4% (revised figure), followed by an acceleration in June (+8.7 %) thanks in particular to the reopening of all shops. This is the biggest contraction in the UK economy since the ONS began these quarterly statistics in 1955, he said…

Tesla wants more nickel for electric vehicle batteries

This is an unprecedented appeal to mining companies. Elon Musk, the CEO of American automaker Tesla, asks them to produce more nickel for the batteries of its electric vehicles.

Tesla wants more nickel for electric vehicle batteries

The appeal could not be more surprising. It's rare for an end consumer of metals to announce color in this way, but that's what Elon Musk did, when presenting Tesla's results. "All mining groups, please mine more nickel, OK," said the CEO of the US electric vehicle maker. "Wherever you are in the world, please produce more nickel and don't wait for it to return to the high prices you experienced five years ago. Aim for efficient, obviously environmentally friendly, high volume nickel extraction. Tesla will give you a giant contract over a long period if you produce efficiently and with respect for the environment. "

Nickel still essential for light batteries

For once, cobalt is not at the center of Tesla's concerns. A month after signing a contract with Glencore to source Congolese cobalt, Tesla is worried about its nickel supply. Although there are alternatives, nickel is still essential if the vehicle's battery is to remain small and light and its charge to last a long time. Especially for commercial vehicles to which Tesla wants to diversify its range.



But stainless steel seals nickel batteries

But the automaker may find it difficult to source this quality of nickel. Since the start of the Covid-19 epidemic, global nickel prices have plunged and are still lagging behind other metals. This does not really encourage the development of new nickel specific capacities for batteries because the rest of the nickel market is depressed. And this is the preponderant part: stainless steel, 90% of the use of nickel on the planet. The pandemic has caused demand for cutlery in the restaurant industry to collapse. It has plunged the consumption of stainless steel in aeronautics or for oil pipelines. From a nickel deficit last year, the market has now grown into surpluses that it could drag for years in a row.

New units threatened in Indonesia

But it's not the much purer nickel that Tesla covets for its batteries. The agreement signed by the American manufacturer with Vale for Caledonian nickel of this quality may well be insufficient. However, with the slump in the world nickel market, the new units which were to be assembled in Indonesia are now compromised.