Base metal prices are all negative year to date, except nickel. Here’s Macquarie’s 3 stock tips

Tue 13 Dec 22, 12:35pm (AEST)
Nickel periodic table
Source: iStock

Key Points

  • Macquarie sees upside for IGO, Mincor and Centaurus Metals, due purely to nickel
  • The bank expects “most” base metal producers in its coverage to benefit from rising spot prices; even as YTD performance stays negative
  • Lunnon Metals has been the best nickel equity on the ASX year to date

Nickel is the only base metal with year-to-date prices avoiding a trend into negative territory, according to research from Macquarie, with nickel up 43% on the London Metals Exchange (LME) since the start of 2022. 

If you’re wondering why the price is going up, Market Index recently dived into the world of nickel to bring you a guide on everything you need to know about the metal heading into 2023. 

Regardless, the bank still expects “most base metal producers" it covers to report increased earnings on spot prices.

Sandfire, Macquarie notes, has had the best earnings performance of its peers in FY23 due to spot market prices.

The bank notes commodity prices were stronger last week, with Lunnon Metals (ASX:LM8) and Chalice Mining (ASX:CHN) highlighted as particular market favourites. 

Who did the best? 

Macquarie is bullish on nickel, and smallcap investors should note the bank highlights its own picks from a body of base metal explorers and developers having a pretty good month. 

The winners, in terms of Month-on-Month (MoM) performance are: 

Worth noting also is that Lunnon is the best performing nickel equity year to date at a 113% increase.

Macquarie isn’t the only one looking at Chalice, either—earlier this week, JP Morgan put out a note outlining its interest in the explorer; with that bank confident the company is onto a good thing. 

What 3 stocks does Macquarie like? 

Macquarie, right now, is most interested in nickel. 


Company name



Price target


IGO Limited


"FY23e earnings margins range to 178% using Macquarie's commodity price forecasts"

$21.00 (+43%)


Mincor Resources


"MCR is conducting a $60m equity raise to fund accelerated development at Golden Mine...and Cassini"

$1.80 (+13%)


Centaurus Metals


"CTM is our key nickel development pick with the Jaguar nickel sulphide deposit that contains almost 1Mt."

$1.60 (+36%)


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Written By

Jonathon Davidson

Finance Writer

Jonathon is a journalism graduate and avid market watcher with exposure to governance, NGO and mining environments. He was most recently hired as an oil and gas specialist for a trade publication.

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