Five cents says you can't name April's best-performing commodity.
Nickel soared 15.2 percent in April, making it the month's best performer in the S&P GSCI, the widely followed commodity index. In fact, with a 32 percent gain this year, nickel is outperforming every other one of the S&P GSCI's 24 components with the exception of coffee (which has perked up more than 80 percent this year).
Why is nickel, an industrial metal used in the production of stainless steel, shining so bright?
The rise can largely be pinned to Indonesia, which has issued a ban on nickel exports in attempt to foster Indonesian industry. This is no small matter, because according to the U.S. Geological Survey, Indonesia tied the Philippines for the highest nickel mine production in 2013, providing 18 percent of the world's supply.
"If you think about Indonesia as the biggest producer, having caught up to the Philippines, it's taking a lot of nickel off the market," said Jodie Gunzberg, global head of commodities at S&P Dow Jones Indices. "In a way, it's been a battle between the Indonesian export ban and Chinese ebbing demand. But slowing Chinese demand is losing this battle. ... Chinese consumption is still enormous."
More recently, there have been concerns about further embargoes on Russia, which is also a exporter of nickel. That's why George Gero of RBC Capital Markets doesn't see nickel sliding anytime soon.
"I think all metals have some Russian concerns, so tight markets may keep prices up, especially due to headline traders who quickly jump up and down," Gero told CNBC.com. "Nickel could see some profit-taking, but there are few willing sellers now."
Either way, the surge in nickel futures has clearly drawn attention to the often-overlooked metal.
"There is certainly more interest in nickel now," Gunzberg said. "When a commodity's price starts to increase, nothing starts to draw attention like that, because when a commodity's inventories are in a situation of either excess or shortage, it generally takes a while for the inventory situation to switch."