Shanghai Nonferrous Metals News
China imported 4.9 mln t of nickel laterite in July, up 41.9% m-o-m but down 9.56% y-o-y. Of these imports the Philippines imports reached 4.39 mln t, up 42.9% m-o-m and up 18.1% y-o-y; there are 119.8 kt of Indonesian nickel laterites pending declaration at Chinese ports. Nickel laterite imports are expected to remain at high levels during August. Despite rising imports, the market still faces a shortfall in supply led by aggressive restocking moves of NPI smelters in preparation for the upcoming rainy season.
The impact of Covid-19 has curbed China’s H1 2020 nickel laterite imports by 42.8% y-o-y to 12 mln t (WMT and DMT combined). Total imports during July and August are expected to rebound to the same level as in 2019 and prices of medium-grade nickel laterite are expected to rise further in August 2020.