My Steel News
My Steel analysts project domestic high-NPI output at 30 kt in April, down 27% y-o-y due to production cuts by 24 NPI smelters during March and April. China produced 40 kt of NPI in April (both low-NPI and high-NPI), down 19% y-o-y. China’s total output of high-NPI during the first four months of 2020 was 129 kt, down by 56 kt or 30% y-o-y (tonnes all in Ni metal). The rapid decline can be attributed to a large number of production cuts by domestic smelters. Looking forward to Q2 2020, the spread of COVID-19 in the Philippines has the potential to contract nickel laterite exports and curb NPI output accordingly.
According to My Steel, total domestic spot inventory of medium and high-grade nickel laterite was about 10.89 mln WMT as of 15th April 2020. The current nickel laterite inventory can sustain two-months operation for domestic smelters, meaning smelters will be able to maintain normal operations until mid-June.