Shanghai Nonferrous Metals News

China produced 130 kt of NPI in Q1 2020, down 4.4% y-o-y and down 14.5% m-o-m. The reduction in output chiefly has been led by large smelters such as Xinhai, Delong and Xiangxiang, instead of small, high-cost smelters in IM and Liaoning as previously anticipated. Large domestic NPI smelters have chosen to cut operations amid shrinking nickel laterite supply as a way of slowing overall consumption. In the meantime, downstream competition has become intense with Indonesian NPI being exported back to China. Small NPI smelters in IM and Liaoning already face losses, but most are still operational and will not consider suspending operations until nickel laterite supply tightens or prices trend down further. SMM analysts forecast domestic NPI output will dip further in Q2 2020.

China produced 33 kt of high-NPI in March, falling by 13 kt from 2019 September’s high point. Indonesia produced 6 kt of high-NPI during the same period.


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