Shanghai Nonferrous Metals News

China’s total 2020 nickel laterite imports are likely to plummet as a result of Indonesia’s ban on raw ore exports and falling exports from the Philippines due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, with an increasing number of NPI smelters coming online in Indonesia, the shortfall in nickel laterite will be offset by rising supply of Indonesian NPI.

According to SMM, China’s overall NPI supply is likely to increase in 2020 thanks to increased supply from Indonesia, but the growth rate will drop to 15% y-o-y. During the first six months of 2020, Indonesia produced 254.2 kt of NPI (in Ni metal), surpassing China’s 249.9 kt (in Ni metal) to become the largest NPI producer in the world.

Looking forward to Q3 2020, several new NPI projects are expected to come online in Indonesia which is likely to generate 409.2 kt of NPI by end-Q3 in comparison to 372.9 kt of NPI output anticipated in China. The situation of global NPI supply will change significantly with an enlarging production gap between Indonesia and China.


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