SHANGHAI, Jun. 4 (SMM) – Here are major events in nickel markets during the past week.
Fu’an Introduced 1.3 Mln Mt Nickel Alloy Project
Fu’an city introduced the RMB 12 billion Dingxin nickel alloy project. Over RMB 4 billion has been invested in the project, and an industrial production base combining 1.3 million mt/yr in nickel alloy capacity and 5 million mt/yr in stainless steel capacity will be built once the whole project is completed.
Dingxin Nickel is a key industrial project in Fujian province this year. Relying on laterite nickel ore from Indonesia, the project will introduce and develop independently advanced technology, and adopt RKEF + AOD + continuous hot-rolling process for production. The project is prominent in Tsingshan Group’s consolidation, and stands out among its peers both at home and abroad in terms of scales and efficiency. The Phase I project is expected to start trial production in June 2013, and Phase II may come online in 2014.
China Nickel Ore Imports Down 10.8% MoM in April
Data from China Customs show that China imported 4.93 million mt of nickel ore during April, up 6.2% YoY but down 10.8% MoM. The average import price was USD 84.3/mt. YTD imports through April were 14.48 million mt, up 32.1% YoY. Imports from Indonesia were 3.01 million mt in April, with average import price at USD 82.7/mt, while imports from the Philippines were 1.88 million mt, with average price at USD 60.1/mt. China also imported 40,000 mt of nickel concentrate from Australia and Finland.
Sumitomo Expects Japan’s Nickel Exports to Hit Record High, Exacerbating Global Oversupply
Japan’s largest nickel producer Sumitomo Metal Mining expects Japan’s nickel exports to hit a record high this year as Abe Shinzo’s stimulus measure did not boost demand. This may aggravate the oversupply in global nickel market.
Toru Higo, sales manager of Sumitomo said in an interview that Japan’s nickel exports may increase 10% this year to 96,000 mt, and surplus in global nickel market will grow to 70,000 mt, its highest in five years. Morgan Stanley estimates a 38,100 mt surplus in nickel market and Macquarie Group’s forecast is 82,000 mt. International Nickel Study Group expected a 90,000 mt surplus.