SHANGHAI, Oct. 28 (SMM) – China is expected to use up nickel ore inventories by April 2015, Shanghai Metals Market foresees.
Nickel ore inventories at China’s five major ports, namely Tianjin, Rizhao, Lanshan, Lianyungang and Jingtang, which combines to account for 70% in the country’s total port stocks, have been falling as a whole.
As of Oct. 10, stocks at the five major ports were 15.27 million tonnes, down 3. 12 million tonnes or a drop of 17% from last year’s end, according to SMM data.
Based on a 70% proportion of inventories in nation’s total at the five ports, China’s total nickel ore inventories should be 21.81 million tonnes (1527/70%=2181), and 15.81 million tonnes of these inventories are available, traders said.
At present, Chinese NPI producers consume 4.50 million tonnes of nickel ore each month based on current NPI output, SMM calculates.
The upcoming months, from October 2014 to April 2015, are the monsoon season in Surigao, the Philippines, a major low and medium-grade nickel ore producing region. This will disrupt shipments of nickel ore from the region.
SMM expects monthly imports of nickel ore from the Philippines to reach 2.50 million tonnes during October 2014-March 2015, after considering the seasonal factor, and output at new or restarted mine capacities.
In this context, 2 million tonnes of nickel ore at China’s ports will be consumed each month during the period, without considering nickel ore inventories at NPI producers. This will reduce stocks at ports to 1.81 million tonnes by April 2015, SMM estimates.
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