By Anil Mathews
BEIJING (Scrap Monster): The Chinese Customs authorities have released the foreign trade statistics for the country’s imports and exports of Nickel-containing products during 2016. The imports of Unwrought Nickel, Nickel Matte, Oxide, Sinter and Ferro-Nickel increased over the previous year. The imports of Nickel Ore and Concentrate declined when matched with 2015. Meantime, exports of Unwrought Nickel and Ferro-Nickel declined sharply during the year.
The imports of Unwrought Nickel totaled 16,906.5 mt during December last year, rising marginally by nearly 4% when matched with the imports of 16,192.20 mt during November ’16. The key supplier of Unwrought Nickel to China during the month was Russia. The imports from Russia accounted for nearly 60% of the Chinese imports during the month. The primary suppliers were Russia (10,025.2 mt), Canada (2,803.8 mt) and South Africa (1,265.0 mt).
The cumulative imports during the entire year 2016 totaled 362,309.1 mt. The imports surged higher by 24% when matched with the imports of 292,630.7 mt during 2015. Russia was the key exporter of Unwrought Nickel during the year. The imports from Russia totaled 227,924.2 mt. The other key exporters were Canada (33,922.4 mt), Norway (21,485 mt), Australia (20,957 mt) and South Africa (19,218.5 mt).
The imports of Nickel, Matte, Oxide and Sinter totaled 39,421.9 mt during Dec ’16, out of which, imports of Oxide and Sinter totaled 36,145.2 mt and the remaining 3,276.6 mt constituted Matte imports. The imports were up sharply when matched with 29,504.2 mt during Nov ’16. The combined imports during the whole year were up significantly from 254,471.9 mt in 2015 to 325,435.1 mt in 2016.
Meantime, the monthly Ferro-Nickel exports by the country dropped significantly during Dec ’16. The imports plunged heavily from 120,205.3 mt a month before to 99,499.2 mt in Dec ’16. Indonesia continued to remain as the key exporter, accounting for bulk of the imports by the country. The imports from Indonesia accounted for 65% of Chinese monthly imports. The volume of imports from key countries during Dec ’16 was as follows:-Indonesia (64,779.2 mt), Myanmar (13,692.3 mt), New Caledonia (9,377.3 mt) and Brazil (4,263.2 mt). The imports during the entire year 2016 totaled 1.042 million mt.
The imports of Nickel Ore and Concentrate totaled 1.870 million mt during December last year, falling sharply by over 35% when matched with the imports of 2.894 million mt during November ’16. The key supplier of Nickel Ore and Concentrate to China during the month was Philippines. The imports from Philippines accounted for nearly 89% of the Chinese imports during the month. The primary suppliers were Philippines (1.664 million mt) and New Caledonia (103,243.3 mt). The cumulative imports during the year totaled 31.909 million tons, down from 35.169 million tons in 2015.
The exports of Unwrought Nickel by China declined sharply from 21,754.4 mt in 2015 to as low as 8,353.8 mt in 2016, the key importers being Hong Kong (3,227 mt), South Korea (1,143.1 mt) and Taiwan (1,016.7 mt). The monthly exports remained more or less flat at 524.3 mt. Also, the cumulative exports of Ferro-Nickel during the year more than halved from 5,448.7 mt in 2015 to 2,017.0 mt in 2016.