SHANGHAI, Aug. 22 (SMM) – In recent days, a new round of environmental protection inspections has started in Shandong, but its impact on local NPI producers is limited due to limited number of NPI producers there and, meanwhile, producers in the region are largely equipped with environment-friendly units.
SMM learns that production at Shandong Xinhai Technology and Shandong Shengyang Group is not affected significantly by the checks, and Shandong Weiye Nickel Industry halted production in mid August due to the checks, and its output in August is expected to fall by 50 per cent MoM to 1,000 tonnes.
Nickel price has been rising since early July, and on August 22, LME nickel climbed to $11,415 per tonne, the highest since late 2016. Surging price has encouraged high-grade NPI producers, which suspended production, to have already resumed or planned to restart production, especially those having ore inventories on-hand. Meanwhile, some on-line high-grade NPI plants have increased output due to optimistic outlook.
According to SMM preliminary data, high-grade NPI output from production resumption and increment is expected to total 19,950 tonnes or 1,800 tonnes (Ni content) in August, up by more than 1,000 tonnes (Ni content) from July’s, accounting for about 4 per cent of total high-grade NPI output in July.
In early August, ex-works price of low-grade NPI climbed above 3,000 yuan per tonne, and the rising strength is still under way, averaging at 3,400 yuan per tonne so far. The price surge has also stimulated low-grade NPI producers to grow output. According to preliminary data, low-grade NPI output from production resumption and increment is expected to reach 72,000 tonnes in August, up 35,000 tonnes or 596 tonnes (Ni content) from July’s, occupying about 8 per cent of total low-grade NPI output in July.
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