SHANGHAI, Aug. 30 (SMM) – China imported 21,280 tonnes of refined nickel and alloy in July, up 49.4 per cent on a monthly basis, and down 24.5 per cent on a yearly basis. Imports from January to July 2017 were 118,900 tonnes, down 54.4 per cent on a yearly basis.
The big month-on-month increase in July’s imports is due mainly to narrower import losses on a monthly basis, which fell from 306 yuan per tonne in June to 211 yuan per tonne in July. In July, the import market largely lingered at around the profit/loss point.
In July, imports directly by domestic stainless steel mills and agents fell by nearly 1,000 tonnes on a monthly basis to 2,337 tonnes. Refined nickel imports from Russia, Norway, Japan and South Africa dropped sharply during the first seven months of 2017, down by 116,000 tonnes, 10,100 tonnes, 6,800 tonnes, and 5,700 tonnes, respectively, on a yearly basis. The bid decline is mainly because of lower output at those countries and change of export destination countries.
In August, import losses turn bigger on a monthly basis, and even higher than those seen in June. As of mid-late August, cargo-holders of imported goods showed low sales interest due to optimistic outlook.
SMM predicts that China’s refined nickel imports will likely fall in August from July’s level, with volumes estimated at 17,000-19,000 tonnes.
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