China produced 37,300 tonnes (Ni content) of nickel in August, up 5.85 per cent on a monthly basis, but the growth rate was slower compared with July’s 11.52 per cent increase. Utilization rates at domestic NPI producers rose from 53 per cent to 56 per cent in August.
In September, China’s high-grade NPI output is expected to keep growing, and this will also send up the country’s NPI output estimation to 38,800 tonnes in the month, SMM foresees.
The output growth in September will be mainly contributed by higher operation rates at newly-restarted capacities, but production may be also exposed to risks from stringent environmental protection inspections and the possible spread of inspections to Jiangsu.
In August, profits at domestic high-grade NPI producers grew more than 20 per cent, but environmental factor and cash crunch reduced output in some regions, especially in Shandong. The decline offset the output growth in other regions, narrowing the August’s output growth on a monthly basis.
China’s NPI output in Ni content totaled 261,200 tonnes during the first 8 months of the year, up 5.17 per cent on a yearly basis. In August, China’s high-grade NPI output was 330,000 tonnes or 30,000 tonnes in Ni content, up 17,600 tonnes or 6.23 per cent on a monthly basis. No medium-grade NPI output was reported. Output of low-grade NPI was 447,000 tonnes or 7,340 tonnes in Ni content in the month.
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