SHANGHAI, Apr 24 (SMM) – Indonesia is likely to export 22.5 million wmt of medium-and-high-grade nickel ore to China in 2018, according to SMM’s calculation.
As of April 2018, a total of 32.09 million wmt of nickel ore exports have been approved following the country eased its ban on ore exports in January 2017. SMM expects to see 8 million wmt more this year to be approved.
Theoretically, Indonesia could export 7.04 million wmt nickel ore to China in 2017, but the actual shipments stood at 4.1 million wmt, according to Chinese Customs.
The actual shipment volumes were far lower than the theoretical amount especially from late October to early November last year as Chinese buyers were bearish on nickel ore prices and were not keen to purchase. Deliveries stablised in 2018 but still failed to reach the maximum allowance, with actual shipments accounting for about 78% of the theoretical volume.
While we estimate the theoretical shipments to be 28.84 wmt this year as the peak season May-September is set to kick in, we expect actual deliveries to be 22.5 million wmt.
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