SHANGHAI, Aug 27 (SMM) – China is likely to produce 400,000 mt, in metal content, of high-grade nickel pig iron (NPI) within this year, SMM expects.
Domestic production of high-grade NPI picked up after nationwide environmental reviews from May to June. Output is likely to rise 10% from July to 32,800 mt in nickel content this month, according to an SMM preliminary estimate. Resumed operations in Inner Mongolia and Jiangsu province accounted for the increase.
In September, NPI plants in Guangdong province are expected to return to operations after their solid waste disposal systems are upgraded, and this will bolster domestic production to 35,000 mt in metal content, SMM estimates.
However, some plants in Inner Mongolia that failed to pass environmental checks in the previous round of review could be shut permanently by the end of October. Currently, they are producing to deplete in-plant stocks of raw materials.
Market participants should monitor the commissioning of new capacity at Shandong Xinhai, China’s largest producer of high-grade NPI. The company plans to expand annual capacity by 60,000 mt in nickel content, with eight more submerged arc furnaces of 48,000KVA.
SMM expects six submerged arc furnaces to be commissioned after October, within this year, bringing the company’s overall annual capacity to 165,000 mt in nickel content by the end of 2018. The remaining two furnaces are set to commission at the start of 2019.