SHANGHAI, Nov 21 (SMM) – China imported 28,400 mt of nickel unwrought, not alloyed in November, up 21.8% month on month and 9.4% year on year, showed data from China Customs.
This grew imports in January-November to 225,700 mt, standing 22.2% higher than the same period last year.
Data also showed that some 25,100 mt of November’s imports entered the domestic spot market and the rest was parked in the bonded warehouses.
In October, China’s imports of nickel unwrought, not alloyed surged 35% from September as cargoes that were shipped in September when an import arbitrage window was open for long arrived.
Output of stainless steel was expected to grow in September-October, which is a traditional high season. This also boosted nickel imports in October.
Given fewer arbitrage opportunities in October, we expected imports of nickel unwrought, not alloyed to fall to 17,000-19,000 mt in November.
November’s nickel imports came in higher than October’s as growing stainless steel output, low domestic stocks and no signs of substantial nickel pig iron (NPI) supply growth in 2018 added to optimism among October’s importers.
Of November’s nickel imports, 20,300 mt was from Russia, up 7,430 mt or 57.55% month on month.