SHANGHAI, Nov 12 (SMM) – China's imports of nickel ore increased 48.84% from a month ago to stand at 8.92 million mt in September, according to the latest SMM calculations based on customs data under 8-digit HS codes.
Imports from the word’s top producer Indonesia surged to 3.31 million mt, up 94.26% from August, as Indonesian miners with export quotas accelerated shipments before the nickel ore export ban in 2020.
China took 5.28 million mt of nickel ore from the Philippines in September, a rise of 29.25% from a month ago, as September-October is the traditional peak shipment season from the Philippines ahead of the local rainy season from November.
According to SMM calculations, China’s nickel ore imports from other countries also climbed, by 75.34% month on month to 288,000 mt in September, buoyed by fears of a supply shortage caused by Indonesian export ban.
Greater imports will keep China’s nickel ore market well-supplied till the year-end, but a supply shortfall may intensify next year as Indonesia stops exporting nickel ore from 2020 and the rainy season till March 2020 will deter shipments from the Philippines.