SHANGHAI, Nov 26 (SMM) – China imported 6.85 million mt of nickel ore in October, down 23.2% from an all-time high of 8.92 million mt in September, according to customs data.
A decline of 36.1% in imports from the Philippines,which is the top supplier, primarily contributed to the sharp decline, as adverse weather affected cargo loading and shipping. About 3.38 million mt nickel ore was imported to China from the Philippines last month, down 10.35% compared to a year earlier.
Imports from Indonesia remained at high levels, as Chinese buyers scrambled to stockpile before the expedited ban on Indonesian nickel ore exports comes into force in January. China imported 3.11 million mt of nickel ore from Indonesia in October, shrinking 6.2% month on month but soaring 130% year on year.
China’s imports of nickel ore are set to extend their decline in November and December, as the Philippines enters the rainy season and as Indonesian authorities imposed a temporary ban on shipments late last month after discovering violations of export rules.
Indonesia has since allowed nine companies to resume exports until the end of the year, while determinations on other miners remain in limbo.