SHANGHAI, Oct 13 (SMM) — China's NPI output rose 2.91% from August to 46,000 mt Ni in September, but was 12.74% lower than a year earlier. This included 38,600 mt Ni of high-grade NPI, up 3.67% on the month, and 7,400 mt Ni of low-grade NPI, up 0.83% month on month. High prices of high-grade NPI prompted some plants to ramp up production. This, coupled with new capacities coming online, accounted for the increase in high-grade NPI output in September, in spite of a tight nickel ore supply. Output of low-grade NPI was largely unchanged from a month ago as some #200 stainless steel makers slightly raised output.
China's NPI output
SMM expects China's NPI output to fall 2% on the month, and 13.9% on the year, to 45,100 mt Ni in October. Output of high-grade NPI is likely to shrink 3.04% to 37,400 mt Ni as its high prices drive steelmakers to increase use of other raw materials, and as some NPI plants will halt production as they are running out of nickel ore. Output of low-grade NPI is expected to rise 3.39% to 7,700 mt Ni in October due to longer operating days.