SHANGHAI, Dec 1 (SMM)—China's refined nickel imports totalled 8,414 mt in October, down 37.65% on the month and 29.09% on the year. The import of unwrought unalloyed nickel with the Ni and Co total content over 99.99% and Co content less than 0.005% dropped 93 mt from September to 762 mt. The imports of other unwrought unalloyed nickel dropped 4,157 mt to 7,652 mt on the month, accounting for 90.94% of the total import. China's import of refined nickel from January to October cumulated 106,000 mt, down 37.98% on the year.
Since October, with the closing of long-term contracts of Russian nickel and the shut down of import channels, the import of Russian nickel dropped to around 2,000 mt, the lowest level over the past half year, and the imports are expected to remain at such low volume in November and December. In November, the weekly average import of nickel briquettes stood at 500-600 mt, all for the downstream long-term contracts. Traders of overseas business are actively signing bulk orders in Q4. Large amount of Norwegian nickel and Sumitomo nickel are expected to come into China after customs clearance.
Social inventories: In Shanghai, some Sumitomo nickel and 400-500 mt of Russian nickel have arrived recently. Only 100-200 mt of Jinchuan nickel sheets arrived due to the adverse weather in North China. SHFE inventories have reached a yearly bottom amid the low receipt and high delivery. About 600 mt of nickel briquettes have entered the warehouse for the downstream long-term contracts, and the current inventories stood at 1,600-1,700 mt, balanced from the delivery. Inventories in Jiangsu dropped 220 mt due to the deliveries of Bofeng nickel.
On the other hand, inventories in Liaoning, Tianjin, and Guangdong are rising. Large amount of Sumitomo nickel has arrived in Guangdong, but only around 100 mt was delivered to plants. Large amount of Xinjiang nickel has been sent to Liaoning, and a lot of Russian nickel has arrived in Tianjing for stocking. Therefore, total inventories in original three regions dropped 1,720 mt to 29,900 mt, and total inventories in original six regions declined 1,579 mt to 30,988 mt.
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