SHANGHAI, Feb 8 (SMM)—China’s NPI output rose 3.27% from December to 38,600 mt Ni in January. This included 31,600 mt Ni of high-grade NPI, up 5.74% on the month, and 7,000 mt Ni of low-grade NPI, down 6.58% month on month. Strong demand from steel makers and sufficient raw materials inventories encouraged a large-scale NPI plant in east China to ramp up production, which contributed to the sharp rise in high-grade NPI output in January. #200 stainless steel mills in east and south China halted production for maintenance, which led to the steep fall in low-grade NPI output.
SMM expects China’s NPI output to fall 6.86% on the month to 35,900 mt Ni in February. Output of high-grade NPI is likely to shrink 6.51% to 29,500 mt Ni, while that of low-grade NPI to decline 8.45% to 6,400 mt Ni.