SHANGHAI, Sep 20 (SMM) - It is reported that the Western countries continued to import nickel from Russia, unaffected by the sanctions. Since this March, the amount of imported nickel has been rising. Russia accounts for about 10% of global nickel production, and its largest company, Nornickel, provides about 15-20% of the world's battery-grade nickel production. The growth rate of imported Russian nickel in the US saw the largest growth. Data showed that nickel imports from Russia to the United States increased 70% from March to June this year. During the same time, that figure stood at 22% in the European Union.
According to SMM statistics, EU countries imported a total of 14,247 mt of nickel from ussia from March to May 2021, and from March to May this year, the total amount of imports reached 14,032 mt, a year-on-year decrease of 1.5%. The United States imported a total of 1,740 mt of Russian nickel in this March-May, up 51% from 1,151 mt during the same period of the previous year. China imported a total of 5,420 mt of Russian nickel, a year-on-year increase of 27.4% from 4,255 mt. Judging from the proportion of nickel imported from Russia by various countries, the EU countries took up a relatively large share, with 41.18% during March and May this year, down from 71.28% in the previous year. This fact is in line with expectations because the LME Rotterdam warehouse is located in the Netherlands, which drives the EU countries to import more nickel from Russia. The second largest importer of Russian nickel is China. According to SMM data, China’s imports of Russian nickel accounted for 19.96% of Russia’s total nickel exports in March-May 2021, and the proportion rose to 21.77% in March-May of this year. The third is the United States, whose imports accounted for 5.96% of the total exported Russian nickel from March to May 2021, and 19.22% from March to May of the following year. Therefore, based on the above data analysis, it can be drawn that although the United States significantly increased its imports of Russian nickel from March to May 21, the specific increase stood at only 589 mt due to limited demand. At the same time, China's imports of Russian nickel only increased by 27.4% year-on-year, but its huge demand for Russian nickel contributed to the actual increase of 1,165 mt.