Data from the General Administration of Customs shows that China's nickel ore imports in August were 4.34 million mt, down 0.52% YoY and 24.92% YoY. From the historical data, generally speaking, China's nickel ore imports will grow significantly in the third quarter. However, the hike was not observed in the last three months when the monthly nickel ore imports were always around 4.3 million mt.
The reason might lie in domestic NPI plants suffering intensive pressure from high cost after NPI prices fell earlier, and the demand for nickel ore contracted in light of controlled production. Meanwhile, the poor weather conditions in supplying countries also weighed on their supplies to China.