Chinese nickel pig iron Production Review and Outlook
In January 2024, the Chinese nickel pig iron production was 28400 nickel tons and 647000 physical tons, with a month on month decrease of 6.57% in physical tons and a year-on-year decrease of 4.18% in metal tons. Although nickel ore prices have recently returned to the normal range, according to SMM research, most domestic nickel iron smelting enterprises have completed their raw material reserves for this year, resulting in Chinese nickel iron enterprises still being in a loss making stage. The demand continued to be weak before the year, and the price of nickel iron continued to operate at a low level. In this context, the total production of nickel pig iron in China declined during January 2024. It is expected that the national nickel pig iron production in February 2024 will be around 26100 nickel tons, with a month on month decrease of 8.13% in metal production compared to January. According to SMM research, it is currently approaching the Spring Festival period, and some companies are in the shutdown stage. In addition, some companies also have maintenance plans during February. In summary, it is expected that nickel iron production will decrease during February.
Indonesian nickel pig iron Production Review and Outlook
In January 2024, Indonesia's nickel pig iron production reached 121900 nickel tons, a month on month decrease of 5.3% and a year-on-year increase of 19.9%. In 2024, the cumulative production was 121900 nickel tons, with a year-on-year increase of 19.9%. The decrease in Indonesian high nickel pig iron production is basically in line with SMM's expectations. Due to the impact of production scheduling tasks, some Indonesian high nickel iron smelters had high operating rates in December, but after entering January, the operating rates returned to normal levels. In addition, due to the slow progress of RKAB approval at the Indonesian mining end, most iron mills are too pessimistic, and many companies have voluntarily lowered their operating rates for the current month, with production still showing downward expectations in January. Secondly, during February, due to the impact of the Spring Festival, the growth rate of the new energy and traditional stainless steel sectors is relatively limited, so it is expected that high nickel ice and NPI prices will not rebound significantly. It is expected that the driving force for NPI to turn high nickel ice will be weak. In summary, it is expected that the production of high nickel pig iron will remain stable at 120900 nickel tons in February, a month on month decrease of 0.86%.
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