Surge in China’s refined nickel imports continues in July

Last month we noted that China’s refined nickel imports increased a staggering 250% in June to 38,545 mt from 11,014 mt in June 2014, and stated that China may well continue to increase refined nickel imports over the rest of 2015. This trend was confirmed in July, with China customs data showing the country imported 46,362 mt of refined nickel in July, up 20% on month and up 162% on year from 17,666 mt in July 2014. In June, we believed the China increase was partly due to the registration of  three nickel brands by Norilsk Nickel for delivery against the Shanghai Futures Exchange nickel contract that was launched in March. We noted that participants had been shipping Russian material to China in advance of the Norilsk registration in June, and this is confirmed by the graph above, which shows imports of Russian refined nickel to China make up a large proportion of China’s total refined nickel imports. China’s imports of ferronickel also remained high in July at 59,115 mt, down marginally on-month from 62,511 mt in June, but up 216% from 18,722 mt in July 2014. China also continued to import much of its nickel ore and concentrate from … continue reading

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Source: CTRM Center

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