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The discrepancy between the volume of production and consumption of nickel in the current year will fall slightly

3 June 2013

The difference between the volumes of nickel production and the rate of its consumption in 2013 is slightly reduced. This forecast was made by analysts of one of the world's largest precious and non-ferrous metals producers — Russian Mining and Metallurgical Company (MMC), «Norilsk Nickel». According to them, the amount of Ni, which put manufacturers on the global market at the end of this year will be approximately 1.84 million. Tons (4.7% more than the same period last year). A level of consumption will grow (mainly — due to the activation of stainless steel producers) by 5.3%, rising to 1.77 million tonnes… Thus, the excess of the market will continue, but it will be a little more modest rate than in 2012 (a decrease to the level of 0.07 million. Tons).

We recall that in recent years for nickel was characterized by sustainable growth in metal inventories in warehouses. So in 2010, the market experienced a shortage of the resource (at the level of 70 thousand tons.); in 2011 the difference between the volumes of production and consumption has shifted to a zero balance, and in 2012 (as a result of unreasonable growth performance indicators) on the trading floors of nickel accumulated surplus in the amount of 0.08 million. tons.

Earlier it was reported that a marked deceleration in demand for refined nickel was provoked by the substitution in the pure metal metallurgy alloys by alloying nickel pig iron (Nickel Pig Iron or abbreviated — NPI), which was successfully practiced by the leaders of the stainless market — Chinese producers of special steels. In the short term — experts believe MMC — such replacement will cease to be profitable. As the article additional costs for the production of NPI is constantly growing, and the main supplier of nickel ore to China — Indonesia — limit the export of raw materials from the country in the near future a «substitute» will cost US $ 9−12 per pound. Therefore, buying a low grade ferronickel lose existing economic attractiveness for metallurgists, and will return to the refined nickel former «popularity».

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