China’s nickel ore imports rose by 46pc to 5.99mn mt in November 2019 from 4.2mn mt prior year. Imports dropped 13pc from 6.85mn mt in October, according to China’s General Administration of Customs. Nickel pig iron imports in November rose by 150pc to 229,030mt from 92,753mt a year ago.
Chinese nickel ore imports from Indonesia rose to a 6-year high to 3.33mn mt in November. Most China-based buyers rushed to secure volumes ahead of a ban on Indonesian nickel exports starting January. Imports from Indonesia rose by 7pc from 1.37mn mt a year ago.
In September, Indonesia announced to a ban on nickel ore exports for two years from 2020. However, the government had imposed a temporary ban for two weeks in October triggered by an abrupt rise in exports to Southeast Asian countries. In the Jan-Nov period, Indonesia exported 29.34mn mt, while in November it exported 2.7mn mt of nickel ore, valued at $112mn, according to Taiwanese authority.
China imported 2.48mn mt of nickel ore from the Philippines in November, down 2.4pc from 2.53mn mt in November 2018. China also imported nickel ore from other major exporters New Cambodia and Australia.