Nickel pig iron supplementary supply, consumption drag, nickel price in the second half of the year may not be strong

1、 Trend analysis


In the first half of 2020, the nickel price first fell and then rose. According to the data of the business association, in 2020, the nickel price was 113733.33 yuan / ton at the beginning of the year, and 103033.33 yuan / ton in the middle of the year, a decrease of 9.41% and a year-on-year decrease of 7.99%. The highest point in the first half of the year was 114983.33 yuan / ton on January 13, and the lowest point was 92116.67 yuan / ton on March 19, with an earthquake amplitude of 24.82%.


ferric sulfate (Poly ferric sulphate)

According to the current nickel comparison chart of the business community, the current trend of nickel in 2020 is basically the same, and most of the time, the spot price is higher than the main contract price. Near the middle of the year, the main basis is positive, which is bad for buying hedging.


2、 Market analysis


Shock drop (from January to late March): from January to March, due to the impact of the epidemic, domestic production and return to work were slow, and enterprises almost stagnated. In particular, the demand for downstream civil areas of terminals was obviously affected by the epidemic situation of coronavirus infection, including stainless steel products (building, decoration, tableware, equipment), electroplating (automobile and sanitary ware), battery (automobile, 3C digital), resulting in nickel price of 1 Fall again.


After a slight rebound (from late March to June) after entering the second quarter, with the resumption of production of domestic enterprises, Philippine nickel ore decreased, and the reduction in supply was more clear than that in the earlier period. The spot price of nickel pig iron stopped falling and became firm. Due to the improvement of consumption and the contraction of some supply links, the balance of supply and demand was greatly improved compared with the first quarter, and a small amount of warehouse removal could be realized, but the downstream was not rusty Due to inventory pressure, the price of steel is difficult to improve, and stainless steel plants are reluctant to reduce production significantly, which hinders the rebound momentum of nickel price, and nickel price rebound is relatively slow.


Import volume of nickel ore and concentrate from January to may 2020 (10000 tons)


Total of January February March April May

The import volume of nickel ore and its concentrate (10000 tons) 283.86153.72161 133.7168616.493

Compared with the previous year, 18.34% 40.91% – 42.30% – 65.80% 24.83% – 24.02%

As shown in the table above, China’s total import of nickel ore from January to may in 2020 is about 6.16493 million tons, a decrease of 24.02% year-on-year. As the first year of Indonesia’s complete ban on nickel ore export, domestic nickel ore import was affected. In addition, due to the epidemic situation, nickel ore from the Philippines was also suspended from shipment. The import volume of China’s two major laterite nickel ore importing countries dropped sharply, and the total domestic nickel mine import fell sharply. According to the data of the General Administration of customs, China’s import of nickel ores and concentrates in May was 1680734 tons, up 24.83% month on month and down 67.6% year on year. Among them, the Philippines is the largest supplier of China’s nickel ores and concentrates. China’s import volume from the Philippines in May was 1342841 tons, an increase of 22.4% month on month and a decrease of 60% year-on-year.


Trend of downstream stainless steel


Azodicarbonamide (AC foaming Agent)

According to the price monitoring of the business agency, in the first half of 2020, stainless steel will be restrained first and then increased, and then slightly weakened. At the beginning of the year, the stainless steel price was 13366.67 yuan / ton, with a small and medium-sized drop of 8.48% to 12233.33 yuan / ton. The lowest price in the year was 11358 yuan / ton on April 9, and the highest price was 12575 yuan / ton on May 13, with an earthquake amplitude of 10.71%. Affected by the epidemic situation, the stainless steel market was almost stagnant until March. However, the output of stainless steel plants was still low in March, and the surplus supply of nickel pig iron was still obvious. Although the delivery of stainless steel was improved, the trend of accumulating stock has not stopped due to the large amount of overstocked goods in the early stage. In the second quarter, due to inventory pressure, the price of stainless steel was difficult to improve, and stainless steel factories were unwilling to reduce production significantly. On the surface, there was support for nickel demand. However, in this consumption that could not be transmitted to the terminal, it was difficult for stainless steel prices to rise.


Domestic import of nickel pig iron increased greatly


Due to the continuous shortage of nickel ore supply, the import volume of domestic nickel pig iron increased greatly. With the continuous production of local NPI projects in Indonesia, the shortage of nickel ore supply will be made up by Indonesian ferronickel. In 2020, the increment of Indonesia’s NPI will make up for China’s reduction, and the total amount will maintain growth, but the growth rate will drop to 15%. From January to June 2020, Indonesia’s cumulative output of ferronickel is 254200 tons, while that of China is 249900 tons. Indonesia’s output has been reversed and become the largest producer of ferronickel. In addition, the output of stainless steel is basically stable and the demand changes little, so the supply of ferronickel will be relaxed again.


To sum up, although the supply of nickel ore is tight, but the supply of nickel pig iron is short. In the second half of 2020, the nickel basic surface is empty, the surplus of nickel pig iron exceeds the expectation, and the consumption side of pure nickel recovers slightly, and the overall surplus will still be partial. However, the low nickel price also has support. The imported laterite nickel ore price is high, and the stainless steel production is generally stable. Therefore, the nickel price in the second half of 2020 may be in the form of Now a small range of weak shocks.

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