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China's nickel metal supply in 2019 is about 1.48 million tons

Aug. 13, 2020

From the perspective of China’s traditional nickel sulfide resource supply, China’s nickel resource supply is mainly composed of two parts, one is the supply of primary nickel, accounting for about 72.9% of the overall share; the other part is from the recycled nickel market, accounting for about 27.1% of the market share. When nickel prices are high, the output is around 100,000 tons. In recent years, with the use of laterite nickel ore in stainless steel, the proportion of recycled nickel in the market supply has dropped to less than 5%.

According to relevant data, in 2019, China's primary nickel mine output was 755,000 to 780,000 tons, equivalent to 150,000 to 155,000 tons of nickel metal.

China's nickel metal supply in 2019 is about 1.48 million tons

According to customs statistics, China imported 56.132 million tons of nickel ore and its concentrate in 2019, calculated based on the ratio of laterite nickel ore containing 1.75% nickel, nickel sulfide ore containing 4.5% nickel, and 70% of imported nickel ore. , The average nickel content of imported nickel ore is 2.6% and the water content is 5%~10%. According to the metal recovery rate of 90%~95%, the equivalent nickel metal content is estimated to be 850,000 to 1.2 million tons, with an average of 1.025 million tons (this is The theoretical value, since laterite nickel ore accounts for a relatively high proportion, the actual value may be closer to about 900,000 tons). In 2019, China imported 194,000 tons of refined nickel and alloys. The total amount of nickel imported by the two is about 1.22 million tons. The supply of primary nickel metal in China in 2019 is about 1.48 million tons. At the same time, according to industry survey data, China's domestic production of recycled nickel equivalent to nickel metal in 2019 is about 100,000 tons.


Therefore, a more accurate estimate of China's total nickel metal supply in 2019 is about 1.48 million tons. Among them, the supply of nickel sulfide ore is 345,000 to 350,000 tons (including 150,000 to 155,000 tons of domestic nickel and 194,000 tons of imported nickel), the supply of laterite nickel ore is about 1.025 million tons, and the supply of recycled nickel resources About 100,000 tons.


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