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The peak demand season is coming, can nickel price break through the shock pattern

09-01 six hundred and seventy-seven

Since the third quarter, the trend of nickel price has been under pressure, but the global refined nickel inventory removal and battery driven logic have become the market consensus, and the price of nickel market presents interval fluctuation pattern under the interweaving of long and short.

According to the latest data, the global primary nickel supply increased by 9% in 2018 / 2019, but the increase was mainly contributed by Indonesia / China NPI (secondary nickel), accounting for nearly 90% of the increase, while the primary nickel decreased by nearly 20000 Mt. The supply and demand gap is due to the rapid expansion of Indonesia / China stainless steel production capacity and battery industry, which is expected to expand from 106000 tons in 2017 to 124000 tons. In the first half of 2018, Vale's nickel production was 124800 tons, with a year-on-year decrease of 12600 tons, with a decrease rate of nearly 10%; for other large nickel enterprises, except Glencore's output increased by 21% (only 11000 tons), the output growth of other large nickel enterprises, such as Norilsk, Jinchuan and BHP Billiton, was not more than 3%, and it is expected that the global output growth in the second half of the year will still be small. Corresponding to the limited increase in production of nickel enterprises, it is the trend of continuous de stocking of refined nickel in the world. At present, the total inventory of Shanghai and lunlun is less than 260000 tons, which is the historical low level. The warehouse receipts of the last period in China were less than 13000 tons, a decrease of 72% compared with the 46000 tons level at the beginning of the year. Although the import of nickel has not been able to increase significantly since July, the import of nickel has not been able to increase significantly since July.


In terms of nickel ore supply, in mid August, Indonesia's Ministry of energy cancelled the export quotas of more than 4.2 million tons for three nickel mining companies, causing market concerns about ore supply in the fourth quarter. Among them, Pt Surya saga Utama (i.e., Blackspace) quota of 3 million tons was cancelled. However, the actual situation is that Blackspace has only exported 51000 tons since the beginning of the year, and a large number of quotas are virtually nonexistent. The other two companies have never shipped goods. As the market's quota and export situation of the above companies have been digested as expected, the impact of the withdrawal of quota on Indonesia nickel ore shipment is limited. Coincidentally, at the end of the month, the Ministry of land and resources of the Philippines informed the domestic mines that half of the equipment would be used for vegetation restoration, and the production from September to October would be affected. According to the SMM survey, the static recoverable life of nickel ore in the Philippines may be only about 6 years. Coupled with the strict control of the president and the Ministry of environment for many years, it is difficult to increase the production of nickel ore in the Philippines in the medium and long term.

In terms of ferronickel, the second round of environmental supervision was launched again in late August. At present, there are supervision teams stationed in Shandong and Jiangsu regions, and it is expected to cover Inner Mongolia by the end of the month. It is understood that large steel mills and ferronickel smelting enterprises in Jiangsu have received environmental protection notices. However, after the rectification in recent years, most of the small and medium-sized backward production capacity has been eliminated, and the remaining ferronickel enterprises have basically passed the environmental protection standard, so the actual impact of supervision on their production is small. According to SMM statistics, the domestic production of high nickel pig iron in August was about 32800 metal tons, with a month on month increase of 10%. The production in September is expected to further increase to 35000 metal tons. In addition, it is necessary to pay attention to the news that Shandong Xinhai will put into operation six submerged arc furnaces in October, with a production capacity of 165000 metal tons in the year, and the remaining two submerged arc furnaces will be put into operation in early 2019.

In addition, the Ministry of Commerce launched a one-year anti-dumping investigation on stainless steel originating in Indonesia and other countries in late July. It is expected that the total amount of stainless steel flowing into China will decrease in the fourth quarter, and Indonesia may increase the proportion of overseas market sales. Moreover, the domestic enterprises that have built factories in Indonesia have their own ferronickel production lines. At that time, they can transport ferronickel back to China, or sell ferronickel directly or produce stainless steel with ferronickel. Therefore, the supply shortage pattern of nickel pig iron in the fourth quarter will be greatly alleviated. Under the loose price of ferronickel, the economy of nickel plate will be enhanced compared with that of nickel plate, which may have a certain impact on nickel price.

Overall, the supply and demand pattern of nonferrous medium nickel is relatively strong, and it is still optimistic in the medium and long term. However, the short-term risks still need to be paid attention to. One is that the continuous decline of domestic nickel plate warehouse receipts will accelerate the pace of Russian nickel added in the previous period as delivery products, which will have an impact on the short-term nickel price; the other point is that the demand for nickel in electric vehicles is expected, and automobile subsidies are inclined to high energy density and low energy consumption vehicles, but subject to the technical level, the mass production technology maturity of high nickel battery is low, and the nickel for battery is low It's still going to take time. Since the beginning of the year, the nickel price has increased by 14%, especially by 26% in the second quarter. It is expected that the focus of nickel price will rise in the fourth quarter, but the impact of explosive growth on the peak of the year needs further observation, and the space above may be relatively limited.

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