China sees lower nickel ore imports from the Philippines in December, Indonesia exports up
Nickel ore exports from the Philippines to China were expected to be 720,000 wmt, or 6,600 mt in Ni content, according to SMM research. This is down 76% from volumes seen in November.
The slump was mainly led by the raining season in Surigao region while shipments in Palawan and Zambales only rose slightly. Shipments from Tawi-Tawi region was stable.
On quality breakdown, seven vessels of high-grade nickel ore went to China last month, while four vessels had medium-grade ore and two vessels were loaded with low-grade material.
Indonesia, on the other hand, saw its nickel ore exports to China in December climb to 880,000 wmt in 16 shipments. This translated to 8,500 mt in Ni content, up over 60% from the previous month.
Of the 16 shipments, 14 of them were loaded with medium-grade nickel ore while the rest were low-grade ore.
We expect to see Indonesia export 18-20 vessels of nickel ore to China in January.