World Bureau of Metal Statistics recently announced that the nickel market was in surplus during January to September 2020 with production exceeding apparent demand by 50 KT. In the whole of 2019, the calculated deficit was 27.6 KT. Reported stocks held in the LME at the end of September 2020 were 82.8 KT higher than at the end of the previous year. Refined production in January to September 2020 totalled 1691.7 KT and demand was 1641.5 KT.
Mine production during January to September was 1670.5 KT, 216 KT below the comparable 2019 total. Chinese smelter/refinery output fell by 125 KT compared with 2019 and apparent demand was 889.7 KT, 71 KT lower than in the previous year.
World apparent demand was 169 kt lower than the previous year. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes. Demand is measured on an apparent basis and it is likely that the full effects of national lockdowns have not been fully reflected in the trade statistics.
In September 2020, nickel smelter/refinery production was 205.6 KT and demand was 206.1 KT.