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Japan's Exports Of Nickel-Contained Raw Materials For China, Keeping Level Of Fe-Ni Shipments
= Exports Of Ni-Based Stainless Scrap Decreased To 1/5 Of Peak As Retreated Considerably
According to the statistics released by the Ministry of Finance, the quantities of ferro-nickel exported from Japan to the four countries in Asia in the first 4 months (January - April) of 2010 were as per the tables (1) and (2) attached hereto. Japan has succeeded in having developed the market for ferro-nickel in China and, as a matter of fact, Japan exported approximately 31,500 tons of nickel in ferro-nickel in the calender year (January - December) of 2009. The exports of ferro-nickel from Japan to China in January - April of 2010 had been still maintained on a high level.

Namely, Japan exported approximately 10,000 tons of nickel in ferro-nickel in January - April of 2010, having shown a power to keep a scale of 30,000 tons per annum on Ni content base. In January - April of 2010, Japan exported approximately 3,767 tons of nickel in ferro-nickel for China and the exports of ferro-nickel from Japan to China substantially contributed to the whole export.

On the other hand, the exports of nickel-based stainless steel scrap from Japan to China enjoyed a boom in the first half of 2009 and Japan actually exported this scrap for China on a pace of 10,000 tons per month in that period. However, the quantity of nickel-based stainless steel scrap exported from Japan to China in January - March quarter of 2010 had a considerable decline from that as seen in a peak of the exports and Japan exported this scrap for China 1,798 tons per month on the average in that quarter, having shrunk to a 20% of the scale achieved in a booming time.

Both of ferro-nickel and nickel-based stainless steel scrap are raw materials for production of stainless steel but there is a remarkable differential between these two materials. When the reason for this differential is investigated, it is thought to be a question of whether ferro-nickel or nickel-based stainless steel scrap has been influenced by nickel-contained pig iron produced in China or not. China is anticipated to produce nickel-contained pig iron on a scale of 180,000 tons per annum on NI content base in the calender year of 2010, which will be nearly double of the output (95,000 - 96,000 tons) in the preceding year of 2009.

The grades of nickel-contained pig iron produced in China are generally classified to two types of <> nickel- contained pig iron, containing 5 - 6% of Ni, and <> low grade ferro-nickel, containing 10% of Ni, and both of them are important raw materials to produce stainless steel in China. The ferro-nickel produced in Japan and exported for China contains approximately 20% of Ni and, by taking into account of a differential of Ni contents, ferro-nickel produced in Japan and nickel-contained pig iron produced in China are being sold separately.

On the other hand, nickel-based stainless steel scrap contains approximately 7% of Ni and, in view of Ni contents in both materials, nickel-based stainless steel scrap has to compete with nickel-contained pig iron on sales. On the basis of price for nickel-contained pig iron, a theoretical price of nickel-based stainless steel scrap is calculated to be a lower level than US$2,000 per ton CIF China, which is not payable for the cost to export this scrap from Japan, but this negative situation for Japanese exporters is still continuing.

For a reference, Japan exported 106,315 tons of stainless steel scrap for South Korea in the calender year of 2009. Also, Japan exported 30,249 tons of stainless steel scrap for South Korea in January - March quarter of 2010, having maintained a similar scale to that in 2009. Since South Korea has taken a stable attitude for purchases of stainless steel scrap, there is a big difference between South Korea and China on purchases of stainless steel scrap from Japan.
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last modified : Tue 08 Jun, 2010 [10:18]
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