The Philippines has replaced Indonesia as the biggest nickel ore exporter to China in 2015, as the result of an export ban on unprocessed nickel ore imposed in Indonesia.
In the first two months, China’s nickel ore imports from the Philippines jumped 25% year on year (y/y) to 1.97 million tonnes, accounting for 94% of total imports of the non-ferrous ore essential for the metallurgical industry, according to China’s customs statistics.
China’s nickel ore imports also slumped 81% y/y to 2.1 million tonnes. The average prices more than doubled to CNY1,052.7 (USD169.8) per tonne in February.
During the same period, China received no imports of nickel ores from Indonesia, which was the top exporter to China before 2013, when Indonesia imposed an export ban on the unprocessed ores.
China imported 42,000 tonnes of the ores from Australia during the period, up 2% y/y.
In 2014, nickel ore imports of China dropped 32.9% y/y to 47.8M tonnes.
From an import origin country perspective, the non-ferrous metal imports, including those of bauxite, from Indonesia slumped 78.1% y/y to 19.5M tonnes in 2014.
The Philippines has become the top exporter of non-ferrous metals to China with 36.8M tonnes in 2014.