The global nickel market reported a deficit in the first five months of the year with demand exceeding production by 42,700mt on an annual basis, according to the World Bureau of Metal Statistic (WBMS). The latest data compares to a surplus of 92,700mt reported for the whole of 2020.
From January-May, global refined nickel output totalled 1.05mn mt while refined nickel demand stood at 1.09mn mt. Global nickel mine production increased by 173,000mt to 1.06mn mt in the five month period compared to January-May 2020. Chinese smelter/refinery production in the same timeframe, grew by 44,000mt while demand increased by 123,000mt to 564,900 mt on an annual basis.
Global nickel demand increased by 229,000mt in the first five months of the year compared to the same period last year. In May, global nickel refinery and smelter production stood at 228,500mt while demand tallied at 239,3000mt, WBMS reported.