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World Nickel market in 23.2k tonnes deficit in Q1 2019: WBMS

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LONDON (Scrap Register): World nickel market was in deficit during January to March 2019 with apparent demand exceeding production by 23200 tonnes. In the whole of 2018 the calculated deficit was 90000 tonnes, according to latest data from the World Bureau of Metal Statistics (WBMS).

WBMS has revised its estimated demand for Indonesia for the last three years which has changed the market balances for the period. Reported stocks held in the LME at the end of March 2019 were 23900 tonnes lower than at the end of the previous year. Refined production in January to March 2019 totalled 512000 tonnes and demand was 535300 tonnes.

Mine production during January to March was 534800 tonnes, 45000 tonnes above the comparable 2018 total. Chinese smelter/refinery output increased by 14000 compared with 2018 and apparent demand was 16000 tonnes higher than in the previous year.

World apparent demand was 10000 tonnes higher than the previous year. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes.

In March 2019, nickel smelter/refinery production was 177700 tonnes and consumption was 180700 tonnes.

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