According to a new research report published by Reportlinker.com, the global nickel output increased 10% year-on-year (YoY) to 1.589 Mt in 2011 due to the VALE’s OnçaPuma and Anglo American’s Barro Alto nickel projects put into production and an enhanced output of nickel pig iron in China.
The report has estimated that the nickel output will increase in 2012 through the continuous production of the global nickel projects and establishment of new capacities. China’s nickel output amounted to 326,000 t in 2010, which includes 161,000 t of nickel pig iron, and the output reached about 446,000 t in 2011. In 2011, China’s stainless steel output decreased by 11.9% YoY, which facilitated the increased consumption of nickel. Consequently, the global nickel consumption improved by 17.1% YoY.
The report titled, ‘Global and China Nickel Industry Report, 2011-2012,’ revealed that the nickel pig iron market in China has shown strong growth in recent years and this greatly contributes to advancements in the industry. The first one is that stainless steel businesses use larger amounts of nickel pig iron, the proportion is sometimes as high as 50% or even more. The second is the advancements in the nickel pig iron smelting technology. The laterite nickel ore that are used in the nickel pig iron production in China is imported from various other countries like Australia, Philippines and Indonesia. The nickel pig iron is used as an alternative to metallic nickel.
Major manufacturers of nickel in China and worldwide include Xinjiang Xinxin Mining Industry, JinlinJi En Nickel Industry, Jinchuan Group and Norilsk Nickel and Sale. Jinchuan Group is the leading nickel manufacturer in China and the company’s output reached 130,000 tons in 2011.