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China's 2019 nickel output to rise 15% on year 800,000 mt: CNIA

Hong Kong — China's 2019 refined nickel output is forecast to rise 15% year on year to 800,000 mt, while demand is expected to edge up 1% to 1.3 million mt, China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association said in its nickel report Wednesday.

The country's cobalt output is seen up 10% year on year to 90,000 mt and the demand is expected to increase this year by 7% to 70,000 mt.

CNIA said despite the complex and rapidly changing environment, the mainland nickel and cobalt operations overall stayed stable this year.

State-run metals consultancy Beijing Antaike sees a future reshuffle in nickel demand by the downstream sectors, with the stainless steel and nickel alloy share in nickel demand seen falling to 66% and 8%, respectively by 2025 from 76% and 9% in 2018. But the battery sector's share of demand is seen rising to 17% by 2025 from 4% in 2018, its data showed.

Meanwhile, CNIA sees China's 2020 magnesium demand to rise 8.3% year on year to 520,000 mt from 480,000 mt in 2019, citing annual compounded demand growth of 6.9% over 2015-18, with the metallurgical and processing sectors, accounting for 66% and 14% of total magnesium demand in the past years. The metal and processing sectors had compounded magnesium demand growth of 7% and 6.3% over 2015-18, its data showed.

CNIA said despite the processing sector posting demand contraction last year, the transport sector would still enjoy positive demand growth in the years to come. It said during the 13th Five Year plan period (2016-20), there would be evident demand for magnesium diecast, and magnesium extrusion products in the railway, aeronautical and car applications.

Looking ahead, in the 14th Five Year Plan period (2021-25), CNIA sees the domestic electric new energy car sector and the 5G telecom sector to provide vast growth potentials in the mainland magnesium sector.

-- Joshua Leung, newsdesk@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Debiprasad Nayak, debiprasad.nayak@spglobal.com