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China nickel sulphate imports rise on EV battery demand

29 Jan 2018 14:02 GMT
China nickel sulphate imports rise on EV battery demand

Beijing, 29 January (Argus) — Growth in electric vehicle production has increased demand for battery materials leading to a sharp rise in imports of nickel sulphate last year.

China imported 8,261t of nickel sulphate in 2017, up by 55pc from 5,315t a year earlier, customs data show. December imports surged by 217pc to 1,224t, from 387t in the same month of 2016.

Nickel increases the power density of lithium-ion batteries, extending the range of electric vehicles which also increases the level of government subsidy available.

India was the largest importer, supplying 3,325t of nickel sulphate in 2017, up from only 20t the previous year. Shipments from Taiwan soared by 254pc year on year to 2,545t. Imports from Belgium rose by 47pc to 878t.

Imports are likely to continue rising this year because Beijing has replaced the 5pc tax on nickel sulphate imports with a provisional 2pc import duty.

Chinese nickel sulphate production is forecast to reach 470,000t this year, up from 440,000t in 2017.

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