12th Rare Earth Summit

May 27-28, 2021
Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

11th Aluminum Raw Materials Summit

May 20-21, 2021
Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

9th Magnesium Summit

April 15-16, 2021
Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

13th World InBiGeGa Forum

March 25-26, 2021
Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

7th World Antimony Forum

June 13-14, 2019
Changsha, Hunan, China

7th Refractory & Abrasive Materials Summit 2019

May 23-24, 2019
Qingdao, Shandong, China

10th Aluminum Raw Materials Summit

May 16-17, 2019
Zhengzhou, Henan, China

11th Rare Earth Summit

May 9-10, 2019
Qingdao, Shandong, China

8th Magnesium Summit

April 11-12, 2019
Zhuhai, Guangdong, China

12th World InBiGeGa Forum

March 14-15, 2019
Zhuhai, Guangdong, China

6th World Manganese & Selenium Forum

May 21-22, 2018
Hainan Sanya, China
Zhu Dexiang: Nickel market hard to recover soon due to oversupply
----Interview with Zhu Dexiang, CEO of Shanghai Lide Metals Trade Co., Ltd
Shanghai Lide Metal Trade Co., Ltd., (www.lidejinshu.com) is located in Shanghai, a city with well-developed metal trading. It specializes in multiple nonferrous metals such as nickel of Jinchuan brand, nickel of Norilsk brand, cobalt of Jinchuan brand, cathode copper, nickel sulfate and nickel chloride and trades metals at home and abroad. The company sets up a large-scale supply-demand network with warehouses in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Tianjin, Chongqing, Chengdu and Changsha.

Asian Metal: Thank you for accepting this interview, Mr. Zhu. As we all know, your company has been involved in nickel trade for many years. Nickel market was gloomy in 2013, How do you think about nickel market now?

Zhu: There are many reasons for the gloomy nickel market. First, stainless steel plants use ferronickel instead of nickel cathode. As smelting technology of ferronickel is more and more mature and iron is free, ferronickel demand from stainless steel plants increases gradually which has increased to 75%, but the demand for nickel cathode from stainless steel is decreasing gradually. Second, many smelters expanded nickel cathode output in 2013, such as Jien, Xinjiang Xinxin. Third, China attaches more importance to protect environment, and there is no improvement of demand from non-steel industry seen, so that the supply of nickel cathode surpasses the demand largely.

Asian Metal: Please introduce your company’s marketing strategies to deal with the weak nickel market.

Zhu: Firstly, strengthen the learning. We would strengthen the judgment and analysis of the market, using futures to carry trades. Secondly, expand the upstream supply channel and develop the national consumers market actively. Finally, we would enhance our service to our customers. We provide home delivery service taking advantage of our long contract with upstream enterprises.

Asian Metal: With the excess supply of nickel cathode and the limited demand from end-users, nickel smelters expanded the output. What’s your opinion?

Zhu: Most nickel cathode smelters are state-owned enterprises shouldering social responsibilities. They get protection and support from our country, so that the output cannot be reduced in short terms. Nickel cathode will be excess supplied seriously in middle term. On the other hand, smelters could reduce cost by increasing output.

Asian Metal: Stainless steel mills purchase ferronickel actively. What’s the direction of nickel cathode in the future?

Zhu: After all, ferronickel cannot replace nickel cathode completely. The usage of nickel cathode decreased in the production of 304 serious of stainless steel, but the usage from high-end stainless steel still can't be replaced at present. Therefore, the dosage of nickel cathode from high-end stainless steel and precision alloy will be a leap in the future.

Asian Metal: Nickel salt such as nickel sulfate and nickel chloride is also the main product of the company. How is the nickel salt market now?

Zhu: Ports. The demand of nickel salt decreased obviously this year. Nickel salt is mainly used for surface treatment industry and battery raw material industry . As real estate construction reduced this year, the demand of nickel sulfate from hardware plants decreased. The demand of nickel salt is stable generally, but supply is still beyond the demand.

Asian Metal: Nickel prices trend is not very clear at present, how do you see the future nickel prices?

Zhu: With the recovery of stainless steel industry, ferronickel price is still firm and ferronickel price could support nickel price. Nickel price could consolidate around RMB100,000/t. The bottom will improve gradually.

Asian Metal: Thank you again and wish your company flourish!