Which Country Imports the Most Nickel Ores and Concentrates in the World?

Uranium And Thorium Ores May 28, 2018
Author: Anna Sergeeva
Market Analyst

In 2016, the amount of nickel ore imported worldwide amounted to 42M tonnes, descending by -8.9% against the previous year figure. Overall, nickel ore imports continue to indicate a strong growth. The pace of growth was the most pronounced in 2011, when import increased by 67% year-to-year. Global nickel ore import peaked of 81M tonnes in 2013; however, from 2014 to 2016, it failed to regain its strength.

In value terms, nickel ore imports stood at $2.5B in 2016. In general, nickel ore imports continue to indicate a deep drop. In that year, global nickel ore imports attained its maximum level of $7B. From 2012 to 2016, growth of global nickel ore imports failed to regain its strength.

Top Nickel Ore Importing Countries in the World

1. China (1,527.7 million USD)

2. Japan (185.8 million USD)

3. South Korea (147.7 million USD)

4. Ukraine (36.0 million USD)

5. Macedonia (24.4 million USD)

Nickel Ore Imports By Country

China (32M tonnes) prevails in nickel ore imports structure, resulting at 32M tonnes, which was near 77% of total imports in 2016. Japan (3.7M tonnes) ranks second globally in nickel ore imports with a 9% share, following South Korea (8%). The following importers - Ukraine (1.4M tonnes), and Macedonia (730K tonnes) together made up 5% of total imports.

Imports into China increased at an average annual rate of +8.4% from 2007 to 2016. At the same time, South Korea (+433.1%), and Ukraine (+9.7%) displayed positive paces of growth. Moreover, South Korea emerged as the fastest growing importer/exporter in the world, with a CAGR of +433.1% from 2007-2016. By contrast, Japan (-1.5%), and Macedonia (-1.9%) illustrated a downward trend over the same period. From 2007 to 2016, the share of Ukraine, South Korea, and China decreased by -1.9%, -7.9%, and -39.8% percentage points, while the shares of the other countries remained relatively stable throughout the analyzed period.

In value terms, China ($1.5B) constitutes the largest market for imported nickel ore worldwide, making up 60% of global imports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by Japan ($186M), with the share of 7% of global imports. It was followed by South Korea, with the share of 6%.

In China, nickel ore imports decreased by an average annual rate of -5.0% over the period from 2007-2016. The remaining importing countries recorded the following average annual rates: Japan (-12.9% per year) and South Korea (+143.8% per year).

Nickel Ore Import Prices By Country

The average nickel ore import price stood at $61 per tonne in 2016, reducing by -29.1% against the previous year. Overall, nickel ore import price continues to indicate a deep slump. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2014, when import increased by 31% year-to-year. Over the period under review, average nickel ore import price attained its maximum level of $228 per tonne in 2007; however, from 2008 to 2016, it stood at a somewhat lower level.

Import prices varied noticeably by country of destination. the country with the highest import prices was Japan ($50 per tonne), while Ukraine ($26 per tonne) was among the lowest.

From 2007 to 2016, the most notable growth rate of nickel ore import prices was attained by Ukraine (-11.1% per year), while the other global leaders experienced a decline in the import price figures.

Do you want to know more about global nickel ore market? Get the latest trends and insight from our report. It includes a wide range of statistics on

  • nickel ore market share
  • nickel ore prices
  • nickel ore industry
  • nickel ore sales
  • nickel ore import
  • nickel ore export
  • nickel ore market forecast
  • nickel ore price forecast
  • key nickel ore producers

All data provided in this article covers the following product: HS Code 2604 - Nickel ores and concentrates.

Source: World: Nickel Ores And Concentrates - Market Report. Analysis and Forecast to 2025