INTL STAINLESS STEEL CONF: NPI not a threat to European stainless steel – Anglo-American

Ramp-ups in Chinese nickel pig iron (NPI) production will not inhibit the use of traditional ferro-nickel in European stainless steel production, multinational miner Anglo American’s head of business intelligence told Fastmarkets at the International Stainless and Special Steel Summit in Seville, Spain, on Tuesday September 17.

Chinese production of NPI was up by 50.9% year on year in July 2019 to a record 536,000 tonnes. Yet despite growing concerns that an already weak European stainless steel market will become inundated with the cheaper Chinese ore, European mills will avoid it in Barry Jackson’s view.
While NPI is undoubtedly a cheaper feedstock for stainless steel, in using it, mills would incur higher import and refining charges and would require more scrap to aid the longer processing time.
“NPI poses a limited threat to the European stainless steel market on a technical basis. When you use NPI to replace or partially replace ferro-nickel, the contained elements emit more heat, which requires more scrap and a longer processing time,” Jackson said.

Anglo American estimates that by substituting 50% of the ferro-nickel - a ferro-alloy containing approximately 35% nickel to 65% iron - used in...


Amy Hinton

September 19, 2019

05:00 GMT