(Bloomberg) -- More Chinese nickel is expected to flow overseas after the London Metal Exchange banned new Russian supplies, according to Mysteel Global.

China’s production of refined nickel is outstripping demand, and a domestic glut of the metal, used in batteries and to make stainless steel, has led to a surge in exports. Overseas sales jumped more than 200% in March from the previous month to 7,496 tons. 

Increases in Chinese output, together with the sanctions on Moscow, are likely to keep exports elevated, Mysteel said in a note. That could help plug the gap in LME deliveries caused by its ban on metal from Russia, which accounts for 6% of the world’s supply.  

Chinese producers GEM Co., Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt Co. and CNGR Advanced Material Co. have registered to list their nickel on the LME. Mysteel estimated production of those brands could reach 156,800 tons this year.     

At the same time, other producers around the world are struggling to compete with a flood of cheaper metal from Chinese operations housed in Indonesia. 

LME nickel has retreated from a seven-month high hit earlier in the week, and was steady at $18,950 a ton by 2:28 p.m. in Shanghai on Thursday. Other metals were mixed as investors await more US economic data later in the day. 

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