Indonesia prefers export stop of nickel ore

by David Fleschen

Nickel jumped up nearly 9%, or $ 1,500, on Friday, continuing its upswing this morning. At $ 18,850 a ton, it has reached a 5-year high. The Indonesian government announced on Friday that it would prefer to delay the export of nickel ore by two years. It is expected to come into force on 1 January 2020. Although this had already been suggested in recent weeks, the price of nickel still reacts with further surcharges. Indonesia was the world's largest nickel mine producer last year and the second largest exporter of nickel ore and concentrate (just under 20 million tonnes, according to WBMS data), behind the Philippines. With the export stop of ore the pressure on the mine producers is to be increased, to build melts in the country, in order to be able to export higher quality nickel products. According to earlier data from the Ministry of Energy and Raw Materials, at least 22 nickel smelters are to be built by 2022. Later, 36 smelters would require 81 million tons of nickel ore annually for processing. Although the price of nickel has risen by almost 50% in the last two months, market participants' concerns that the global nickel market may be severely depleted over the next few years are undone.

Source: Commerzbank Research, Photo: Fotolia

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