[Reuters, Jakarta]-The Indonesian government announced on January 2 that it will completely ban nickel ore exports from January 1 next year. The aim is to increase domestic refining, two years ahead of the original policy. It is said that there is an intention to connect the manufacturing industry of the electric vehicle (EV) battery using nickel.
The Director of the Department of Energy and Mineral Resources, Ariyano Coal and Minerals, pointed out that the export ban covers all grades of nickel ore, and exporters are ordered to stop all shipments regardless of the existing contract. “That's why we announced it now and set a four-month transition period,” he told reporters.
An observation that the export ban has been accelerated in the market has already emerged. When actually announced, the index price of the London Metal Exchange (LME) nickel rose by 5.3% to $ 18,850 per ton, the highest price in almost five years. It was 9% higher on August 30th.
Goldman Sachs notes in a one-day note that the Indonesian export ban expects the LME nickel price to reach $ 20,000 per ton within three months.
Indonesia is the world's largest producer of nickel ore, accounting for 26% of global supply last year, according to industry groups. The export ban is expected to affect China, the largest nickel ore consuming country.
China imports nickel ore for the production of nickel pig iron (NPI) used for stainless steel, which seems to hinder NPI production.
Experts believe that Chinese companies will fill all or part of the shortfall with imports from the Philippines, but the nickel ore in the Philippines will be deficient in quality compared to Indonesia and will not be able to meet all demand. Yes.
The Indonesian government initially announced that it would ban nickel ore exports from January 2022. Arionono explained that the implementation was accelerated in order to expand the refining business amid limited domestic nickel resources.
Export of bauxite and copper concentrate will be banned in January 2010 as scheduled.