Indonesian nickel ore capacities already exhausted?
Indonesian nickel ore capacities already exhausted?

31 August 2023 – After some significant price jumps for Indonesian nickel ore due to a shortage of raw materials, the first companies now appear to be buying from the Philippines to cover their requirements. And Asian raw material prices continue to develop positively. 

Indonesian nickel ore capacities already exhausted?

Indonesia is considered to be one of the countries with the world’s largest nickel ore deposits. Even though the government there has made repeated media efforts in recent years to rule out a shortage of available ores, they are nevertheless limited. This is evident, among other things, from the hastily initiated measures to limit the expansion of nickel smelters and the switch to more highly processed nickel products. 

Controversial export ban on nickel ores

The export ban on Indonesian nickel ores, which the European Union has complained about to the World Trade Organization, also shows that a finite raw material is to be kept in the country. The objective behind this is also understandable, as Indonesia would like to establish the value chain for the valuable nickel in its own country as far as possible.

Delays in the allocation of new mining quotas

Now the limits of nickel ore mining and availability seem to have been reached. The first Indonesian companies seem to be running out of raw materials and the delays in allocating new mining quotas are becoming longer and longer. 

Indonesian companies buy ores from the Philippines

Some companies are now even starting to buy nickel ores in the neighboring Philippines and import them to Indonesia, according to media reports, including apparently the stainless steel producer Tsingshan. Even though the Indonesian government is trying to smooth over fears of a nickel ore shortage with appeasement, prices for ores have already jumped dramatically in the past two weeks.

Asian commodity prices continue to perform well

Asian commodity prices continued to rise today (Thursday). Aluminum (about +1.39%), iron ore (about +3.5%), hot-rolled coil (about +2.05%), stainless steel (about +0.93%) and coke (+2.13%) and coking coal (+3.26%) continued to go up. Contrary to the previous month, August is thus already significantly friendlier overall and should further support the optimistic mood.

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