Nickel ore in scarce supply, soon nickel pig iron too?
Nickel ore in scarce supply, soon nickel pig iron too?

16 April 2024 – Scarce availability of Indonesian and Philippine nickel ore leads to empty warehouses at Asian smelters. Impact on nickel pig iron (NPI) to be expected soon? Aluminum prices have recovered significantly since mid-2023. And a critical comment on German association media.

Nickel ore in short supply, soon nickel pig iron too?

Asian industry media are of the opinion that if the granting of mining licenses for nickel ore in Indonesia continues to be slow in the coming months, this could have a significant impact on the availability of nickel pig iron (NPI).

Stocks of nickel ore already partially depleted

Currently, the premiums for nickel ore are already at a very high level, which has already significantly reduced stocks at the processing smelters. Some small and medium-sized processors have already had to shut down operations in China due to empty stocks, as the Philippine rainy season is also limiting the availability of ore.

Aluminum prices strengthened significantly

Aluminum prices on the LME have recovered significantly since June 2023 and have climbed by around 17% since then. This trend can also be observed on the Asian SHFE, where aluminum contracts have gained between 10 and 15% since mid-2023.

Investment funds in particular have discovered aluminum as an interesting investment opportunity and are currently increasingly betting on further price rises for this important light metal.

Critical note: Steel associations are just howling

We would like to make a critical comment on the fact that certain German association media have been howling all the time for the last four years and are almost exclusively reporting negative news.

We think this is simply wrong. We would like to point out that these steel associations should perhaps think about which figures they are comparing and whether this really makes sense.

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