FOCUS: Nickel market braces for influx of Philippine, Indonesia ores

Market participants are bracing for an increase in nickel ore exports from the Philippines and Indonesia in the second quarter of the year, which has started to put downward pressure on nickel metal and ore prices.

Some miners in the Philippines are preparing to restart mining as the end of the rainy season nears and some are already increasing shipments.
In Indonesia, meanwhile, where the government relaxed its export ban on unprocessed ores in January, miners are widely expected to start exporting low-grade nickel ore in the second quarter.
“We are expecting Chinese April customs data to show even more shipment arrivals than March,” a Beijing-based nickel analyst told Metal Bulletin.
Much of the nickel ore exports from the Philippines are destined for China, which imports the raw material to produce nickel pig iron (NPI), which is in turn used by local stainless steelmakers.

There are already signs that nickel ore exports from the Philippines and Indonesia into China are growing. In February, China...

Published

Ellie Wang

Vivian Teo

March 28, 2017

12:50 GMT

Singapore, Shanghai