2018 PREVIEW: Indonesian consumption of home-mined nickel ore to grow as Chinese set up shop

Heavy Chinese investment in Indonesian nickel smelting and stainless steel production means that a greater quantity of nickel ore mined in the country will be consumed internally from 2018 onward.

Despite higher production in the coming year, Indonesian nickel pig iron (NPI) exports to China will fall in 2018 because the country will consume 180,000 tonnes per year of nickel metal domestically after Tsingshan Group’s stainless steel capacity on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi comes fully on stream next year. As well, lower production costs and access to locally sourced raw material supply at the Indonesian stainless steel plant will weigh on Chinese stainless steel prices and cut into China's stainless steel exports in 2018, market participants said.   China-backed nickel smelters in Indonesia will produce 235,700 tonnes of nickel metal in 2018, up from 186,100 tonnes last year, China's Merchant Futures (CMF) forecast. “The most likely increase in nickel production in 2018 will come from Xinxing Ductile Co’s fourth furnace, which is planned to come on line in the first quarter, while the most uncertain project is that of PT Virtue Dragon Nickel Industry (VDNI), which is...

Published

Ellie Wang

January 04, 2018

01:00 GMT

Shanghai