Indonesia announces nickel ore export ban starting in Jan 20

  • Indonesia said on 2 Sep 19 it will stop nickel ore exports from 1 Jan 20, two years earlier than initially flagged as it speeds up efforts to process more of its resources at home.
  • Bambang Gatot Ariyono, the mining ministry’s director general for coal and minerals, said the ban will be applicable to all grades of nickel ore and ordered exporters to stop shipments from that date regardless of standing contracts.
  • Speculation about an expedited ban and 2 Sep 19’s announcement has boosted nickel prices. The three-month nickel contract on the London Metal Exchange gained 3% to USD18,470 a tonne on 2 Sep 19, its highest in nearly five years, adding to 30 Aug 19’s 9% gain.
  • The government had initially said it would ban nickel ore exports from Jan 2022, according to a rule released in 2017. It is retaining that later date for the end of exports of bauxite and copper concentrates.
  • Philippine nickel miners said they are likely to boost output of nickel ore in 2020 to fill up supply gap left by Indonesia.

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