Indonesia’s nickel smelter stopped operating because prices fell

An industry association executive said on Monday that about 12 new nickel smelters had ceased to operate in Indonesia, while other smelters were losing their jobs.

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Jonatan Handojo, vice chairman of the Indonesian Smelter Association, said the thirteen smelters were “forced to stop production, as nickel prices fell to about $ 8,000 per tonne.” The thirteen smelters produced a total of 750,000 tonnes of nickel pig iron.

London Metal Exchange (LME) three-month nickel once hit a one-year low of $ 8,680 a tonne, which has fallen more than 10% this year.

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Handojo added that in Indonesia, there are 12 other nickel smelters that can continue to produce, but they have suffered losses.

Indonesia introduced a policy in 2014 to limit the export of nickel ore, thus helping the construction of new smelters. That year, nickel hit a record high of $ 21,625 per tonne. The country at the beginning of this year canceled these provisions, allowing the export of nickel ore and bauxite in some cases.

Indonesian state miner Aneka Tambang resumed nickel ore exports last month.

Philippine and Indonesia’s nickel ore supply increased expectations, has been to make refined nickel prices under pressure.

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In the world’s largest nickel supplier – the Philippines’ nickel ore production fell 51% in the first quarter, affected by the rain and the former environmental minister Regina Lopez ordered the suspension of mine operations.

But Lopez was removed from the legislators in May, and the successor of President Rodrige Duterte was welcomed by the miners. The country’s finance minister, Carlos Dominguez, has pledged to investors that they will no longer be able to shut down the mining operations.